Rant: Pant Hems

While flipping through a magazine, I noticed a mandate about the hems of your pants. They claimed your hem is supposed to be a half inch off the floor so you have to hem all your pants for flats or heels.

I call bull.

Following this idea means I need to buy multiple pairs of pants so I can wear them with each height of shoes. After all, two inch heels would need a different hem from three inchers. It also means that any heels I bought with cute details will be almost entirely covered. Stilettos will catch on the hem as will platforms. I've seen this idea expressed several places, and the argument is that hemming them shorter will make you look short.

Other people say that the hem should fall mid-arch or with the hem just skimming the vamp of your shoe. For flats, this comes to, yes, about half an inch off the floor, and for heels this at least means you won't have to hem for each heel height. Plus cute toe details of shoes would always be visible. That's more doable. However, I can't shake the feeling that a heels/flats hemline is yet another thing imposed on women's dress because it's nonsensically based on men's attire.

How do you have your pants hemmed?

Very long pants from Victoria's Secret.


I'm 5'2" so, it seems that every pair of pants I own have to been hemmed. I have my pants hemmed at about mid arch or so. I feel that as long as they aren't dragging on the ground (because that is the epitome of tacky to me) you're fine.
Bronnie said…
I hem my pants to be about 1/2 - 1/4 inch off the ground but will often hem them longer in front as I hate having too short pants flapping around my ankles. I never wear heels with pants so this saves me from too much issue.
Susanelle said…
I like hems a half-inch or so higher than the ones in the photo above. Pants that completely cover your shoes and graze the ground look sloppy to me. On the other hand, flood-pants are the most toxic look ever to appear in public. They never look good on anyone, short, tall, old, young, human, alien.
Jael Paris said…
I think I wear a lot of floods. Being so short, capris and crops don't always hit me at the right spot. I actually like it when my ankle shows (as I love socks), but I don't like actual capris that cut through the calf. No hemline should hit your calf.
becca said…
I'm a bit taller than average, but my legs are long so pants frequently hit well above my shoes. It's workable on a skinny jean, but I prefer long. A flared or wide pant leg that hits above my shoes makes me feel stumpy. I'd rather my pants skim the floor than be too short.

However, I don't like to ruin nice jeans by dragging them through rain, snow and salt since my winter shoes are lower than my summer shoes. I recently got some stick on (and restickable) hem snaps so I shorten my pants during winter snow. I'll let you know how they work when I try them.

That said, I think hems are a preference not a mandate. It's how you like your pants to look that really matters.
Jael Paris said…
The cut of the leg really does matter. A skinny pant can recover from an awkward hem but wide leg or flares, no.

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