Author Topic: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?  (Read 21476 times)

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Online The Big Ragu

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Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« on: March 17, 2007, 05:34:16 AM »
OK, I know cuffs have not been in "style" for some time. I'm not Mr. GQ, though. I just tend to know what I like and keep wearing the same things regardless of style. Because my tastes are pretty traditional, I don't think I ever end up looking hopelessly out of style, but who knows?

When I get a suit tailored--and I haven't gotten a new suit in a while--I still prefer cuffs to no cuffs. It just seems traditional to me. I also wonder if when I am walking around with cuffed pants whether I look way out of style to a lot of people. I mean, are people giggling as I walk by?

I had a couple of favorite suits and jackets that some moths tore through earlier this year, which sucked. I was just looking at some others that I haven't worn in a while and most of them have cuffed pants (one suit I haven't worn in ages--but I really used to love--has pleated pants, but that's another story). A few are still perfectly good suits and I may wear them to things coming up, but should I bring them in and have them uncuffed? Or am I perfectly normal in more sort of formal settings (let's say a wedding or a formal dinner) wearing a conservative-looking suit with cuffed pants and lace-up shoes?

Thanks for any advice from people who know about these things...
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 05:38:09 AM by The Big Ragu »

Offline Pastor

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2007, 05:37:30 AM »

I don't know about these things but I will say this: If you are comfortable, it doesn't matter.

Okay, so having said that, cuffs are out. I base most of my fashion sense on the graphics of scanned through Maxim magazines and what my wife says, "looks nice." So take it for what it is worth.

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Offline Monday Morning Sportswriter

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2007, 06:01:00 AM »
Wow, I've never once thought about this. Do people really look at the cuffs? I figured they glanced at the shoes and didn't take notice of what was above.

(Confession: I have four suits; two are cuffed, but they're both from about 2000)


Offline zizzer

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2007, 06:05:59 AM »
It's a personal preference, that's all. The way I look at it is, if you look good in the suit, nobody's looking at the bottoms of your pants to see if they're cuffed or not. All of my business suits - all newer than five years old, two of them as recent as last summer - have cuffs, all were done by the tailor when I purchased them without my request. So I don't necessarily think they're "out."

Don't base your fashion on what you see in Maxim because (A) most people don't have the physique of the models in Maxim  and (B) damn few of us have the financial means to look like said models. Just because it looks good on a model doesn't mean it'll look good on you. And do you really have the money to change your entire wardrobe every six months when the styles change?
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Offline leo1

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2007, 06:10:38 AM »
cuffs


jgmacg

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2007, 06:28:10 AM »
For fashion old schoolers like me, and perhaps Mr. Ridgeway, our board expert on things sartorial, cuffs are a functional issue as much as an aesthetic one. With cuffed pants, the weight of the additional material used to make the cuff helps the pants hang straighter. You keep a sharper crease in the trouser leg with cuffs. Thus, I would always cuff suit pants.

Slacks, especially dress casual slacks, are more a matter of personal taste and the nature and weight of the material in question.

murciélago

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2007, 07:38:33 AM »
I'd be OK with cuffs on a suit. No other situation.

Also, NO PLEATS.

And as for if people notice? Yes, they notice.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 07:40:15 AM by murciélago »

PeteyPirate

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2007, 08:01:01 AM »
Cuffs if you are wearing pleated pants, which despite recent protestations are still classy if they fit right.

No cuffs if the pants are not pleated.

By the way, e-Bay is a good place to find affordable quality suits. If you know your size, you can order the suit and have the unhemmed pants tailored after it ships to you. The seller "menswearecollection" has good selection and good prices.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 08:03:55 AM by FirstDownPirates »

Offline Freelance Hack

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2007, 08:04:11 AM »
Sorry, I'm a cuffs guy and a pleats guy. On suit pants and dress pants in general.

