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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There have been more than a few threads in the past on the question of trouser length. It has been observed that it's an issue which is divisive across generations.

I'm a young guy and I have been experimenting with this. When I was a kid I wore baggy pants like everyone around me, without thinking too much about it. (This was before I had heard the word 'trad.') In college and now in a PhD program I reacted against the sloppiness of that street aesthetic by going for little to no break, and self-cuffs. I see a lot of my peers doing this. However, recently I have reconsidered. While the no-break or shiver-of-a-break style has historically been favored by tradly dressers (just flip through Take Ivy---not a full break in sight), I believe that for a (very) young person a fuller break is actually more in line with the trad aesthetic. This is because the highwater look, once so derided by my generation, has been co-opted by hipster culture and high fashion, and so it will inevitably carry fashion-forward connotations to some extent when worn by the young. On someone who is closer to the Take Ivy generation, on the contrary, it retains its original implications (and looks damned cool).

On a young guy, the full break is casual but never sloppy, trim but not fussy. I should note that in purely aesthetic terms I really like the shiver-of-a-break look, I have just decided that when I wear it it's signaling the wrong things.

I hope to be able to wear my trousers a bit higher as I age. And I do favor less of a break on heavier and dressier pants. Thoughts?
 

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Don't let other people dictate what you wear. I direct that to everyone, not just those of the 'trad' mindset and aesthetic. If you like it, wear it. I doubt anyone will think you're wearing it ironically anyway (the hipster way). Besides, no use having a closet of pants you need to hem when other groups move on in 6 months. This coming from someone that's 23 and living in hipster-Mecca(Austin, formerly hippie heaven). That said, if you decide you really like a full break then by all means, rock it.
 

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Don't let other people dictate what you wear.
What if you're fine with having other people dictate what you wear, and on the other NOT fine with other people dictating whether you let other people dictate what you wear?:icon_jokercolor:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't let other people dictate what you wear. I direct that to everyone, not just those of the 'trad' mindset and aesthetic. If you like it, wear it. I doubt anyone will think you're wearing it ironically anyway (the hipster way). Besides, no use having a closet of pants you need to hem when other groups move on in 6 months. This coming from someone that's 23 and living in hipster-Mecca(Austin, formerly hippie heaven). That said, if you decide you really like a full break then by all means, rock it.
No you raise a good point. I see abstract, aesthetic merits of both styles. I guess I was just trying to explicate why a full break is closer to the look I am going for (largely trad), whereas this is just the opposite of the practice of older practitioners of the style.

It's not that I am afraid of being read as ironic. Just that, with everyone parading around with highwaters in jeans, khakis, whatever, wearing a full break as a young man strikes just the right note.
 

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Hookem is right. You're entitled to wear what you want. But if you're simply doing it because the no-break style is being co-opted by hipsters then you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of sporadic avoidance. Hipsters will eventually co-opt everything.

I also disagree that a full break is more appropriate for young people. It's more an issue of body type & clothing style. True trad clothing looks better with a light to no break.
 

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Unmodern: Interesting post. But I have a hard time believing that you'd be taken for a hipster if you wore, say, a BB OCBD, a Leatherman surcingle, a pair of cuffed Bill's M2s without a break, and a pair of Weejuns. With such clothes on, you wouldn't exactly scream hipster, regardless of the break in your trousers.
 

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I like a full break, and I'll continue to wear one, whether or not it's canonically trad or hipsters dig it or whatever, for one simple reason: it's how I've always done things.

-k
 

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My trou are subject to the force of gravity: what starts as on the shoetop (my personal ideal) often slides down to a slight break in the course of the day. What starts as a slight break may end up a puddle.
 

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I agree with the OP. For a few reasons really. Firstly, as I have mentioned before, from my youth, the no break look was simply a sign that you had outgrown your pants. Similarly, for grown men, it can also look like you mistakenly ordered your pants too short, or that they shrank up on you, as has happened to me, in which case, they became shorts.

I also think it is a very casual look, which I associate more with Hyannis Port, Nantucket, the Hamptons, etc. So if that's how you dress on the weekends then that's fine. But if that's how your are dressing to work, then I think it comes off as a bit costume-ish. I am not trying to say that empirically, that's the look you are conveying, its just how I read it. I really have no idea how other people see the no-break high water look. Also, for me there is huge difference between no break and a slight break.
 

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My alterations seamstress certainly has strong opinions on the subject - that is, anything other than a full break is wrong, wrong, wrong. And wrong.

Nonetheless, I slog through muddy paths on my way to work, wearing boots, so I insist on a mid break for reasons of practicality.

- Mike
 

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Perhaps I just don't live in an area full of hipsters, but a little to no break to me is instantly trad/prep. Almost no one has a short break at my school with the all too common 2 inches beyond your actual inseam length, and those that do dress preppy. I am 21 years old and love sporting this look. It is clean and works well with boat shoes and loafers. I couldn't imagine having a full break with my pennies, it seems too sloppy.
 

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What if you're fine with having other people dictate what you wear, and on the other NOT fine with other people dictating whether you let other people dictate what you wear?:icon_jokercolor:
You know, I actually thought about this last night, and had I been on my computer instead of the iPad I may have tried to type it out!
 

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I've got an array of different breaks due to my forgetfulness between purchases and the dubious measuring of manufacturers.

I prefer light to no break but don't demand it.

The loose fitting look often in favor here actually looks better with a break in my opinion.

I prefer tapered leg, 60s Ivy League styled chinos, and they look great with no break (again, in my opinion).
 

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For me, the ideal is a micron from touching the shoe when standing straight. Pants should be full rise, tapered through the knee and 16-18" at the cuff. If with moccasins, especially sockless, a bit above the shoe is fine, especially at a 16" cuff.

Paradoxically, the full break also works best with a tapered leg (though not quite as tapered), British style: cuffless with a slant, with a single break at front and touching the bottom of the shoe at the back. That can look cool.

Full break with unshaped legs or with cuffs doesnt work. Here, only a very minor break avoids sloppiness.
 

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Hookem is right. You're entitled to wear what you want. But if you're simply doing it because the no-break style is being co-opted by hipsters then you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of sporadic avoidance. Hipsters will eventually co-opt everything.
Given the ever expanding etymology of the word, I'd be more concerned that trads will soon be considered a genus of hipsters.

Judging by how I've observed the being used "hipster" used to describe a certain subculture of people, and now has evolved to describe anyone under the age of 40.
 

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Supposedly, a full break looks best on guys my height or taller. I still don't like it.
 
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