Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The Thoughtful Dresser Poll - hem length


What is the most flattering hem -length, above the knee, on the knee cap, just below the knee or calf length? Vote right and reasons below.

18 comments:

Bronwyn said...

I'm one of those people who had a boyish body and turned a tad appleish as I got older. Good legs, rubbish everywhere else, so above the knee is the way to go for me.

There is no one hem-length that is best for everyone.

Anastasia said...

It all depends on your individual proportions, I don't think there is a perfect hem-length for all of us.
Some people can look really classy in minis, some look rather skanky. Some people look sexy in something below the knee, some look downright schoolmarmish.
It all depends...

Phyllis said...

I also think the right shoes make a difference. Today I have on a long black pencil skirt that ends mid calf, and I always wear it with high heels (either boots or shoes.) It's my favorite skirt and always looks great, but I never wear it with low heels or flats.

Kate said...

Just below the knee - so you see the full Hogarthian curve of the calf as it narrows to the knee, without seeing the knee itself.

Lindsay said...

Yup, just below the knee for me, too, having said which, I'm more adventurous with skirt length now than I have been for a while. I never used to be out of very long skirts or trousers.

Wendy said...

It depends on so much!

Sometimes cut and pattern allow me a little flexibility. I'm very short, so generally above the knee is most flattering, but my fall/winter go to dress is below the knee. It is a DVF wrap dress that has a lengthwise linear print. I think that made me feel more comfortable leaving it longer.

miss cavendish said...

I think it depends on the state of your knees. These days I like just on the knee; I feel covered while teaching my classes but not dowdy.

Fiona said...

Just below the knee is best for me.
But generally I'd say it depends on the person and the outfit.

pennyarrow said...

If you have good legs, just above the knee, if you don't, just below. Never on the knee. If you are 14 a mini dress is very cute but has repercussions you would be best off without at that age. By the time those repercussions are welcome (and you are in a position to control them) it's too late.
PS I will be voting for just below the knee which tells you all you need to know.

Toby Wollin said...

I'm 5'2", so I need to be pretty narrow in the length I use - anything longer than below the knee and I look like a Romanian grandmother; anything over the knee and it makes me look even shorter.

diane said...

mid knee cap for me

Anonymous said...

Although each length flatters differently-shaped women differently, just-below the knee is the best all-round choice. It provides more coverage while sitting, is conservative without being generally frumpy, can be worn with most shoes, and hits at a slender part of the leg.

Deja Pseu said...

Generally, right below the knee is best for me. But I do have one pencil skirt that I had shortened to right above the knee, as it looked better proportioned to me at that length. I have shapely calves, though knees are getting a big saggy, so I generally wear dark hose or tights.

Eviemuff said...

Anastasia is right - it depends on your individual proportions. I'm tall and boyish with narrow hips, and love wearing short-ish skirts with an A-line. Pencil skirts to the knee make me feel very foxy too. I also love those long bias cut skirts by Ghost that swish to the ground.

But the other day I tried on a heavy wool A-line skirt ballerina style to the knee and it made me resemble a fat pudding.

And although I've got decent legs, I'm over forty so very short skirts are out out out. Unless I want to look like Paris Hilton's granny.

Bronwyn said...

I should add that although I go for above the knee in tailored sort of skirts and dresses (and wear shorts a lot in hot weather slumming around home and beach), I also have a number of sundresses that go to mid-calf, and find that very flattering too. But they have to be flared at the bottom to give the top of me the illusion of some sort of shape. A straight dress like the one at the top of this post would make me look like my own granny.

bifocalsandrippedjeans said...

I agree with Kate. I like to see the full curve of the calf. Where ever around the knee that is for you is your best hem length. Ankle length will work in a similar way if the foot and ankle are showing. But so many of you like mid calf! I have yet to see that look flattering on anyone except models with very thin legs. To my eye it makes the legs look like tree stumps when the hem cuts the wider part of the calf.

desertwind said...

I love The New Dowdy!

Just above the knee or just below the knee.

Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances said...

Just above the knee, unless you have ugly knees, then just below, unless you have ugly calves, in which case go for low on the ankle length. Avoid mid-calf, unless you happen to be one of the very few that can pull it off.