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
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
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
Part III can be found here, and part IV