So why is the generally recommended length for men’s trousers? Because it creates a clean line at the back of the trouser, adding to the lengthening silhouette that is the suit’s main aesthetic advantage. Because when a man is walking it looks more elegant if his suit trousers flap less and expose less of his ankle. If the trouser were longer, it would create a puddle of folds that could ruin the silhouette of a suit, dragging the eye down and making a man look shorter. If the trouser were shorter, it would flap around the ankle and remove any elegance – probably reminding the viewer of a schoolboy in short pants. To quote one famous Italian “I don’t necessarily want people to see my socks, but I want to make sure they can see my shoes.” Now, if men on the continent simply wore their trousers shorter, they would encounter the aforementioned problem with flapping. But they aware of the rules and why they exist. So they wear their trousers narrower as well, fitting them closer to the ankle and minimizing any flapping.
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