How I Think About Proportions & Silhouette

I just keep adding more dimensions to what comprises a POV. It’s not just about the details- it’s about the fit.

Literally!

As much as we like to posit menswear as a pragmatic method of “correct dress”, at the end of the day, it is still a subjective form of personal aesthetics. A suit looks like any old suit to 90% of the world, no matter if it’s casual or formal- this frees it up to be interpreted in a myriad of different ways while still flying relatively under the radar in the fashion world. Menswear appears to be a monolith, but only those who know can see the nuance. Call it taste, POV, whatever. The idea is that after rules are broken down, all we have left is taste to govern ourselves.

That’s why my blog has largely been about this nuance. The essays are not meant for beginners. They are meant for guys like me who get off on being quirky and different, who relish in the differences and details. Jokes on me for picking the tamest subgenre of style, where even the smallest details are largely ignored under the comment “it’s just a regular old suit”. You’d be hard pressed to find someone to understand the nuance, let alone recognize that it’s there.

Most references to the nuance within menswear I’ve written about has largely been about recognizable styling cue, which naturally lead to specific pieces you can wear and how call an aesthetic to mind. For example, a spread collar shirt is quite business and #menswear; I prefer wearing soft spearpoint collars to signal a bit more intentionality and point toward a POV, one that looks to resurrect the ideas of the Esquire Man. Invoking military chinos instead of Banana Republic ones or crisp tailored gabardines is a good way to show nods to Americana as well as a slouchier attitude toward dressing. Foulards with abstract patterns are quirkier than rigid Macclesfields and medallion prints. Ties are also fun to tuck in, just like how pocket fisting is a good move to get into the slouch mindset (since menswear doesn’t have to always be about being stiff and stuffy). And lastly (and perhaps most obvious), high rise, full cut trousers, are another good way to set yourself apart from the mall brands and most tailored enthusiasts on the explore page.

That last point is interesting since it deals with something a bit more abstract: proportions and silhouette. I’ve alluded to these topics before, but it’s something that I’ve neglected to fully write about since it is rather hard to explain. These are qualities that are intentional and can point to a POV, but its exponentially less recognizable than wearing a specific type of OCBD or tie to get your point across, despite being completely visual and holistic. Because let’s be honest- someone may not instantly recognize the difference between a military chino and one from the mall. But they may recognize how different the fit is. That’s what why proportion is incredibly important, especially as you learn about your desired aesthetic. Knowing how all the components work together and how you can play into it (or subvert) them is another great detail to know!

I suggest listening to the podcast episode below before reading further. And please remember, these are my personal thoughts on what I like from proportions and silhouette!

As Spencer and I come to realize in our episode, proportion (and by extension, silhouette) is probably one of the most important elements of classic menswear. Picking the right ties, shoes, and cloth is one thing, but how a garment looks on it’s own is something completely different and something you can’t skimp out on. That’s because proportion and silhouette is the Great Diffrentiator. The cut, the width of the lapels, the quarters, the length- it all is what literally makes all of the RTW brands and artisanal tailors we like different from each other. Paying attention to it and using the concepts intentionally is usually the “evolutionary” step in a POV journey.

You might think that this is rather simple- that it’s only about fit or at beast, the shoulder treatments (padded or unpadded? jacket lengths (I just have to avoid the shorty ones from H&M right?) and the rise/width of a trouser (no low rise and no skinny pants). This is not true. Proportion factors into many different elements in tailoring. Yes, it still includes all the previous things, but can be expanded to include even how the length of jacket plays with the open (or closedness) of the front quarters, which then interacts with the rise of the trouser. It can deal with how the leg opening coincides with the length. And perhaps most subtly, proportions can even deal with angle of a notch in the lapel to the size of a patch pocket.

As we attempted to describe in the podcast episode (and with the photos I’ve included below), the proportions of silhouette and design are what truly make the house style of a brand, designer, or tailor. Playing into or subverting these ideas is really the best way to show mastery and intentionality behind a POV. In short, it’s good to recognize exactly what proportions you are into and how they play into each other.

If dressing is to be considered a form of art (or at least personal expression), then proportions certainly factor heavily into it. It is just another way to differentiate an outfit/garment/brand from one another that doesn’t simply resort to questions of formalities or the context of your environment. Proportions and silhouette are all about the art form of menswear. There is a lot of talk about “objectively” good and bad fit (in regards to proportion), but we’re beyond those basics. Or at least if you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you’re probably ready to think about clothing in an expanded way!

At a certain point, there are no “correct” proportions. Like with most things I’ve discussed in this podcast, proportions and silhouette are dependent entirely on your POV or desired aesthetic. And unfortunately for you, this blog is all about my POV (but I hope you can apply the thought process in your own way). There is a big emphasis here on drape and clean lines, which in turn is conducive to that whole slouch thing I’m always talking about. That’s not to say that drape is inherently better- it’s just that I’ve realized that certain proportions work best with what I want to look like: vibe, aesthetic, attitude and all. At a certain point, fit (which is a whole other thing) really just becomes subjective. It’s the next step in how you look at clothes, becoming less about being “proper” and simply adding another dimension to play with when dressing up.

The easy way I thought about this was in terms of specific eras of menswear. I wrote an essay on this years ago, but each decade or so definitely has a take on the “ideal” menswear silhouette was. With different takes on shoulders, length, and cut, you could tell that the 1930s were elegant, the 1940s leaned into being bold, the 1960s were trim, and the 1970s were dramatic. But if you looked closely, you could even see that even more was at play: the rise of the trouser, the positioning of the pockets, the gorge of the lapel to even the shape of a shirt collar. All of these proportions were all conducive to figuring out what I liked from each era. Nothing is inherently better than the other, but if you wanted to dress as a specific era, you needed to pay attention to it all. Proportions were just another detail, just like the shape of the lapel (which again, is another play with proportions).

For example, a typical 1940’s jacket would have had strong shoulders, wide lapels, and a slightly lowered button stance. It was bold and had a draped chest. A regular H&M or J. Crew two button jacket with narrow shoulders, short length, and skimpy lapels just wouldn’t work for as a suitable replacement. But let’s take this a step further.

Say you found a 1940’s jacket but you wore it with modern J. Crew pants. It would look odd. The strong top block just wouldn’t jive with the low rise, slim leg. There is a reason why the 1940’s trousers were so high waisted and wide- it worked in harmony with the jacket, both exuding the same Bold vibe that characterized the post war/swing era menswear aesthetic. This harmony in proportions and silhouette definitely can be seen in the 1960s where ivy jackets with their narrower lapels, vertically spaced out buttons, and narrow shoulders definitely require a slimmer, less pleated trouser.

Let’s not forget that a 1940s jacket just appears bigger and bolder, whereas a 1960s ivy one feels closed and “trussed up”. We can attribute this to how buttoning point/placement are incorporated into the jacket, which is quite useful when determining where you want to go with your POV. Don’t forget that these proportions also have an effect on your other choices as well: bold, wide ties look good 1940’s style jackets, where as slim, minimalistic ones seem to go hand-in-hand with ivy and mod jackets of the 1960s.

