How to use log splitters

The cold snap is here, summoning months of runny noses, numb body parts and frosted car windows. Whilst some will shiver at the thought of being chilly, for many it’s simple an excuse to get the fire going.

Fire needs three things; oxygen, heat and fuel and by using wood with a larger surface area, the oxygen and heat have access to more fuel.

So how do you get this larger surface area? With a log splitter, and here is how to use them.

Foot powered

D3953 Foot Operated Logsplitter Cj

Simply split

Simplicity be thy foot powered log splitter. They are simple work with, make quick work of logs and require very little labour.

First, get a level working area and place your logs near the log splitter. Then get a wheelbarrow or garden cart ready for easy transportation.

To start splitting, simply place a piece next to the splitting wedge and pump the lever. The hydraulic force – over a tonne – will cut through the wood with ease.

Hydraulic

D3803 Dual Logmaster Logsplitter 2 Cj

Super splitting

Just like the foot powered option, a hydraulic log splitter needs a level area to work. But unlike a foot powered one, you don’t need to do anything other than load and unload logs.

Many hydraulic log splitters have handles, and if yours does then make sure you use them. It will make the machine more stable and stop you from endangering your hands!

To get chopping, place the wood next to the wedge, hold the handle and watch as wood is driven into two bits. Wearing goggles is also a good idea, as when the wedge hits a knot in the wood, splinters may fly.

A Maul

Hand maul and firewood

Sweaty split
Source: Wikipedia

Despite the invention of the log splitter, many still prefer the backbreaking work of preparing wood by hand. So if you are a glutton for punishment, here is some advice on how to chop your wood the old fashioned way.

First, get a maul – which looks like an axe, but has a wider head – this forces the wood apart instead of cutting through it. Make sure you have plenty of space, then find a large piece of wood to use a big chopping board.

Then comes the fun and/or hard part, depending your fitness levels! Rest the piece of wood you want to split on the chopping surface and drive the maul down into it. Look for grains of wood and aim for these lines, it will be easier to split this way.

There are many ways to save on rising energy bills and a warming fire is one of the best. And unless you like the manliness of hand splitting wood, save yourself the hassle and use a log splitter instead. After all, if you’ve already got a runny nose, a sore back is the last thing you need.

Top 10 ways to beat rising energy costs

Rising energy bills are a hot topic right now in the UK — if only the same could be said for much of the shivering population struggling to pay them.

Winters seem to be getting colder — nice one global warming — so it’s time to get savvy to lower your energy costs. Here are your top ten tips!

1. Change providers

gas flame

Image source: Nikkytok
Don’t be afraid to chase the best deals

There is an ongoing price war happening between the energy providers, which is good news as it means they will be offering reduced prices to attract new customers. Keep an eye on any deals you could benefit from if you switch to another company (and read the small print). And don’t be afraid to keep on switching and chasing the discounts.

2. Wear more clothes indoors

wrap up for winter

We’re talking thermals, jumpers, hats all wrapped up in a wooly blanket.
Source: OMG Images

An easy one really, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t wear enough clothes when indoors. If you’re relaxing on the sofa and not moving, then you’re not generating heat, so wrap up a little.
You don’t need to wear a fur coat, but bring out the woolies and make sure that you’re preventing your body heat from escaping.

3. Improve insulation

Heavy curtains

Image source: Alexandru Nika
Make your own heavy duty curtains to keep the cold at bay

Would you keep pouring water in a jug if it had a leak? No. So why throw away money heating a house with bad insulation? It’s madness. Locate and destroy any draughts by insulating them in whatever way you can afford.
Windows and doors are the chief suspects so if you can’t afford to buy new ones, then insulate them better. Any cracks can be fixed with draught excluder sealant, invest in a good pair of thick thermal curtains which can improve energy efficiency by as much as 25% and use draft excluders for the bottoms of doors.

4. Move and keep active

Crunch

Image source: Wavebreak Media Ltd
You can’t be cold whilst doing crunches!

