Most fashion stylists are sensitive about the execution of a particular aspect of fashion and style. For some it’s pattern mixing or the effective use of clashing bright colours, and for others it’s the style of flats that works with dresses, or the way to wear short jackets over long tops. For me it’s wearing your trousers and jeans at the correct length, particularly when they are flared at the hems. I am highly sensitive to seeing pant lengths that are too short because to my eye it ruins the entire line and look of your ensemble.
Some fashion experts recommend hemming flared jeans and trousers an inch off the ground. Others suggest a length that touches the top of your shoes. But if you’re going to ask me, I’ll encourage a length that’s even longer than that.
I wrote about perfect pant lengths soon after YLF was born. My opinion about the correct length for flared jeans and trousers then is no different to what it is now – flared pant hems should almost skim the surface of the ground. Anything more than half an inch off of the ground is too short.
I like to see LOOOONG flared pant lengths because the extra length is infinitely more flattering to the leg line and therefore to your overall silhouette. You look chic, polished and extra sophisticated that way and it also totally grounds the outfit. Now for some examples…
These boot cuts jeans worn with high heels are the perfect length.
These flared leg jeans worn with high heeled sandals are also a perfect length.
The dramatic bell bottom widths of these hems flatter at the perfect length.
And these wide hems drape over the shoes at the perfect length.
But the jeans and trousers pictured below are too short to my eye, some by a good two to three inches.
Flared jeans and trousers tend to drape best at the perfect length with high heels. Hemming them for flats or one and half inch heels causes a more creased break line down the front of the legs. The pronounced break line looks fine in denim but it can look slightly sloppy in non-denim fabrications like dressy wool blends. You can smooth out the break line by shortening the hem, but then your pants are often too short! I don’t mind a creased break line on jeans when worn with flats, but I don’t like it as much on dress pants. That’s another good reason to wear mid to high heels with flared trousers. You’ll get a long leg line that drapes perfectly over your footwear.
One of the drawbacks to sporting perfect pant lengths is that you hide quite a lot of your shoe when you’re standing up straight. And the more flared the hem, the more hidden the shoe. You do see your shoes when you’re in motion or sitting down though. Trousers and jeans that taper in at the hems can be worn much shorter and that’s really the way to go if you want to show off your entire shoe while wearing long pants.
Update: I wish I could say it was good planning, but by coincidence we are launching a giveaway for the Jenny Clip today. This clever little product might address some of the concerns people have about their hems getting wet and dirty in bad weather.