Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

How high should a man roll up his pant legs for summer?

AdventureStock/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The question

What do you think about rolling up pant legs by an inch or two? Too messy a look for anything but jeans?

The answer

Story continues below advertisement

Suits have shrunk. The jackets are shorter, the trousers hemmed sometimes so short as to reveal a quarter-inch of sock.

I am not at all thrilled by the trend. I don't think little-boy suits are flattering, no matter how fashionable they are. In particular, I don't like the way the short jackets show off your belt buckle, not to mention a triangle of shirt and the end of the tie, protruding from under the bottom button. I have a feeling the look will seem extreme in 10 years' time and, like the bell-bottomed suits of the seventies, will be forever categorized as one of those what-were-they-thinking moments in fashion.

Revealing a bare ankle by rolling up cotton summer pants, however, is a different thing entirely. Here we are talking about a weekend-at-Chester kind of look, with tennis or deck shoes and a short-sleeved linen or polo shirt. Rolling up your trousers by a half-inch or so, to proudly demonstrate that you are wearing no socks, looks airy and cool and insouciant – halfway to wearing shorts.

Try it with slim white jeans, lace-up brownleather shoes and a navy blazer and you'll look like a photographer with a yacht.

Novelist Russell Smith's memoir, Blindsided, is available as a Kobo e-book. Have a style question? E-mail

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
We have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We expect to have our new commenting system, powered by Talk from the Coral Project, running on our site by the end of April, 2018. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to