It seems that proportion in menswear isn’t just about the overall silhouette, but can be expanded to include the way in which specific elements in the outfit play with each other. Once you start paying attention, you’ll see it everywhere. If certain aesthetics are your goal with dressing (and it isn’t for most menswear guys), then you really won’t be able to look at clothing without scrutiny. It’s like a curse- a curse that forces you to look at everything and start to judge pieces and outfits specific to your own tastes.

So again I apologize for just how subjective all of this is, because I am the biggest offender (but you knew that already, didn’t you). Take all my purviews and preferences with a grain of salt!

Jacket length is a good example. A jacket that is cut too short will look awkward. Not just to itself, but the closer it ends to the hips, the less drape it will have, presumably because the buttoning point is placed higher to compensate. This is why short jackets from J. Crew or H&M just don’t drape as well as full length ones. But that also has to take into account the width (or room) of the garment. A slim fit long jacket looks weird, but a generous long jacket is comfortable and dramatic. Do you see how these proportions in design and silhouette come into play together?

High rise trousers in general are great, because they lengthen your legs. But they seem to work better when they hit right around the buttoning point in order to create a clean look. High rise also seems to work well with a wider cut, as the excess fabric in both directions seems to equalize; the inverse is also true, where most slimmer trousers tend to have a more tapered silhouette.

A wide leg needs to be hemmed closer to the shoe if you don’t want it to look too cropped (a wide leg appears more overtly cropped due to how much fabric there is in the circumference). On the flip side, a tapered trouser as to be cropped higher on the leg in order to ensure it drapes without breaking; if it’s too close to the shoe, it will crinkle and not lay as clean as a wider leg opening.

Waistcoats and sweaters look odd when they are too long- they aren’t a sportcoat or a blouson. They should end where your trousers end, and with the popularity of high rise trousers, most are too long. I’ve written about sweaters before, but it’s important to apply the same rules to waistcoats too. A long waistcoat just feels wrong, making your body look too cylindrical. The proportions are thrown even further out of whack when you combine a long waistcoat or sweater (that goes past the natural waist) with a short length sportcoat. It just doesn’t seem proportional!

For that matter, a blouson should also be cut short. Not waistcoat short, but it certainly shouldn’t be approaching jacket length. A torso jacket means it ends at your waist, which is where your legs begin. Most modern blousons tend to end at the hips, making it appear just a bit off.

A shirt can be full cut and big, but that doesn’t mean that the sleeves can be too long. You want it to drape well, akin to a good sportcoat. This also means that you’ll need a high rise trouser to compensate for the excess width and “cinch’ it so it looks good (broad chest, small waist). A low rise, slim trouser won’t look good with a big shirt, especially since the shirt will get untucked quite easily. It just seems that a lot of this has to do with where things end. Pooling only happens when things don’t hover and lay cleanly.

On a more nuanced scale, shoe choice can play into proportions. Chunky welts and tyrolean shoes can certainly work with tailoring to provide an interesting aesthetic- provided that the tailoring is done right. A slim trouser or a wide-but-cropped fit are two ways to play into a chunky shoe. A full leg, full break can work, but it won’t look clean (if that’s what you’re after). Similarly, rounded, shorter shoes can feel stubby with wide trousers. Perhaps this is why sleek Japanese oxfords with chisel toes and elegant waisting are so prized by the top menswear enthusiasts. They just happen to look play into most silhouettes across the board. Outside of slim fit of course, as a slim fit will only emphasize the angles of the shoe, making it look exaggerated. In short, a shoe can play into the overall silhouette, but its effectiveness requires a close attention to trouser proportions. Shoe-pant interaction is a tricky one!

Proportions can even be played with with the inherent design of garments as well. As I alluded to before, a sack jacket has the ability to make you feel longer and slimmer despite being shorter in length- this is due to the spaced out buttons and the relatively narrower lapels, which gives more visual “body” on jacket. In the same vein, a double breasted jacket is good at making you appear broad, using the peak lapels, buttoning point, and button spacing– the invisible horizontal lines are what make the DB have this effect.

Shoulders and lapels are imperative to look at for proportions. A structured shoulder can either be played by use of a higher gorge (or upturned peaks) or offset by a lower one. The angle and obtuseness of a notch can also play into how broad a lapel appears, which then coincides with how broad the jacket is in general. The suppressed waist tends to require a girthy lapel, as the hourglass lines of a jackets silhouette naturally work with the visual lines of a lapel and front quarters- this is why shapeless jackets like sacks and workwear blazers tend to have slimmer lapels.

[Oof this sounds so pedantic and picky, I’m sorry. To repeat, the list really does reflect my personal preferences and experiences with the way certain things fit and look “good” to me so YMMV]

These Proportional Harmonies (a term Spencer coined in the podcast episode) both in silhouette and design, are simply about being aware of how much details affect an aesthetic. After years of collecting and wearing vintage clothing, these [cursed] preferences have become internalized affecting how I look at clothing, not just for myself but when analyzing pieces and how other people wear them. It’s just good to know why you like something (or not) or why certain moves just work (or why they don’t). Emphasis on you.

Brands, tailors, designers, and eras of vintage all use proportions to achieve not only the look they want, but the aesthetic they want as well. Bryceland’s has wide lapels and wide jeans; Husbands prefers slim trousers, strong shoulders, and sleek boots. Drake’s balances their short Games suits against their traditional ivy-inspired jacketing. Anglo-Italian likes a low buttoning point and a tapered trouser. Ciccio’s house style has a lowered buttoning point, but his jackets are also longer to compensate. Thom Browne (at least the ones I like) has a short jacket (that is button-harmonious) and rather closed quarters that makes up for the potential gap between the jacket hem and the rise of the trouser; it seems that a few TB suits even have a higher rise to play into that interaction. Perhaps this is why Simon Crompton prefers closed quarters on his bespoke jackets and tends to pick tailors accordingly- he has been very adamant about his preference for mid-rise trousers.

To be clear, this isn’t so much about finding the ideal proportion from a brand or trying to create it with custom tailoring. I don’t think the ideal exists. Plenty of guys dress for an intended proportional aesthetic rather than one that conventional wisdom dictates. There are plenty of short guys who like wide legged high rise trousers- some of them are in the industry today and others only exist in 1930s photographs. Short guys have even worn long jackets. Big guys can wear high rise trousers and pleats. People can play into classic (or dated) proportions (as I do) or prefer something else. People gain different things from different proportions and silhouettes, emphasizing things they like and avoiding the connotations of the others. Finding out the right way to accomplish your intended proportional POV while still looking harmonious is one of the joyous struggles of fashion- there’s a reason why this mindset comes after wanting to dress “correctly”.