Movement equals energy and energy equals heat. Move and your body will generate it’s own heat and also get everything firing up and flowing — a bit like starting up the boiler.
Buy a fitness video and take up home aerobics, get into a bit of festive DIY or increase your quota of rumpy pumpy sessions — guaranteed to provide enough heat for two.

5. Wood fuelled heating

log splitter

Save time with one of these handy log splitters
Source: Clifford James

Plan ahead and take into account the savings over a few winters. With that in mind, invest in a wood burner or get your fireplace and chimney back in working order.
And avoid all the axe work on Christmas morning with your very own hydraulic log splitter, which will get through the big stuff quicker than it takes the youngsters to open their presents.

6. Meal preparation

Jacket potato

Image source: Olga Miltsova
Is there anything more appealing during winter? Answer: no

Eat. Your body needs food to generate heat, so don’t skimp on meals and make sure you’re well fed. Stuff like jacket potatoes, soups and comforting dishes like cottage pie are reasonably cheap and will warm you up too.
And save money by preparing stuff in the microwave (which is far more energy efficient than a gas cooker). Or how about throwing a foil-wrapped potato in your new wood burner?

7. Choose your room

sun light window

Use your south-facing room as a winter snug
Source: The Frugal Girl

When the freeze kicks in and the heating needs to be on — then it’s time to get tactical. Ideally you want to be using a south-facing room as your winter hideout as it will trap some of the heat from the sun, which can go a long way to keeping the room warm all day if it’s insulated well.
If you don’t have a south-facing room, then choose the smallest room, as it will be much easier to insulate and keep warm and put some foil behind the radiators to reflect the heat back into the room. And you don’t need the heating on in all the rooms — just your living space and sleeping abode will do the trick, so turn some of those radiators off and save money.

8. Invest in a super quilt

Duvet

Image source: BCFC
So toasty you won’t want to get out of bed in the mornings

Ask a granny to knit you a toasty blanket or invest in a super winter-spec quilt, which can be picked up cheap enough. And use it! Have it with you on the sofa and then snuggle up in bed. It may be frosty in your room, but under that quilt it’s summertime.

9. Energy efficient products

lamp

Go green when buying lightbulbs
Source: Wikipedia Commons

Using energy-saving light bulbs will save you money in the long term as will opting for the more economical white goods like washing machines and freezers.
And upgrading an uneconomical boiler is also an excellent investment that could save up to £300 per year. The initial outlay for more efficient products is likely to be costly, but if you were to work out the total costs over a few years, then savings would be made.

10. Spend more time around friend’s houses

Football friends

Image source: Monkey Business Images
Cheeky but effective

Bit of a cheeky one, but hey, what are friends for? Pop around their houses and hang out in their sub tropical lounges (for as long as you can manage without appearing to be unofficially couch-surfing).

How to lace men’s shoes

Many things are taken for granted today. We drink water without thinking about where it comes from, surf the internet without knowing how it works and wear cotton without knowing how it’s grown.

But there is one thing we don’t even know we take for granted – the humble shoelace.

For many, laces are an annoying inconvenience that flap around willy nilly and cause embarrassing tripping incidents. But with proper lacing and tying, the humble shoe lace needn’t be such an irritation. Here’s how.

Why is it important to lace them correctly?

Exhausted shoes

Image source: Thinkstock
Shabby laces, shabby shoes

Shoes that aren’t properly laced will move when you walk. This in turn will lead to rubbing, which could cause horrible blisters and soreness.

Aside from blister nastiness, you also need to consider style. By not lacing your shoes correctly, the style of the shoe is compromised and can result in a scruffy look. Not good.

Incorrectly tied laces are one thing, but laces that come undone are another. Tying your shoes incorrectly will cause your laces to come undone, which impacts both style and comfort.

What shoes need lacing

Closeup on laces

Everyone loves a good lace

Strictly speaking, any shoe that has laces needs to be done up properly. But for some shoes, correct lacing is more important than others.

For instance, an unlaced pair of mens leather shoes in an Oxford style will look sillier than a pair of casual trainers not being laced.

