Tori Spelling walks on her too-long Hudson jeans

While blogging about the new True Religion Petites line, it got me thinking about how frustrated I am with having to hem my designer jeans. Why do MOST brands only come in a 34″ or 35″ inch inseam – and if they make a “petite” jean, it only comes in 31″ inseam. I don’t understand why no other denim brands have done what Diesel does – which is to put out every jean they make in a 30″, 32″ and 34″ inseam for women – something for just about everyone! Genius!

I just had to express my feelings on this in hopes that some of the major denim brands out there will take the advice of a self-proclaimed denim diva! Especially in these times of economic downturn, not only should designers be thinking about price points, but also, what would help sell more designer jeans. And here it is – jeans in varying inseams! Hello – most of us are not 5’11”! I would venture to guess that most of us just won’t buy a pair of jeans if we have to hem them. Let’s do a poll and see… Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox now (and I am 5’7″ for goodness sake! And I still have to hem!) Here are some of my top picks for jeans for those of us “shorties”.


  1. If you’re spending the money for designer jeans, I think it’s definitely worth paying a little more to have them fit you perfectly.
    I work at a store where we sell lots of denim and they’re all 34″ or 35″. Most people I encounter there love that! I don’t think I’ve ever had one person not buy a pair of denim because of the need to hem.
    After getting them hemmed, you have your pair fit you like a glove, just the way you want it. Not everyone is a perfect 30″ 32″ or so. However, with a bit of an alteration, you get that perfect look just for you.

  2. Ed, the poll will tell the truth! Personally I hate hemming because with certain styles, hemming ruins the jeans – like the J Brand Lovestory. If you hem more than an inch or two, it runs the whole flared look of the jean. This is why I wish they made them in varying lengths and perhaps made smaller collections each season, the way Diesel does.

  3. I completely stay away from buying certain styles, like flares, because hemming them makes them look utterly retarded. I have no problem buying designer denim and having them hemmed though. It’s an added $15 dollars so if the denim companies took Diesel’s lead I would be so grateful.

  4. I don’t have my jeans hemmed in-store, I take them to a great tailor here in town. $6.75 to hem, a little more for original hem. I do have to wait a week or two, but it’s worth it. And really, add $7 or so to all the jeans I buy, when it’s designer? That really doesn’t stop me.

  5. One of the reasons most denim companies go with a 33-34″ inseam is because when women wear heals the extra length is obviously needed. There is nothing worse than a too short pair of bootcut, straight leg or flared jeans, and with certain skinny/slim cuts it’s bad too. Since heal lengths vary, the lesson of more length the better. With Diesel you try them on wearing one thing, oh I should get the 32″, and then try them on with the 4″ heals the wash was meant for, and oh no way to fix that… The trick is find a good tailor who will turn them around quickly and reasonably, avoid drycleaners as they will always take a week+ to do a hem that should take an hour.

  6. Jason, that is why we all have jeans that are our “with heels” jeans and jeans that are our “with flip flops” jeans. It would just be nice to choose from varying inseams. But most of the time 34″ inseam is way too long for most American girls, who are closer to 5’2″-5’7″ in height. As I said, I am 5’7″ – and if I buy a 32″ inseam, I can rock them with heels or flats in most cases. Maybe not 5″ heels, but my normally 2-3″ heels are fine with them. And jeans like the Lovestory that I mentioned above are almost unalterable if you are short because hemming more than an inch or two off them will ruin the wide flare. My point is just that denim companies are looking for a way to distinguish themselves right now and capture more market share. Varying inseams could just do the trick for those of us who refuse to buy anymore Lovestory’s until they come out with them in a “petite” length.

  7. I really don’t think capturing market share is going to happen with different inseam lengths as many are not going to make their purchase decision based on that. The reason Diesel can have the optional inseams is because they have market share, multiple locations, outlets and many avenues to disburse of unsold items. For a company to do grading on each style, in different inseams is expensive, then producing a specific amount of each, almost doubling your allocation so you offer the customer these choices is impossible for most denim companies who are typically small until they are uncool. Diesel didn’t always have inseam option on hardley any of their styles 10 years ago, but as they became bigger and the european upscale like of Levi, they could offer this. The reality is most denim companies can’t do this until they have larger market share and more capital to allocate to accommodate the needs of every customer. Furthermore, if you buying premium denim you shouldn’t complain about hemming a pair of pants, and in the case of the Lovestory, extreme wide-legs or flares shouldn’t be worn by short women with flats (or even heals in some cases), it makes them look shorter and frumpy. Not every style is meant for every body type anyways.

  8. I see some of your points Jason. You are right though, not every style works on everyone – I look terrible in a boyfriend jean but I love my bootcuts & flares (which, again, even at 5’7″, if I hem them, I have to take 3+ inches off so it kills that beautiful flare). 😉 I agree, Diesel has market share to do it – but by now I would hope some of the other bigger denim brands would jump on this bandwagon too. The “petite” styles some are doing is a step in the right direction. BTW, I own my favorite Diesel Lowky BC’s in both a 32″ and 34″ inseam – perfect whether I want to wear heels or flats. Perhaps different inseams means us girls buy MORE of our favorite pairs for our varying heel heights! 🙂

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