I have noticed a slightly disturbing trend in men’s casual wear for the coming summer season. A number of otherwise decent designers are pushing lightweight pants with a shorter-than-normal hem – right at the ankle instead of breaking on the top of the shoe. The idea is to highlight a “proper casual shoe and no socks” look to give men the idea that summer casual doesn’t have to mean shorts and that you can wear a proper trouser and still exude summer cool. To try and head off any ideas that these are “flood pants” the hem is bought in tight to the ankle to emphasize the idea that it belongs right there, on the skinniest part of the leg, and is not just creeping up and looking stupid.
Now I am all for the idea of men dressing with some style and class when the weather gets hot – less with the shorts and more with the slacks is a good thing. But I can’t recommend this at all. Unless you are runway-model skinny, the natural cut of the thigh and knee combined with the super-tight hem is going to make you look like you are wearing parachute pants. And this is not going to age well at all. One of the reasons to stick with classic styles and cuts in the men’s wear arena is to make sure than when you invest in a piece this year you know you can wear it next summer, and the summer after that, and the summer after that. That replay value is not going to be happening here at all.