How to lace your shoes

Criss cross laces

Criss cross correct
Source: Pinterest

Mens shoes are often displayed in the “gentleman’s” style, and won’t tighten as much as the criss cross or over under methods, which will bring the two leather tabs together.

Start by putting the two lace ends, or aglets, into the bottom two eyelets. Then pull the laces so that they are level on each side, and weave them in and out of the rest of the eyelets.

Once you have laced your shoes, you need to tie them. If the first knot is with left under right, then next one must be left over right – making an interlocking combination.

You’ll know if you have laced them properly as the tabs will be pulled together and straight. To check if they are tied correctly, make sure the laces sit horizontally across the shoe. If they sit in any other way, they’ll come undone.

Alternatives

touch fasten velcro

Image source: Thinkstock
Everyone loves a bit of velcro

Many people struggle with laces because of joint problems, bad backs or a fundamental lack of patience. Others avoid laces as they simply don’t like them!

Chelsea boots and slip on loafers are a stylish alternative to laced shoes. Both styles can be worn with many items, making them a versatile addition to your wardrobe.

Velcro shoes are the easiest option for those with joint problems as the shoe can be loosened when putting them on, and tightened easily afterwards.

So how to tie up all this information? Well make sure you interlock your knots, check for criss cross weaving and don’t take laces for granted! And if you fancy getting creative, then why not try some other lacing styles?


Men, get the right trousers this winter

Bad weather, last minute Christmas shopping and escalating heating bills are some of winter’s main annoyances.

But whilst we can’t control gas prices, we can give advice on what to wear when it’s chucking it down and freezing cold.

So swot up on which mens trousers to wear this winter, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Thermal trousers

cj_cotton chinos_graphite portrait large

Trust us, they’re thermal

Staying warm is a certainty with thermal trousers. Some options even have a windproof fleece lining, while others feature a lining designed to capture warm air.

Staying warm needn’t mean your trouser choice has to change either. Mens thermal trousers are available in many styles including jeans, suit trousers and chinos.

For some, thermal trousers can be too warm. But for lovers of the outdoors, particularly walkers, they are a winter staple.

Waterproof trousers

Bear Grylls filming Man Vs. Wild. Patagonia, Argentina

If Bear Grylls wears them, so should youFlickr

Green fingered folk know that a garden still needs attention in the winter. Waterproof trousers allow you to tend to your garden in the colder months, so preparing for the spring can be done without soggy legs.

Any type of trouser can be worn underneath waterproofs, but ideally wear a pair that have a high cotton or wool content. Trousers made with man made fabrics won’t breathe as well, making you hot and sweaty.

Cord trousers

Needle Cords Stack Colourful

So bright, you can save on your lighting

Corduroy is made with a high concentration of cotton yarn stitched onto a backer. Due to this extra fabric, cord trousers are a hardwearing option that can cope with the winter.

The dullness of winter can often get people down, in fact some poor folk get SAD. But with mens cord trousers, there are bright myriad shades available. Plum, claret or vibrant emerald will stop the dark days from being dull.

As well as being colourful and hard wearing, cord trousers are highly breathable because of their high cotton content.

Moleskin trousers

James Bond moleskin trousers

So hardwearing, Bond wears them
Easy and Elegant Life

Just like cord, moleskin trousers are hard-wearing, breathable and come in an array of colours.

Unlike cord however, they do not have the signature ridges, but instead a brush like texture akin to suede. And don’t worry, moleskin fabric is made without harming any cute soil dwelling critters.

Moleskin is so durable and hard-wearing, that the West German Army used it for their uniforms for over thirty years. And if it was good enough for marching through the Cold War then it is good enough for winter.

Whatever trousers you choose for the winter, just remember that cotton is breathable and waterproof trousers let you wear almost anything! But if you’re still worried about the heating bill, then add thermal trousers to your last minute shopping list.

World’s wackiest umbrellas

A few days ago Lady Gaga was spotted using a bizarre brolly fashioned after a giant conch shell.

