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:

Baggy/boyfriend jeans or pants should be hemmed or rolled up above the anklebone, and worn, says Elle, "with a tough, feminine shoe." Anne concurs: "You have to show some ankle with a baggy, or it just looks enormous and sloppy." No flats (unless you're totally casual and going for sneakers, in which case make doubly sure your ankles show and make triply sure that you don't look like a clown, which is a real and disastrous possibility). And no pumps, no kitten heels. The only possible boot is an ankle bootie (a tough, feminine one).

Illustration by Lauren Friedman

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