Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Reader Questions On Cuffs

Photo by Salt Water New England
Reader Questions:
"I would like your opinion on the best looking hem style for khaki pants.  I recently purchased a pair of jack donnely daltons.  Do you like top stitch or cuffed?  If top stitched, 1.5 or 1 5/8 inch?"
"Which trousers should be cuffed? Which trousers shouldn't be cuffed?"

22 comments:

  1. As a man of well over 6' tall, I think cuffs should be 2". If your not over 6" a smaller cuff might work. The large cuff helps the pants to drape better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always wear chinos/khakis with a 1" double turn up. Shows off a bit of sock or ankle depending on which shoes are worn.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cuffs are a must!

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1 5/8 inch cuffs always.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A tailor once told me, "flat front pants, no cuffs; pleats at waist, cuffs." I think he would have agreed with Anonymous that cuff size can vary based on inseam and wearer's height.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also think height comes into play and there are other factors such as thickness of the fabric, the heft, the diameter of the leg of the pants and the length of the pants in relation to your shoes. I have not yet decided if you are inclined to let your pants sorta puddle up at the bottom, should they be hemmed or cuffed or maybe why bother. Good topic. I like the comments.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't believe there is any hard-and-fast rule: it tends to be more of a personal preference. That said, my rule is usually no cuff for dress pants, cuff for casual pants (1").

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cuff everything that moves. I like 1 5/8".

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like cuffs, but I wear both. Most of my khakis are uncuffed because I spend time each day in the woods and the cuffs usually fill up with debris surprisingly quickly. GLH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Outdoor" pants uncuffed, for the same reason. You just can't get all that debris out

      Delete
  10. Uncuffed.
    Topstiched: 1”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Despite wearing cuffs earlier in life, I have to say the above dictum is my preference these days (approaching retirement).

      I suppose if I ever need to wear a suit, then that can be cuffed — but then the fabric will be dark and the cuffs are hardly visible anyway.

      Delete
  11. I was instructed from an early age that gentlemen always have cuffs. While I have heard the "plain front, no cuffs, pleated front, cuffs" notion for maybe twenty years or so, I never heard it from quality men's stores in my youth and as a younger adult. Cuffs were automatic. Regardless of this advice so confidently offered by today's youthful sales people, I always ignore it and insist on cuffs for plain front pants (often to their dismay). The same goes for my khakis, all of which have cuffs. To my eye, the picture of the cuffed khakis with moccasins proves the point. The cuff gives the bottom substance and stability. The look would be different if, without cuffs, the pant leg flopped and hung on the leg and ankle. As for length, I prefer my khakis to be a bit shorter (definitely no break) than dress pants. This shorter length allows a glimpse of socks or ankles which suits my traditional and aging eye. By the way, the wigwam socks in the picture are a true classic. I still buy them and love wearing them. Of course, all of what I have said could be nothing more than an aging traditionalist trying to hold onto what has served him so well for almost 50 years. Ultimately it is personal preference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all- Unless I am a 'young' fogey...which could be the case but I couldnt agree more.

      Delete
  12. My rules:
    If the pants will ever be worn with a tie and jacket: 1 5/8" cuffs
    If not: no cuffs, plain hemmed bottom about 1 5/8" for weight.
    Fabric of pants does not matter.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cuffs on everything but jeans (and I own no jeans, so it is cuffs on everything, without exception). 1.5" minimum, prefer 1 5/8", but when you are a tall guy, sometimes 1.5 is the best you can do.

    ReplyDelete
  14. If the history is true, cuffs have always been a more informal look and meant to avoid the fabric from getting dirty (either from muddy London or the sandy desserts of Africa depending on the legend). You would not see cuffs when wearing a tuxedo.

    I started wearing pleated trousers with my suits from the very beginning so it seemed natural to have them cuffed. I used to get a 1.5" cuff, if I recall. I did move away from pleated trousers to plain fronts and that’s about when I made the switch. I did get a plain front suit with cuffs once and was given a odd look from the Books Brothers tailor but I knew I wouldn’t be the only one to wear them like that. I recall reading that JFK was known to wear plain front trousers with cuffs; a quick search seems to back that idea up.

    When it comes to casual trousers, I almost always got a plain front. When I wore "dress khakis" I usually got cuffs but for everyday wear (which I never ironed or pressed), I’d get a plain hem. I will turn up my own cuff or simply roll them occasionally — especially if I’m out on the water. And I don’t wear "dress khakis" anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have certainly enjoyed this discussion, very interesting. Going back to the initial question, I find that size is mentioned in relation to top stitch rather than cuffs and for what it’s worth, I can’t tell if pants are top stitched at 1.5 or 1 5/8 inches when I’m looking from a distance of say, eye height to bottom of the pants. I had a dear friend who was a tailor specializing in custom suits and she said that there were certain fabrics that looked best when hemmed with what she referred to as a blind stitch - it didn’t show on the outside leg.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can't remember whether it was my uncle or someone who worked with my Dad, who would knock his cigarette ash off into his cuff when smoking indoors. Can't think of cuffs without that memory.

    Yes to cuffs with jackets. I shall vow to cuff more.

    David J Cooper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the same memory of my great grandfather doing the same thing.

      Delete
  17. Catch your cuff on a cleat and you’ll understand the difference.

    ReplyDelete