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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the current thinking about turn-ups on suit trousers in London?

It seemed for a while that they were out of fashion, but I seem to see them more these days.

Being American, I have a lingering feeling that my suits are incomplete without.
 

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Formal as in formal-formal? Or formal as in business suit?

I'm just talking about a garden-variety Mo-Fri business suit.
Personal preference. If you want to get really nit-picky there's a school of thought that says pleated trousers should have them and plain front trousers should not. Rubbish. But it's pretty much universally understood that there should be no trouser cuffs on black or white tie.
 

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There's also the school that says they're for taller rather than shorter men, but I've never subscribed to that view.

Of course we never get cuffs on evening trousers because those have piping down the sides (one stripe for black tie, two for white), and it's also customary to skip cuffs on morning trousers, but when it comes to business suits and odd trousers, my own view is that cuffs have never really been 'in' or 'out' of 'fashion'--they're mostly just down to personal taste.

My own preference is normally for cuffs, since I feel like they lend a bit of helpful extra weight to the trouser bottoms, and look a tad more 'finished' while helping to 'set off' the shoes better somehow.

I even like cuffs on casual pants, except for golf pants, when they collect too much in the way of grit and grass clippings.
 

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I can't believe I'm beating Andy to the shameless-plug post:

"Sophisticated men wear cuffs on their pants, and other sophisticated men notice. Cuffs are de rigueur with pleated pants especially suit trousers and look great on casual pants too. They also serve a function of adding extra weight to the bottom allowing the pants to hang better.

Some stores discourage cuffs because it's more expensive for them to put on, so you may have to insist on cuffs. If you're under 5' 10" and you've told that cuffs make you look shorter, ignore that outdated advice, and just have the tailor make the cuff 1 ¼ "instead of the average 1 ½". The same logic makes sense for those of you over 6' - try 1 ¾" cuffs.

If you don't cuff your pants have the tailor slant the bottoms so that the hem is lower at the back to the top of the shoe heel. Tailors call this a "fishtail". Cuffs are hemmed straight across."

From "The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes." Rush out in a buying frenzy and get yours today!!
 

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I can't believe I'm beating Andy to the shameless-plug post:

"Sophisticated men wear cuffs on their pants, and other sophisticated men notice. Cuffs are de rigueur with pleated pants especially suit trousers and look great on casual pants too. They also serve a function of adding extra weight to the bottom allowing the pants to hang better.


This is nonsense. Sophisticated men by definition will wear clothing that suits them, and would be impervious to fashion, or of demeaning other peoples choices. Cuffs are a personal preference in this day and age. Uncuffed trousers can be adequately weighted, if hemmed correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What I was getting at was a little more specific. What's the current thinking in London (versus perhaps elsewhere)? In the States, it seems to be laissez faire.

If you are out and about in the City, though, are turn-ups a done thing, or not, or are they for specific situations, or is it just down to passing fashion? There seem to be any number of quirky rules, and ways to do things that can slot someone into a particular class or trade, etc., and this may be one of them for all I know.

So far, I gather for formal it's a no-no, but for suits it's fine?
 

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I don't know if they wear cuffs predominately in London or not...

I haven't worn them since the 50s. Personally, I think they look silly on trim-cut, pleatless trousers. Why not checkout Ede & Ravenscroft or some other trim-cut suit maker, and see what their clients are wearing.
 

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Cuffs are traditional and functional! From The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:

Cuffs are de rigueur with pleated pants especially suit trousers and look great on casual pants too. They also serve a function of adding extra weight to the bottom allowing the pants to hang better.
Cuffs or "turn-ups" date to the 1860s when members of the Windsor cricket club began rolling up their trousers to protect them from mud and water. Consequently tennis players copied the look by rolling up their flannel trousers before hitting the courts.

English Royalty was seen in town wearing turn-ups and even to the Ascot races! British gentlemen began imitating the style, but the initial response was not positive.

There was pandemonium in the House of Parliament in 1893 when Viscount Lewisham appeared wearing cuffs on his trousers. Society disapproved of turn-ups, claiming that they collected dirt that would be brought indoors and that men had to take care to turn them down before entering a respectable indoor location.

The advantage of knee breeches worn in the 18th Century was that the hem was high enough off the ground that they were not likely to be soiled, and the stockings worn with knee breeches were much easier to launder.

But by 1880 tailors were stitching them onto trousers, and by the early 20th Century, cuffs had become an accepted variation on trouser bottoms.
 

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RING! RING! RING!

"Hello! London? Yeah, listen London, what about cuffs? Huh? Yeah, cuffs! I said cuffs! Turn-ups? No, this ain't about vegetables! Huh? Oh! OK, turn-ups. Yeah, he's American. Yeah, yeah, OK, yeah!"

London said you can wear cuffs.

 

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Recently, I saw a photo of Luca di Montezemolo (Chairman of Ferrari and Fiat) and his trousers had what looked to me to be deep cuffs -- about 2", it appeared -- as well as a considerable break. This was surprising to me as I had been under the impression that cuffs got short shrift on the Continent and in England.

I always (try to) get guardsman slant. It gives me another thing to argue about with the "tailor."
 
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