Ask Dan: Shortening Suits, Wrinkling Problems, (Wo)men’s Shoes…

January 20th, 2015

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Groom Shoes

Q: Hey Dan. I was wondering what your thoughts were on a groom wearing wingtip shoes for his wedding? I understand that these were not originally designed to be formal shoes, but more for hunting. I do feel, however, that the wingtip really fits my personality and style. I’m thinking of a lower profile black pair like Allen Edmonds Larchmont or McGreggor with a dark navy suit.

A: If they fit with your personality and style, that’s what matters most. You’ll feel good in them, and it’s your big day. If you were wearing a tuxedo I’d recommend cleaning up the lines of the footwear a little, but there’s nothing against wearing a sharp black wingtip with a dark navy suit. Have a great wedding my man!

Shortening a Suit

Q: I have this suit that I love, but the bottom of the jacket hits around my knuckles – a little long for my liking. Is it possible to shorten the jacket 1.5-2 inches from the bottom without compromising the silhouette of the garment? I’ve had bad experiences with MTM and I’m saving up for bespoke, but am I going to have to have to ditch my favorite off-the-rack suit (36 S) because it doesn’t fit properly?

A: An inch and a half is pushing it, two inches is too much – especially for a jacket that’s already a size 36 Short. We’re talking a healthy percentage of the overall length. The issue is once you crop it, the button stance becomes off-balance and the pockets get unaturally close to the bottom hem (unless it has patch pockets, which can actually be moved upward. My opinion, if this is your favorite suit, don’t botch it. If it’s really driving you crazy, you can shorten it a smidge, maybe a half inch, for peace of mind.

Sitting Wrinkles

Q: No matter what kind of pant I wear, I have very prominent horizontal creases in the crotch and upper thigh region. To me it looks really bad, like the pants have been over-worn. But it can happen (and usually does) the very first time I wear a pant. I realize that the whole world sits for hours a day, but I notice that the majority of men don’t have these creases or only very minimally so. But I don’t have a single pant that doesn’t have them very prominently, regardless of the material or cut. In my opinion the pants fit well…I’ve consulted 5 tailors on the issue of creases and they have been totally useless. What’s the deal?

A: I know what you’re saying, I have a couple pairs of chinos that I don’t wear anymore for this reason. Usually wrinkling issues have more to do with fabric composition and quality rather than garment fit. A good fit can keep the trouser hanging nicely, but the crotch area is going to bunch-up when you sit down no matter what, it’s basic physics. A good natural animal fiber, like wool, alpaca, or cashmere, will have much more bounce-back than a plant based fiber like cotton, hemp or linen. I would take a look at what kind of fabric you’re having issues with and consider upping the quality of the cloth to see if you get better results. I also recommend trying other weaves like a high-twist wool or loose weave hopsack, both of which are designed to be naturally wrinkle-resistant.

Joggers for Short Legs

Q: I’m 5’8″ and I have a short legs and a long torso. I’d consider my build athletic. I’ve had the desire to try out a new style of pant called joggers (with scrunchy elastic bottom). My wife believes that they’ll attract attention to my short legs and so because of that I’ve avoided them. What is your opinion on these and why would they work or not work for my body?  Thanks in advance for your help!

A: Alex is 5’7″ and he rocks the joggers well. His are very slim in the leg, which actually has a lengthening effect. I say give them a shot, but avoid the new popular drop-crotch style. If you (or your wife) hate them, you could always send ’em back. If you’d like to send us a pic, we’ll give a more in-depth opinion. We’re here to help!

Wearing Women’s Shoes

Q: Is it okay for men with really small feet to wear shoes made for women (that look just like men’s shoes)…my size is very difficult to find in traditional men’s shoe stores.

A: Our friend Dennis Thompson does it and nobody notices. If they look the same, and fit better, why not? The only issue I find is that women’s “menswear inspired” footwear are generally not as durable as men’s shoes, but they’re also cheaper. So maybe you break even in the long run.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Got a style question? Hit me!

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Shop Custom Menswear Made in America


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  • jtrucks

    I have a pair of Dansko Pro-XP black in Cabrio leather. I love them for misc. shoes or quick slip ons to run an errand. The pair I have are a woman’s size because I wear size 40EU, which Dansko no longer makes in their men’s shoes. If the style is either identical or unisex and of good construction, how it’s labeled doesn’t matter. Many men run into width problems when trying women’s models, but if the man’s feet are average width or narrower it’s far easier for little footed men like me to swing the feet the other way.

  • Brock

    Hell yeah to women’s (or unisex) shoes. Wolverine 1ks, J. Crew Macalisters, Chuck’s, Sperry’s, plenty more. Go for it!

  • AdamE

    On the shortening of the jacket question. It depends on the proportions of the jacket, in terms of the button stance, and the pockets… In general on most jackets .5″ (maybe 1″) is the most you could do without making it look funny.
    In some cases you might be able to do more, depending on the proportions, what the button stance is like, and where the pockets are set, and the style of pockets (I would assume patch pockets are dead in the water for this, but flap or slits might have more leeway)… I had two older OTR suits that I had the jackets shortened on, for similar reasons, and I was able to shorten them by .75″ and 1.5″ respectively. To figure it out, before I went to the tailors, I took some pins and started at a length I was hoping to achieve, pinned it and then looked at the jacket, if it looked off, then I would let .25″ out, and then re-pin and check again, until I got to a point where the length was better than before, but that it didn’t mess up the overall look…
    This might be more difficult for someone already wearing a short length jacket, because there’s less to play with. The two that I had done were 42Rs.
    That said I’m much happier since switching to MTM where I can have a say up front on exactly how I want the length (I intentionally err slightly on the short side, not so much that my arse is hanging out, but so the length doesn’t look off if I split up the suit and pair the jacket with other trousers…)

    • Herb

      Going for that Teacher’s Pet Award for 2015?

  • cam

    dan, do you plan on doing the reader contests again?

    • Dan Trepanier

      We’re throwing around the idea… You planning on submitting this time??

      • cam

        i did last time but i think i hashtagged something wrong and may have missed the deadline

  • Jeanscuffed

    I’m no stranger to women’s garments that have a unisex appeal but as far as shoes go, I’ve bought a pair of suede low top lace up dress shoes from Target and no one ever notices they’re women’s shoes. Even given the fact they have a pinkish/redish bottom, everyone thinks they’re men’s shoes. They were really cheap and haven’t shown a lot of wear since I bought them in 2013, but then again, I don’t wear them that often either.
    As for jogger’s, I’m 5’8″/5’9″ and I love them! I only have 1 pair and just as Dan said, they have to be slim in order to give off a lengthening effect. My girlfriend was a bit skeptical at first but she loves them. I pair them with either my all white Chucks for a refined street vibe or a pair of beat up chukkas for a more grungy vibe.

    • Chad Ludeman

      I’ve been buying my son girl’s derby’s since he has a strict uniform and the black boy’s thick, chunky options look terrible. He doesn’t notice the difference and doesn’t look like he’s wearing orthopedics while still technically obeying the dress code rules.

      I’ve had the opposite concern on joggers. I feel the look better with a little break or even a bit of bunching on average guys. At 6’2″ all pairs I’ve tried fall dead straight and give too much of a street vibe that’s not quite me… Liking what I see from Boswell though for taller gents.

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