How to Get The Pant Leg Opening Width You Desire, Consistently

Pant leg opening is the width at the very bottom of a pant leg. Pant leg opening is measured across at the hem, as the pant lies flat.

pant leg opening

What is your best pant leg opening width?

Maybe you already know your best ankle width is 8 inches…or 7 inches. But if you don’t know, determining your target ankle width will be time well spent. It’s helpful when shopping and discussing alterations.

To get started, find two pants in your wardrobe that have the most desirable ankle widths. Measure the ankle width (across the bottom hem) of both – maybe one pair is 7 1/2″ and the other pair is 8″.

Next, think about how those measurements could be improved. For example, if your ankle width was 7”, or ½” less, would you be happier?

Once you know the measurements of your best fitting pants opening widths, and you’ve considered the adjustments for improvement, then you can set your target ankle width. And once you know your target, you can become consistent.

What pant leg opening is in style right now?

Standard leg opening widths only see slight variations over time, with adjustments of plus or minus 1” in reaction to fashion trends. More fashion-forward leg opening widths, those on the extremes, will vary greatly.

pant leg opening measuring

A traditional ankle width is 8 ½” and that changes slightly depending on the pant size. Generally, less than 8 ½” is trending towards more modern style – and more than 8 ½” is trending towards more conservative style.

Heading into 2020, a standard and current ankle width is 8” for most guys. Again, less than 8” trends more modern, greater than 8” trends more conservative.

Hemming and Local Alterations

Once you know your target ankle width, you may be able to have pants you currently own altered to meet your target. In general, you can reduce ankle width, but you can’t widen it – there’s not enough fabric on the inside seams to make the pant wider. Provide the tailor/seamstress with your target width.

Finding Pants from Brands That Meet Your Target Width

The easiest way to ensure you hit your target ankle width is to buy pants that come with your target width. Don’t depend on local alterations. A quick search of a brand sizing charts online will provide measurements for you to compare to your target.

How Todd Shelton helps customers with ankle width

Here at Todd Shelton, we call pant leg opening width Ankle Width. We address pant leg opening with fit options that have been developed over years of listening to customer requests.

Our most popular option is called Standard, it sits in the middle of our range of Ankle Widths – it is immune to trends, it’s timeless. Our Straight option is 1/2″ more wide than Standard. And Slim is 1/2″ less than Standard. In terms of popularity: Standard is most popular, Slim is next, then Straight.

We provide Ankle Width measurements on our sizing charts (available on product pages). Our Ankle Width measurements do not change with inseam length. The published ankle width is the same regardless if the pant is 28″ inseam or 36″ inseam.

If you have any questions about ankle widths, or our pant products, please contact us.

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