Sid, Alex, Tom, Wesley, Thomas, and Randall with varying degrees of NB
Hey Jake - thank you for the question, and glad you like the look. That's half the battle! And you're not alone. We've been fielding this type of question from guys since we opened the shop nearly 15 years ago.
Everyone is different, but if you're at the "slight break" point and curious about going shorter... you're ready. And I think you're going to be surprised by how much you like the way "no break" looks once you jump in the deep end. But for you, or others that might be on the fence, here's the lowdown on why every pair of pants I own is No Break/NB. (And, really quickly, we'll define NB. It's where the cuff of your trousers hits right at the top of your shoes when you're standing up and the line of your pants doesn't "break." Not quiiiiite highwaters, but no fabric bunching up at the bottom, either.) Some of the benefits are:
First - it instantly gives a neat and crisp visual transition from pants to shoes. This makes your legs look longer, and in turn, makes you look taller and leaner... really.
Second, it has a bit of a youthful edge to it... but also makes you look older, thanks to its throwback "established" look (see: old photos of JFK or Michael Caine. In the 60s, NB was practically the norm.) So somehow it makes you look younger... but wiser and almost regal at the same time. Ill-fitting pants make you look juvenile — like you've borrowed your dad's suit for prom — or out of touch, or unkempt. Or all three. So by default, properly-tailored pants help you avoid that.
NB in the wild, part 2
Third... there's something about that little glimpse of your ankles when you're in motion that gives off a certain energy. It's like it communicates, and even accentuates, the fact that “hey! you're on the move!” Which... I hope I'm ALWAYS on the move.
Finally, it’s less permanent than you might think. You can sort of adjust the break yourself, based on where your pants sit on your waistline. Sometimes if you want a little more of a break, just pull 'em up a half- or even quarter-inch on your waist. And if you want them to hit your shoes, just let your pants hit a little below the waist.
And I like not having to think about what my pant length is going to be. Every tailor knows what "no break" means, even if you have to tell him, “yes I’m serious, that’s exactly what I want.” And this style looks good with EVERY pair of pants - dress trousers or sport trousers (pressed with a 1.75" cuff is our house preference), jeans or 5-pocket corduroy or canvas, or even dialed up to a tuxedo. And every kind of shoe for that matter - semi-brogues with dark socks, loafers and no socks – hell, even tennis shoes with chinos. And the clean silhouette you get from a pair of Chelsea boots with no break... the best things in life are free. So I like that it’s going to work with every shoe/pant combo in my closet. For me, SB (slight break) isn't quite as versatile.
Now, if you’re worried about too much leg when you're sitting down at your desk – two easy solves, in addition to the manual adjustment I mentioned above. If you’re a sock man, go with quiet, solid-colored, over-the-calf socks. This calls less attention to the NB thing, and the OTC also reduces the risk of showing that awkward sliver of leg when your pant legs rise up. The other solve is to just go sockless.
NB in the wild, part 3
One last thought before you go hacking off all your trousers. I think one reason why you like the way our team looks is because we've got incredible in-house tailors that help us make sure our pant legs have proportionate widths (slim but not skinny), and that the jackets we're wearing come down to cover the seats of our pants. Plus, our belts that hold the pants up are 1" wide – they’re designed to be in symmetrical harmony with the rest of the look. The break (or lack of break) is just one part of the ensemble. So Mashburn men have the advantage of wearing everything that was designed to work together, proportionately. (You, too, can have this advantage. Come see us in a store and we'll sort you out!) But my point is, it's not just the NB that you're seeing on our guys.
Anyway - hope this helps. And hey, if you try it and still feel uncomfortable, go back to SB. That can look cool, too. More than clothes, we want to sell confidence, and every guy is different. Let us know how it goes!