Appropriate Hem Length: Look Professional and Prolong Your Pant Life

Mar 17th, 2015

Umpires take special care in looking their best on the field. Because umpire pants come unhemmed, one area that is often overlooked or forgotten until it is too late is hem length. 

Hem your pants too short, and you are left with an unprofessional "high waters" look.

Hem Length Too ShortPants hemmed too short.

Too long and the hem of your pants drag on the ground and/or get caught under your shoes. This may make your pants dirty and causes fraying and ripping at the hem. This seriously decreases the longevity of your umpire pants.

Hem Length Too LongPants hemmed too long and touching the ground.

Whether talking about dress pants or umpire base pants, the rule of thumb is the same. The back of the pants should almost reach the base of your shoe's midsole.

Appropriate Hem LengthPants hemmed at proper length provide most professional look without touching the ground.

With umpire plate pants the same general rule still applies. However, if you have say a 30" hem length in a dress pant or base pants, 30" will be too short for plate pants due to umpire shin guards causing pants to spread out and not hang completely straight.

Hem Length Too LongAnother example of pants hemmed too long, causing a messier look at the shoes and could drag the ground.

In general, you could hem your plate pants 1 to 1 1/2 inch longer than your base pants. Best practice, however, is to take your shin guards, plate shoes and pants to a professional tailor, put them on, and then find the best hem. It will vary based on the type of shin guards you wear.

Appropriate Hem Length

Spending a little extra time and money upfront for a proper hem and you will not regret it. Appearance of a well maintained uniform will emanate professionalism and preparedness to your fellow umpires, game participants and attendees.

Related Articles

About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020 & 2021 and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.


Be the first to comment on this article!