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Ideal chino length

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I purchased two pairs of chinos a few days ago. The fit was great, but they're way too long, so I bought them with the intention of having them shortened to the perfect length.

But then it occured to me - what is the perfect length for chinos? For dress pants, I know the general rule of thumb is for the pants to break on the shoes and the back of the trousers should slightly touch the heel of the shoe, or end just above it. But when it comes to more casual pants like chinos, you often see them run a bit longer. I've even seen some who fold up them up, though I personally find that look only works for younger people in sneakers.

So here I am wondering if I should shorten them to "standard" length (ie. have the back of the trousers nearly touch the floor when standing with no shoes on), or let them run a bit longer. Any thoughts?

(This is probably the sort of thing that has been discussed here a million times, but I actually couldn't find any threads on the topic of chino length. Sorry if it's been up before.)
post #2 of 14
After you decide, launder/wash a couple times to get some of the shrinkage out before you have them hemmed.
I would consider the style of shoe you will wear with these in your decision process as well.
post #3 of 14
I think it kind of depends on the general fit of the pants – slimmer pants (and possibly not chinos) seem to be a little shorts on the whole, ofent with no break. Pants with more volume in the leg would look somewhat 'flappy' if cut too short, and should probably therefore have a modest amount of break in them. Might be worth flicking through here and seeing if there is any pictoral reference that takes your fancy?
post #4 of 14
I like the back of the trouser hem two inches off the floor when standing normally (wearing shoes). There's some room for error either way -- especially as chinos are hemmed straight, not angled. I don't wear cuffs but if I did I'd have them a bit shorter, more like three to 3.5 inches off the floor.
post #5 of 14
Sort of piggybacking off the OP, I'd like to ask Despos (or really anyone else for that matter) how much extra length on trousers is needed to cuff them? I've purchased RTW chinos before with the intention of having my tailor add cuffs to them, but she informed me that there was not enough extra fabric to create cuffs. Now, I purposely bought one pair in a longer length than necessary with the intention of having them shortened and cuffed. Does anyone know what a good rule of thumb would be for extra length needed in order to cuff pants? I was going for cuffs of either 1.5" or 1.75", and I believe my tailor said that I would need at least 3" of extra to do it. I honestly didn't really push the issue, because I was running late for a meeting and needed to get out of there.

And I guess as an aside, in case it matters, these chinos I brought in didn't have the an "unfinished" hem -- they weren't offered that way. So I bought ones with my normal waist size but with a few inches extra in the length.
post #6 of 14
The cuff requires twice the cuff width plus a turn up. 1 1/2" cuff = 3" for the cuff and its good to have at least an inch for the hem = 4". 1 3/4" cuffs need 4 1/2". 2" cuff need 5".
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post
The cuff requires twice the cuff width plus a turn up. 1 1/2" cuff = 3" for the cuff and its good to have at least an inch for the hem = 4".

1 3/4" cuffs need 4 1/2".

2" cuff need 5".

Ah. Good to know, thanks... [cuff size] x 2 + 1".
post #8 of 14
The extra bit you have turned up is insurance if you ever have to make the trouser longer. Better to have more than less. If you have only enough to turn up 1/2", you're still OK.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post
The extra bit you have turned up is insurance if you ever have to make the trouser longer. Better to have more than less. If you have only enough to turn up 1/2", you're still OK.

I gotcha. I think at the time I hastily thought that having the exact amount of extra material that I wanted for the cuff would be enough, but I didn't consider the fact that it's "doubled over." How exactly does the turn-up work? The extra bit is turned up first, and then the cuff is made over that?
post #10 of 14
Full leg pants need more length and a bit of break. Narrow pants can be shorter. I like them with cuffs, and as mentioned above, a cuff is a bit of insurance in the event that you make them too small. You can always let out a cuff and get a longer inseam.
post #11 of 14
The cuff is folded under on the top edge of the finished cuff. The outlet/turn up is what you see on the inside of the leg at the hem.

I started to explain this here but think a pictorial explanation would be easier to grasp than a written description. Might try to do this sometime.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despos View Post
The cuff is folded under on the top edge of the finished cuff. The outlet/turn up is what you see on the inside of the leg at the hem.

I started to explain this here but think a pictorial explanation would be easier to grasp than a written description. Might try to do this sometime.

Oh, okay. That explanation makes total sense. I just went over to the closet and checked a few pairs of cuffed suit trousers, they all have exactly 1" on the inside turned up. I see what you mean with the turn-up "on the inside of the leg at the hem." I get how it works now. Thanks again.
post #13 of 14
I think the ideal chino length should be about 6'0". Most of us chino's are too short.
post #14 of 14
Whatever you do, don't leave them so long that they actually touch the ground and wear on the back hem. If you'll ever wear them with low-soled shoes or flip flops, keep that in mind.
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