Fashionable Men Are Wearing High-Waters and Cutoffs This Summer

Flood pants by Thom Browne and cutoffs by Michael Bastian. Photo: imaxtree, Courtesy of Michael Bastian

The men's high-waters Thom Browne introduced to the runway in 2004 are catching on this season. It only took four years! But according to The Wall Street Journal the lag time between seeing men's trends on the runways and then on the streets is shortening. And two of the strongest fashion-forward men's trends catching on this summer are happening below the belt, and they're rather silly: ankle-exposing pants and cutoff shorts.

Browne says the short pant is not actually meant to be as short as he showed them on the runways. He told The Wall Street Journal:

"Sometimes you see guys with their trousers and you wonder who their tailor is … they're way too long," he says. "I tried to play with that and do the total opposite." The perfect pant length, Mr. Browne adds, hits the top of one's shoe, with no break, or crease across the lower pant leg.


Going even higher up the leg, today's "Styles" section in the Times highlights the cutoff trend. Apparently men have gotten so comfortable wearing fancy shorts, madras shorts, shorts with embroidered lobsters, and plaid shorts, shorts had gotten stale, and a new trend was needed. Enter: cutoffs. Menswear designer Michael Bastian says they're one of his best sellers every season. Michael Macko, fashion director at Details, says they're "just cooler, more casual."

If you want to properly rock a cutoff (God help us), be extra careful if you have the zeal to make them yourself. They should neither be baggy nor so long that they resemble clam-diggers. And don't show too much thigh either. The shorts should rise one to three inches above the knee with probably about a seven-inch inseam. To achieve the perfect cutoff, measure your inseam while wearing your pants, then cut up the seams. Slightly cut the pant with a razor blade and then rip them off. Make sure the front and back are equal lengths. Apparently looking a bit sloppy is quite a complicated thing.

For styling suggestions, don't miss the New York Times' slideshow of a man wearing cutoffs the proper way while hanging laundry and eating pink ice cream. We mean, what do you do in your cutoffs?

The Sharpest Shorts Are Abbreviated Pants [NYT]
A Short Story: The Rise of 'Floods' [WSJ]