Four oft-repeated menswear myths that annoy me no end.
I have seen this same advice repeated over and over and over again as if it's fact by many people who should probably know better. I think a lot of is hogwash. Here's why.
"Short men should not wear cuffs on their trousers."The people who purport this believe they break up one's legs visually. Not sure where this started or why, because it would take more than a bit of folded fabric in the same place as your shoes to do that. Not only is it a nice visual touch on trousers, it anchors down the legs slightly, improving drape on lightweight fabrics such as tropical wool, cotton, and linen. A side benefit with khakis is that, when the bottom of the cuff is worn and frayed, they can be turned inside to look newer and prolong their life in your wardrobe.
|This is how NOT to wear trousers at 5'7. Go for little to no break.|
Going back to the myth, part of the reason it's untrue is because cuffs (turn-ups in the UK) can be made proportionately smaller or wider according to your physique. The taller man can choose 1.75" or 2" cuffs. (I'd stay away from those fashionable 2.5" Thom Browne cuffs unless you're the rare height of 7' or more.) Shorter men can go with cuffs down to about 1.25". A good median that most clothiers go with by default is 1.5", so try that if you are unsure. If you don't want cuffs, that's fine, though a good tailor can make an inner cuff or add hem tape to help light weight fabrics drape nicer. This leads into my next one, also related to trousers...
"Pleats should always have cuffs, plain fronts should never have cuffs."This one makes my eyes roll every time. It's dull and uncreative. Evening trousers are allowed to have pleats yet cannot have cuffs because the latter don't go well with the formality level. That is reasonable. Does that not look fine on all other trousers? I should point out that the English don't cuff their trousers as much as Americans do, so it's also a rather USA-centric belief. Conversely, I rather like the look of plain front trousers with cuffs. It's something you don't see too often. (Except perhaps on the Ask Andy Trad Forum.)
|Daniel Craig in plain front trousers with turn-ups, as seen in Quantum of Solace.|
"Only thin men six feet or taller should wear double breasteds."I've seen too many guys wearing double breasteds that don't fit into this magical body standard and look just fine for this myth to hold true. Some men won't even wear pea coats because they're afraid it's suddenly going to make their 5'10 frame look like Danny DeVito. Gentlemen, this is silly beyond measure. The cut matters more than the style. Double breasted jackets with slightly closer spaced buttons will look better on short or rotund men. Admittedly, this is harder to find off the rack, but a good bespoke tailor will usually adjust the spacing slightly for each body type. A lot of women's double breasted clothing is designed this way because it doesn't visually broaden the torso. A slightly shorter jacket length, say about an inch above the end of the buttocks, will also flatter the "vertically challenged" by making their legs look longer. This goes for any style jacket, really.
|The long lapel line (rolled to bottom button) on this 4x2 double breasted is flattering on a 5'4 body.|
"Bluchers should never be worn with suits, only balmorals."This "rule" seems to have only come about with the rise of the internet iGentry where it is repeated ad nauseum on just about every menswear forum. Yet plenty of men have and continue to wear bluchers with suits and look fine. In fact, none of the great sources of menswear advice (Flusser, Boyer, Gilchrist, etc.) have ever said that bluchers are inappropriate with suits. Period. The typical argument is that they are too casual. I can see how balmorals look more formal, but that shouldn't discount bluchers entirely. Casual looking suits such as those made of linen and cut as three-roll-two sacks especially look fine with bluchers. The latter are often worn with long wings (almost always bluchers) by the "Trad" following. It's all about the level of formality you wish to present. Even at most job interviews, they're not going to take off points because your conservative dress shoes are the wrong style of conservative. It's more important to make sure they're well polished.
|Long wing bluchers and a pinstripe suit. Pretty classic if you ask me.|