Never one to blend into the crowd, onlookers were shell-shocked (sorry) at Gaga’s odd choice of rain protection. But we wondered, is that as weird as it gets?

After ogling our collection of downright bizarre and often impractical brollies, you’ll have a new found respect for your stock standard windproof umbrella.

Let the madness commence…

Hands free umbrella

Image source: Nubrella
Sure, you might look like a displaced astronaut, but this hands free brolly is definitely functional

dog pet umbrella

Rover had his human trained very well
Source: Wikimedia

electric light umbrella

Um, it’d be perfect for long midnight walks in unlit areas?
Source: Instructables

city umbrella

Surely a contender for the world’s largest brolly?
Source: 1 Funny

upside down umbrella

Use as a makeshift paddling pool when you return home
Source: Pxleyes

Internet umbrella

Image source: Tom Igoe
Meet the internet umbrella, complete with built-in camera, a motion sensor, GPS, and a digital compass

polite contracting umbrella

Constantly conscious of getting in peoples way? This contracting ‘polite’ umbrella is perfect for you
Source: 2 Modern

How to make a good bonfire

Already, the pungent odour of burning wood, dense clouds of smoke and sound of crackling fire fills the air. Yes, many people have already jumped the gunpowder, but tonight is the night for real bonfire action.

But whilst a fire may create a comforting glow in your garden, for many the task of lighting a fire leaves them hot headed.

Fear not though, because with this guide you’ll soon be the boss of the bonfire. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain.

Safety

Fire fighter

Don’t let this be your garden
Source: Wikipedia

There aren’t any laws against having a fire, there are some rules to follow.

Whilst there may be a temptation to get rid of household waste, doing so creates pollution, so it is best avoided.

You should also watch the wind direction and location of your bonfire, as smoke can be a serious obstruction to road users. If you live next to a busy road it might be best to skip the bonfire making.

Failure to follow these rules, could not only make you an annoying, unsafe neighbour but also result in a £5000 fine!

Not annoying neighbours and authorities is one thing, but staying safe is another. As a safety precaution ensure you have water to hand, either a bucket or hose will work. You should also keep the fire away from flammable structures, such as fences.

It is also a good idea to surround your fire with a circle of stones, which creates a clear boundary for children and helps stop the fire from spreading.

Preparation

Tinder pieces

Pick n mix tinder
Source: Outdoor Life

The foundation of any decent bonfire starts with tinder. Small amounts of bark, whittled bamboo or dried leaves make great natural tinder. Newspaper is the best synthetic tinder, but should be used sparingly. Too much newspaper and you will cut off the oxygen needed for a fire.

Small sticks and twigs, known as kindling should also be added. As long as the kindling is dry and no larger than 30cm, it will help kick start the fire and keep it burning

If you want your bonfire to last, you’ll also need bigger pieces of wood to keep the fire burning. Whilst kindling is good for getting the fire started, it soon turns to ash, so you need something more substantial to keep the fire alight.

With a hydraulic log splitter you can get the larger pieces prepared without breaking your back, and produce the odd bit of kindling too.

Construction

Teepee fire burning

Burn baby burn!
Source:Wiki How

There are several different structures of bonfire, such as the lean-to, the log cabin, the pyramid and the aptly named random pile (you may want to avoid that one).

But it is the teepee that creates the best looking fire. Make a tripod with three larger pieces of wood and put tinder and kindling underneath. Once lit, either place wood on the side, or in the middle on top of the kindling.

Note that a teepee fire can be structurally unstable as the logs in the “tripod” can burn at different rates. With a log splitter though, you can easily gauge the size of the wood you’re using.

Ignition

Lit match

A match made in fire
Source: Flickr

If your tinder, kindling and construction is correct, you can light a fire with just one match. To get started light the tinder and then gently blow at the base of the flame. Don’t blow too hard as this will extinguish the fire before it’s started.

Slowly add more wood, but not too much as this can stop oxygen fueling the fire. Dampness, green wood or poor tinder may hinder the “one match” theory. So if this is the case, place firelighters around the base of the fire. Do not use aerosol, petrol or other highly flammable liquids as this can be extremely dangerous.