Let’s not forget that you can also play with proportions as well. Baggy shirts with slim/straight trousers- just remember to keep the waist high so the shirt stays in place. I sometimes roll up my casual wide leg pants to get a better drape or pant-shoe-interaction. And perhaps most famously, I like the contrast of longer sleeves and tops against shorts for that School Boy Look. It’s a great way to put a spin on the ideas of classic menswear utilizing proportions and silhouette, rather than simply relying on pairing something rugged with something “formal”. Playing with proportions and silhouette is a nuanced way to add another dimension to your style, one beyond the expected.

This exercise (remember, it’s about the thought process) is about finding the right proportion and silhouette for your intended POV– and why it works (or why certain style moves don’t go with it). Nothing is inherently bad (you do you honey), but I certainly have a strong idea about why I like certain things and why others simply don’t pass muster. And most of the time I think I’m right (lol). Think of it like my whole essay on film score and how I said that music can be just fine, but a good composer like John Williams has specific tricks and harmonies to ensure the score fits the picture and still sounds like his own musical aesthetic. You can always do both. A roomy leg doesn’t have to pool at your ankles. A long jacket doesn’t necessarily require a lowered button stance. A baggy shirt can be roomy and fit your neck and sleeves. You can have a relatively slim trouser and a high rise.

As I said during the introduction of this essay, most people are not going to see any of this nuance when it comes to tailoring. That’s why it really doesn’t make sense to look at proportions in terms of formality. It’s far more useful (and relevant) to think of proportions as a tool to use in personal expression. It’s what I’ve come down to after all these years of learning to dress exactly as I intended. It also helps me realize why I don’t really like other things- they aren’t bad, but they also aren’t what I want. At least now I know why I don’t like it, as opposed to saying “it sucks” (though I admittedly I do mutter that to myself from time to time).

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Here it is in action! Not only is it conducive for a slouchy approach to classic menswear, but it also feels “equal” to me. The length of the jacket is roughly equivalent to the visible outseam of the trouser.

Perhaps the best illustration of this would be to explain my own ideal proportion when it comes to tailoring. Again, this isn’t meant to be some authoritarian ideal but if you find yourself liking tailoring the way I do, I think this is how I’m able to do it! I hope it expressed as descriptive instead of prescriptive. In fact, it’s probably better not to think about it this hard or even be aware of this stuff. And also, I don’t take a tape measure out and get down to the nitty gritty. At this point, it’s all internal and second nature- I know what looks and feels right to me.

As you probably know by now, I take a lot of inspiration from vintage menswear from the 1930s-1970s. Most of it is styling cues– I make references to certain eras by use of specific pieces like my collars, lapels, and ties (both in width and printed design). However, my purview with proportion and silhouette largely stems from the 1930s-1940s silhouette and proportions of a lightly broad shoulder, gently nipped waist, and a high rise/straight cut trouser. Note how I used the word stems, because its a lot more nuanced than simply being a reproduction.

I like broad shoulders, but I don’t like structure, so the shoulders are droopy and extended- its a slouchier version of the 1940s aesthetic. To be proportionally harmonious with the extended shoulders, I also prefer having wide lapels that (if possible) have a lowered gorge (or peak). A button stance can be moderate, but since I’m short, it can’t be too low, hence why Button-Pocket Harmony is always in play when I look at garments through my taste. As you’ll see later on in the photos I’ve included, BP-Harmony is about the buttoning point and the proportions between the jacket above the buttoning point and below it; inharmonious jackets tend to be top heavy. And now that I’m reflecting on it, this specific taste is not only about how a jacket’s details are proportional to itself, but how it harmonizes with the other garments that make up the outfit.

Unlike the 1930s, I prefer having a longer jacket, at least when compared to how other people wear theirs. For me, this works with the existing “exaggerated” elements that are already present. It’s less about being able to grab a jacket with my hands, but more so for it to go past the fork of my fly in order for it to appear “right” to me. Why? It’s because I prefer to have a high waist and a wide leg trouser. A longer jacket seems to be harmonious with this aesthetic, being able to cover the generously pleated hips while also ensuring that pocket placement is low enough to fist. A longer jacket also ensures that the jacket-to-buttoning point and the buttoning point-to-hem are largely equal in proportion. It just look so good to see a jacket go past the crotch, especially with the high rise.

My trousers, as previously mentioned, tend to be rather wide or at the very least, straight cut. This ensures that that they are able to lay cleanly at all times, hanging from the waist. The length is quite important as the extra circumference allows it to go close to the shoe without breaking. Too much and it will start to break and pool; too short and it will look cropped, as if it was abruptly stopped. In essence, the trousers echo the jacket.

My preferred approach to proportion is about having clean lines with a little bit of drama- that’s the entire appeal of all the old photos and the essay on The Esquire Man. It also ensures that most nooks and crannies covered up- no need to worry about if my gut shows or if the outline of my thigh or calf appears through the trouser- a full cut will cover all of it. The excess drape can then be played with via nipping with ease, all while remaining roomy. You can’t play around much with a slim fit- you’re literally limited by having rationed fabric.

The good news is that this curse allows me to be specific and intentional about what I wear. It prevents me from just buying anything; taste is important, not just in fabrics and details, but in proportions and silhouette too! It’s not that things are bad, but of course if I’m comparing things to my own POV (which I almost always do), they certainly aren’t “good” for it.

As I said before, my POV on proportions is really applied to everything I wear, not just tailoring. I wear big shirts, whether they are a spearpoint, OCBD, workshirt, sportshirt, or tee. This in turn requires a high rise and a cinched waist in order to keep the top blousy (in a good way). If my jeans, shorts, and fatigues/workpants are meant to be alternatives to tailoring, they need to be cut in similar proportions to my tailored trousers. The same can be said of my casual, non-blouson jackets like my chore coats and jungle jackets. Wouldn’t it be weird if my broad slouchy tailoring had short/slim pants or if my wide leg pants had such a short jacket? It all has to be conducive to my POV!

And to be quite clear, not everything passes muster or rather, it’s not perfect every time. Even though I’ve commissioned a few custom pieces (like those LOW trousers), I still have a variety of pieces I still enjoy wearing, even if the proportions are not always consistent. I still do experiment, whether its by trying something new (preferably vintage) or by mixing what I already own. Sometimes some shoulders just aren’t right. Or a trouser is too wide or I got it made too long. Maybe it’s due to my body type or physique. Or perhaps my tastes have changed! In any case, certain pairings are just better than others, which I choose to spin as a positive challenge rather than one to be scared of.

Nothing is ever really correct. But it is nice to have some form of “true north” in an aesthetic POV that can guide you. At the end of the day, sometimes you just like something! I could certainly be dressing for what the current ideal is (or to looksmaxx my body type), but that doesn’t concern me as much as my POV. I have an idea on what I want vibe I want to look like and I will use tailoring and classic menswear to accomplish it, even if I am short and just a tad stocky.

