The length of your trousers is defined by what is known as a “break” – the amount of creasing or fold that befalls the bottom of the trousers when it meets the shoe. The break of your trousers is a tremendously important element in your trousers’ design. You don’t want to have your trousers too long that results in pools of fabrics bunching over your shoes, just like you don’t want them to be too short, showing off your socks and making you look 2” shorter.
There are three main types of breaks you should be aware of: full break, half break, and break-less. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong in your preference of trouser length as it’s all down to personal choice and style. Just be sure your trousers aren’t too short that they look cropped or too long that you’re tripping over your shoes!
The cleanest look and ideal for men with a shorter stance, an absence of a break means that there’s no visible fold, and the trouser hem grazes the top of the shoe. The disadvantage (or advantage, depending on your view of festive socks) is that your socks are almost certainly going to show!
Otherwise known as a “medium break,” the half break is where the hem of your trousers casually rests on the front of the shoe and covers the highest point at the back. This is our recommended style as the break isn’t too high to hike up, exposing too much of your leg or socks but allows for the appropriate length to showcase your shoes.
A popular style in the 20s when the more fabric used was associated with wealth, a full break occurs when you wear trousers that are slightly too long for your leg. A tough look to pull off today, the excess fabric which rests on the top of your shoe causes a fold that runs around your leg, hiding the socks and shoe opening. Best with a wider style of trouser, a full break is generally only suggested for taller men or casual attire.