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A healthy discussion about pants leg break

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    A healthy discussion about pants leg break



    So I'm told that either no break or a light single break is the way to go. Pictures on the internet with no break get unqualified comments like "this is how a suit should fit" and "impeccable fit." Pictures that have a substantial single break or even a light break get responses like "acceptable" and "that's fine if it is your preference."


    I have a BR suit which, when standing in an upright position, has a single break in the pants leg. Here's my problem: yeah, it looks great and internet blog worthy when I'm standing at attention, but the only problem is that I almost never stand at attention. When I'm walking, sitting, moving, basically doing anything I can see my socks. I noticed it from pictures at a wedding. Now I notice it all the time when I'm at work.


    tl;dr: I'm worried that my suit pants appear too short, however all the cool kids are telling me that my pants my even be too long. Suggestions?


    #2


    I feel that a slight break is more conservative and thus more appropriate for work place. But the no break look is more debonair.

    "We had a sick night b*tches!"

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      #3


      Very preferential in my opinion. Your pants don't sound to short but, if it bugs you then it might be too short for you.


      I personally think the ankle bearing has gotten preposterously out of control but a slight or no break is really what looks best. Also, I really think it depends on what you're wearing and how slim said pant leg is. I think jeans and chinos can afford a little bit shorter length whereas conservative business dress affords a more appropriate slight break. Again, personal opinion...

      "Waste no time arguing what a good man should be. Be one." – Marcus Aurelius

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        #4


        Not sure what the difference is between a "single break" and a "light break". No break is trendy now and isn't conservative at all. Full break is 80s/90s and should be avoided. I'd go what I would say is a slight or quarter break. Don't think it'll ever look "out of place" despite any current styles, which full break and no break can't say.

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          #5


          No break doesn't mean what it used to. Traditionally, no break meant that the hem kissed the front of the shoe but did not crease, possibly with a guardsman slant at the back (meaning that the pants are hemmed somewhat longer in the back than in the front). I think THAT kind of no break is classically fine and conservative. The kind of no break you see at StyleBlogger and sometimes at MensStylePro and other "trendy" sites is a "negative" break where the trousers do not even reach the shoes. This is abominable.

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            #6


            Ok. I just mean there is a noticeable slight break on the pants when they are fully draped. Maybe I'm not sure of the terminology. I'm not sure what a full break is but I assume it means they are beginning to puddle. The pants have no cuff, fwiw.

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              #7


              This has a good explanation of pant break terminology (without hitting on the "negative break" (nice term for it, btw, Kenneth)):


              http://www.primermagazine.com/2012/l...nciples-of-fit

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                #8


                Alright that helps a lot. These are quarter break pants. I'm thinking about getting them let out .5-1.0 inches to perhaps a half break.

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                  #9


                  I'd stick with a quarter, personally. I like flashing a little sock when I'm moving, sitting down, crossing my legs, etc. Right now, quarter is probably the "most" you want from your fashion trend guys (thus the comments you mention above), but honestly go with what you're most comfortable with.

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                    #10


                    I'm in the go with what you're comfortable with camp, with the caveat that if you haven't been paying close attention to clothes for long, then what you're comfortable with may be different from what looks best. Kind of like when guys switch from relaxed fit jeans to 514s they think the 514s are nut huggers: they feel uncomfortable because they don't have the context for understanding that seems, comparatively, tight is actually quite normal-fitting and better looking. Not saying that's necessarily happening in your case, but it's something to be mindful of if it applies.

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                      #11


                      I've struggled with the same question OP:


                      My pants right now are probably somewhere between no break and quarter break (though closer to no break). The "no break" picture there is kind of hard to see because he is wearing boots instead of a balmoral.


                      As you mentioned, if you're not moving, no break is perfect. However, as soon as I start walking a tiny amount of sock will show. I think this is acceptable, but quarter break is probably the best thing to aim for.

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                        #12


                        I am a ful break type of man. Then again, as I am tall, I am a little self-conscious at times about my height.

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                          #13


                          I am a ful break type of man. Then again, as I am tall, I am a little self-conscious at times about my height.


                          (Please remove this repeat!)

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                            #14


                            "with the caveat that if you haven't been paying close attention to clothes for long, then what you're comfortable with may be different from what looks best."


                            I'd correct that to "what looks current." What looks best is an individual decision, and some of us prefer a classic timeless style rather than what is currently in fashion. In the early 1970's, huge flares at the angle 4" lapels, and 5" breastplate ties were in fashion, yet now, photos from that era don't necessarily look the best. Ten or fifteen years later, 1" ties, and sportcoat sleeves pushed up past the elbows were in style. Today, that looks as dated as the 1970's look.


                            In my opinion, the current trend for high-water pants, showing 4-6 inches of bare ankle, is something I'm not willing to take on for myself. I believe that it will look as ridiculous as other temproary fashions, in retrospect.


                            One of the reason for the "break" is so that the hem of the trousers rests on the shoes, avoiding swaying back and forth in the breeze while walking. Of course, with the current fashion of pants as tight as tights, there's no swaying. There's also the issue of how much sock to flash (or in today's fashion, how much ankle).


                            To some, this is a generational thing. The younger men are always more attacted to the latest fashion, while older gentlemen tend to be more timeless. For me, ever since I was a young teenager, I've tried to take my inspiration from the past fifty years or more of fashion, as well as the look of men of all ages. If you're trying to imnpress other men (not that there's anything wrong with that), you may disagree. But I've always found that ladies are more attracted to timeless style than to fleeting fashion.


                            So for me, the "everything's coming up Milhouse" flood pants look like a passing fad. I like my trouser hems to rest on my shoelaces.

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                              #15


                              I think there's a big difference between "negative break" and "no break." Negative break will likely look ridiculous in a decade or less. No break for slightly tapered pants won't.

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