To be clear, I’m sure I have some internalized idea about what looks good for my body and the fun is balancing that against my love of clothes for clothes sake (though honestly, I think clothes win). I’m also certain that my preferences in proportion are also based on where I live: in LA, breezy wide legs and soft shoulder are just great for the sunny, not-so-cold weather.

If I could sum it up, I think I dress in pursuit of clean lines that just so happen to be represented by tailoring, Americana, and milsurp with cohesion across aesthetics and subgenres. And with that comes with certain ideals to proportions and silhouette that really do come into play with one another. There is a “right” proportion that works for me and my existing style. Slouch to me seems to require soft shoulders, high rise trousers, and wide fits on all my garments. Paying attention to all of these design and silhouette components makes dressing up a fun personal challenge akin to writing music. And just like with music, other people either aren’t aware of the nuances or they are aware and reject that particular style in their own exercises. Personally, I prefer the latter as knowing why you like or dislike something results in an interesting conversation about taste and POV.

And despite all the discourse about gatekeeping and taste, I really do think people like what they like. People love to play into proportions in their desired way. Some prefer proportions by decade or by looksmaxxing their body type using clothing, which can be diametrically opposed to one another. It’s just good to have a root for your POV. And if you think it’s correct or good on you, then that’s great! People want to emphasize or play into certain things and menswear is certainly able to do that. It’s not always about being an external ideal but the ideal you imagined for yourself.

After all the details about cloth and pockets and pleats are done, the only thing that’s left is how the garment is proportioned and what silhouette it makes. It’s best to keep that in mind when dressing- it is fashion after all!

Now if my words weren’t enough, hopefully the photos and illustrations below will help show how I put my philosophy and analyis of proporiton/silhouette into practice. Again, please don’t take this as Authoritarian Truth, but as my personal truth. Plenty of these people have great style even if I’m not into their chosen approach to proportions and silhouette. So please bare with me as I try to dissect the following examples! In all honestly, no one really looks at clothing like this and you really shouldn’t either. The point is for you guys to develop this internalized curse on your own, for your own POV.

You’ve been warned!

Podcast Outline

  • 08:39 – Topic Intro/”What is Proportion?”
  • 16:36 – What Plays Into Proportions: Trousers
  • 24:43 – Jacket Proportions
  • 30:17 – Waistcoats
  • 39:06 – Sweaters, Leather Jackets, Chore Coats, Overcoats
  • 36:49 – Proportional Harmony
  • 54:24 – Don’t Shorten Your Jackets!
  • 56:49 – Structure and Silhouette
  • 1:00:07 – Different Eras
  • 1:07:58 – What We Like
  • 1:20:32 – Wrap-Up

Our stream on proportion, which adds to this essay and even goes into the idea of subjectivity vs. objectivity. This hints at a future topic…

This outfit is fine!
But might be more conducive to a “menswear merger” POV. It’s all in the silhouette and proportion of the legs: more room, more slouch. There is a difference!
Proportions and silhouette is one factor in how this DB…
…is different than the one Chad (left) is wearing.
George Raft, displaying the power of a broad shoulder (and lapel), a short waist coat, and high generous trousers that go straight down. A very 1930s ideal.
This buttoning point is moderate in relation to the torso, but the short length makes the jacket feel cropped. Almost like it’s been stopped abruptly. As it ends above the crotch, the hips are quite emphasized.
A lot of Proportional Harmony here! The jacket is longer, which coincides with the draped chest (narrow waist) and wide, low gorge lapel. The buttoning point is high, though it feels equal in terms of the jacket length.
A different type of Proportional Harmony, but done the 60s ivy way. Shorter jackets, shorter lapels, wider set buttons. See how proportion can point to an era?

Personally I find the shoulders much too wide, but the trouser fit is immaculate. The perfect hem allows these wide pants to appear neat. Also note how the upward peaks echo the shoulder and broad chest (and the pockets are also big too).
A clean example, but done the 1970s way. Great hem, good jacket drape, but the proportional details and cut are what make it different than a 30s or a 60s suit.
The DB is broadening due to the horizontal peak and the wide buttons, but the fit is still cut close to the body. You’ll also note how the buttoning point and longer length stretches Raft’s body.
This 70s DB is cute quite square. The wide buttons help widen the torso, but the looseness gives a slouchier feel. It is the flared trousers that give the outfit more dimension!

The proportions here are quite late exaggerated, but they could also pass for Ralph’s Ciffonelli jackets. Proportions are for aesthetics!
The sartorial proportions that resonate with me- just needs a slouchier shoulder.
This suit is much more slim and narrow but still retains clean lines. Note the shoulder treatment, the jacket length, and the shivering break. Slim can still be clean!
Gable’s jacket has a lowered button stance and a shorter length presumably to broaden the chest, but note again how the wide trousers still drape cleanly due to the hem.
Here…not so much. The jacket has an even bigger shoulder, but the dropped button stance and long length makes him look top heavy. The pooling trousers only do him a disservice.
Here we have pooling trousers, but pay attention to the jacket! The shoulders are broad, but the lapel is narrow. The jacket is also cut short with open quarters which only emphasize the width of the trousers. Still looks good, but certainly a different POV.
A short jacket but with closed quarters to contain the generously cut pants. This time, the trousers have a better length so that they drape without pooling. Clean lines!
Closed quarters and fastening all the buttons can play into appearing tubular and shapeless.
Another short jacket that feels a little off due to the broad shoulders and close fit. Feels abrupt again.
This jacket is longer than Gable’s other suits and the wide set buttons and narrow lapel make his entire torso look broad rather than shapely. This isn’t wrong by any means, but a reflection of this particular period’s POV on tailoring. It’s almost ivy (though I think the shoulders are padded?)
Gable in the 30s with a broad shoulder, narrow waist, and longer length jacket. Still fits him well but it’s such a different POV!

