This is the first of a series called Suit Up, Your Way about wearing vintage the right way. In wearing a vintage piece, for example, a Mad Men suit that is 45 years old, all of the small things need to be spot on and relevant for the year. You can end up looking schlumpy and out of date when these easy and quick fixes are not taken into consideration.
One of the most important things in making a half century old suit look polished today is to get the pants taken in, or let out, to fit exactly right. One of the biggest problem areas we see is men wearing pants that are too long with the legs bunch up around the ankles. In 2011, men’s fashion wants to see straight lines leading down to the shoe, and a crease or two isn’t bad, but don’t let any bunching occur. Getting a hem taken in or out is really cheap and it will transform your look.
An even bigger trend in pant legs is a tapered leg. This happens naturally with a 60s suit in most cases and it looks totally relevant today as is. But even with these tapered legs, you want to make sure you have it the right length, which brings us to the next point with pant legs– how short is too short? Pant lengths have shortened quite a bit in recent years with the popularity of more slim fitting suits. Don’t go too far in this direction, never let your standing hem graze your ankle bones. Not necessarily touching the shoe, but somewhere between touching and below the ankle when standing. Remember when you sit, it will come up a few more inches.
Lastly, cuffs are making a comeback, also popularized by the Mad Men show and the trend toward 60s styles. An example of wearing vintage well is shown with a 60s two piece fleck suit. The cuffs are resting gently on the shoes and not bunching up with a somewhat tapered leg. Classic 60s vintage for 2011.