Cuffed pants are definitely on “trend” right now for menswear as hipster street style becomes increasingly mainstream. Historically, this trend developed from country clothing — a time when cuffs were necessary to keep pants clean. Later, though, it evolved into formal wear and suiting, and modernly it has continued to expand into casual clothing. The concept of pant cuffs on trousers was originally considered formal because it required extra fabric and extra stitching which made the pants more elaborate than others. Practically, the cuff provides extra weight to the pants, which makes them hang with a cleaner line, keeps pants from fraying, and holds traditional pleating on the front. Please, though, let’s avoid all pleated pants in modern times. Seriously.
Today, however, the cuffing of pants is seemingly casual and carefree. It’s a natural, relaxed look, and is most appropriately worn with a straight-leg style. The main problem with cuffs is that many don’t know how to make them an appropriate size. The main lesson about pant cuffs is that the cuff needs to be proportional to one’s body size. If one’s shorter in stature, then a larger cuff will make the legs (and entire body) seem much shorter than it actually is. The size of a cuff typically ranges in extreme from 1-2 inches. So, if you do opt to cuff your pants, pick the size that is right for your body frame. As a base, an average height male would probably go with a standard 1-3/4″ cuff.
So, that’s the single cuff. Another option is to use a smaller cuff size and roll it up slightly higher, maybe two or three times. In this way, it changes the break where the pants hit the shoe and raises the pants to an ankle length. When choosing this option, it is acceptable to have either exposed socks or visible bare skin. Just make sure you choose the shoes that are acceptable. More casual shoes, such as boat shoes, are acceptable with bare ankles, whereas a dressier shoe would require a trouser sock. Socks are definitely another avenue of self-expression, and a way to make the look your own.
As always, choose the options that feel comfortable. The good news: from socks to cuff size to the variety of pant options there are numerous options to test out this look. Wear it confidently and you’ll wear it well.