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To Cuff or Not To Cuff??

by James Bower |

Literally everyday in this industry I get asked about whether to cuff or not to cuff a customer's trousers. This is a question that has been on the minds of consumers for years. However, is there really a reason to cuff one pant and not another? The answer to that question is fairly simple, YES!

During the early 1920s a man would not be caught dead in public without a nice 2" cuff on his trousers. However, over the years this fad comes in and out of the clothing market. It is interesting and the main reason it continues to be a question that men have is because there are so many differing opinions on the topic. But, as my grandfather used to say, "Opinions are like ____, everyone has one" (I left it blank because I am trying to keep this blog post PG rated).

In all seriousness though, pant cuffing or not cuffing is a PERSONAL PREFERENCE. I know that this doesn't really help to settle the issue, but it is the best answer that a clothier can truly give. When it comes to the idea of styling there are a few things that look better with cuffs and the size of the cuffs truly depend on the break of trouser. On a side note, the break of the trouser is described as being where the trouser lays on the shoe. For the purpose of this post and of my customers, there are essentially four different breaks on a trouser.

  • No Break - This means that there is literally no break on top of the shoe and the pant hangs there in suspension on the leg.
  • Slight Break- (This is the break that I prefer on all dress trousers) This means that there is a slight break on top of the shoe and the pant still shows a bit of sock when moving, but looks elegant when standing still.
  • Medium Break-(This is most common break on trousers for the average man) This means that there is one fold on top of the shoe and it drapes well on the person.
  • Full Break-  (This style was most common during the 1980s-early 2000s) This means that there is a full fold and then some on top of the shoe, but not dragging the ground.

With this now being completely understood, the idea of cuffing a trouser or not cuffing a trouser will be discussed.

  • Five Pocket Pants/Jeans- With this style of pants, a jean bottom or small wide hem is preferred. It allows the pant to have a casual look, but not over the top.
  • Casual Pants/Khakis- This is probably going to hurt some of your feelings, but here we go. Please do a wide hem on the bottom. Unless they are very slim leg and have a slight to no break. Then do a 2" cuff.
  • Dress Trousers/Suit Pants- With this variation, it is completely up to the person. Usually the rule is pleated pants get a cuff and flat front pants get a plain bottom. However, it is up to the person!

This is all that can be said on the topic for the moment... But remember, heavier weight slacks look great with a cuff and at the end of the day, the decision is YOURS!

 

 

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