These Are The Breaks

For those of us kicking around in the 90s we have seen pant silhouettes swing from wide to slim and back again. In the early part of the 2010s I was chasing that heyday high-rise-full-leg-to-taper-collegiate cut for quite a while (collegiate cut chinos part 1, part 2, part 3, & part 4). Over the last 10 years I have settled on a happy medium. A silhouette that is neither slim nor huge at least when it comes to my work chinos. We all know wider pant widths are here, but lately I have been hearing murmurs of break being back (I’m looking at you Zach).

Pants Break Illustration

This past week the murmurs have manifested into illustrations courtesy of renowned ivy illustrator, cartoonist and all around cool guy Dick Carroll. His latest illustration on the Put This On blog is devoted to the topic. Being on the shorter side of things too much break makes me look like I am wearing my dad’s pants and not in a cool dad fit way. I can do a slight break especially if I am wearing khakis because they will crease to a nice almost no break after sitting at my desk which probably defeats the whole point. If you can’t tell by my previous statement I still don’t know if I am ready to give up my no-break pants quite yet. However when I wear my office pants with almost any shoes, but sneakers I get a little break and it’s not so bad.

What do you think? Is this the break of a new dawn? Have we hit point break? Has the tide turned on high-water hems and the proverbial dam broke? Let me know in the comments!

Not too wide & not too slim pants with a touch of break provided by the wallos.

Zach aka newstonstreetvintage sporting some break on his cords.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

4 Comments on "These Are The Breaks"

  1. Tie Clip says:

    Hi Jerrod, nice thought provoking post.
    As I’m sure you know, narrower leg openings break higher on the instep of the foot then wider ones do, so it’s all relative to the trousers leg opening and whether or not someone wears cotton or wool trousers with or without braces.
    For belt looped looks I prefer a very slight break or no break. I mainly wear flat fronts on the mid-low rise (the hips) and I prefer the no-break look. With sneakers that have a slightly higher vamp, it’s a slight break and I like that look. With loafers it’s a no break. We’re in the same boat here I think.
    The reality is that full break looks sloppy in real life. The idea of having a large wardrobe whilst still having full breaks on trousers is an incitement of ones style and progression.
    Hold strong Jerrod, the tide always comes back in again.

  2. Sharon says:

    Hello! My husband loves the JCPenney Stamford brand blue OBCD in slim fit. It’s not available anymore-it seems like the only size they have in that combo is 19/37. Needless to say he is very picky-we have a number of Tyrwhitt, Brooks Brothers, and Nordstrom shirts-none fit as well. I bought the van Heusen obcd blue but they did not have the slim fit and the shoulders are so wide on the regular in addition to the body width in it. Help please!

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Sharon, it’s no fun when something you liked it depend on gets discontinued. Your husband sounds particular about fit so he may benefit from trying a custom shirt from Proper Cloth, Ratio, or Luxire using the measurements from the shirts he loves. Here is a link to another post with some OCBD options around $100 and under: https://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/2023/09/ocbds-under-100/

  3. Tie Clip says:

    Incitement… How about we say its regressive to wear a full break whilst knowing better.

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