When I’m at an event where men are “dressed up,” I usually take a moment to size up the clothes around me. Rarely do I like what I see.
There are usually lots of basic principles of men’s dress being violated. You see the bottom button of sportcoats buttoned fairly often. Coat sleeves are often, perhaps even usually, too long, covering the shirt cuff entirely. You see ties that aren’t covered by coats. Once in a while, you see a brand tag on the outside of a sleeve that hasn’t been removed. That’s really awful.
One error, though, is by far the most prevalent: too-long pants. Across America, men seem to think that their legs will look best if they end in an eight-inch by eight-inch pool of fabric.
This is an easy problem to correct. Any dry cleaner can hem your pants for you. Wear dress shoes, and put on the pants, with the waistband at your waist (or slightly lower for low-rise pants). If you’re shorter, the pants should probably have no break at all – that is, they should reach the top of your shoes in the front (and perhaps a little lower in the back). If you’re taller, a small break is fine, if that’s your preference, but it should be a small break. If your pants puddle at all, they are too long. Pants should be vertical, not horizontal.
I’m not Thom Browne, and I’m not asking you to wear high-water pants. I am asking you to stop wearing your pants like they’re blue jeans. Wearing dress clothes as though they were casual clothes does not make you look like a cool, casual guy. It makes you look like a doofus. Specifically, actually, it makes you look like an insolent Catholic-schooler on his way to services. Or, best case scenario, a Kia salesman. Aren’t you better than that, American Man? I think you are.