First off, plain front trousers just look hideous on me. Secondly, plain front pants just scream casual.
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Offline Moderator1

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2007, 08:06:41 AM »
Cuffs.
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Offline Frank_Ridgeway

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2007, 08:23:34 AM »
You have to understand that when magazines do fashion spreads, these are not for their readers' benefit, but to pimp for their advertisers. I went on a rant recently here about Esquire's shoe recommendations -- nothing bizarre about their choices, just that there is better quality for better prices and they know it. In my 20s I saw Esquire as a bible of men's fashion, but I was ignorant. It's still my favorite mag, I just ignore what they say about attire. This is sort of like the way you can enjoy a sports section but not follow its handicapper's advice at the track.

Jgmacg has it right -- cuffs give you better "drape." I prefer no cuffs on khakis, but traditionalists disagree. In truth, either is fine because well-dressed people are so uncommon these days that we get extra credit from fashion mavens just for trying not to be a pig. They'll forgive the fact that I choose to wear bluchers with a suit instead of balmorals, or that one of my four suits has no cuffs (a recent thrift shop acquisition).

Suits are expensive, so I think you are right about choosing a classic style. Classic is never "in," but it's never "out," either. It's always appropriate and you'll never look ridiculous, cuffs or no cuffs.


Offline Oz

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2007, 08:33:42 AM »
I'm used to cuffs when wearing suits, which isn't all that often.

Offline Frank_Ridgeway

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2007, 08:46:16 AM »
I just checked my copy of Alan Flusser's "Dressing The Man/Mastering the art of permanent fashion" (2002) and from what I can see, in the chapter on suits he makes no mention of cuffs one way or another, but does say that pleats are back in style for suits. In his glossary in back, he notes that cuffs did not become the fashion for suits until the 1890s when King Edward VII began cuffing his while he still was Prince of Wales.

I prefer plain-front trousers and little to no shoulder padding (what they call "natural shoulders" or the Ivy League look), because this is classic American style.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 08:48:21 AM by Frank_Ridgeway »

Offline JR

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2007, 08:58:13 AM »
Depends on the style of suit somewhat.

If you buy one of those "new" slim fitting suits, cuffs would look silly because they destroy the lines of the trouser.

If  you're more conservative in your tastes--you think Brooks Brothers is the epitome of men's fashio---then cuffs would be OK.

Pleats? Only single pleats on wool trousers.

Unless you're an investment banker or Bay Street/Wall street lawyer chances are most people only wear suits now to funerals and weddings.

And you're better off dropping a grand on one half decent suit than having a closet full of $200.00 jobs.

 
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Ellis Redding

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Re: Men\'s suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2007, 10:02:16 AM »
Cuffs. Finger and otherwise.

Offline boots

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2007, 10:09:44 AM »
Ragu here's the skinny. For pleasure and styling, its pleats and cuffs. For business, its straight, no pleats or cuffs.
Personally, I like pleats and cuffs in all of my suits.

Offline JR

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2007, 10:12:25 AM »
Ragu here's the skinny. For pleasure and styling, its pleats and cuffs. For business, its straight, no pleats or cuffs.
Personally, I like pleats and cuffs in all of my suits.

You could actually make exactly the opposite argument.

Pleats and cuffs on khakis=old fogey.
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Offline boots

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2007, 10:14:09 AM »
Ragu here's the skinny. For pleasure and styling, its pleats and cuffs. For business, its straight, no pleats or cuffs.
Personally, I like pleats and cuffs in all of my suits.

You could actually make exactly the opposite argument.

Pleats and cuffs on khakis=old fogey.
I totally disagree. I'm not an old fogety and I do like my khakis that way. In fact, I must admit I look very good in them. Never missed getting any trim in them.

Offline 2muchcoffeeman

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2007, 10:17:24 AM »
The women I deal with say pleated pants are ugly.

Take that for what it's worth.

Personally (sticking to the thread topic) when I think of pants with cuffs I think of the mid-1970s.
I'm out.