The longer jacket combined with a narrow trouser makes his torso look longer than it should.
Long jacket, but equalized by the trousers. Despite the subtle waisting, the narrow lapels and buttoning looks a little closed up IMO but that’s okay!
Contrast that with the two button, wide and slouchy sport suit. A little bit of a break, but it’s still quite nice.
Clean lines and broad shoulders. Short jacket length puts emphasis on the shoulders, especially with the rather straight trouser.
Here, the short length jacket and close fit makes the big hips seem bigger.
Good proportions here (lightly extended shoulder, wonderful lapel) allow this to be quite classic rather than Gable’s dated looks.
Another example on how a shorter, waisted jacket puts emphasis on the hips.
However, a big cut doesn’t always make it better!
A short jacket here. Perhaps more hip movement was the benefit of this era!
1920s. Shapely jacket with long length with a tapered trouser that drapes beautifully. Note that it’s not too tapered.
Narrow shoulders and narrow trousers. However, the jackets seem a bit long. Either they need to be shorter or the trousers need to be wider!
This feels more equal. And they have clean lines!
Conservative fits tend to involve moderate details which in turn leads to a “normal” proportion.
All the proportions here are in harmony. Big shoulder, big pants, deep pleats, long jacket, high rise, and a wide collar. It makes “the look”.
Here he has a shorter jacket and a narrower shoulder. It almost feels like the buttoning point is lower; kudos for the buttons being close together as to not be at odds with the other proportions.
Half of this essay is about big pants that are hemmed perfectly.
Another closed up look.
And now quite open. Lowered buttoning point, narrower lapels, higher gorges, and a short jacket length. Proportions at play!
This 80s picture of Stewart shows how despite everything being technically correct, the suits proportions give him a different vibe: the shoulders are broad, but the lapels are narrower, which help emphasize the deep buttoning point and make his upper torso look large.
This 70s photo is similar, but its done more moderately.
Another similar cut here, but the narrow lapels and squared quarters provide a different aesthetic. I wonder if this is an old 50s jacket!
Big coats are an aesthetic. They just feel cozier.
Despite the broad shoulder and wide lapels, the high closure results in Jimmy still looking closed up.
Everything equalizes out.
Just seems a bit short.
Variations on lapel, shoulder, waisting , and buttoning configuration.
The visual difference of wide vs. narrow buttons.
Maybe a tad short? But all in all rather equal.
A good hem would make this sit cleanly.
A moderate combination of jacket length and trouser silhouette.
It’s an intentional POV, but a slim jacket and wide pant looks a little off!
A very “equal” outfit, though the shoulders are quite square. Good drape overall!
Compare that to West Side Story (1961). Lots of short jackets, softer shoulders, and slim pants. Bernardos are even slimmer than Riff’s (who has some drape).
Compare the proportional effect of a DB vs an SB with open quarters.
Longer jacket, wider pant, clean lines.
Proportional Harmony. Wide lapel, big rolling collar, and a wider tie. It broadens the wearer.
Proportional Harmony but in a way that makes the person feel slimmer.
A waistcoat just seems to be best done when it ends at the natural waist. It covers your torso, which ends at the bellybutton and presumably, where your pants start. It feels enveloped by the jacket and is harmonious to the buttoning point.
Short jacket on the left, long on the right. The middle shows how the buttoning point to the jacket hem is roughly equal to the trouser rise.
I’m going to add casual jackets here too. They shouldn’t be too short, but its nice when they aren’t sportcoat length.
Even though the shirt seems to be cut big, it is cinched by the high waist. This echoes the tailored proportions we saw earlier, just without the use of a jacket. Silhouette and proportions can always be used across formality and aesthetic!
Big top, slim pants.
Nice slim legs that play with the shortness of the jacket (though the extended shoulder ruins it for me IMO).
There are common ideas between this casual attire and the tailoring silhouettes.
Playing with proportions can be fun though!
I’d prefer if they were cleaner, but the breaks don’t look too bad here.
Big fits look slouchy to me.
Garments should drape cleanly!
Big shirt and low waist isn’t too flattering. It looses the cinched effect.
A higher buttoning point, but due to jacket length, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s actually pretty proportional!
A short jacket that closes higher, has a broad shoulder, and a wide-ish pant.
Big jacket, low buttoning point, wide pants. Contrast against big jacket slim pants (with breaks).
Jimmy’s shivering break.
Long sweaters almost look like jackets. But here, note the contrast between the slim polo and the wide pants.
Sweaters look good short!
Narrow shoulder, narrow buttons, long jacket length.
Vintage didn’t always get proportions right. Or at least, it’s not a great use of it.
Funnily enough, this kinda works due to the close cut on the jacket hips enveloping the wide trouser. I’m sure a proper hem ensures a drape without pooling.
A slimmer pant, but still a good hem to preserve a clean drape.
Short jacket but wide pants. Makes him look rather squared off.
Short jackets!
Narrower buttons and narrow trousers.
A similar idea here!
Broad shoulders, dropped button stance, and short length. A bit odd with narrow trousers.
Narrow trousers with high hems. Seems almost like today!
Proportion play with low buttoning point, short sweater, and big pants.
Lapel-shoulder interaction.
Big pants look so good!
Clean silhouette. Proof that a high waist looks good on everyone if you just get the hem right.
The goal is to look as clean as an illustration. Due note here the broad shoulder sand longer jacket length.
Short jacket length. Not bad- it even goes with the narrow shoulder.
1950s. Big, long jackets and pegged pants.
This is great, except for the trouser hem. A wide leg and excess length tends to break, and not in a good way.
See how the high waist equalizes out the jacket length?
High waist and short jacket.
Short jacket and open quarters emphasizes the hips!
A longer jacket, but note how the shoulders, wide lapels, and straighter quarters change the visual proportions even further?
Even narrow trousers should have some form of drape.
A clean leg line.
Not so clean.
Drape looks good.
Short jacket, wide trouser. Seems like a 30s redo.
Most guys look like this, which is fine! But a bit more attention to proportion and silhouette and everything could be cleaner.
The J. Crew ludlow certainly has a specific POV. The buttoning point is simultaneously high on the body, but low on the jacket. With the low rise, it feels like all the proportions are fighting against each other. The higher hem ensures a clean line in the trouser, but can feel a bit too short.
Granted, the one on the left looks the best for my POV, most likely due to more room in the body and a longer length that makes a better attempt to at least hit the end of the crotch. It just feels harmonious!
However, these feel just a bit too abrupt due to the shorter jacket length. The fact that it only barely grazes the hips draws attention to them rather than enveloping them to provide a good silouette.
Open quarters don’t help a low rise.
The trousers feel better, though the jacket still isn’t great.
Suit Supply isn’t bad, not just for their quality and inclusion of sartorial details, but their silhouette and proportion are much more equal than the Ludlow. The short length still emphasizes the hips but it’s not as bad.
Modern waistcoats feel too long. And with shorter jackets, it just doesn’t feel equalized!
Remember the DB waistcoats from before? This seems so long compared to that! It doesn’t feel like a waistcoat, it feels like a straight up sweater.
A moderate case of a shorter jacket and a straight pant. It’s pretty good, if not slightly agnostic.
Abrupt!
Despite this Drake’s jacket barely hitting he crotch, it still feels quite abrupt. Personally, I wouldn’t’ say this makes the jacket more casual- the other details do that.
Variety in trouser treatments! You can really see how each one can play into a wearer’s POV.
Ralph with big shoulders, big body, high waist, and big pants. It’s harmonious!
It’s modern, but it keeps that 40s ideal alive. It even has the wide set buttons, which echo the lapels and shoulders.
Proportion play.
Fastening the bottom button on a DB is a good way to make the visual “v” longer, without having to create a new garment. You might even call it harmonious against the wide lapels, shoulders, and buttons. A bit different from appearing closed up.
Sid follows the J. Crew tradition of a low rise and a short jacket, which personally feels at odds with one another.
Sid does prefer a slim, elongated torso, so a low rise helps with that POV. Personally, I feel like this makes the trouser just a bit too short, making the pleat start too abruptly.
He does retain a good leg silhouette!
It’s his own POV and he is consistent! The high notch helps play into his slightly lowered button stance to elongate his torso (which seems to be his goal).
Compare Sid’s slimmer take to Chad’s roomier preferences above. It’s not just about lapel width- it’s about proportions!
To me, a slim short jacket appears a bit pear-shaped. Perhaps more room in the shoulder would equalize it out?
When Husband’s leans into shorter jackets and straight/slim trousers, they pay attention to proportion in order to keep lines straight and harmonious. It also has the benefit of going after a specific POV.
The lapels are straight, echoing the structured shoulder, and the slim flat front trouser.
Husbands really does use proportions and silhouette to bring back the 70s approach to tailoring. It’s not the epitome of tailoring, but one example of a POV.
Sexton also does this.
The trousers are slim, slimmer than Sid it seems, but the high waist is harmonious to the jacket which is a touch longer in the length and the shoulder.
The Armoury’s Model 101 is a subtler, agnostic version of the Husbands look. The shoulder is padded, the lapels are straighter, and the jacket has more shape.

