Hem…

Roobedoo posted a question on my last post regarding the length of the header dress: She wondered wether this was a new length for me. An excellent question, and I know she has elaborated a bit on the topic of work appropriate lengths on a recent blog post of hers, you should definitely check it out!

To answer the question, the answer is no, this is not a new length for me, but the fun thing about this question is that it got me thinking about hemlines. What is a good skirt length for me? And what is a good skirt length for others? I went through my closet, and pulled out some skirts I have made the last couple of years to see if there were any similarities in lenghts:

I have taken a pic of all skirts wearing the same top, tights and shoes, just to make it easier to compare the lengths.

The results are inconclusive. I seem to wear all kinds of lengths! Although most of my skirts are “around knee”, I have some that are shorter as well, for instance, I have made Burda 8237  three or four times, so shorter lengths attract me as well as longer. The funny thing is that a lot of the skirts I make come out shorter than I intend. I am ten centimeters taller than the average height that the pattern companies uses, and so I really should add at least ten centimeters when I make skirts, but I end up adding too little, and most of my skirts thus become shorter than I plan for them to be.

I love pencil skirts that has a mid-calf hem line, but I never seem to manage to make one for myself. Actually, taking these pictures of myself, made me aware that I think that my skirts are longer then they in reality are! Both of the Vi 3324 patterns for instance, are intended to be tea-length. Yeah, right. They are both obviously ending just below knee. 🙂 The same goes for Burda 02-2011-107 too. I was supposed to make it below knee, but there was too little fabric. Note to self: If I want a skirt to be both high-waisted and mid- calf, I need 90 cm of fabric, not 60 as I in my imagination think I need…

It´s funny that a seemingly insignificant detail of a garment like the length can cause such a stir. I mean, how many other parts of a garment have been affected by the stock market?  Some women are very specific about their hemlines, I have friends who only have a small flexibility between just below knee and mid-thigh, others never go above knee, then there are even those who never wears anything but maxi skirts. Fascinating.

With all that said, I fuss very little about the length of my skirts. I seem to wear whatever length. I am aware of that having those extra ten centimeters makes more hemlines available for me than for others. And so to my next point.

I try to sew for others as often as I can, but most of my friends and family live far away, so fitting becomes difficult. And since I know that hemline placement is an issue for others, it´s tricky to know how the length of a garment will look on that person. I know that there are some opinions out there that say that shorter women should stick to knee- or above knee length. What do you think, are there any general rules of what is flattering on women of different heights and shapes, do you think, or is it a individual thing, depending purely on the tastes of the specific woman? I´d love to hear you opinion on this, and also what your favorite skirt lengths are!

I for one, will try and make at least one mid-calf pencil skirt this year!

0 Responses to Hem…

  1. Wow, your legs are long! I’ve never noticed that before! 😉 I try not to wear skirts/dresses longer than mid-knee length anymore. I used to wear them all the time because I didn’t like my knees, but since I’m pretty short, they make my legs look even shorter. That means I usually chop off about 5cm of hem length of pretty much any pattern before hemming. Good thing I don’t have to add length, I bet I would regularly forget about that, too! 🙂

    • Haha, Alessa! A lot of my pics are taken by my even taller boyfriend, and then he makes me look shorter, I guess;-)

  2. I tend to wear skirts that are below the knee to tea length, purely because I prefer how they look (and don’t have to shave my upper legs quite so often … TMI?). I love that you wear different lengths, even if that is unintentional at times 😉

  3. I think it’s universally flattering when skirts hit the narrowest part of a woman’s leg (at knee or directly below knee). That length is generally appropriate for most occasions, but I tend to go a bit shorter when I go out to bars or concerts on weekends. I won’t wear skirts that hit mid-calf because my calves are relatively wide so it makes my legs look chunky. I’ve never tried to wear a full maxi skirt because they seem so dramatic, but they’ve always intrigued me!

    • That is a rule I´ve heard of too, come to think of it. Thanks for reminding me! I haven´t been wearing a lot of full maxi´s lately either, but I´d sure like to make one for summer!

  4. I think it is an individual preference, but I also think short women don’t look as good in mid calf or tea length skirts. I pretty much always go at or above the knee, not only because I’m about 3 inches shorter than the pattern models, but I’m just more comfortable in those skirt. But I can see that tall women can do the mid calf skirt very well!

  5. I’m fairly short, but I’m not bothered by it and never really thought before about how hem length might be affected. I don’t like mid calf length on myself, so all my skirts are either mid knee or full ankle length. I actually feel taller in full length skirts, because there isn’t anything to break me up floor to waist.

  6. I’ve always heard you should keep the length at the narrowest part of your leg. But I don’t really have an narrow parts of my leg, lol! I made a mid-calf length skirt recently. And I really like it with boots, but no way I would wear it with bare legs. I’d love to try shorter lengths but I’m too chicken. Fun to see all your different skirt photos for comparison!

    • I loved your mid-calf skirt too, but I know what you mean about picking the right footwear, it´s rather important, I agree! 🙂

  7. You are lucky to be able to wear so many lengths and look great! I like on or just below the knee, but currently I adore mid-calf pencil skirts – so sassy!

  8. I think you look really good in all the different lengths! Also, surely lifes too short for just one skirt length!
    For YEARS I didn’t wear anything longer than just below the knee – due to the fear of appearing shorter ( no problems with short skirts though!). But long flow-y garments, especially the tea-length and maxi length skirt became like forbidden fruits, I wanted them! A few years ago I realised there’s nothing wrong with looking short & haven’t looked back. I’m now generally speaking an any-length girl!

    • Thank you, I think so too. Life IS too short for just one length, but I find it fascinating how much time we put into these matters! 🙂 Here´s to being an any-length girl! 🙂

  9. I think you look really good in different lengths. I’m short and tend to wear skirts above the knee…they often end up a lot shorter than i want because i’m not very good at getting the hem level and keep cutting more off!

  10. All these lengths look great on you!
    I like different lengths myself too, but with the exception of knee length. Personally I feel frumpy in knee length skirts!

  11. Until I discovered the Ginger pattern, all my skirts were well below my knee. This was partly because I am short (5 foot 3) and partly because I lost weight and all my skirts started falling lower. This was getting depressing! So having discovered that the sky did not fall in when I wore a Ginger to work, my hemline has been creeping upwards ever since… I might even try winter shorts and tights to the ofice tomorrow! I feel a lot more energetic in a short skirt – I am not tripping over excess fabric!

  12. LOL, i’m a shorty (but have long legs for my height) and tend to make things that end 2-6 inches above my knee. longer skirts make me look so short!! i’m totally envious of your height!!

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