For many homeowners a back garden bonfire is a yearly event. The crackle, aroma and dense smokey fog combine to create a warm glow in our cheeks and the air. And with a log splitter, some wood and a bit of know how, the crackle and spark of warming bonfire can be had with great success.

Should you wear red trousers?

In a recent survey, participants were shown a man in red trousers and were asked to say the first thing that came to mind.

The results highlighted their controversial status and raised the question: should a mean ever wear red trousers.

Lots of men in red trousers landscape

All the red trousers
Source: Lost at E Minor

But with cool hipsters and society’s “elite” championing the questionable hue, we wonder if there a case to be made for red trousers?

Why shouldn’t you wear red trousers?

justin_bieber_red_vest_red_trousers

Oh baby you look like a moron!
Source: Posh 24

Because the survey said so! 46% of those questioned in the YouGov survey, didn’t like red gents trousers. 120 people said “red” on seeing a picture, which doesn’t show a lot. But the third most used word was “idiot” (44) and “prat” (27) wasn’t far behind.

But if it’s your fear of being labelled posh that stops you donning your red trousers, fear no more! Whilst you might [italics]think[italics] people associate red trousers with posh folk playing golf, you’re wrong. Posh was only the 35th most submitted word

What is certain, however, is many find red too bright for the world of muted menswear.Lisa Armstrong, fashion editor of the Daily Telegraph says, “It’s very hard to wear them and not look like a giant chilli pepper.”

Why should you wear red trousers?

will-smith-premiere-after-earth- red suit

Will Smith looking fresh in red
Source: Ace Showbiz

Hipsters are often the source of experimental fashion trends, so for them, red trousers are just a stylish staple. But what about the rest of us?

You’re never too old to have fun with fashion, so we think everyone should try the red trouser trend. It’s a refreshingly bold change from the usual grey, black and navy menswear offerings and will help spice up your winter wardrobe. But if red is too bold for you, go for orange instead – a surefire hit for AW13.

If you needed further proof that red trousers can be fashionable, then look at this Pinterest board.

Red trousers you can wear

Red chinos

The soft casual red trouser look

Chinos are the number one option for red trouser wearers, and are surprisingly versatile. For a day in the country, wear with a tweed jacket and a checked shirt. And if people see that as “elite” then remind them that the survey proved red trousers aren’t just for posh people.

Slim fit red chinos work with a t-shirt for general casual wear. But for those that don’t like slim fitting clothes, wear straight leg chinos, with a casual tucked in shirt.

Red trousers are undoubtedly divisive. Like Marmite you either love them or hate them. Hipsters love them, 46% of the UK hate them. But if you ask us, red trousers look great, as long as you’re name isn’t Justin Bieber.

Why do postmen always wear shorts?

The rain has come, the chill is upon us and the shorts have been packed away. Unless, of course, you are a postman.

Rain, hail and even snow cannot deter the hardiest of postmen from wearing their shorts.

Bierley_Newport_Road_post_box_snow

The famous frosty postbox
Source: Wikimedia

So why does the posty keep showing off his knobbly knees, even when the rest of us are shivering away in thermal long johns?

The history of the uniform

Postman's knock portrait

The famous “knock”
Source: The British Postal Museum and Archive

Postmen haven’t always worn shorts. Traditionally, delivery workers, wore trousers. Just like today, red hues dominated the uniform, but things were a bit more formal back in 1973 and posties had to wear a scarlet tailcoat every day!

The first instance of lighter attire for postal workers wasn’t until 1896, when they were given a summer hat. Shorts were still nowhere to be seen.

In humid India, postal workers did wear khaki, but in 2004 opted for red and blue, like UK postal workers. But unlike UK postal workers of today, who have worn shorts since the 1940s, Indian postmen wear trousers.

