Because I’m short, I have trouble finding slacks that don’t need to be altered. The additional expense takes the fun out of finding an Eileen Fishers garment on sale. Frankly, when I shop for long pants, I look for a knitted band rather than a cuff at the end of the leg. A one size fits all approach suits me.
Men don’t have many options when it comes to pant length. That’s why a correct measurement of the inside leg is crucial. Tradition requires the cuff to rest on top of the shoe. That little bend in the crease is called a “break.” The only fashion choice a man has is how much or how little a break he requires.
For a woman, that would be too narrow a spectrum for self-expression. But, men have lived within this limitation for years. Of late, a few, who consider themselves sartorially sensitive, are bucking the trend, however. They are forgoing the break altogether, choosing instead to allow the cuff to touch the shoe without one. Forgoing the break lengthens the leg, they argue, and gives the illusion of height. Others dare to lift their cuffs higher, enough to show a little sock or to accommodate a brogue.
Not all tailors are happy with this rebellion, of course. Says one esthete from Savile Row, “If you don’t like long trousers wear shorts.” (“The Break’s Over, by David Coggins, Bloomberg Businessweek, Aug 26, 2019, pg. 64.)
As a woman, I had no idea such deep feelings revolved around an inch or two of cloth. Men’s wardrobe choices were simple, I thought. After all, a man doesn’t need a blouse, a scarf, and a purse to go with those pants. Now, it appears my assumptions about men’s fashion were wrong. Those poor darlings have found a wall of worry in a single cuff.