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Hemming and Hawing: The Lost Art of Tailoring

For us regular folks, have we even heard of hemming? I'm short, so maybe I have an advantage. If I didn't hem most of my pants, I'd be wearing them as slippers.
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I'm a little old-school, and I have some pet peeves when it comes to the following:

1. Chipped nail polish as a fashion statement (really, kids, you're just too lazy to use nail polish remover between coats -- admit it).
2. Bra straps showing, entire back of bra showing, heck, and shirt armpits cut down to the waist, so that the whole bra shows.
3. Tails of shirts coming out from the bottom of sweaters, tank tops and blazers. Men and women, boys and girls, from TV personalities to rabbis: What ever happened to tucking in? What is so hip about seeing one or two inches of the bottom of a button-down shirt hanging out between the bottom of the sweater and your crotch? All I see, again, is lazy.
4. Butt crack as the new cleavage, or worse, hairy butt crack -- enough said.

But what really irks me, and may have just slipped our collective conscience, is un-hemmed pants and dresses. I was reminded of this watching this year's Emmy's. Here are these gorgeous women in gorgeous flowing fabrics, most made exclusively for the individual, to order, to fit, but they've left the hems way too long. How high of a shoe did the designers think the actress would wear? I understand trains. Very regal, the fabric flows behind the princess of cinema -- maybe some handler will walk behind and ensure it not be trounced upon or caught, but who's walking in front of said princess making sure she doesn't trip over her own Cinderella gown? You would think they'd want to show off their $800 shoes, if nothing else. If I were Jimmy Choo, I'd be pretty pissed off if I gave away the shoes and had to watch them being hidden by an overly long dress all night.

And for the rest of us regular folks, have we even heard of hemming? I'm short, so maybe I have an advantage. If I didn't hem most of my pants, I'd be wearing them as slippers. I'd eventually wear a foot-sized hole in the bottom fifth of the pants and the extra fabric would fall off, but if I would just hem them to begin with they wouldn't have to go through that stage of looking ragged and disheveled. Most of the jeans I see on women and men aren't your basic $20 Target-brand jeans, they're more like $179 name brands. Doesn't it make sense to preserve the integrity of such an expensive investment?

The same goes for the long beach dresses I saw over the summer. Beautiful flowing gowns on top, but when you got to the bottom the hems were dragging, frayed, ripped and filthy. What do you expect when you let the bottom of your dress do community street sweeping for you? Yuck.

I volunteer to ask seamstresses to camp out in a local Starbucks to give short lessons on the simple art of hemming. (I can guarantee nearly every fashion victim is in such an establishment at least twice a day, six days a week.) That way my pet peeve will be addressed, the cottage industry of tailoring will flourish and we can all be relived of the risk of tripping and gathering dust.

As to nails, bras and butt cleavage stay tuned. I'm working on it.