The Lee Pace Guide to Pulling Off Cropped Pants

In many ways, we’re in the midst of a major fashion undoing: a steady dismantling of the restrictive, long-held conventions we have about the “right” way to wear things. Consider, if you will, the humble pant. In the world of menswear, pants remains ubiquitous yet divisive—but at what cost? Nowadays, pants can be huge. Pants can be weird. Pants can be anything you want them to be.

For example, take off the pair Celine cropped houndstooth trousers which actor Lee Pace wore this week to the New York premiere of his latest film, the sexy-slasher A24 Body Body Body, which he paired with a loose shirt printed with various large cats also by Celine, and a pair of sleek black oxfords. (He also left the shirt mostly unbuttoned…bodies!)

While it’s important to note that Pace, somewhat famously, is six feet five inches tall—which probably makes buying off-the-rack pants a somewhat frustrating pursuit, and even threatens to make normal pants cropped—he also made a few key outfit moves here place the aforementioned slacks in the “good cropped pants” category. (This is not surprising Pace is a big fan of Thom Brownewhose menswear often ditches the concept of trousers in favor of shorts and skirts.)

First, the good folks over at Celine—and probably Lee’s tailors, too—intended the aforementioned slacks to be a bit of a short hit, meaning the proportions are just such that the ankle skimming looks more considered and less lopsided. Second, the wide-leg, high-waisted cut hits the sweet spot between slouchy and polished that you want for an A24 movie premiere. And third, Lee chose a couple high socks over bald ankles – because the thing is, if you’re going for short pants in the year 2022, an essential footwear situation like high socks or boots can help keep things streamlined. (“Wearing socks” is the new “not wearing socks”).

Cropped pants can be tricky to pull off, and if you’re going for the vibe above, we recommend contacting a trusted tailor to get the look you want. Having said that, if you want to start by dipping a toe in the (high) water, you can just do like Lee: try rolling up your trouser legs a little. Whether it’s a pair of techy pleated khakis by day or a boyish Thom Browne suit by night, a little pleat can keep things fun.

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