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How Long Should Pants Be (Without Shoes On)?

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    How Long Should Pants Be (Without Shoes On)?

    The title pretty much says it all? Should they just hit the floor behind my heel? Or should they be about half an inch off the floor?

    I'm about to order a few new pairs of chinos from J Crew and want to make sure I get the sizing right. Up until now I've worn a 30x32, but they seem just a tad short so I was thinking of bumping them up to a 30x33. Plus, I may grow just a bit more in the coming months and I want them to last a while. Should I be getting the 30x33s?



    I think a lot of it is personal preference. I personally feel like hitting the floor is a too long, especially for jeans or chinos. I'd say maybe an inch off the floor, more or less depending on preference and formality.



      Depends on the "break" that you prefer. Some folks really like a full break with chinos (that means the fabric has enough length to crease quite a bit horizontally at ankle-height). As for me, with chinos I prefer no break (this means that the pant legs don't have enough length to hit my shoes, and so there is no horizontal crease at all.) Then there are half break and quarter break options. So, figure out what you like and try to aim for that either OTR or with tailoring.



        It all relates to how you would like to wear them with shoes on. As thmage said, I'd probably say having them hit the floor is probably too long.

        Edited: BB says it better.



          It depends on personal preference and also how wide the pants leg openings are. Wider pants openings need some break to keep the pants from flopping around too much as you walk. Narrow openings means less break, or even no break, is OK.

          I don't think you should test length w/o shoes, but in any case hitting the floor is too long.



            Ah, well I'm going with the 484 so they're rather slim (I have very slim legs, I know they are skinny for most people but they fit me perfectly). So maybe sticking with the 30x32s will be fine.

            Either way, the reason I'm not testing WITH shoes is because I wear quite a few different pairs from loafers to oxfoards and so the pants will hit each shoe differently.



              Do you go around barefoot in public? If you plan to wear shoes with the pants, it's really better to ask how long they should be with shoes on. Traditionally, you should know where the pants should fall on the back of your shoe (heel counter or heel), and how much they should break in the front. You may even prefer a different lenght in the front and back, typically a bit longer in the back. There are various names for that; my tailor refers to it as a "tipped hem". If you wear shoes of different heights, then you should evaluate the lengths with the different shoes, not barefoot, unless you really plan to wear the pants while barefootin'.

              There are differing opinions, of course, but classic style usually would have enough break that the pants are not hanging free when you stand still, but rather, they should be resting on the front of the shoe, and that you shouldn't flash much sock when you walk. "Current fashion" seems to be more towards a more high-water pants look, but I think that's more of a temporary fashion.

              There is no right answer ... you need to figure out your own preference. But I think the right way to do it is to bring the pants, with various shoes, to a qualified tailor, and have him show you what different lengths look like, possibly pinning them at different lenghts. Stand, walk, sit, and sit with your legs crossed, in front of a mirror. With each pair of shoes. You will probably do all these things while wearing the pants and shoes, and if you don't check out all views, you may regret it later.

              Once you know how long you like your pants, well enough that you're not asking dappered, then you might evaluate things barefoot, but if you're still unsure, get to the tailor with tall shoes, low shoes, and pants, and skip the barefoot measurements for now. You need to see real-world hem lengths with your actual shoes to make an informed decision.



                Here's what I do with my tailor. I wear my lowest loafers and then have my tailor hem the pants to where they are just barely about to break. When I wear oxfords, the break is "light" and when I wear boots, the break is medium. I prefer a slight break with all my pants/shoes with the exception of loafers, which I'll wear loud ass socks with.

                A note of caution: Wear and wash your pants 2-3 times before you have them hemmed unless they are wool.