Flipping through a catalog the other day, I noticed the image below and it reminded me how often I am asked how short a skirt should be. While there is no one length that works for everyone, there is a general rule that works for everyone: Never allow your hem (pants, skirts, dresses) to end at the widest point of your leg. Where ever your hem ends, the eye will imagine that the unseen portion to be the same size. Therefore, make sure your hem ends at as your leg curves “in” rather than curves “out.” The images below (Coldwater Creek) are a good example how different lengths affect the overall look.

The image on the left has the hem of the skirt hitting at the knee. The knee is usually more narrow than the calf, so it’s a good stopping point. What really makes this leg line look good is that the skirt and shoes are the same tone as the leg. The eye sweeps from the waist to the toe of the shoes. See Neutral Shoes post.

The white capri pants with a dark sandal chops up the leg as the hem of the pants hit at mid-calf, which is not the most attractive part of the female leg. The stark white against the skin tone coupled with the dark shoes furthers the chopped up look. If capri pants are your passion, shoot for something either a little longer or shorter so the hem hits at a more slender point. Go one step further and wear shoes that match your skin tone.

The walking shorts on the right again hit the leg at the knee, giving us more of the leg to look at. But how short should your shorts be? No matter what your age, a good rule of thumb: if we can see your thighs touching, they are too short!

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, CTIC