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As fashion has evolved, how clothing fits has become less constrained. Preference has now taken precedence over tradition. For some people this can make visiting a tailor or using online tailoring services a bit more intimidating. 

One major variation that many people are not fully prepared to decide is choosing what kind of break they want in their pants. Some are not even entirely sure what this means. To explain a “pants break” simply, the phrase refers to the length of the pants. Technically this could refer to any type of pants, however most commonly is in reference to dress pants or suit pants.

To describe this in more detail, the actual “break” denotes the fabric folds (or lack thereof) created as a pair of dress pants rests on or above the shoe. This is named as such because this crease in fabric “breaks” the straight silhouette of the dress pants as they hang on the standing-straight-up body. A simple way to think of it is “longer pants = more break.” When taking advantage of a local tailor or an online tailor for suits, the only mistake you could make is not having a preference on the type of break you would like. Failure to choose could result in a style that is not suitable for your event, environment, or your body type. 

Other Pants Components to Consider

When considering which pants break to choose, other things besides personal style should be weighed. One such factor is the fit of the pants- skinny, slim, regular, relaxed, and loose are the general categories. This directly affects the circumference of the pant opening- wider pant legs will have less of a break because the opening falls further on the shoe. A pair of pants of the same length would hit the shoe at a higher point, thus the break would be bigger. Another simple rule is “wider pants opening = less break.”

The last thing to review about your pants is where you plan on wearing them. Are they work pants or meant for formal occasions like weddings or funerals? Perhaps they will be worn out to a business casual dinner. Wherever you see yourself wearing your slacks, make sure they have a break to match the image you would like to portray at each perspective event. In general, there are four options: full break, half break, no break, and negative break.

Let's “break” these choices down a bit more!

First Pants Break Option: Full Break

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A full break is characterized by the maximum amount of pooling or creasing. This is the most traditional style of pants break and is viewed as formal. When utilizing your top online tailor for dress pants, make sure the hem hangs well below the ankle, covering most of the laces. This often works the best with wider-legged, looser-fitting pants. 


Second Pants Break Option: Half Break

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A half break is a more modern twist on the full break and works the best with regular fit and slimmer fit pants. This still depicts a formal look. There is still fabric pooling but a little less than the full break. Traditionally, the socks are still completely covered, however the shoelaces are generally more exposed.

Third Pants Break Option: No Break

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No pants break occurs when the pants hem just skims the top of the shoe. When sending in your dress pants to an online tailoring service make sure to pin your dress pants right at the ankle. This should result in no pooling fabric and creates a modern look perfect for the office, presenting as more casual than a break. This look often allows for a tiny bit of sock to peek through and most of the laces to be shown.

Final Pants Break Option: Negative Break

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This option is the most modern of all the pants breaks. Most commonly this style is performed on skinny fit or slim fit pants and is seen as more casual and trendy than any of the other breaks. This is the perfect opportunity for the sock connoisseur to show off their collection. A negative break is non-traditional but a local or top online tailor will still execute this alteration perfectly!

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