Who Would've Thought It: Take a Break

Personal style comes in all shapes and sizes, but there are just some things that should remain more of a rule than a guideline.

One of those is pant breaks. Pant breaks are where the bottom of your pants end, or break, in relation to your shoes. The pants are tailored, or hemmed, accordingly. Depending on who you ask, there are three to four types of breaks you can have depending on your personal choice. The fashion faux pas happens when you are either oblivious to the fact that you need to get your pants hemmed in the first place, or you didn’t get them hemmed enough (or, you got them hemmed too much and you look like you’re in a Thom Browne runway show).

Have all of your pants tailored. If you’re just a denim guy, then at least make sure your jeans aren’t dragging below your shoes and getting frayed. The skater guy’s jeans faded in the late ‘90s along with the self-respect of those who wore them. Go to your tailor (Google ‘best tailor near me’ if you don’t have one) and wear dress shoes, so that you have a visual representation of how your pants will look based on the breaks listed below. Keep in mind you may need to get the tailor to taper your pants as well, which is making them slimmer, especially below the knees. And remember that slim doesn’t mean skin tight, as even heavier guys can – and should – have a slim fitting wardrobe relative to their size.

Let's get to the types of breaks and see what suits your personality the best:



No Break: This means that your pants are just barely grazing the top of your shoes, assuming you’re wearing low tops. If you have no break on your boots or high tops, then you’re practically wearing capris. If that’s your thing, then by all means break a leg, but we try to steer clear of that here. But this is the most fashion-forward break of the bunch. It’s for the modern gentleman and usually look best on slimmer guys. You definitely need to have a nice tapered look to go with this.





Slight Break: This is slightly – hence the name – longer than pants with no break. This is for folks who may not be as aggressive in their styling, but still care about looking dapper. The bottom of the pants rests gracefully on the top of your shoes, like they’re laying on a cloud.





Medium Break: By now you get the idea. This type of look would be for someone that is not fashion-forward at all. So maybe fashion-backward? Not necessarily; there’s a place for medium breaks in this world. It’s for those who are on the conservative side or don’t want their pants riding up when they sit down.


I don’t even want to get into what a full break is – it’s literally just letting it all hang out. It causes a pooling effect at the bottom of your pants, where they just get all wavy and loose around your shoes. It’s not a good look unless you’re old enough to remember World War II.

From celebrities to politicians to the everyday citizen, well-tailored pants (and clothing in general) is a key to looking good and feeling confident. Don’t let this fashion faux pas victimize you. There’s a line between those who know style and those who don’t, and unkempt pant hems are on the side you don’t want to be on. So take control of your pants (and the rest of your wardrobe) by getting them to a tailor.