Where Should Your Pants Hem Hit Your Shoe?

I am going to paraphrase here, because the chorus of voices demanding answers to this question has become a cacophony that drowns out all else:

Q: Where should your pants hem hit your shoe? Fashion types mentioned Derek Lam's 10 Crosby line, where pant hems dragged across the floor, and Kate Moss' very-tall-shoes-with-voluminous-pants moment at a Chanel show. More everyday types wanted to know about (a) work and (b) jeans. Even a male Lucky staffer wondered. Related questions rained down: What length is the right length for pants? And how do you wear the same pants with different heel heights?


A: The outpouring of confusion on this issue necessitates a longer-than-usual response. Fashion director Anne Keane and senior fashion editor Elle Strauss spent parts of several days hunched over a computer, comparing photos, rearranging various pant/shoe combinations on the floor, shaking their heads, reassessing, fiddling, denouncing, hemming, hawing and, in the end, triumphing, with this compendium of pant-length/shoe-style combinations:

Wide-leg pants must always skim the floor. If the hem gets trampled on and lived in, so much the cooler. Anne and Elle insist that only platforms go with this look, as in exhibit A, near right. (I secretly believe that if you were a no-way-never super-anti-platformer, you could hem your wide-leg pants to skim the floor when you were wearing flats. Who would know? I would caution that the longer your legs, the better this secret second option might work.)

Illustration by Lauren Friedman

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