Point Break: A Lesson on Pant Length

Whether you’re a svelte gentleman or a stocky one, finding the right pants can sometimes be a journey. Most people consider the fit in the waist before they worry about the length of the pant. There’s a good reason too; it’s much easier to have tailors in Philadelphia shorten pants than it is to have them readjust the entire fit. There’s another factor to consider though: How much to break your pants

man wearing light pants and penny loafers

What Is Break

The break of a pant is a menswear term describing the length of a trouser. It specifically refers to how the bottom of the pant rests against the shoe. Pant breaks famously wax and wane depending on the current fashion trends of the day. In this blog, we are going to break down what each connotes and some advice on how to remain appropriate.

  • No Break- None. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Your pants and your shoes have only been briefly introduced from time to time; they’re barely even acquaintances. This style is fashion-forward. If you’re going for the European look or keeping up with the latest trends, this is the look for you.
  • Slight Break- fashionable but not flashy. Your pants and your shoes know each other and spend a good amount of time together when you aren’t sitting. This style is very acceptable right now and tends to look good on almost everyone. A safe bet for everything outside of the boardroom.
  • Medium Break- Classic and conservative. Your pants and your shoes are more than acquainted they’re best friends, spending time together all day. This style is mature and appropriate for men that seek a timeless look, uninfluenced by modern aesthetics.
  • The Full Break- less classic, more classical. This look left men’s fashion around the time the talkies started. Your shoes and pants are so close with one another we can’t tell where one ends, and the other begins. This style is only for those that seek a completely different style or those looking to recreate the roaring twenties look.

Pant Breaks

Trends In Breaks

A few years ago, breaks reached a breaking point. Almost overnight, men began opting to hem their pant legs higher and higher to keep up with the latest fashions in menswear. Baggy pants all but disappeared, giving way to their inverse style– no break. This has started to lessen as we are seeing a return to the baggy days of yore. Our advice? Avoid the trends and stick to a slight or medium break. This ensures that no matter the fickle fashion trends you stay looking stylish. More on this in our blog on Why You Should Be Stylish, Not Fashionable.

Now it may not be the flashy advice but unless you are wearing a pair of chino’s (in this case a no break look it required) or maybe a pair of denim jeans (where a full break looks great without being gimmicky) then staying in the middle of the road should be the goal. Avoiding the extremes of the day lets you look at a photo of yourself from ten year back and keeps the deep sense of shame and cringe faces at bay. Plus who doesn’t respect a maverick that forgoes popular opinion to be authentic to themselves.

Pants meet the shoes


At Henry A. Davidsen, you can always talk to one of our bespoke tailors in Philadelphia to find the best fit for your look and build. No matter what message you are trying to send with your image, we can assist in crafting the perfect look to match. Call 215-310-0219 or email info@henrydavidsen.com when you are ready to get started.

Ready to schedule a consultation or just have questions? We'd love to help.

Contact Us