When shopping for pants it’s common to consider the style, the color or print, and the size of the pant, but have you considered the length? One length does not fit all. Here are some basic guidelines to follow when determining the proper length for different pant styles:
1. Cropped Pants
Let’s get right into it with cropped pants – one of the trickiest styles to get right since they are intentionally worn shorter than typical. When not cropped to the proper length, an intentional cropped pant can look like an accident (think: unattractive ‘highwaters’). The hem for a proper cropped pant should hit right at the top of the ankle, showing a few inches of skin between the hem and the shoe. This rule is true for both slim-fitted and wide-leg styles.
2. Straight Leg/Classic Fit
Now back to the basics. A straight leg or classic fit pant needs a proper hemline to keep the look polished. You’ll want the hem to hit right below your ankle bone. Too long and your pants will look too big on you, causing your overall look to appear messy. Too short and, again, we get the dreaded ‘highwaters’ effect. You’ll know you’ve got the proper length when you look in the mirror, stand up straight, and your pant leg makes a clean straight line from waist to hem. Occasionally you may get a slight break in your pant, this is when there is a slight crease in the front pant leg due to the hem meeting your shoe. This is okay when it’s not overdone, as demonstrated in the 3rd image below.
3. Slim-Fit/Skinny Pants
A slim-fit pant looks best when the hemline sits right at the bottom of your ankle, above the ankle bone. This works when worn with flats or heels. If the hem is just slightly longer on a skinny pant, it can still work. If the pant gathers slightly at the top of the foot, this isn’t a problem. You just want to make sure you don’t end up with skinny pants so long that the bottom is completely scrunched up around your ankles.
4. Wide Leg
A wide-leg pant can already be overwhelming on a body, so choosing the proper length for this style pant is especially important. The hemline for a wide pant should graze the top of the foot. You need to find the sweet spot here – wearing a wide leg pant in a cropped length is okay, but you need to be sure to go with a true cropped length (as mentioned above in #1). Going too short can make a wide leg pant look silly and disproportionate. On the other hand, going too long can cause problems as well. You’ll know if a wide leg pant is too long if the pants are dragging on the floor. Even a little bit of the hemline skimming the ground can end up ruining your pants, not to mention your overall look. However, a quick fix to donning wide-leg pants that are too long? Wear a heel – elongate your leg to give the wide leg pant more length to keep them off the floor.
If you’re having trouble finding the right length in a style of pants that you just love, don’t hesitate in making your purchase. A good tailor can take your measurements and accurately hem any pair of pants to the proper length. If you need help, give me a call (919-819-9054). We have a professional Tailor available at the Lots of Luxe Studio every Wednesday and we’d be happy to assist you!