In many ways, we are in the midst of a great fashion undoing: a steady dismantling of the restrictive, long-held conventions we have of the “right” way to wear things. Consider, if you will, the humble trouser. In the world of menswear, pants remain ubiquitous yet divisive—but at what cost? Nowadays, pants can be giant. Pants can be weird. Pants can be anything you want them to be.
Take, for example, the pair of Celine cropped houndstooth trousers that actor Lee Pace wore this week to the New York premiere of his latest movie, the A24 sexy-slasher flick Bodies Bodies Bodies, which he paired with a loose-fitting shirt printed with various big cats also by Celine, and a pair of sleek black oxfords. (He also left the shirt mostly unbuttoned…bodies!)
While it is important to note that Pace is, somewhat famously, six feet and five inches tall—which probably makes buying pants off the rack a somewhat frustrating pursuit, and even threatens to render normal pants cropped—he also made a few key outfit moves here that put the aforementioned slacks into the category of “good cropped pants.” (It’s no surprise that Pace is a big fan of Thom Browne, whose menswear often ditches the concept of pants in favor of shorts and skirts.)
First, the good folks over at Celine—and also probably Lee’s tailor—intended for the aforementioned slacks to be a hit a bit short, meaning the proportions are just so that the ankle-skimming looks more considered and less wonky. Secondly, the wide-leg, high-waisted cut hits the sweet spot between slouch and polish that you’d want for an A24 movie premiere. And thirdly, Lee opted for a pair of tall socks over bald ankles—because the thing is, if you’re going for cropped pants in the year 2022, a substantial 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 above vibe, we recommend hitting up a trusted tailor to get the look you want. That said, if you want to start off by dipping a toe into the (high-)waters, you can just do as Lee does: try rolling up your pant legs a bit. Be it a pair of techy pleated khakis during the day, or a boyish Thom Browne suit at night, a slight fold can keep things fun.