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How long should chinos be?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I just bought some really nice pants of Zegna Chinos. The only problem is that they are a little bit too long, so I need to cut their lenght. About how long should pants be? (...how are they supposed to lay on your shoes, etc...)
post #2 of 8
my advice is go to the tailor and tell him what kind of cut you want. A full cut will be a little longer, while a more traditional cut will end up making the chinos a little shorter. It is their profession, they know what is up with individual chino lengths. Good luck.
post #3 of 8
I'm pretty particular when I get my pant lengths done because I hate it if they're even a little too short.  My only hard and fast rule is that the back/bottom of the pant leg should sit atop the top of the heel on the back of the shoe.  They should also "break" nicely in front, and the front of the pant leg generally (though not always) should cover the laces of your shoe to some extent, depending upon the cut of the pants and your individual preference.  I also prefer a slimmer, trimmer pant leg, so I often get them tapered.  How wide your pant leg is, what material it's made of, and whether you get them cuffed or not may also affect how you tailor them and how they should look.  Bring the shoes you think you'll be wearing most often with those pants when you go get them tailored.
post #4 of 8
I second Gator Style in preferring a pronounced "brek" a vertical wrinkle of fabric trhat falls on the front of the shoe. In the back, fabric should rest 1/4 to 1/2" off the floor, so they NEVER drag. I'm kinda guilty of usually having too much break. Better that than not enough. And I still cuff my chinos if they have pleats. Don't spose you got those Zegnas at the outlet store in Orlando, EF?
post #5 of 8
There are essentially three kinds of breaks in pants. A full break is traditional. My tailor allows the pants in this case so fall to the top of my heel. Pants without a break (high water pants) are best worn with boots. A "halfbreak" falls somewhere in between, and I have been told by some that this type of break does actually exist at all, and that I made up the term. Nevertheless, I believe that the half break is the best look for flat front pants. It allows the pant to drape elegantly and break cleaner than a full break.
post #6 of 8
Make sure the hem of the chinos covers the bridge of your shoe... and for future reference, never buy khaki chinos because they are a disgusting manifestation of the Yacht-club, navy double breasted blazer with gold buttons world... I'm sorry, a pet peeve. Otherwise, LA Guy gets it in one, as always... Bravo. What is it with the American obsession with khaki? Khaki cargo pants, cargo short, short, chinos... I rarely see a European wearing them... Sorry, just a question. And yes, I am aware that I generalize horribly... --European Interloper
post #7 of 8
Interloper:  With respect to your khaki question- and many Americans' obsession with it- allow me to answer on behalf of all of my countrymen.  The concept of khakis actually originated, as I understand it, with British military officers in India and other such locales.  Their trousers were "stained" a sort of tan color by windswept sand and the like, and the word "khaki" is derived from an Indian word reflecting that.  Nevertheless, you're absolutely right- khakis, for whatever reason, have become virtually ignored by Europeans and others, and now are almost a uniquely American style statement, for better and worse.  Though American staples like jeans, t-shirts and sneakers have been appropriated by others (and often equaled or improved upon), khakis lag far behind overseas. Khakis hit their stride in America during WWII, after which their style (flat front, a sturdy twill material, typically roomy fit) were brought home by our returning GI's.  They became fully integrated into the culture during the 50's, and their popularity has fluctuated considerably since then.  The latest "boom," I guess you could say, took off a few years ago (the Gap khaki ad campaigns were emblematic of that).  Though their popularity ebbs and flows, khakis have never gone out of style in America (and likely never will). When worn correctly, I think khakis can look great- very versatile, very American classic.  The problem is that many- if not most- American guys overuse and abuse them, wearing them on every imaginable occasion, often inappropriately and in the wrong way.  The key, I think, is to think of them as casually cool, a sort of cousin of denim jeans.  I think the closer khakis come to replicating that WWII style, the better- my rule is sturdy construction, and always, always, flat fronts with no cuffs.  Alas, many wear them with pleats, with cuffs, with terrible shirts/belts/shoes, too short/long, to the opera and to weddings (bad move), and to casual Fridays at work (you generally have better options than that).   My favorite casual khakis are Bills Khakis (anyone know about Bills?  they deserve a separate thread of their own).  I maintain that when worn in the right, limited way (like, say, an American soldier on a weekend furlough circa 1943, with a white t-shirt and boots or old-school sneakers), khakis are cool and classic.  I'm just waiting for the rest of the world to catch on (though in recent years, I've seen higher-end designers, here and abroad, do their own interpretations).
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm very thankful for your great replies, Gentlemen. Hopefully I'll find the time to go to the tailor this weekend... @ Steve B.: You are totally right, I bought the Zegna pants in Orlando. Thanx once again for the help from your side. Those pants are amazing. @ European Interloper: I'm sorry that I used the word "Chino" to describe my new pants, my English vocabulary is not big enough yet to be more specific. You have to understand that I call everything "Chino" which is not denim.
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