let down /take up the hem [pants / trousers]

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igma

Banned
spanish
Hi

If I said this sentence in either of the forms would you understand me?

Could you let down/take up the hem of my pants?

thank you
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    For total clarity, I would be instructing my tailor or seamstress to lengthen or shorten my trousers/pants. But to answer your question, yes, I would understand, as would most people, I think... but we use "let out the hem" to mean lengthen the trousers.
     

    FNA

    Member
    English
    I'm in my 50s from the Mid Atlantic USA

    I tend to think of the hem of a dress or skirt and the cuffs of a pair of trousers

    I use each term as verb in the same manner, < in other words > I don't have my trousers hemmed, I have them cuffed.


    < Edited to write out abbreviation in full. Cagey, moderator. >
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    But trousers can be hemmed with or without cuffs. You wouldn't have cuffs put on tuxedo slacks, for example.

    I would use hemmed but I think I would say "hems" for pants/trousers.

    Could you let down/take up the hems on these pants/trousers?

    I have no idea how to sew anything. I am just reporting on the way I would say it as a customer. I would certainly understand your original question.
     

    FNA

    Member
    English
    I took this part out of my earlier reponse.

    You don't need cuffs to have your trousers cuffed. I do in fact have trousers that I have cuffed without cuffs to break on my shoes.

    When I have my cuffs lengthened, I am actually having the 'cuff" [hem} shortened so as to lengthen the trousers while the cuffs remain the same.

    Simple.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, that strikes me as unusual too. If someone told me they wanted their trousers "cuffed", I would think that they wanted a folded up cuff added to their trousers.

    I believe that many people ~ possibly most ~ would say "lengthened" or "shortened" when they are talking about trousers, as Copyright suggests. It is true that this may be accomplished by taking up (raising) or letting down (lowering) the hem, but I suspect that people are less likely to use these terms.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Yes, that strikes me as unusual too. If someone told me they wanted their trousers "cuffed", I would think that they wanted a folded up cuff added to their trousers.

    I believe that many people ~ possibly most ~ would say "lengthened" or "shortened" when they are talking about trousers, as Copyright suggests. It is true that this may be accomplished by taking up (raising) or letting down (lowering) the hem, but I suspect that people are less likely to use these terms.

    I agree. I don't think we would ordinarily call out the process to a tradesman, only the result.

    I would not imagine saying, "I'd like to get the house scraped, sanded, primed, and painted; what would that cost?"

    I would say, "I'd like to get the house painted properly; what would that cost?"
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    But trousers can be hemmed with or without cuffs. You wouldn't have cuffs put on tuxedo slacks, for example.

    I would use hemmed but I think I would say "hems" for pants/trousers.

    Could you let down/take up the hems on these pants/trousers?

    I have no idea how to sew anything. I am just reporting on the way I would say it as a customer. I would certainly understand your original question.
    Would it be possible/correct to say "Could you let down my pants' hems"? "I would like to have my pants' hems let down"?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You can say "let down/lengthen the hem(s) on my pants/pant legs". It's usually not a good idea to let down hems. You can often see where the original hem was.
    I agree. Usually I have pants hemmed when I shop for them and can't find my length. I then order the nearest size that is longer than required and my tailor will hem them to the correct size.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I agree. Usually I have pants hemmed when I shop for them and can't find my length. I then order the nearest size that is longer than required and my tailor will hem them to the correct size.
    Very civilized of you. I wish tailors were more common these days. Clothes never look good in a "one size fits all Larges" cookie cutter design.
     
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