Mitchell Moss’s jacket is not like the Husbands one. It has a softer shoulder, shorter length, and curved quarters, making it appear open and less rigid. It definitely emphasizes the hips, especially with the slimmer trousers. The jacket, with more drape than the pants, provides the most dimension in the fit. Looks good and would fit most people!
Despite the details (like the patch pockets) Cifonelli keeps structured shoulders and deep “Vs”. Proportions are not always tied to formality.
And of course Arnold Wong leans into the slouch. It’s his own POV with longer jackets, higher rise, and wider legs, and also happens to look like a particular era!
My friend Nguyen also does this quite well, though note his particular use of a narrow lapel, matching a 1960s styled jacket to a 1940s-ish pant!
The Anthology has a broad jacket with lowered gorge lapels. Note that the waistcoat is cut a bit short to work with the high rise trouser, but the “V” is also lowered.
Simon’s trousers are slim but cut long, while Buzz has a wider trouser that has a more visual taper (from the hips to the knee) and a shorter length. Different POVs!
Jacket seems a bit short in my eyes, which is in disharmony with the wide lapels and drooping shoulders. Just a bit more length would “fix it”, but it’s honestly fine!
On its own the jacket has great proportions!
Compare the above to this Ralph Lauren jacket. The lowered button stance makes the top of the jacket “longer” than the bottom half, making it look like we need more length below the pockets. This is what is at the core of Button-Pocket Harmony.
Equal!
Mark Cho echoing the 30s with a broad shoulder, short length jacket with open quarters. Note that despite having Button-Pocket Harmony, the jacket is still cut short, most likely due to Mark’s own taste!
Let’s also compare the effect of narrow buttons on a DB….
..to wider set ones! To me, the wider buttons harmonize with the wide lapels.
Buzz’s has narrow set buttons and a slightly higher gorge compared to the above. It makes for a different visual aesthetic!
I’ve heard the Armoury orders short length knitwear to work with high rise trousers- at least for the sweater vests.
Alan See showing that a short waistcoat + high rise can still be done in the modern day.
Antonio Liverano seems to prefer a longer waistcoat.
A longer waistcoat can appear quite square when worn with low rise trousers. It’s not bad, but it is different!
Personally, I like it a bit better with a shorter waistcoat (as in the above).
A big jacket with narrow pants. Points toward a contemporary POV.
A big jacket with big pants. This combination, while comprised of modern pieces, feels dated (in a way I like) and toward a different POV than the above one.
A DB with slim lapels makes for a very tight look.
These bellied lapels echo the chest and padded shoulder.
A modern example of a high rise that is equalized out by a longer jacket. Also note that the trouser are slim, but not skinny, and even has a good hem as to preserve the clean drape.
Sartoria Corcos follows a Ludlow/Sid look with straight lapels and high gorge that goes down to a low button stance and a short jacket length. Note how the torso above the buttoning point is longer (taller?) than the rest of the jacket below it.
Ciccio is also similar, though he has a bit more length in the jacket.
Open quarters and a shorter jacket length. Works for this long frame!
George Wang makes good use of a broad shoulder and chest, which contrasts against a slimmer trouser. It’s quite masculine.
A short jacket with 3 button configuration looks almost like those 30s examples!
Slim legs and good drape!
Square shoulders and long legs.
A big jacket and big trouser. Note that the lapels are moderate, allowing it to equalize against the negative space of the jacket torso.
Wide, horizontal peak lapels (with a low gorge) broaden the chest visually.

The buttons are still set wide, but the lapels are shorter with a higher gorge. A different play with proportion.
The narrow buttons and upward turned, high gorge peak slims the body.
Difference in proportions and silhouette here. It’s all about POV and desired aesthetic!
Longer jacket on the left! Not as bad as people think.
Some people like a visual taper to their trousers.
Others prefer more room.
Slim pants can still have drape! Note that they don’t wrinkle or catch on anything.
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These do not drape.
I think its a cool move to have your casual pieces take after the proportions of tailoring.
High rise jeans, shorter length denim jacket.
Clean lines. Long jacket length too!
A good example of how hem length can contribute to a POV. One is clean, the other is a bit sloppy but admittedly pretty cool consider it’s ALD and not meant to be all prim and proper. .
Clean lines, but cut wide.
Slim up top, but room near the ankle.
CAID is a straight up recreation of a few different 1960s proportions and silhouette. This particular sack jacket has spaced out buttons, long length, and narrow lapels, all to visually elongate the torso. The waistcoat is also long as a result.
It could just be the stance, but this is a shorter interpretation.
Note here how the jacket goes past the crotch but doesn’t seem too long.

It seems that Glenn Au of Juniors also likes an Ivy cut with more a lot of room and a slightly long jacket length that goes past the crotch.
Narrow lapels play into the roomy chest.
Harmony betwen the trouser rise, the buttoning point, and the jacket length.

