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How long should your suit trousers really be?

One of the main and obvious benefits of getting bespoke clothing is that you can customise everything to your liking. With trousers, this advantage, however, also comes with a big responsibility – selecting the right trouser length! It can literally make or break your look. But how long should they be, really?

How long should your suit trousers really be?

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The length of men’s trousers is determined by the so-called break – a point at the bottom of your leg where your trousers meet the shoe. Its position, and effectively the length of your trousers, will affect your overall appearance, so it’s worth paying attention to.

Crop your pants too short and your body may seem out of proportions. Make them too long and the fabric will start building up and may result in an untidy look.

What’s the proper trouser length?

Defining the proper length isn’t a matter of singling out the perfect length that works for everyone and on every occasion. Like most things in fashion, it’s subject to personal preference, style and body type.

You can, however, make an educated decision based on knowing the different pant breaks and choose one that’s right for you.

Five types of trouser break

Here are the five most common ways for the trouser to break:

The cropped pant

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As the name suggests, the trousers are cropped short well above ankles, resulting in a schoolboy aesthetic appealing to mostly younger demographic.

It’s a prominent fashion-forward style that conveys youth, creativity and certain rebelliousness.

If you were to pull this style off, it’s best to wear slim or skinny trousers made of relatively lightweight fabric.

No break

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No break is the type of break where your trousers are barely touching the top of the shoe. It’s a clean and modern look, but it doesn’t sit well with every man. It can help especially shorter men appear visually taller.

No break looks best on well-tailored tapered trousers. You want to make sure you are wearing good socks beneath as sitting down or raising your legs will certainly put them into the spotlight.

Quarter/slight break

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If there was such a thing as a perfect break, slight or quarter break would come the closest. It’s not as fashion-forward as no break, but it’s still contemporary. It’s a great choice for almost everyone and works well for businessmen who want to appear neat and up-to-date.

For best results, make sure the back of the pant leg is slightly longer than the front.

Half/medium break

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If a slight break is contemporary, the half break is traditional. It lightly folds over your shoes whilst covering its highest point at the back. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to choose the middle ground and play it safe.

It’s mostly worn by older conservative men who don’t like slim or tapered trousers who may or may not carry a little extra weight. It doesn’t attract attention but it also doesn’t offend. You may often see half break trousers with a cuff.

Full break

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Full break means there’s a significant amount of fabric folding over your shoe. In other words, your trousers are a little too long for your legs. It gives out a sloppy, casual look, so it needs to be approached with caution. Besides dress pants, it’s common to see this break on blue denim jeans, which doesn’t crease as easily as light suit fabric.

Who it’s for? A full break is best for tall men but can be often seen on the older and heavier gentleman.

Final thoughts

We hope the above explanation provided you with enough information to make a smart decision when you are getting your new tailored trousers. Even if you buy them off the rack, many stores, such as Zara, offer alteration service, often for a small additional fee that’s well worth it.

Overall, for suit trousers, at Patrick & Co we recommend opting for a quarter or half break to most men. If you are wearing chinos, those are best worn shorter, with ideally no break at all. It helps to accentuate the shape of the trousers and your style. In any case, be sure to always try them on with your shoes.

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