Here’s a summary of the most important posts that I have written about pant lengths. Unsurprisingly, I have a lot to say on the subject because it’s my thing.
Full Length Pants
I like full length pants and jeans to hang extra long. The first post I wrote in 2006 is still a good guide for pants and jeans with flared hems, which should almost skim the surface of the ground. I fleshed out the concept again in 2011 when flared pants were on trend. Again, I do like them long and there was quite the debate in the comments section.
I often hear the objection that it is impractical for full length pants to skim the ground. To some extent this might be a misinterpretation of what I mean, which is that the pants should be close enough to the ground that it visually seems like they are skimming the surface. Not that they are actually touching the ground. Still I do take the point that the closer to the ground they are, the faster they are going to get dirty, especially in wintery weather. My approach when the weather is bad is not to wear my pants shorter, but to rather wear tapered pants instead.
Skinny and straight leg pants and jeans can’t skim the surface of the ground because they are tapered. Personally I like skinnies and straight leg jeans with scrunch because it adds textural interest, lengthens the leg line, and makes the item look less tight. The amount of scrunch is up to you. I also prefer trousers with tapered hems that scrunch because the effect creates a good balance between luxurious and relaxed fit.
I don’t have poison eye for cropped pants. After all, I wear them myself. What I do think is that the length is hard to pull off, so you have to be extremely particular about their length, fit, width at the hem, and how you style them. It’s a tricky business!
Cropped pants can look horrible, especially when their hem widths are wide. And at the moment this look is trending. But there are those who feel differently, and that’s why we had a huge cropped pants debate.
But I am not without solutions, so here are guidelines on how to create a flattering line with cropped pants, how to visually lengthen them with booties, and how to wear them cuffed or rolled. And here are some fabulous outfits with cropped pants.
Finally, here’s an interview I did on Style by Karen that sums up my views on perfect pant lengths. Karen added some visuals that illustrate the points nicely.