Comfort

Postman_in_shorts by van

An unnamed shareholder in shorts
Source: Ashton-Under-Lyne

Walking 10 miles over 6 ½ hours is thirsty work, and would make even the fittest athlete sweat. To stop getting so hot on their rounds, postmen wear shorts. And while mens trousers with a high cotton content are breathable, they still aren’t as airy as shorts.

Postman have to walk those 10 miles even in the winter, so they still get hot from all that exercise. Even if it’s sub zero and snowing!

Safety trousers

ice treads

Essential for the British weather

Men like to compete to show how tough they are, but the big bosses don’t seem to think their postmen are that tough at all. Well at least not as tough as these people.

In Cheltenham, postal workers were banned from wearing shorts, after one slipped in icy conditions and grazed his leg. A pair of mens cord trousers may well have limited the damage, but better ice and snow treads would be even better.

The postmen in question were not happy with the attempt to ban trousers. Luckily the “ban” was lifted when the snow and ice thawed.

From the posty’s mouth

Postman Pat in named chair

Ready for your interview Mr Pat?
Source: Tennant News

To find out why postmen always wear shorts, we spoke to Leicestershire postman, Lewis Morrish.

He said “It’s not for a bet or any macho reason, but I just prefer it. When it rains I don’t have wet trousers chafing my legs, and I put on waterproof leggings if the forecast is bad.”

Shorts wearer yes, but trousers aren’t a complete no-go-area for Lewis, “I only really wear long trousers if it turns icy and slippery after snow – I don’t want to fall over and cut my knees!”

So like in Cheltenham there is a risk of injury, but is there any reason not to wear shorts? Well Lewis said, “There is nothing showing in my original contract BUT shorts are available as a catalogue item so by a logical conclusion, shorts can be worn and it doesn’t stipulate that these can only be worn on suitable occasions.”

“Basically, we have a choice!”

The Royal Mail has come a long way since 1793, when summer hats were revolutionary. And though its slightly more perilous to wear shorts in the winter, it seems that posties just find it comfier. And if you believe our postman, then there is no competition aspect to it…honest.

Why you should use a log splitter

Flickering flames, sizzling sparks and a comforting crackle, there is no denying the magic of a fire. But for many, it’s a magic that is very hard work. Chopping and splitting logs by hand can be a very tough task, but a log splitter can change all that, meaning a comforting fire is wonderful again. Find out how…

Speed

Cold snaps can appear out of nowhere, so for those reliant on fire for heat, it’s handy to have a stack of logs ready for action. But preparing your wood by hand can take ages.

With log splitters, preparation time is chopped down dramatically, so that comforting fire can be ready and roaring in no time at all. Powerful dual log splitters can get through up to 150 logs in an hour, which is over two a minute. Something that these guys would be envious of.

Neat and Tidy

Messy log splinters

You’re going to need a bigger bucket
Source: Fimby

Chopping wood with an axe might make you feel powerful, but using an axe creates mess that will need tidying. So if picking up splinters isn’t your idea of a good time, use a log splitter which forces the wood to split cleanly, meaning less mess for you.

Not all of us are blessed with acres of space, so chopping wood by hand isn’t always a viable option. As well as being tidier, a log splitter also provides a compact solution to preparing wood – it doesn’t even require the space to swing an axe!

Safe

First aid kit outdoors

You might have sun block, but you don’t have axe cream
Source: Peak Mountaineering

Splitting wood by hand will help you build core strength, namely your lats, abs and gluteus maximus – otherwise known as your bottom! But for some, using an axe or maul will just compound old injuries, or create new ones. So negate this risk by removing the physical labour aspect. You just have to load the logs.

Forget pulling a muscle though, one missed stroke of an axe could result in serious injury! A log splitter offers much more protection as there are no swinging sharp edges. And to make it extra safe most log splitters have a safety cut out, eliminating the risk of electrocution.

Better fire

Wine_by_the_fire

The only thing that makes fire better is wine
Source: Flickr

Fire needs three things to flourish: heat, oxygen and fuel. The easiest way to improve the amount of fuel you have, is by using wood with a larger surface area, allowing more access to burnable materials.

