Determine the Length of Pant and Slack Hems 3

How to Properly Determine the Length of Pant and Slack Hems

Really, the ‘proper’ length of our pants is determined by the constantly changing fashion scene.

However, there is a suitable length for visual appeal that most stylish people conform to.

It is in style most of the time. This is the method I will describe here.

The proper length for dress slacks:


  1. The back of the pants should be 1/2 inch from the floor while the wearer is in his/her dress shoes.
  2. If the shoes are not available, the pants should touch the floor while the wearer is in his/her stocking feet. This second method is not as reliable, since heel heights may be higher or lower than standard.


If the front crease should is pulled taut, the hem should just touch the top of the shoe (or instep if you are in your stocking feet).

This will provide for a break, which will vary by the thickness of the lacing on the shoe and the heel height.

The proper length for Jeans:

Wide leg jeans:

  1. Most wearers prefer that the jean just touch the floor in the back and be hemmed straight, parallel to the floor.
  2. Alternatively, the jeans should be hemmed 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the floor, parallel to the floor. Our teenagers will frown.
  3. It is not acceptable to wear jeans longer than this, no matter what our teenagers say, since it wears the hem and shortens the jeans’ life.

Narrow leg jeans:

Narrow legs pants and jeans will always ride up to sit on the top of our shoe, no matter how long we hem them.

So, current fashion sets the standard.

  1. Let’s see what our teenagers say.

They would prefer that you hem them to the floor or slightly above the floor and have ‘elephant legs’, with our jeans buckling up around our ankles.

This prevents our socks from showing when we walk, which is the whole idea.

Please don’t let your teenager’s friends see your socks. You will humiliate them.

  1. One alternative is to hem the jean or pant to the top of our shoe heel parallel to the floor.
  2. A third way is to hem them to where they touch the top of the shoe in front, and hem them parallel to the ground (which will allow your socks to show all the time).
  3. And, finally, we can measure them from the back and front, as for dress slacks (which makes an angle that may be difficult to hem in the front).

The proper length for Work Pants:

We should use the factory standard or look at other’s who are in our profession.

If we work with hazardous materials or in dangerous conditions, our pants should not touch the ground, since they may absorb chemicals or get caught in machinery. For this reason, it is better not to wear wide leg pants.