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Why Pant Hems Go Up When You Sit Down

Threads #183, February/March 2016 Issue
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Q: Why are some pants too short when sitting down? When I am standing, my pants are all full length, but when I sit down, some of them ride up, while others don’t. Why does this happen? Can I fix it?
-Stephaniemartins26, via Gatherings forum

A: Kenneth D. King, contributing editor and featured instructor in numerous fitting videos, assesses the issue:

If your pants are the proper length when you’re standing and walking, then they will get shorter when you sit. Bending at the hips and knees takes up length in the pants. Men know instinctively that they need to hitch up the trouser leg, to move length upward so the body has room to bend. Obviously, the hem will rise when you do this. 
Some factors that can affect how much pant legs ride up include the pants style (the leg shape and width, in addition to overall ease); the fabric (stretch fabric may simply flex so the pants don’t ride up); and your body type (a fuller derrière may take up more length when you sit, for example).

How do you fix it? In fitting, it’s all judgment calls. If you want the pants to be the proper length when sitting, then they will be too long when standing. (The exception to this is pants made of a very stretchy textile.) This falls into the category of “How will you wear it?” You can fit your pants quite long and wear heels, if you like. If a person is sitting all the time (say, in a wheelchair), then hemming the pants to the proper length when sitting is the way to go.

This post was originally featured in the Q&A department of Threads #183 (February/March 2016).

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  1. Yunus Bombay August 18th

    This is not the remedy I think this is an excuse .To get rid of this problem of rising hems upwards while sitting you have to increase half inch at back rise near waist line and give a half inch extra ease at the seat round taking care that pants would not go loose .By making certain changes while drafting definitely you will get rid of hem rising problems of pants.

  2. Yunus Bombay August 18th

  3. CharlesHarris1950 August 17th

    So my torousers are not too short ;p

  4. George56 July 14th

    I knew it! My friend laughed that my trousers is too short.

  5. James97 July 12th

    I always thought that my trousers are too short.

  6. JamesScarborough67 June 20th

    I always thought that my trousers are too short. Now I know I was wrong.

  7. OSullivan86 May 29th

    I always wanted to know why it's happend. Now I know ;P

  8. It's simple. I know about it for a long time.

  9. AmandaPride1 April 12th

    wow… its awesome! very nice

  10. Michael1986 January 19th

    That's why especially men wearing suits should pay attention to socks they wear. For ladies it's not that problematic, as they can take heels and look great while both standing and seating.

  11. User avater finchelicious January 8th

    Finally the answer...

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