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How much of a break?

Manton

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Any replies for this?
Any replies would help and might prevent any possible mistakes when choosing or altering pants...
The pieces that join in the rear of the shoe are called the "quarters". The leather above the heel has no specific name, so far as I know, so let us call it the "rear." A cuffless, slanted trouser hem should cover about half that when you are standing still. A cuffed trouser will not be slanted and will come to "rest" on the top of the shoe. How much break depends on the tailor and your choice. 1/2" is the most break anyone needs or should have; more looks sloppy. Even with 1/2" of break, a cuffed trouser will not cover as much of the rear of the shoe as a slanted, uncuffed trouser hem.
 

Manton

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Strange, because we always thought that Americans have too short trousers (JFK look).
This is unusual. Most American tailors leave a lot of break.

The Italian rule every tailor here will use -if not asked differently-, as I know, is: "you have not to see socks while walking (not just standing)". So trousers will rest on the shoe with a generouse break.
Interesting. I assume these are the more British influenced tailors? Caraceni, et al? The Romans I've seen prefer a much shorter trouser leg. So do the Neapolitans that dominate the American market (Kiton, Attolini, Borrelli). Of course, it's up to the customer, but that's what the salesmen and tailors who are acutally from Naples seem to prefer.

And trousers are always cuffed AND slanted (the rear is longer and it is 1-2 cm above heel of the shoe).
Interesting. To the best of my knowledge, the Brits and the Americans do not do this, or even know how.

My, personal, rule is: trousers have no break, but touch the shoe; very hard to meet perfectly.
I like them just a smidgen longer: maybe 1-2 cm of break. But I don't like the American 1/2" rule.
 

Alexander Kabbaz

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A cuffless, slanted trouser hem should cover about half that when you are standing still. A cuffed trouser will not be slanted and will come to "rest" on the top of the shoe. How much break depends on the tailor and your choice. 1/2" is the most break anyone needs or should have; more looks sloppy. Even with 1/2" of break, a cuffed trouser will not cover as much of the rear of the shoe as a slanted, uncuffed trouser hem.
Manton: The cuff vs. cuffless difference, in your opinion/experience: Style opinion, sartorial rule, or technical necessity/advantage?
 

Manton

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Manton: The cuff vs. cuffless difference, in your opinion/experience: Style opinion, sartorial rule, or technical necessity/advantage?
Mostly a style difference. Cuffless are required for formal trousers; cuffs optional on everything else. Personally, I like them and always get them.
 

Giona Granata

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Manton will surely elaborate, but cuffless trousers are more formal: in effect they are needed without exception with tailcoat, dinner jacket and morning dress.

Cuff originated for country use, but are now accepted on every city suits, except the above mentionated.

Personally, I always make cuffs on trousers, as the line is kept better.
 

Giona Granata

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(Giona Granata @ Feb. 18 2005,05:07) Strange, because we always thought that Americans have too short trousers (JFK look).
This is unusual. Â Most American tailors leave a lot of break.
The Italian rule every tailor here will use -if not asked differently-, as I know, is: "you have not to see socks while walking (not just standing)". So trousers will rest on the shoe with a generouse break.
Interesting. Â I assume these are the more British influenced tailors? Â Caraceni, et al? Â The Romans I've seen prefer a much shorter trouser leg. Â So do the Neapolitans that dominate the American market (Kiton, Attolini, Borrelli). Â Of course, it's up to the customer, but that's what the salesmen and tailors who are acutally from Naples seem to prefer.
And trousers are always cuffed AND slanted (the rear is longer and it is 1-2 cm above heel of the shoe).
Interesting. Â To the best of my knowledge, the Brits and the Americans do not do this, or even know how.
My, personal, rule is: trousers have no break, but touch the shoe; very hard to meet perfectly.
I like them just a smidgen longer: maybe 1-2 cm of break. Â But I don't like the American 1/2" rule.
The Italian rule every tailor here will use -if not asked differently-, as I know, is: "you have not to see socks while walking (not just standing)". So trousers will rest on the shoe with a generouse break. Interesting. I assume these are the more British influenced tailors? Caraceni, et al? The Romans I've seen prefer a much shorter trouser leg. So do the Neapolitans that dominate the American market (Kiton, Attolini, Borrelli). Of course, it's up to the customer, but that's what the salesmen and tailors who are acutally from Naples seem to prefer.
Well, Manton, that's strange. Here is (wrong) common place that Americans dress trousers too short. I asked in the past Roman and Neapolitan "Pantalonaio" and they will look with a disgusted eye a trouser that will show a sock. Even, shorter trousers are called sometime (wrongly) "all'americana" o "all'inglese" (american way, english way).
 

AlanC

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I read a quote years ago from some continental designer who complained that American men wore their trousers too long. His theory that it was from mothers buying clothes too big when they were boys so they could grow into them, thus they got used to pants being too long. I do see a number of men who clearly wear their pants too long, but his theory seems a bit questionable.
 

Concordia

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There is also the so-called "high water" cuffs that one sees on Brooks Brothers or other American trad suits of a certain vintage. I sometimes go to a local guy for cuffs on RTW items, and he generally makes the trousers too long. Not sure if he's Italian by birth.
 

Giona Granata

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This is a, personal, rule I do not understand as cuff are less formal so they should go, even better, if trousers have no pleats.
 

uppercase

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I can support Giona's comment: yes, the bespoke Italian tailors will tell you that the trouser should be cut a length so that the sock will not show when walking; the result is a rather big break in the trouser.
Also, the trouser cuff is slanted and is about 5 cm. high.

On the other hand, a larger Italian MTM house, such as Kiton, more fashion oriented, will promote a shorter trouser with little break. The salesmen have their trousers ending around their ankles. And very, very narrow.

Bespoke and fashion Italian houses have very different philosophies; it is up to the client to choose. Having said that, the trouser in Italy today is generally worn high, with very minimal break. Brown shoes are de riguer, whatever the dress, day and night.

My take is that the Italian bespoke houses are guided in their style sense by a conservative, elegant past: their take on how a gentleman should look based on a Savile Row sensibility , interpreted for an Italian aristocracy, their historical clients.
 

Etruscan

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If memory serves, the bit of leather enclosing the back of a shoe above the actual heel (which is horizontal in plane and comes in contact with the ground) is called the 'counter.' Am I mistaken about this, or do others recognize the term?

Etruscan
 

ATM

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Regarding to cuff of not to cuff, I use a simple factor: pleats. If the pants utilize a single or double pleat, they get cuffs, if they are flat front they get no cuffs.

Jon.
I've always followed the same rule but I don't remember why. Either someone told that it's a rule or one day I just decided that I like pants that way. Now it's ingrained.
 

Manton

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If memory serves, the bit of leather enclosing the back of a shoe above the actual heel (which is horizontal in plane and comes in contact with the ground) is called the 'counter.'  Am I mistaken about this, or do others recognize the term?
A counter is an additional piece of leather that covers the rear of the shoe. Not all shoes have them.
 

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