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How to Hem Pants: 5 Step Guide

Hemming is one of the most common types of sewing that you may do at home. There are a number of reasons why you may decide to hem your pants, but no matter why you're hemming, you can feel confident that it isn't too challenging. If you'd like to avoid hemming your pants, we've also included some tips for picking pants that are less likely to need this kind of work.

Why Hem Pants?

Hemming is a very practical procedure for a couple of reasons, whether you just got your pants or you've had them for some time. Here is why you may want to hem your pants:

Shorten Pants You Bought

If you bought pants that fit you pretty well but are a bit longer than you’d like, you can hem them to make them the ideal length for you. Some men are a slightly odd length or prefer a different cut than is standard. 

Hemming your pants yourself opens up the range of pants that you can buy. Whether you deliberately bought pants that are too long or you got new pants home only to realize that you've made a mistake, hemming can be a straightforward solution.

Shorten Pants You Own 

Changing styles are making pants shorter as well as tighter. If you already own some great pants but they are longer than the current style, shortening them is a lot more affordable than buying new pants. 

If you've been rejecting a lot of pants in your wardrobe because they are too long, get started with hemming. You may discover a new life in your old pants.

Get Rid of Frayed Cuffs

The cuffs of your pants take more abuse than any other part of the pants. Even if your pants are cut high enough that they don't make contact with the ground, the cuffs are most likely to get mud and water on them and rub against any debris in your path. 

For that reason, the cuff is often the first part of the pants to go. Hemming enables you to get rid of frayed cuffs so that your pants will look as good as new again.

How do you Know if Your Pants are Too Long?

If your pants drag along the ground, they are too long. However, your pants can also be too long without making contact with the ground. 

The break is the fabric that pools where the pant leg makes contact with your shoes. If the break is large or sloppy, your pants are too long. 

Modern style is for pants to be shorter than they were in previous years. Many men like to show a little bit of the sock at the shoe's front around the tongue. As long as you can't see the sock all the way around the shoe, the pants generally aren't too short.

Five-Step Guide to Hemming Your Pants

It might be easier than you realize to hem your own pants. It is most important that you are careful with your measurements. Measure twice or three times before you start sewing so that you don't end up with uneven hems. 

Follow these five steps for each leg. Don't be tempted to use your measurements for one leg to make a blueprint for the other. It is best to measure each leg separately.

1. Measure your Inseam

The right inseam depends on the shoes that you are wearing. Put on the shoes you intend to wear with your pants and measure from the start of the leg on your inner thigh all the way down. This is the correct inseam for you.

2. Remove the Hem

Get rid of the original hem by removing the stitching. You'll find that a seam ripper makes this process much easier for you. However, a pair of small sewing scissors may be able to suffice if you don't have one.

3. Mark the Inseam and Make the New Hem

Turn your pants inside out and lay them flat on a surface. Measure the inseam just as you did to find the correct inseam: start from the crotch and go down to the end of the pant leg. Mark this length on the pants, giving an inch of allowance 

Set your sewing machine to 1/2 inch and fold your pant leg up 1/2 inch. Make sure that the fold is exactly half an inch using the sewing gauge. Once you get the hem right, press it into place using a hot iron.

If you don't have a sewing machine, measure with a fabric ruler.

4. Pin the Hem

Fold your pant leg up another half inch and check again to make sure the length is correct. When you are confident that the fold is exactly half an inch wide all the way around, use pins to keep it in place.

5. Sew the Hem

When you are completely confident that the pinned hem is even and the correct length, it is time to sew the hem. A medium straight stitch works well for most fabrics. 

Allow yourself a 1/2 inch seam from the top of the hem to create a very strong stitch that won't come loose. Stitch all the way around, removing the pins as you go. 

How to Choose Affordable Pants You Won't Need to Hem

Choose a Quality Company

Most men end up needing to hem their pants either because they made a purchase decision from a company that does not honor return or because they are looking for a great deal in a pair of pants that don't fit them correctly. Save yourself the time and effort of hemming and avoid making other compromises in the fit of your pants by choosing a high-quality company that is dedicated to customer service. 

You'll be able to order the pants that you believe should fit you properly. If you find that they aren't correct, send them back and get a replacement that fits better. 

Choose an Affordable Company with Products that Last

You don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of high-quality pants that will last for years without you needing to worry about hemming anything. Choose an affordable company that makes pants that are designed to perform for some time to come.

Performance pants made of Japanese fabric with dynamic 4-way stretch look great and feel comfortable, and they won't get shiny with ironing as wool pants would.

Pick the Right Fit for You

Length isn't the only thing that matters in pants that look great. Choosing the right fit makes it more likely that you will tell what the best length for you is. 

Most men prefer slimmer cuts, as this is the modern style. Pants also tend to be shorter than they used to be. Choose tailored pants that fit the shape of your body for a more flattering look. 

If you are slender or very tall, consider extra trim pants that follow the line of your legs perfectly. 

Both of these cuts are designed to not have a break. That makes it much easier for you to detect whether your pants are too long: any break, and they're too long. 

Feel Confident About Hemming if You Need to 

Ideally, you'll pick a great pair of affordable dress pants that you don't need to hem. However, if you find that your favorite pants are being worn out around the hem down the road or you fall in love with a pair of pants that are too long for you, don't feel like hemming is out of your reach.