Bellied upturned peaks (with a high gorge) can emphasize the narrow shoulders.
Jake wearing a short jacket that doesn’t feel as short as the J. Crew ones. Perhaps its because there is more room in the jacket body.
A big shirt needs a high, cinched waist.
Jake doing the opposite: a big untucked shirt with a slim trouser. Still works and is a great POV.
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This is a similar idea, but done slimmer. There isn’t as much drape!
Proportion play again.
Proportion play with a lowered buttoning point and long sweater.
Dalcuore for Bryceland’s. A rather tame example that is normal for most #menswear: slightly broad shoulders (echoed by a wide lapel), a moderately high waist, and a taper.
This jacket on Kenji is cut quite long- a subversion of most modern DBs which are cut short.
Ethan’s DB seems shorter.
Short vs. long jacket. All in the POV.
Broad shoulders and roomy jacket, but juxtaposed with a rather tapered trouser and short hem.
A waistcoat that feels a bit long.
Ethan Newton has a longer jacket that goes past his crotch (equalizing the drooping shoulder). His trousers are quite tapered, which result in a higher hem to ensure no pooling.
Kenji does keep his jeans in a similar cut to his trousers, which allow him to swap them in at his leisure.
Kenji’s military trousers are also high waisted. Consistency!
Proportions (not only details) are what help separate Kenji’s outfit…
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…from this one (among other details). It doesn’t even have a clean line all the way through to the hem! It’s not bad but it doesn’t accomplish the same things.
This leather jacket almost feels like a sportcoat when you compare the length to the rise of the trouser. Personally I find it a bit long!
Sometimes that’s fine, as this untucked length literally echoes the shape of a sportcoat.
Tucking knitwear can also help emphasize the high rise and play with proportions.
It can also do the opposite. It works here due to Shin’s trim frame and the fact that the untucked, blousy sweater plays with the big lapels and wider leg.
Long jackets can still go with [relatively] narrow trousers!
Trousers aren’t tapered but instead retain the width straight from the hips down.
These ones definitely taper.
More drape = more slouch!
No taper.
Taper. Personally, the no taper seems to be more harmonious, but it all depends on POV and what you want to get from your pants!
Tapered jeans need a higher hem so that they don’t break.
A wider leg can be closer to the shoe without breaking.
See what I mean? It breaks lightly on the shoe, but the lines are still clean.
You can see here that slimmer trousers need a highe hem to prevent pooling.
Casual proportions.
Different trouser proportions.
Clean lines are the name of the game!
Ben Philipps also likes his trousers short, which echo is his shorter jacket length.
Seems almost 30s, just with a shorter trouser hem. Love the clean lines all around.
Love the consistency, even with casual wear. Those pants are big, but they drape so well!
Different approaches to proportion.
Tony Sylvester with a short jacket, but wide set buttons and big pants.
Same jacket but a slimmer pant. Makes for a different silhouette!
Scott’s pants are big, but they appear straight due to not having a taper. It just looks so clean.
Sometimes the key is just having the right hem.
It’s certainly a mood to make a tiny torso and big legs. For some reason, it just works better than the opposite.
Drape!
A wee bit of a taper.
A fun proportion play.
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Jason Sandagon has a very specific POV when it comes to his proportions. A short jacket but with a wide bellied lapel. A wide top block on the trouser that tapered sharply to a crop. It’s just as valid as the other POVs here in the essay- I’d even say its a more creative one.
Fred Castleberry enjoys a close fitting jacket and a bit of a cropped pant.
He’s a great example of using proportions for a POV, infusing the Thom Browne look with a fun take on ivy-prep.
His trousers actually seem quite wide, which is emphasized by how short they are hemmed.
Here is one of his MTM trousers: low rise, wide trouser.
Note that the Thom Browne jacket is actually button-pocket harmonious. Interestingly, the jacket is the length as the sleeves (is this harmony?) and still covers the top of the waistband.
The trouser rise is what keeps this jacket from looking like the J. Crew examples that featured a big gap between the buttoning point and the trouser waistband.
This particular suit seems to have a slightly longer length and a higher rise.
Musella Dembech showing Proportional Harmony: wide shoulders, wide set buttons, big pants.
Compare to these narrow set buttons on an Anthology garment.
A big body seems to be disharmonized by narrow buttons. However, that could be entirely the point- to broaden your body and visual width by emphasizing the negative space.
Longer length.
A big coat just has more drama. More drape.
And yes, they should be big as well. Not just long.
Zach using short torso pieces to make his legs look long and wide.
The Lee 101J and the sweatshirt ends right at the waist (where his trousers begin).
Good examples of buttoning point meeting near the trouser top.
More harmony between jacket length and rise!
This feels like you could get away with a lower buttoning point and a longer jacket. Not bad, but personally this is what I notice in terms of my POV.
Doesn’t this feel more harmonious? Or is it just me?
This whole thing is just me advocating for longer jackets and higher rise.
It’s all about POV. Some want drape, others want slimness (which naturally leads to creasing). Neither one is bad, but if your POV calls for a clean line, it’s good to know how it affects it!
Proportion play!
A big suit, two ways.
Most people will tuck knitwear to get it to the right length.
Glenn embracing the longer length of a sweater.
A tucked sweater.
Of course playing with proportions is fun!
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Sometimes is about evoking these casual looks with more tailored or classic pieces!
More difference in trouser cut.
Here, it seems like the jean rise should be higher or more accurately, the jacket should be a touch longer. The high gorge elongates the torso but also makes it look like the jacket is shorter!
While arm length shouldn’t be used as a guide for jacket length, the disharmony between the rise and the buttoning point is apparent. The perceived short length is a symptom!

