Original Hem vs Regular Hem Jeans

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Like some women, whenever I test and wear various jeans, one of the issues I commonly encounter is that the hem can sometimes make me look shorter. If you don’t alter the hemline, you may also end up dragging the extra length.

Whether you’re going to a tailor or want to DIY, not knowing the right hem can ruin a lady’s supposedly perfect jeans. I’ve done the hard work over the years of blogging and tried original hem vs regular hem jeans to explain their similarities and differences in this guide.

Original Hem vs Regular Hem Jeans General Overview

Hemming is the process of lengthening or shortening the pant leg. The finished product, or hem, can affect the final cut of the jeans and how it would look on your body. Original and regular hems are among the most frequently used, so here’s a quick background about them.

Cropped legs of two women wearing jeans

Overview of an Original Hem

Also called a European hem, an original hem is an alteration technique that shortens jeans without discarding the originally manufactured hem. It cuts off the length and sews back the original end at the bottom to maintain details like the hem’s waxy texture, faded color, or worn-out look.

Overview of a Regular Hem

The regular hem is a traditional jean hemming method that lets you cut off the extra length, fold it up, and sew it to create a new hem. Since you won’t be able to keep the original end, the jeans would look obviously altered.

Comparing Regular Hem and Original Hem

Hemming jeans can give old pants a polished, sophisticated look. In some cases, a simple alteration can make a big difference in the uniqueness of your outfits. This is why it’s crucial to understand the shared and differing aspects of regular and original hems to know which one to use.


The main similarity between original and regular hems is that both are simple ways to shorten jeans. They are great ways to alter the length of your pants, may they be denim jeans or chinos. In effect, they can also change the way jeans will fit on your legs and can make your bum look bigger.


Regular hemline and original hemline mainly differ in the process, final output, and the inability to revert into the initial hem. This is also why when you go to sewing and alteration shops, you will see different prices for the service.

Cutting Process

The alteration process is the major difference between regular and original hemming.

  • Original: For original hemming, you need to cut off the bottom hem, trim the necessary length, and then sew back the hem on the bottom. This makes the cargo pants or jeans look as if it’s new, just shortened.
  • Regular: Regular hemming basically cuts off the extra length from the inseam. Once you make the fold, you sew a new basic hem. The alteration would be evident if your pants have distinct details in the hem.
Cropped woman standing showing her heels and folded hem of her jeans

Seam Finish

Seam finishes affect the construction of garments. The finish provides neat insides. As a result, it ensures the fabric won’t fray or unravel as you wear, wash, and store your newly hemmed jeans.

  • Original: The seam finish tends to be messy and frayed in this type of hem. This is because cutting the initial hem opens the original seams. Consequently, a raised seam will be where you must put and re-attach the initial hem.
  • Regular: I like this hemming technique because it has a much cleaner seam finish, may it be for jeans or sweatpants. Since you’ll simply need to fold under and sew straight, there’s no need for additional seams or bulky fabrics.

Deceiving Hem

When you look closely at the hem, you can often tell whether a pair of jeans was hemmed or not.

I’ve observed how professional tailors won’t sew below the original hemline. Instead, they will take out the initial hem thread, place it over the seam, and sew on the original hemline’s top part. For this reason, it’s sometimes difficult to identify if the alteration uses an original hemming technique.

Meanwhile, it’s much easier to identify changes made by regular hemming. The cutting edges will create a bulky fold, so there’s no deceiving hem. This bulk is particularly obvious in skinny and slim-fit pants.

Ability to Revert to the Original Length

Your capacity to bring back the initial length of your suit pants or jeans is a stark difference between original and regular hemming. 

  • Original: For original hemming, you won’t be able to lengthen it anymore as you would have already cut a part of the fabric.
  • Regular: You can unfold the bottom part of dad jeans or mom jeans with a regular hem, returning it to the original length.


When you inquire about hemming rates at sewing shops, most of them charge around $30 for a regular hemming. Meanwhile, original hemming can cost up to $40. The rate alone can tell you that more work and effort is done in maintaining an original hemline.

Major Distinguishing Factor

The major distinguishing factor between the two is that an original hem allows you to shorten jeans while reattaching the initially manufactured sem. In contrast, a regular hem only requires you to fold the pants and create a new hem.

Two women walking wearing jeans and white shoes

When to Use an Original Hem

Use an original hem if you want to retain the manufactured hem while shortening the length of your jeans. It is a great way to preserve the distinct details or aged hem of your pants.

This hemming technique is perfect for altering the best jeans for pear-shaped bodies because you can preserve the hem’s details even if you want to adjust pants to ankle length.

When to Use a Regular Hem

Use a regular hem if you want a straightforward way to shorten the length of your jeans while ensuring clean inside seams. This is also a great option if you think you may need to unfold the hem and bring back the original length in the future.

The best jeans for an apple-shaped body include those with bootleg hem. You can achieve this silhouette using the regular hemming technique.

Which Type of Hem Is Better?

The original hem is a better choice if you want to shorten your jeans while keeping the original manufactured hem. In contrast, a regular hem would be a better option if you prefer a straightforward way to shorten jeans and create a new hem.

Both types of hem could be good options, depending on what you need them for.

As you can see, it’s important to check if you want to prioritize saving the initial details, which is when you should go for the original hemming. Meanwhile, it’s wiser to choose regular hemming if you think you’ll need to lengthen the pants in the future.

Related Questions

Can I Keep the Original Hem in Regular Hemming?

You can’t keep the original hemming once you do a regular hemming since you’ll cut off the bottoms immediately. If you want to preserve the original details of the jeans, then you should do the original hemming method from the get-go.

Are Regular and Original Hems the Best Types of Hems for Jeans?

Original and regular hems aren’t exactly the best types of hems for jeans. Instead, a double-fold hem is widely recognized as the best hem type as it encloses a fabric’s raw edge. However, the downside is that you’ll have to deal with the fabric’s extra bulk.

What Is the Easiest Way to Hem Jeans?

The easiest way to hem jeans is to use either the original or regular hemming methods. Opt for the first one to keep the hem’s original detail of the hem. Choose the second method to alter the length without preserving the original accents, colors, stitches, patterns, or elements.

HONEST review of the CNROS Stretch Skinny Jeans

Final Verdict

Tailoring the hems of jeans or khakis can alter the appearance and help improve the fit. Whether you want to revamp your old jeans or simply need to adjust the length, you can choose original and regular hems to make them look good.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.