Tuesday, December 8, 2009

To Cuff or Not to Cuff?

Some men espouse a rule that pleated pants should have cuffs and that flat-front trousers should remain uncuffed.  I do not believe that such a strict rule exists; whether to cuff your pants is more a matter of personal style and preference. 

There are some practical considerations that one should contemplate when deciding whether to cuff a pair of pants.  Cuffs are appropriate on odd trousers to be worn with blazers and sport jackets.  They are equally appropriate on suit pants.  However, cuffs are inappropriate for formal wear.

Cuffs add weight to the bottom of the trouser leg; this may help pleats drape more properly.  The extra fabric of cuffs at the bottom of the leg also visually balances the added volume of pleats at the top.  On the other hand, trousers without cuffs look sleeker because the line of the leg remains unbroken.  This fact is especially important for short men.  A horiztonal cuff breaks that long visual line and will make a short man's legs look even shorter.

When it comes to cuffs, the choice is yours.   You really can't make a wrong decision.  But the next time your tailor asks if you want cuffs, give some thoughtful consideration to these factors before making an informed choice based on your own style and preference.  At least then there will be some reason behind the decision.

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