The Suit Trouser Length Creativity Index

Red Socks

Does the length of your suit trouser leg influence your creativity in the corporate office?

Yes, this is rather an unusual question! Personally, I must admit that the thought of it had never really crossed my mind until I had to kill two hours in the Virgin Lounge at Melbourne airport this morning as my plane was delayed owing to fog. When you have two hours to ponder the “real meaning” of corporate life, your mind does indeed explore the more important innovation correlations and the length, or lack thereof, of one gentleman’s suit trouser initiated this serious thesis of study.

As I slowly swallowed the remaining remnants of my long black coffee, I noticed a man in his late fifties sojourn past me. My stare was not focused on his slow walking style, nor his green tweed suit, nor his impressive bald head (of which I am a fellow supporter), no, the deciding attribute was that the bottom of his trousers were about one inch above the top of his black shoes thereby making his distinctive green socks rather prevalent to the eye. My gaze then started to methodically search the Virgin Lounge looking to see if this was a one off, or the start of a common dress code with which I was not partaking.

To my amusement, I noticed a variety of trouser lengths prevailing. Some were too long and were gently kissing the carpet on which they walked. There was a range of trouser lengths that just touched the bottom of the heel, but the majority were about half an inch above the accepted level as deemed by corporate fashion correctness.

So how does this all relate to creativity? Well, I believe that there is a direct correlation! Let’s consider the following “facts”.

If the trouser length is too high, the wearer of the pants has the option to display their socks to the passing world. These socks can be brightly coloured, patterned or even non-existent. Yes, the pant wearer could go with the full naked ankle look (commonly termed the “commando ankle”).

If the trouser length is too low, those people that the pant wearer is walking past don’t have the opportunity to wonder at the endless array of sock possibilities. In this instance, it is quite common for the black boring nondescript sock to be worn. Yes, these people are your typical non-creative types.

The other and less known benefit with high trouser length is the “health improvement” derived from air current woft up the trouser leg that facilitates a perceived freedom of thought. Those that frequent the wearing of a kilt on a breezy day would know exactly what I’m talking about here!

So my hypothesis, which I would be honored if some bright PhD student elects to explore further in the not too distant future (that I’m sure would also be written up in the Harvard Business Review), is that your trouser length is a simple and direct measure of your creativity in the corporate office. So, make sure you wear your trouser cuffs high and maximize the derived benefit of creativity!

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3 Comments

  1. People watching can be creative! The commando ankle was a new term for me. Interesting theory.

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  2. Love the term “commando ankle”. I’ll definitely need to remember it.

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