I am passionate and pedantic about pant lengths because the smallest difference can make or break the flattering line of an outfit. I’m continually amazed at how shortening or lengthening by just a few inches can make the world of difference to proportions.
When it comes to flared trouser and jeans styles, I like them very long. Long enough to almost sweep the ground as you stride, and no more than a quarter of an inch off the ground when measured from the back of a heeled shoe. By flared trousers I mean any style that is flared at the hem, be it bootcuts, bell bottoms or wide legs. The trousers and jeans in the photos below are the perfect length. Any shorter and they would be too short.
When I work with clients who ask about the correct length for flared trousers, I reply that “it depends on who answers the question”. I preface my answer by saying that I prefer extra long lengths that cover most of the shoe, if not all of it when hems are extra flared. And that these styles of trousers look best with at least a two inch heel because it creates a flattering break line on the front of the trousers. Wear a lower heel and the break line tends to look sloppy, especially when the fabric is soft and drapey. The stiffness of denim creates a less sloppy break line which makes wearing flared leg jeans with 1.5 inch heels an option.
But as with all things fashion and style related, my preference for extra long hems is merely one subjective opinion. Some find these pant lengths overly long because you can’t see enough of the shoe. They believe that proportions look better when hems are an inch or inch and a half off the ground. The break line is straight, which to some is more important than a longer hem length. The shorter length also makes wide hem pants easier to walk in and prevents them from becoming damaged as you stride.
I’m non-negotiable about what looks most flattering to my eye, so I vote yay for floor sweepers. There is something elegant and luxurious about the extra long length that looks so, so good. If you wear the hems a quarter of an inch off the ground with the correct heel height, you will not damage the hems of the trousers because they won’t drag on the ground. My trouser hems are proof of that. Granted, you should not wear flared hems in wet or snowy weather unless you’re commuting by car and under cover from door to door because they’ll get soggy and dirty.
Over to you. Are the floor sweeping lengths of these flared trousers and jeans too long? Or are the proportions elegant and flattering?