Highwater Trousers

Men in fashionable cities like New York, Paris, Stockholm and Tokyo are getting creative with their pant length. Ray Smith from The Wall Street Journal wrote an article today discussing the trend of fashion forward men wearing their trousers rolled-up or more dramatically, hemmed short. Walking around New York, I have noticed the trend popping up everywhere. It is especially apparent with the Top-Sider wearing (Blucher Mocs in the winter) ironic preppy guys. I personally been wearing a pair of A.P.C. jeans rolled-up for the past year or so. Partially born out of necessity and slightly for fashion’s sake, the practice is a subtle way to give your outfit a little twist. The roots of the cropped-pants look inevitably goes back to Mr. Thom Browne. It seems to me men are taking Mr. Browne’s influence to heart, although in a slightly less exaggerated way.

My thoughts on the trend as quoted in Ray Smith’s WSJ article:

“Fans of the flood point out that it’s practical in warm weather, like rolling up sleeves on a long-sleeved shirt. Michael Williams, a New York-based menswear publicist, says higher pants also show off one’s shoes and unique details on the underside of rolled-up pants.”

A look from the SS09 Engineered Garments look book shows pants rolled.

All photos from The Sartorialist except for the Engineered Garments one. That is theirs.

Comments on “Highwater Trousers

    trip on July 10, 2008 11:32 AM:

    Yeah, I saw your name mentioned in the article this morning. Congratulations.

    Ryan Willms on July 10, 2008 12:38 PM:

    Love this post Michael, I’m a fan of the roll up and recently cropped some chinos and i think it’s definitely a good summer look, and has been for years. More and more guys seem to be more open to little touches like this today.


    joanna goddard on July 11, 2008 1:16 AM:

    love this!

    joseph on July 11, 2008 6:24 PM:

    Wow, I like that last picture and I normally hate ankle socks.

    Any pictures of you in your rolled up APCs?
    I think I look a little silly in mine.

    ...loveMaegan on July 12, 2008 12:32 AM:


    zp on July 14, 2008 2:50 AM:

    i too roll my a.p.c. jeans up. its both fashionable and a necessity. those things are long!

    rich on July 16, 2008 9:49 PM:

    Ive been a fan of the look pre thome browne based on the j crew catalog, which i always thought was mostly to show the shoe.

    oddly enough Esquire advises one to never roll their pants.

    Christopher on July 17, 2008 1:03 PM:

    Yeah, I’ve been rolling my chinos and denim all summer as well. My style tends to get preppier as the temp goes up.

    You really need the right shoes for this to work though. Especially with Top-siders… I hate the way they look with unrolled pants, so rolling is a must for me.

    And I must admit, I’m with Rich, J.Crew was definitely a big influence.

    Cali Surfer on July 18, 2008 4:34 PM:

    I remember wearing this style back in my more “punk”days. Glad to see it’s still in good force!

    Facetious Student on July 22, 2008 10:14 PM:

    I saw this in Copenhagen as well. Even the stores in the capital city are styling the mannequins in such a way. I really enjoy the look.

    jason jules on October 12, 2008 11:46 AM:

    This is a cool style, but it’s one many of us in London have been doing for years – decades even. From the modernists of the fifties to the mods of the sixties and the rude boy revivalists of the late seventies up to today – it’s familiar territory in this neck of the woods. The inherent conservatism of so much American menswear seems to make Thom Browne more radical than he really is; refreshing yes, radical hardly. Granted he may be responsible for the current popularity of the cropped look, but there is a pre-Thom Browne history which should also be recognised.

Comments are closed.