Finding the perfect pair of jeans is no easy task, but the job's not over once you've slapped down your credit card for the cashier to swipe. Most of us have to hem our jeans--which is key to an ultra-flattering fit--and it's important to do so without ruining their integrity. We turned to two denim experts, 3x1
founder Scott Morrison and Joe's Jeans
Design Director Ambre Dahan, for advice. "Getting a perfect hem shows you care about your overall look," Morrison explains. "It can flatter your figure if done correctly and with some thought." Clearly, there are plenty of reasons to learn How To hem your jeans, so read on for their expertise.
**What Length Should My Jeans Be?**
So where should the hem fall exactly? "It's a matter of personal preference," Morrison says. "Some people like to wear jeans a bit long, which we call 'stacking,' when the denim bunches slightly over your shoe. You can take a stacked jean and cuff it slightly for a different look. That being said, many people prefer to have the jean float above their shoe. It's preppy, cute, and more summery when worn with flats."
"One hem length may not resonate with everyone," Dahan agrees. "Your go-to length should be consistent with the heel height you wear day in and day out. If you're in 4-inch heels the majority of the time, go for a finished hem 1/4-inch from the ground. For serious heels, like a 6-inch pair, I would personally do a 1/2-inch from the sole of your shoe, because statement shoes deserve to be seen."
For the best result, wear the shoe or style of shoe you'll wear most often with the jeans to your tailor. "I can't tell you how many times I've seen people wear the wrong pair of shoes into a fitting and the end result is usually tragic," Morrison says.
**What Do I Tell My Tailor?**
In addition to getting the length right, it's also important to tell your tailor to reattach your jeans' original hem. "This is especially important on washed or slightly worn jeans as the original hem has something called 'roping,'" Morrison says. "Roping naturally happens when the denim on your hem shrinks after wearing and washing; it makes the hem look real. There's nothing worse that wearing an amazing pair of jeans with a brand new hem--and roping is the reason why." Morrison maintains that the key to being happy with your hem is to know what your jeans will look like afterwards. But since it varies depending on the style, read on for what you should ask for--and expect--from your tailor.
"The modern-day skinny can take on so many forms, leaving room for a wide variety of hem lengths," Dahan says. "I prefer the high-water, which has a 27-inch inseam that's versatile and sophisticated." Morrison says you should remind your tailor to maintain the leg opening: "This might require a slight reshaping of the leg itself, making your jean a bit more tapered, but it will be worth it in the long run."
"Classic, boot-cut styles have the ability to lengthen and slim the leg," Dahan explains. "To enhance the boot-cut's character, a long hem is best; 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch from the sole of your shoe is suitable for most. You want the hem to fall naturally around the break of the shoe, creating a smooth flow and avoiding creases."
"With flared jeans, mid- to high-rise waistlines are key," Dahan says. "This style is intended to lengthen and slim your leg, and should only be worn with a high heel. Keep the hem 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch from the sole of your shoe." Morrison adds that for this particular style, there's little you can do to maintain the flared shape, so be prepared! "The more you remove, the smaller the opening."
"This is a very important silhouette for spring and summer, as well as moving into fall," Dahan says. "My personal preference is to keep it on the shorter side. It looks chic with flats, booties, and heels."
"This wide-leg is intended to lengthen your leg with an easy and relaxed style, and should be worn with a high heel," Dahan says. "Keep the hem 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch from the sole of your shoe."