Finding the Right Trouser Length and Style for Your Dress Shoes

Want to know what your ideal trouser length and break is? Then read our exclusive guide to picking the right trousers for your pair of quality dress shoes.

If you’re reading this, you probably have some questions regarding trouser length and/or finding the right style to complement a pair of dress shoes.

The truth is, you can splash out on some of the nicest clothes and footwear, but if you buy the wrong size or have no idea on how to use them to form a fashionable outfit, then it’s all in vain.

Picking the perfect trouser length and colour coordinating it with your dress shoes demonstrates your attention for detail – which can make a real difference when you’re trying to make a first impression on a date or interview.

To help you achieve pant perfection, here’s a quick guide containing plenty of tips and considerations to factor in on your next shopping trip.

Establishing the break

One of the main priorities when finding out your trouser length is to work out what kind of break you want to achieve.

If you’re new to this term, the break is the fold or creasing of the fabric above the bottom of the front of the trouser leg where it meets your pair of shoes. The smaller the break, the more your trousers ride up your legs.

There are four common breaks you can go for:

  • No break – this is ideal for hip and modern slim, short or big cheese professionals who are comfortable with the slightly ankle swinger look. To achieve the no break, the trouser should just gently touch the top of the dress shoe. As a word of warning, this doesn’t look great if you’re wearing chinos.
  • Slight break – not quite as risky as the no break, but it still gives off a contemporary feel. This suits anyone, providing you go for a normal trouser width. Although the slight break doesn’t work if you’re sporting a skinny fit.
  • Medium break – if you don’t want a tapered or slim trouser fit, this more subtle break is on the money. It’s also best suited on middle-aged gentlemen or if you’re carrying a bit of extra timber!
  • Full break – this look is where the trouser is covering a large amount of your ankle and dress shoe. The full break is for the relaxed gentleman who is perhaps a bit older or just enjoys dressing smart on his casual days.

The cropped and rolled trouser look

You may see some men opting to roll or crop their trousers when accompanied by a pair of smart dress shoes.

This look is incredibly daring, but also extremely fashionable in 2019. It oozes out confidence and is ideal when you’re looking to dress down your outfit a bit.

While a pair of smart Percy Stride Oxford shoes may look like a formal addition to your wardrobe, wearing cropped or rolled trousers and chinos with them can add a completely new feel to your look.

Ultimately, your decision on trouser length should all boil down to a couple of key factors, including:

  • Shoe size – if you have large feet, the cropped and rolled trouser look will make your shoes look like canoes. Stick to a slight or medium break to help eradicate this issue.
  • Occasion – you should always dress accordingly to the type of occasion. So dress shoes and a slick no or slight break can give you a modern and suave look, while cropped and rolled trousers or a full break tick the boxes for a relaxed event.

Need some more inspiration on colour matching your outfits with your dress shoes? Then take a look at our handy guide.