Women's pants length and high water pants

Plus size workshop: Pants length

High water pants

Flood pants

What are flood pants?
What are high water pants?
Is the high water situation different for plus size pants?

Ask someone under 40 and they may tell you flood pants are clam diggers, capris and pants lengths in-between. NOT SO. The original flood pants and high water pants are any full length pants for men or women that are really too short. In past years some theatrical people like Michael jackson intentionally wore very short long pants -- maybe to expose his socks. Peewee Herman wore what would be high water pants as his personal statement. Gene Kelly used to wear high water pants seemingly so you could see his feet in action --as your eye was often drawn to his socks. Fred never did this.

Plus size women should be keenly aware of the length of pants and jeans. It is even more important for us to have the perfect length pants.

The problems with high water pants are:

1. To any even partially fashion savvy person, high water pants easily make you look like you're a fashion dunce.

2. High water pants are as unflattering for plus size women as are clam diggers and capris.

3. Pants that shrink 1/2 inch or more in length with washing ought to be donated to less fortunate folks when they shrink. Inexpensive and expensive pants and jeans can shrink depending on how they are made and what they are made of.

Here's the guideline:
If you find the best fitting pants or jeans in the world, and they are too short -meaning they are high water pants - pass them by.
If you find the best designed, colored or styled pants or jeans in the world, but they are too short -meaning they are high water pants - pass them by. Do not buy them.

Length vs. pant-leg shape
The wider the pants leg, the longer the pants need to be.
The wider the jeans leg, the longer the jeans need to be.

This means leggings and tight leg jeans and pants can be ankle length, and even expose theankle in some fashion trends today.

Tight leg pants length and leggins length

Straight leg pants ought to touch your shoe top in the front and cover the top of the back of your shoe.

Wider leg pants length:

Wider leg pants should fall slightly on the top of your shoe in flats, or touch the top of your shoe when wearing high heels.

Beware of the near miss

Ever hear the expression, "close, but no cigar?" The most common high water pants faux pax is the pants that are an inch short. Pants that just come to the top of the back of your shoe are too short! What to do with pants that are too short?
(The first rule really was do not buy them, but...)
1. You could learn the lost art of pants hemming - usually you can get a good inch of length by adding seam binding and realigning the new stitch line exactly over the old fold line. This can be done by hand though it's a lot easier with a sewing machine.
2. To (shorten or ) lengthen your pants, you could take your best pants to a cleaners/tailor - that's exactly what they do! Jeans usually cannot be lengthened this way.
3. Donate them.

Let's see:

Above: Your pants should kiss the tops of your shoes. The wider the pants, the longer they need to be.
When wearing high heels, your pants should kiss your shoetop in front, and reach the top of the beginning of the actual heel of the shoe - covering the back of your body's heel. With spike heels or high platforms, this may not always be possible. If you are wearing such shoes, usually you will be wearing very skinny jeans or tights or leggings. Don't trip!
With leg hugging skinny leg pants, or leggings, you can wear pants a bit shorter, but straight leg pants with flat shoes, sandals and sport shoes, need to touch the top of your shoe in front.
Sweats are no exception to pants length laws. These pants are too short. They should come down to brush the shoe top.This does not apply if the sweat bottoms have elastic or tight fit at the hem.
Above: Bell bottom, palazzo, or wide leg pants need to be longest. with flats and sport shoes, the should be within 1/2 in of the floor in back when you have shoes on. While wearing high heels with wide leg pants, they need to kiss your shoe front and cover the back of the shoe down to the beginning of the heel of the shoe.
Men should be aware of high water pants too. Their pants should "break" (slightly fold) over their shoetop, and cover the back of the shoe to the top of the shoe's heel.

Ankle length closer fitting leg pants can just cover the anklebone, even tighter pants or leggins can expose the ankle if you choose to do so.


About Pants (not jeans)

Check out our other plus size fashion workshop section for pants, jackets and tops.


Special workshop on plus size crop pants, capris, and clam-diggers

See the effects of the shorter, crop pants trend on plus-sized women! See how they look by others and what to do to look your best.


More plus size fashion tips are on the way!

Body shape workshops
More shapes and figures workshops are being built for you, so be sure to take the time to define your shape to better use this website.

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Special cuts
While some designers play with odd length pants, that is exactly what they got - odd length pants!

Color note

The length of pants has nothing to do with the color of the pants or jeans.





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