Short and slim!
Long and wide.
The Beams+ Harajuku crew wearing short jackets with wide pants. The short jackets emphasize the contrast between the two pieces.
Here, its more “equal”. The long jacket (and more generous fit) harmonize equally with the wide pants, though Silvia cinches the bottom for a more “designer” look.
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Nguyen with a long jacket and high rise. Not only that, but the proportions and styling echo the 1930s/40s!
A good example of how a sleeve hem would help the drape on this jacket. Sleeves are important.
At a certain point, nothing matters sand it’s all about your own POV!
See how a slimmer trouser is cropped shorter than a wider one?
Buzz prefers a wider hip and a taper, down to a slightly cropped hem.
The cropped hem plays with the shortness of the jacket.
Mark isn’t a menswear guy, but the proportions are.
He keeps the high rise but swaps the wide fit for a flare. Not only is a fun play on proportions, but it looks 70s (because that’s the inspiration).
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Compare Mark to Chris, who uses a wider leg jean to approximate an earlier silhouette.
And to be clear, a bit of extra length is starting to grow on me. A little frumpy, a little slouchy. It’s probably due to the extra drape.
There’s just less charm when there’s less fabric to work with.
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I like how Henry’s jean is similar to a cut of a trouser. It makes their use a bit more natural.
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Sora’s is cut even wider and higher, furthering with the idea that jeans can be trouser alternatives!
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Stephone might as well be wearing high rise selvedge and it wouldn’t change the proportions!
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You can see the different proportions and silhouettes at play here. My longer jacket and wider leg contrasts not only against Ryan’s slimmer fit but to Mark’s as well!
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It wasn’t always like that. I also thought I had to be short and snug to get it right. This isn’t bad, but it’s not as harmonious (or slouchy).
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Short jacket emphasizes the hips and makes the torso abruptly stop. You can also see that I got my pants cut short.
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This is better, but the jacket is still short, creating an odd pear-shaped proportions on my body type. You don’t get to work with much when you literally don’t have a lot of fabric (since its slim).
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Shortening jackets is also not the move. Here, the abrupt stop of the jacket makes it look disproportionate. There is more “top half” than “bottom half” on the jacket here. It’s unbalanced.
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If this jacket was longer, it would equal out.
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This just isn’t it. It’s bad. The jeans are too different than the trousers above it, making it even more inharmonious.
Blog Cover Photo (44 of 50)
This is better, but still not great!
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The rise is higher, the jacket is longer, and there is much more drape.
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If my goal was to look like a 1930s Esuqire Man, then I’d say I’ve got it. It’s all in the proportion.
My ideal with crazy diagrams. Visible outseam = jacket length. Buttoning point to bottom of the jacket = trosuer rise. Jacket is cut roughly in half by the buttoning point. This is all internalized!
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Just see how different this is! It’s all in the proportion. Not a bad outfit by any means, but certainly not up to the vision I had for myself.
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Short sweaters and wide leg pants.
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The sweater and the leather jacket end at the natural waist!
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I still have a few short jackets and slim trousers, which are often worn together since they are harmonious.
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The jacket is ivy inspired but it has a longer length since I got wider trousers.
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I still enjoy playing with proportions. The narrow shoulders, spaced out buttons, and slim lapels called for a more minimalistic take.
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It also meant slimmer trousers.
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In general, I definitely prefer a high rise and a fuller cut pant. It helps cinch in my shirts.
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The trouser is slightly slimmer than the above, but it still worked with this big jacket.
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Buttoning point-trouser rise harmony.
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Short coat and full leg looks odd (but even I did it anyway).
It’s also good to know what’s too long.
And too short! And short + boxy isn’t a great silhouette.
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I’ve found what works for me!
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This is quite a contemporary silhouette, with a soft jacket and a lightly tapered trouser. It looks vaguely 70s (and is styled accordingly).
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This coat isn’t bad!
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But this feels like a coat (thanks to the bigger fit and longer length).
Long coats just feel like coats.
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These lapels are narrower, but more horizontal than my navy one. The jacket is also longer, but the broadness and wide trouser keep things harmonious.
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Drape.
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Since Husbands was the inspiration, a tapered trouser was the move rather than a full legged one. It still maintains buttoning point-rise harmony, but the vibe is different due to leg silhouette.

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Spencer wears jeans that are cut straight (or wide) with a high rise in order for them to work best with a classic sport coat.
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Another good example by John.
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Even though our pants are technically different, they retain a similar proportion and silhouette. It’s consistent to our POV on clothes!
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I use a full cut even when I’m dressed casually. Note the relatively clean lines.
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I use a slimmer suit when I want to evoke a 70s vibe. Note the narrower shoulders and shorter length of the jacket as well.
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I retain the wide fit even in casual attire.
Wide leg with a bit of a crop works pretty well as a casual move.
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Playing with crop tops is also a cool move!
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Short top block, long legs.
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It just feels “right” for blouson style jackets to end at the natural waist.
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It would be weird if this jacket covered the pockets!
I feel like this would too long for my POV.
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Even though these trousers are slim, the high rise keeps it harmonious with the big jacket. Especially with the buttoning point.
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Jay’s high rise trouser tapers for his own take.
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However, this is the ideal that everything is based on. A slouchy jacket (with wide lapels and full chest) to echo the wide legged trousers. The buttoning point matches the trouser waist and it feels harminous.
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With these new custom trousers, I’m able to achieve this harmony across most of my fits.
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The jacket is long, but it works!
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Nguyen also likes a longer jacket, since it harmonizes a straighter leg.
John likes the wide fit (and perfect hem).
Nguyen knows that a slimmer trouser can still work with a long jacket, just within reason. Note how his trousers are cut shorter…
…than when he wears a wider leg, knowing that a wider leg can get away with a longer length without breaking. It’s not inherently better because its wider, but he just knows his own proportional harmony and expresses it accordingly.
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A tapered trouser and a slimmer jacket. A different silhouette and vibe when compared to the top- it’s a different way to have fun other than just styling specific pieces.
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A full slouchy suit is a cool way to have cohesive proportions and silhouette.
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It’s also fun to retain these ideas in separates.
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Don’t even need to have a jacket! Slim/short torso, long-wide legs.
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Even though the trousers are cropped, it still works. They help the heavy military twill to drape without pooling.
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I still wear my tapered trousers, but you can agree that the silhouette is quite different. The tapered leg doesn’t mwatch the wide lapels and draped chest as well as a full cut.
Same jacket. A higher rise and a hem would make this more harmonious, wouldn’t you say?
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That’s better.
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I like the idea of using sartorial proportions on casual or rugged pieces.
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Note how Spencer’s sportcoat and my jinbei top echo each other in proportions and silhouette; our jeans and trousers do the same thing!
You can see this consistency in proportion on Yung Chomsky, who has a similar rise and overall leg silhouette across his jeans trousers, and shorts!
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Compare this…
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To this! Still a good fit, but a different expression when it comes to silhouette, all due to the trousers.
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Compare the effect of a square shoulder…
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To a slouchy, sloped one. You’ll also note the difference in length between the two sportcoats!
Silhouette comparison.
None of these are bad (in fact more people in the world dress like this), but you’ll note that Raj (on right) accomplishes a clean leg line with a wider leg and pertinent hem.
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Silhouette and proportion philosophy works across aesthetics. I love bringing these ideas to non-formal looks!
Similar proportion expression in the top half, but different in the trouser leg.

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Always a pleasure,

Ethan M. Wong

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22 comments

  1. Pingback: How I Think About Proportions & Silhouette in Classic Menswear « Fashion
  2. MBB355 · January 11

    This (perhaps along with “The Brown Checked Sportcoat”) is your best piece yet. Great job, particularly on all the thoughtful detail and wonderful images. It is difficult to find “big trousers”–of the sort that form that graceful, draping straight line–ready-to-wear. I have a hard time because my legs have a curve to them, so even straighter-cut trousers can still rumple a tad below the knee (I notice this with cotton trousers and chinos in particular).

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  3. Sam · January 11

    Hey Ethan! I love how perfect your trousers fit! What is the ideal leg opening measurement for your trousers? Thanks!

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  4. Pingback: Absolutely on Taste | a little bit of rest
  5. Jim B · January 25

    Do you have any sources for MTM soft spearpoint collar shirts?

    Like

    • Ethan M. Wong · January 25

      I used to use Natty Shirts a few years ago and requested unlined collar and cuffs! However they are cheap and the QC isn’t great. I’d suggest Luxire or Ascot Chang; the latter has made me two bespoke spearpoint and they’ve been my favorite!

      I also know that Hall Madden has a “western collar” that is pretty close to what I like, so it may be worth to DM them and ask for Kiyoshi for help.

      Like

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  7. Matt · February 6

    What do you consider to be high rise on trousers? Does the waistband have to reach the bellybutton, or is it more of a feel for how it looks on the person?

    Like

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