Cuffed Pants and Boots

I received a message from a blog visitor who asked,

Despite living in Oklahoma for most of my life, I am new to cowboy boots. I recently treated myself to an entry level pair of Lucchese Boots. I love them — everything about them! The way they look, the way they feel on my feet, the way they smell, the way they make me feel while wearing them! I love them so much I bought another pair (Lucchese black cherry caiman belly) that were so deeply discounted I couldn’t pass up.

I’ve done a lot of research as to the “dos and dont’s” of boots. Your blog has been very helpful, btw! One thing I haven’t seen anywhere is whether its proper to wear cuffed pants with boots? I seem to recall hearing around these parts that one shouldn’t wear cuffed pants with boots and doing so identified you as a drugstore cowboy. While I’m not trying to look like a cowboy and I consider my style far more preppy than western, I don’t want to flaunt all the old conventions. What is your take on cuffed pants and boots? Thanks!

Great question! My thoughts follow after the jump…

My response:

I appreciate what you are asking, but I personally don’t give much credence to fashion trends or giving a hoot about what other people may think.

Generally, my opinion is that traditional western boots like Luccheses are worn with straight-leg pants without cuffs (or rolled up at the bottom.)

You may see images like this one (shown at right), from some bootmakers on social media and other promotions. Why? In my opinion, they show those types of images for marketing purposes mostly focused on millennials. (They gotta get the younger dudes to consider wearing boots or sales decline and their business may go under.)

According to a number of studies, millennials tend to be rather fashion-conscious and choose to conform to unstated norms. Wearing boots is generally not considered fashionable unless the “outfit” (that is, pants) make a fashion statement with them.

However, most guys wear boots with straight-leg jeans stacked on them, as described on my “how-to wear cowboy boots” page on my website.

There are some men (like I learned about the writer of this message) who choose to wear boots with dress slacks (pants) at work. Yay for him! I do that all the time, and here on the U.S. East Coast, that is rare.

In the situation of wearing boots with dress clothes in an office, some dress slacks are made with cuffs. Some are not. My personal style is the latter — uncuffed and non-pleated pants. I personally don’t like cuffs and pleats, but that’s me. Others have different style preferences. That’s fine — whatever floats your boat (or whatever boots and pants fit your style.)

BTW, I when doing some internet searching to write this blog that I stumbled on Cowboy Boots – Style Tips For The Brave Hearts article on a men’s fashion blog. I was amused that this blog engaged in theft of intellectual property of mine by posting the photo of my Lucchese boots in her blog post, without permission or attribution. That happens sometimes when blog authors just take images from the ‘net without checking the source. So turn-about is fair-play, shown in the image next to the paragraph above (boots with pleated pants.)

Back to the point of this post: Just remember, if you’re asking, then you have some concerns about “fitting in” or as the author of the message said, “what is proper” and “I don’t want to flaunt all the old conventions.”

The term “proper” is a self-defined term once again related to social conventions. What is “proper” for one person is not the same as what is “proper” for someone else. (If all men conformed to old social conventions, we would still be wearing confining and restrictive suits, ties, and dorky dress shoes at the office. Yuck! Glad modernity provides more comfort as well as methods to have your own style and be accepted for it!)

My opinion: old conventions are just that, old, unstated, social norms. Fergit it. Be your own man. Do what you like and what suits your personal style. Don’t pay attention to fashion trends, clones, or the silly writings of fashion queens (male or female) you find on this-here interwebby thingie.

Life is short: wear western boots with whatever pants you like!

5 thoughts on “Cuffed Pants and Boots

  1. Most of my work pants are Dockers. Some are cuffed, some are not. It don’t matter none to me – I still wear boots every day to work :)… and I’m a teacher.

  2. BHD, it’s not fair for you to post photos of you wearing boots because you look good in everything you’ve shown us. Here in Big Appleland, I see plenty of guys (and gals) who would probably look better sometimes when they are wearing boots if their pants had cuffs and some who would look better wearing boots with pants that didn’t have cuffs. It’s a ‘taste’ thing with me as it is with you. I hope the writer reads what you wrote and goes ahead and finds his own style with boots.

  3. I just wanted to thank you so much for your informative, commonsensical, and amusing posts on the subject matter of boots–for heath issues to general care concerns.

    I sort of feel a bit like I’m illicitly spilling a precious secret here but I’ll be totally honest–I’ve fixed most of my “boot problems” with a few different items/approaches. First, if they’re initially too tight I wear socks sprayed heavily with 91 percent alcohol, spray the outside and, well, do household chores for a few hours.

    Second, if they’re really still tight and rubbing in places, I use the tried and true method of filling the boots up with plastic bags zipped up and full of water and toss them in the fridge.

    Finally, for almost any and all repairs involving the sole and leather foot of the boot separating for any reason, I took a lesson from my dad who uses GOOP on everything (or ducktape/WD-40) and used, instead, Shoe Goo specifically for repairs. I have saved at least 5 pairs of boots thus far using these methods.


    Jennifer Coleman

  4. This is an really interesting post. I remember when I was a kid, I would mostly wear jeans that were cuffed to school. I remember my mom used to always buy cuffed jeans for me and I would always wear them to school. Back then, I never made a big deal about them since I figured that’s how pants were made back then. I probably stopped wearing them when I was either in middle school or high school. I don’t remember exactly. Nowadays, I prefer to wear my pants straight down. I’m not a fan of wearing cuffed pants. I have seen pictures of women wearing cuffed jeans with knee high boots and the jeans were cuffed at the top of the boots. I like that look and we get to see how tall the boots are. That look was popular back in the 70’s however I have seen a few women do it in recent years. As for me, I don’t like pants cuffed at the bottom. Ironically, I have about 3 pairs of slacks that were cuffed when I bought them but what I did to them was that I got a pair of scissors, cut the part were the pants were cuffed, run an iron over the bottom part that was cut to keep them straight and wear them as straight leg pants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *