Cuffed Pants

I always try to include helpful styling information in each blog post, so I am grateful when followers ask specific questions. “Susan, I have short 29″/fat legs (true, might as well admit it!). What are your thoughts on wearing pants with cuffs? I have been wearing them, but wondering if that hurts/helps my issue. (I wear size 12 pants, but find most pants have legs so tight that I have recently bought the Boyfriend Jean, which turns out to not be very loose on my fat legs.) Maybe a post about cuffs would help others too. I notice yours are never cuffed. Thank you! Love your blog!”

Cuffs will shorten your legs visually because they add another horizontal line to your body. I also have a twenty-nine-inch inseam and thick legs, so I never wear cuffed pants. A dark color fuller leg pant that is straight and smooth without grabbing any part of the legs on the way down to the top of your foot will always be the best choice. Wearing shoes, the color of your skin, or your pants’ tone would also help to elongate your legs.

More tips about pant legs for new followers: The wider the pant leg, the longer the pant should be. For example, palazzo pants should almost touch the floor. Cropped pants should stop at the most narrow part of your leg. When you wear short ankle boots, wear ankle pants that don’t bunch up on the boot top or long bootcut pants that stop on the top of the foot. I do wear straight leg (not skinny) ankle pants in the summer because they are cooler.

I am wearing a polka-dot print Portofino blouse and a classic style gray chain bag, both from Express, in this casual Friday look. The short cardigan sweater is from Chico’s last year, as are the straight leg black jeans. I often wear these jeans with loafer type or other low heeled shoes, so I had them hemmed to touch the top of my foot. The rainy day shoes have a good tread on the sole, and they are by Calvin Klein a couple of years ago.

  1. Excellent article! Thank you from another person with the same type of legs and inseam!I will save this. Btw, I love your blouse!

  2. I always appreciate the “education”! (Really love that you focus on past purchases and show how to make them so current!
    I am trying to remember your rules of thirds. Can you do a post with dos and don’ts photos?
    I love the look of your top hanging below your jacket but I always fear that style will Call attention to my too generous behind.

      1. I agree with Evelyn…you are a wonderful educator! Your photos are inspiring but I am learning so much about fashion, beauty and health. My family is learning as well! 🙂 You have the gift of being able to put into words why certain ensembles work or don’t work. Do you have any ‘guidelines’ for how to wear long cardigans/tops with flats?

        1. Thank you, Sarah. I love to wear long cardigans also. The magic happens for me when I match the color of the pants to the color of the cardigan and then wear a shorter lighter color tank top or other shorter top that stops where my leg bends at the hip. If I wear a long necklace or a scarf long and loose it also helps to make me look taller.

  3. Cute look..I’m right there with you on the shorter legs. Just ordered some pj’s in petite & am having them hemmed several inches. Best wishes for a lovely weekend.

  4. So glad I check this blog every few days! Susan, you inspired me today. I have a denim-ish blue colored shirt with polka dots (from Talbot) that I hardly wear as it never seems quite right with jeans. Today I took my inspiration from you while trying to figure out what to wear to meet a friend for coffee. I felt great! Keep ’em coming.

  5. Loving the longer blouse under the third piece, especially in today’s blog photo. Thanks for the tips on lengthening.

  6. I have a big problem with the Chico’s So Slimming line of pants. They have a rise too low for most mature women. Strange, isn’t is, as Chico’s target customer is the “mature woman?” We are the ones who are more likely to be able to afford their clothing. Those low rise pants are very unflattering and very, very uncomfortable on those of us who have had children and are now suffering the effects of gravity.

    On the other hand, their Platinum line I have found to be great. Chico’s customer service is second to none. It’s just good to know which of their lines work for us.

  7. This outfit is so flattering on you! I had to comment because I have been reworking my wardrobe for the last couple of years, picking up classic pieces that I hope will work for a long time as I age (almost 55) and a lot of black. Yesterday, I found a great sale and ticked off “plain black cardigan” from my list…and saw a grey dotted blouse and grey quilted chain bag I just couldn’t leave in the store…I was thinking the blouse was a mistake because I don’t have grey slacks –
    until I saw this post. I have this entire outfit and am thinking I might just copy you here! Thank you for giving me an excuse to keep the blouse!

  8. Your tips on dressing are very helpful. I am 5’2″, long waisted, large busted, and short Thiner legs. Looking at your photos, I understand why I have always liked jackets and tank tops. Whenever I try to change my style to long shirts or longer sweaters that are too boxy, I look dumpy. Seeing your photos really helps. LOVE Your shoes!!

  9. I love your blog! You have helped me tremendously in finding my style and fit. I have the opposite problem. I am 5′ 8″ and 135 pounds. How would you change the above recommendations for a fairly tall, thin person?

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m like you at 5′ 7 1/2″ and slender. Sometimes the black slim leg pants make us look too slim and legs too long. If you want to duplicate Susan’s look try this: I would wear a longer jacket – mid-thigh or to just above the knee, belt the shirt with a low V belt (so it ends below your natural waist) and wear lower heeled boots. I also have a pair of slim black pants with cuffs and that helps too. In the warmer weather, I wear 7/8 pants or capri pants and we can also break Susan’s shoe color “rule” and wear black shoes with white pants – at least I do as my hair is dark and that seems to balance the look. Hope this helps 🙂

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.