How to Hem Dress Pants to Wear With Both Flats and Heels

by Anonymous

Editor & Illustrator Dress Pants/Express

How do I hem dress pants to wear with both flat shoes and heels? I'm a teacher and have to wear business casual everyday.

I love my editors and Illustrators from Express but how do I hem them where they aren't too short for heels but also so that I don't walk on them in flats.



I wish that pants were that fair to us who wants to wear dress pants with flats and heels! But don't you think that it would serve us better by categorizing most of our clothes as "work" OR "casual" — not both? This makes it possible for you to buy several pair of the exact same dress pants that you love :-)

However if you want to do a budget-friendly option, there is certainly a way around this issue. You can wear your hemmed dress pants only if you pair them with moderate heels (2-3"). If the heel is very tall then you're better off buying another unhemmed pair of the exact pants to go exclusively with them.

So if you want to be able to wear flats with the dress pants (which you also want to wear with heels), you must find your moderate heel by looking for the back of the hem to hit an inch or so above the floor. This is where you should hem the pants.

Editor womens dress pants
'Editor' Luxury Stretch Pants/Express

I own a pair of dressy jeans (dark denim, wide legged bottom) and they are hemmed to hit, but sweep the floor in flats. On casual evening occasions, I pair them with 2inch wedges or heels.


Hope this helps!


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Questions About Women's Wool Suits

by Anonymous
(New York City, NY)

Womens tropical wool suit from Baronboutique.com

Womens tropical wool suit from Baronboutique.com

I'm in the process of looking for my first suit. I have several questions that I was hoping you could help me with.

1. What kind of fabric? I've read in other places that if I buy only one suit, it should definitely be wool, because it wrinkles less and is easier to care for than cotton. (I'm not interested in 100% synthetic.) But you say on your site that wool shouldn't be worn during the summer. What's the right answer? I live in New York City.

2. What's the difference between the different types of wool fabric? For example, J. Crew has lightweight wool, "drapey" wool, stretch wool, and wool gabardine. I've also seen wool crepe.

3. I've tried on several suits already - J Crew, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Ann Klein. I have small breasts (A or AA) and I find that all of the jackets I try on are very bulky around the chest. Do you know of any brands that are better for small-chested women? Is it possible to get a jacket tailored to take in some of the slack?

I love your web site. I'm pretty clueless about clothing and fashion, and your site has helped me a lot as I try to make the transition from graduate student life to professional life.

I think that's all. Thank you for your help!




Hi there, thank you! I appreciate the nice feedback :-)

Here are my answers to your questions:

What Kind of Suit Fabric?


1. Yes, if this is your first and only suit (for now) it should be wool, but preferably the lightweight type (also called 'Tropical wool') that is airy and breathable, such as gabardine (also known as worsted) which is made of firm, tightly wool.

The Different Types of Wool Fabric


2. Drapey wool: Is usually soft wool that drapes, made of knit fabric. Not so structured. It looks less stiffer than a regular suit.
Stretch wool: Has some Lycra in it (think spandex/stretch leggings) something many of us love. Britain's Marks & Spencer's added Lycra to their wool suits and it resulted in increased sales.
Wool gabardine: Wool fibers are spun into compact, smoothly twisted yarn before weaving or knitting. Firm and tight. Very wrinkle and crease resistant.
Wool crepe: Another term for lightweight wool. It has a slight stretch with crincled or puckered surface.

This link has lots more information on wool fabric: Fabrics.net

Womens Suit Brands for Small Chests


3. Unfortunately I don't know of any brands that are suited for small chested women. But a tailor should be able to cut the jacket to follow the shape of your bust.

You can also try to fill out the bust area with an inch or two by wearing an extra padded bra - works for me.

The bust of the jacket should be roomy enough for you to slide in one hand - if you can slide in two hands then it's definitely too big for you. Also remember that the jacket should be roomy enough to accommodate any extra clothing you will be wearing underneath

You might want to try My Shape which is a personal shopping website which provides you with a personal shop which has only clothing in a size and style that definitely fit you. They create a shop based on the measurements (they guide you through the whole process with an animated video clip) you provide when registering with them. The membership is free.

Here's an example of their jacket recommendations for me shape and body measurements (I have a small breasts like you):

Myshape example

According to them my shape is an 'M' which is equivalent to an hourglass. They have defined 7 body shapes which they’ve labeled M, Y, S, H, A, P, E.


Fashion that Fits and Flatters at MyShape.com



Let me know if anything sounds unclear to you.

I hope this helps, and I wish you a smooth transition to the professional life :-)


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