Thinking About Proportions: Leg Openings & Shoe Shapes

Recently, I was invited by John Wojcik of Silkxchange to compose a style article, so I thought I would share with you a style 'problem' that I have been increasingly hooked onto for the past few months/ year.


The article is now published on Silkxchange's editorial site. Following there is an excerpt of the write-up. Enjoy your read!


(Photo credits to Buzz Tang.)

This may surprise you — despite being a menswear writer, I, for the most part, am happy to see others dressing however they desire. A noble idea, I know, but I still believe in the freedom of expression when it comes to one's journey into classic style. One thing that makes the exception, however, is my intransigent eye for the balance between leg openings and the shape of shoes. At my worst state, this might even be a conversation that I bring up at a romantic dinner! (I suppose I’m not that charismatic, sadly.) But why am I so disturbed by this stylistic pitfall? To better understand, let’s turn our attention to the first half of the question — leg openings — by examining the evolution of the trouser cut over the decades.


The silhouette of men’s trousers has always been something fluid. If you ever hear someone claiming that trousers have always been cut with ample room in the past, they're wrong. Prior to the emergence of Oxford bag trousers in the mid-1920s — which set the scene for straight-cut trousers for the next two-and-a-half decades, as Alan Flusser rightly points out — closed-fitted, tapered trousers were what most men donned. Indeed, we need not go as far as the men’s stockings in the Medieval age, nor the so-called ‘inexpressibles’, form-fitting trousers sported by the father of dandyism, Beau Brummell. Instead, by simply observing men’s trousers in the Edwardian age and subsequently the ‘Jazz’ suit of the early 20s, we can safely debunk the theory that men’s trousers have only gotten slimmer as time has passed by.


(You can continue reading at Silkxchange's site.)

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