As so often with cliches, it contains more than a kernal of truth, but it’s so often said, that it loses its meaning.
As I’ve said many times in this blog, it’s the little details that mark you out as stylish.
It’s the little details that other stylish men notice. (Check out this previous post about what style is).
Most advice will say that the trousers should slightly break on the shoe.
I.e. they should rest on on the top of the shoe and there’ll be enough fabric that there’ll be a soft break in it.
This is particularly 1940s and 1950s and Mad Men-type length of trousers.
In 2016, I think this is too long.
So how long should my trousers be?
I think the hem of your trousers should finish slightly higher.
So when you’re standing, the hem should finish at the bottom of your ankle bone.
You don’t want ANY excess fabric and if there’s a break as in the previous fit advice example, then there’s excess fabric and they’re too long.
The eye of a stylish man will register this imperceptibly and perhaps unconsciously, but he’ll notice.
You don’t want to make it too short but you do want to see a flash of sock or bare skin. Just a flash.
Too short and you run the risk of looking like a 20 year old from Towie.
Fashionable maybe but not dapper.
Check out this photo of me with trousers just a bit too long:
Look at the difference in this next photo where my trousers are just one turn-up roll higher.
In this second photo, my trouser hem finishes at the base of the ankle bone and DOESN’T touch my shoe at all. See also this third photo from the side with the same length:
It’s not crazily high but there is definite air between the trouser and the shoe.
This is how it looks closer up:
This is how it looks seated:
How to get the look
Turn them up or get them tailored.
The quickest way to see this in action is to get a pair of skinny chinos like in my example above and turn (roll) them up. Try turn-ups of one inch wide at first and keep rolling until you hit the desired length.
Experiment but definitely try the HTBD approved length.
Send me your pics with your trousers in the comments below!