A reader asked me about the length of my pants this week so I thought it would be fun to explore some options. Fashion is constantly in flux and wearing ankle baring pants is no longer the Pee-Wee Herman look, but no one wants to look dorky so let’s check out some options.
Pants need to be hemmed based on the shoe you plan to wear them with. The exception to this rule is skinny ankle and cropped pants. There are no longer hard and fast rules about the length of pants but the wrong length can look sloppy or chop your look off.
Wide Leg Pants
We need to see your foot! These days, wide-legged pants are seen at all lengths from mid-calf down but a pant that covers your entire foot looks too long and makes you look like you have no feet. Wide leg pants should cover the top of your shoe and leave a portion of the heel and toe exposed. In heels or flats, aim for a length that is 1/2 inch from the floor. No, you can’t wear the same length with flats and heels, so decide how you’ll likely wear your pants and commit for each pair of pants.
Flare Leg Pants
Somewhere between wide and straight is the flare or bootcut legs. Depending on the width of the flare, these generally look best hemmed to cover the top of your foot, like the wide leg pant. Aim to hem these 1/2 – 3/4 inch from the floor.
A straight-legged pant is usually hemmed to not “break” (bend) at the bottom which means no longer than the top of your arch. This changes depending on the heel height you wear them with. A slight heel will angle your foot down allowing for a longer pant leg. Flat shoes require straight pants to be hemmed shorter because your arch is higher in a flat shoe. Straight pants can easily look sloppy if hemmed too long so they puddle on the top of your foot.
Skinny Leg Pants
Skinny legged pants should be hemmed short enough to show your ankle. As with skirts, it is most flattering to hem your pants to stop at the narrowest part of your ankle. That means if your pants stop mid-ankle bone they will make your ankles look thicker than they are. Who wants that? Skinny leg pants are the most versatile because the length works with both heels and flats.
Crop Leg Pants
These can vary from just under the knee to several inches above your ankle and generally look best hemmed to a narrow spot on your leg. These can be hemmed to your liking and worn with both flats and heels.
What are your favorite pant leg types?
Thanks for reading and remember to always wear what makes you feel confident.