Offline three_bags_full

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2007, 10:18:14 AM »
I have two suits. No cuffs. No pleats.




I hate stupid people.

Offline JR

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2007, 10:20:02 AM »
Khakis with pleats and cuffs are about as fashionable as button down shirts.

Nothing wrong with them (I used to live in them) but it screams "suburban dad".

My 21 year old--who's about as preppy as you can get--wouldn't be caught dead in pleated or cuffed khakis.
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Offline Frank_Ridgeway

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2007, 10:39:22 AM »
Pleats make you look like you're pitching a tent.

Buttondown collars are timeless. Suburban dad? Well, maybe. But they are a hallmark of the Ivy League look. Suburban dads may have adopted the buttondown collar, but it does not come from them -- it originated in England with polo matches and was  popularized in the United States by Brooks Brothers. It's true, JR, that they've never been high fashion, but they never were intended to be. Whether worn with a sack suit or with khakis, the goal is understatement. I wear them virtually every day.

Offline JR

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2007, 10:53:01 AM »
Pleats make you look like you're pitching a tent.

Buttondown collars are timeless. Suburban dad? Well, maybe. But they are a hallmark of the Ivy League look. Suburban dads may have adopted the buttondown collar, but it does not come from them -- it originated in England with polo matches and was  popularized in the United States by Brooks Brothers. It's true, JR, that they've never been high fashion, but they never were intended to be. Whether worn with a sack suit or with khakis, the goal is understatement. I wear them virtually every day.

The Ivy League look is more of a uniform than a fashion statement. It's safe, it's non threatening and it's suitable attire for  those men who don't care that much about clothes. Same with buttondown shirts.

This isn't a knock on the style--I've been sporting it for forty years. I just wouldn't call it fashion, that's all.

If I had to choose between  Brooks Brothers or Canali--no contest.

 
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jgmacg

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2007, 11:00:50 AM »
Maybe we need to get Ragu back in here to further describe what he's shooting for. He says he's a traditionalist, so I assumed Brooks sack suit rather than a Zegna with a radically skinny cut that'll make him look like a Sicilian pimp in a Fellini film two seasons from now.

And here's a topic left unaddressed so far - how do we keep the moths out of his closet?

Cedar blocks seem to work well for me.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 11:02:54 AM by jgmacg »

Offline Frank_Ridgeway

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Re: Men's suit, pants question -- cuffs or no cuffs?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2007, 11:05:45 AM »
Pleats make you look like you're pitching a tent.

Buttondown collars are timeless. Suburban dad? Well, maybe. But they are a hallmark of the Ivy League look. Suburban dads may have adopted the buttondown collar, but it does not come from them -- it originated in England with polo matches and was  popularized in the United States by Brooks Brothers. It's true, JR, that they've never been high fashion, but they never were intended to be. Whether worn with a sack suit or with khakis, the goal is understatement. I wear them virtually every day.

The Ivy League look is more of a uniform than a fashion statement. It's safe, it's non threatening and it's suitable attire for  those men who don't care that much about clothes. Same with buttondown shirts.

This isn't a knock on the style--I've been sporting it for forty years. I just wouldn't call it fashion, that's all.

If I had to choose between  Brooks Brothers or Canali--no contest.

 

That's pretty much dead-on, but I'd say it's for men who care about clothes but don't care about fashion.

I am still wearing some of the clothes I had in my 20s, ties especially. I like the look and I have no interest in knee-jerking to the whims of clothing designers. I want clothes that last (physically as well as style-wise), and I want to be well-dressed without being a peacock or dandy. I don't want the clothing to attract attention other than an overall look of neatness.

Also, I am an American and for the most part I want to dress like one. There is one Italian thing among my suits, blazers and sports jackets. The rest are from the U.S., except one Canadian-made jacket (Ralph Lauren). I can admire a Canali, but it isn't for me.