One tip in the balancing act between close fit and comfort is that you can get away with a bit more volume in the top
half if you choose a pleated style pant. The Rake recommends that when having your trouser fitted, you have
them adjusted or taken in, particularly from the knee to the ankle. However, don't forget to sit down - very
carefully - once they've been pinned to ensure they are still adequately comfortable.
A discussion on hem width against your shoe size and type
To be clear, here at The Rake we have a penchant toward a narrow bottom on our trousers, daringly narrow: as
little as 6.5 to 7 inches or 16.5 to 17.75 cm at the hem. However, if you do decide to go down this same path, bear
in mind that the hem still needs to be wide enough to look in proportion with your shoe, and also provide enough
space to let your foot through. Should you wish to also tread down the path of the super narrow trouser, you can
calculate the correct hem width relative to your shoe size. Simply measure the length of your shoe across the
bottom. Your correct hem width should be about 60 per cent of that length.
To turn up or not to turn up?
Some make the argument that on a shorter man, the trouser cuff has a tendency abbreviate the lengthening affect of a
well-cut trouser. But at The Rake our love affair with the cuff or turn-up knows no bounds. We would cuff
the trousers on a dachshund if he wore a suit.
Rakish Tip:Always go a full 5cm (2in) for the width of your turn-ups: anything else just
demonstrates a lack of commitment.
How short is too short?
Remember Pee-wee Herman's suit? Well, according to contemporary mores established by Pitti Uomo street style
photography, Pee-wee Herman's hem length meant to be comically short at the time is now pretty much on trend. But
how short is too short? Certainly a summer suit, especially one worn sockless, can afford to show a brief glimpse of
bare suntanned ankle. However, as with a women's décolletage, it is always preferable to err on the side of taste
over garish display. A winter suit, however, can be a touch longer, though the prevailing feeling at The
Rake is that the only break we like in our trousers is none at all. That having been said, a fuller or
wide-legged pant does need to have a touch of break to help it achieve the soft, drapey shape intended.
Thus ends the Noble Ninefold Path to Suit Enlightenment, and all nine steps have been traversed. Follow this advice
and your next suit will have you tailored to perfection. For those who wish to revise the previous eight steps, the
Introduction can be found here,
part I here and part II here.
Part III can be found here, and part IV here.