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How Long Should Jeans Be?

How Long Should Jeans Be?

Have you ever felt awkward in a pair of jeans because they showed a little too much ankle? Or maybe you had to perform a triple cuff on a pair of jeans so you wouldn’t trip over your pant leg. So what is the ideal length for a pair of jeans? How long should your jeans be?


Simply put, Bootcut jeans should be worn at the ankle, while tapered jeans should be hemmed so they are just above the ankle. Easy enough, but what about all the other factors and preferences that go into jean length? It doesn't have to be a denim dilemma. The answer, of course, depends on your height, body type, jean cut, length preference, and shoe pairing. Let's dive in to discover the perfect jean length for you. 


What to Think About When Shopping for Jeans


Woman Posing in Jeans

When choosing a pair of jeans, it is important to consider a few factors in order to find the right length and fit. Firstly, think about the specific style of jeans that you want. There are many different types of jeans available on the market, from skinny jeans to wide leg cropped jeans. Once you have decided on the denim style, you can start thinking about your jeans length and fit preferences.


In terms of fit, you’ll want to also make sure your jeans are the right size for you. If they are too large or too tight around your waste, it will change the overall look and presentation of your outfit. Also see our article on the best fitting jeans for curvy women.


Best Length for Each Jean Type


Bootcut Jeans: The best length for bootcut jeans is at the ankle. This style of women's denim is designed to be worn either cuffed or at full length, and falls just below the ankle bone on most women.


Skinny Jeans: A good length for skinny jeans is just above the ankle bone. This type of jean is designed to be worn at a shorter length, and falls just above the ankle on most women. The skinny jean fit is tight and slimming, so it's important to find the right length to really show off your shape.


Straight Leg Jeans: Straight leg jeans are a versatile style that can be worn at many different lengths. The best length for straight jeans is just below the ankle bone. The straight leg jean fit is comfortable and flattering, making it a popular choice for everyday wear.


Flare Jeans: The best length for flare jeans is above the ankle bone. This  jean is designed to be worn at a shorter length, and falls just above the ankle on most women. The flare jean has also made a major comeback in recent years.


Capri Jeans: If you opt for a pair of capris, the rule of thumb is to make sure they end where your leg begins to narrow. One thing to note is that capri jeans can make you appear shorter. So, if you are shorter in stature, you may want to consider wearing capris that hit at or just below the knee. This will help to elongate your silhouette.


Girlfriend Jeans: These jeans have a very relaxed fit and genuinely look stylish when hitting the ankle at various lengths. Girlfriend jeans are also intended to be worn with a cuff, so keep that in mind when selecting your length.


Cropped Jeans: Cropped jeans are a great choice for those who want to show off their ankles without going full capri. The best length for cropped jeans is about 2 finger lengths above the ankle bone. These nuances in length are what differentiate a pair of cropped jeans from a pair of capris or other denim styles.


What is an Inseam?


Stack of Womens Jeans

Now that we've broken down popular jean styles and recommended lengths, let's

dig into your individual fit. Before you can determine the correct length for your jeans, you need to fully understand your size. Knowing your height and proportions will help choose the right length or inseam for your jeans.


An inseam is the length of the seam on a pair of pants from the crotch to the bottom hem. The inseam measurement is taken along the inside of the leg, from the crotch all the way down to the ankle. Measuring your inseam is a good way to find out what size or length of pants you need to buy.


How to Find the Right Length for Your Jeans


Finding the correct length for your jeans might seem tricky, but it is important to get it right in order to look your very best. Depending on your height or proportions, you may need a different inseam length for your jeans. As we mentioned before, measuring your inseam is the most accurate way to find out what size or length of pants you need.


Once you determine your inseam length, you can use this for reference when jean shopping. Most clothing stores will have a size chart or a resource like a denim fit guide to help you on your jean journey. These size guides should have recommended pant sizes (including inseam) based on your proportions.


Should You Hem Your Jeans?


There are a few different occasions when you might need to hem your jeans. Perhaps you just bought a new pair of jeans that you were very excited about. They arrive, but when you try them on, they're a smidge too long.


While it may seem frustrating, the perfect pair of jeans is worth a trip to the tailor. In this instance, you'll need to hem your new jeans so they fit properly. Also see our articles on how to hem jeans and how to cuff your jeans to learn more.


How to Style Your Perfectly Sized Jeans

Womens Jeans Length


Your jeans fit perfectly -- we're talking Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants level of perfect. The only thing left to do is style them! The great thing about finding the right length for your jeans is that you can really style them any way you want. Whether you're looking for a casual or a dressier look, your jeans will be the highlight of this ensemble.


You can dress your jeans up with a pair of wedges and create some contrast with a light chambray blouse. You can also wear some brightly colored flats that pop to compliment your lower half. Ultimately, there are many directions you can go in depending on your jean type and personal style.


All in all, when shopping for jeans it is important to consider a few key things. The most important factor is finding the right length for your height, especially with different proportions, and all variations of jean style. Understanding your inseam is the most accurate way to determine correct jean length for each pair of pants. Inseam measurements vary depending on the style of jeans, so be sure to measure before you buy.


It's also good to keep in mind that individual jean styles should hit your leg at different places. Lastly, if your jeans don't fit perfectly, you can always learn how to cuff jeans or even bring them to a tailor depending on denim cut and your preference. Find your dream pair of jeans at Democracy.