If a log goes in whole it won’t burn as well, and knotted or moist “green wood” is hard to split, so may have to go on in one piece.

But with hydraulic log splitters, or foot powered ones, most pieces of wood can be used, meaning a larger surface area, and a better fire.

A fire is no good if you can’t enjoy it. Log splitters also cut down preparation time so you can sit back and listen to the crackle and snap of burning logs.

Green

A_deciduous_beech_forest_in_Slovenia for forestry

Grow your own wood
Source: Wikipedia

Green wood may be harder to chop, but finding green fuel for heating is even harder. If you’re lucky enough to have your own source of wood, or have a local sustainable source, then your fire can be a little bit greener.

Many buy firewood, pre-split and ready to go, however this is costly and you don’t always know the true source. By splitting local, sustainable and traceable wood at home, you know exactly what you are burning, and saving money in the long run too.

A log splitter may not be magical, but a fire is. So get the magic quickly, without the risk of pain, and without having to clean up lots of bits. The benefits are plentiful, and even go as far as improving your love life.

Give me a break – the length of men’s trousers

Michael Jackson was famous for wearing trousers that showed his socks. You might think the half masted look is a little odd, but for the moon-walking superstar, peculiar was normal.

But how should mens trousers be worn? Full break, half break or no break at all? Let’s find out.

What are breaks?

Primer trouser breaks

Because life is hard, and sometimes trousers need a break
Source: Primer Magazine

The break is where the bottom of your trouser meets your shoe, creating a fold in the cloth. A quarter break, or a half break is where there is less of a fold, but still a noticeable kink.

Longer trousers mean more than one fold or break. Go too long and your trousers will look like they don’t fit.

When there is no break, the bottom of the trouser sits perfectly at the top of the shoe around the ankle.

Suit trousers

medium Break

Suiting simplicity
Source: Effortless Gent

If it’s time for that business meeting, then you need to make sure your suit trousers touch the top of your shoes. A full break is fine, but a half or quarter break looks better.

To make sure they are the right length, look at the back of the shoe. This will take some flexibility, a mirror, or a friend. The leg of the trouser should stop just over half way down the back of the shoe.

One man famous for his socks, hasn’t quite got his break options correct. Channel 4 news reader, Jon Snow has taken the ‘no break’ thing to new levels.

on Snow socks for help the heroes

Breaking the rules for Help the Heroes
Source: Brand Rapport

Chino

Chinos with one break

Anyone afraid of red trousers?

Chinos are a versatile classic, perfect for a stroll at the weekend, and similarly suitable for the boardroom

For formal occasions, chinos should be worn with no break. As they have a loose fit, a full break will ruin the line of the trousers and deter from the smartening effect of formal shoes.

When keeping things casual with standard fit chinos, a full break will help exude relaxed vibes. To really show the shape of slim fitting chinos, wear with no break at all.

Jeans

Light Stonewash Thermal Jeans

I bet you can’t tell they are thermal jeans?

Most of us wear jeans for casual occasions, whether traditional denim, the alternative of moleskin, or lightweight cotton options. But though there are several different fabric to choose from, it’s important to get the break correct.

With no break your socks are always on show, so make sure they aren’t embarrassing ones. The safer option is to go for a half break – suitably casual, without looking too long.

When jeans are too long, with more than one break, you run the risk of soggy, frayed, disheveled hems.

Cords

Green cords with a break

Booting in the cords

Cords are hardwearing and come in an abundance of colours, but it’s important to know how to wear them.

Mens cord trousers are often worn as part of a casual country outfit. A full break is too casual for the heritage look. A simple half break will sit perfectly with a pair of comfy winter boots and similarly well with country brogues.

Cords and brogues

Kicking it in the brogues
Source: Ask Andy About Clothes

Michael Jackson was able to get away without a break, but for the rest of us, there are rules to follow. First, learn the breaks and then learn which one you need for your trousers. Get this wrong and you will look a bit peculiar, but get it right, and you’ll be the most stylish gent around.