What Are 7/8 Leggings?
When you’re shopping for leggings, there are lots of decisions to be made. For example:
- High rise, mid rise or low rise
- Material and finish (shiny, matt, thick, thin)
- Pattern and color
- Even things like hidden pockets, mesh panels and more…
But one of the biggest choices is the length of the leggings. Like jeans, the length can dramatically change the look of your leggings. And, of course, the length of any pair of leggings will depend on your own individual height.
So... What Are 7/8 Length Leggings Anyway?
Jean companies tend to indicate length by the number of inseam inches (32” or 34” etc.) But some jean companies also use “Ankle”, “Standard” and “Tall”. These are used to indicate the height they’re made for. But they also indicate where one might expect the hem to sit on whatever that company deems an “average” height woman.
Legging lengths similarly differ manufacturer to manufacturer. But the 7/8 length is basically 1/8 shorter than full length leggings. It is designed to sit just above the ankle (and therefore will show some skin between your legging cuff and your footwear).
The 7/8 length is most people’s preferred length of legging. Many say it is the perfect length to elongate the leg, whereas cropped leggings can make you seem shorter.
But again, where it falls on you, will depend on your height versus what your manufacturer considers standard. It’s best to look for inseam measurements (usually in inches) to be completely sure where 7/8 will sit on you.
For example, I’m 5ft 2”and 7/8 length leggings often fit as full length (or longer) on me!
7/8 Leggings Versus Full Length Leggings
Full length leggings can be too long on shorter people. On the manufacturer’s “ideal” height, they are designed to cover the ankle and will likely touch the top of the heel of your shoe. They shouldn’t show leg skin (maybe just a little of your foot or ankle, depending on your footwear).
Full length leggings are great for tucking into socks and books in the winter, but with trainers, they can look ‘too long’, make the feet look big or the legs short.
The 7/8 length removes just enough length to shoe the flattering ankle area. This “visual break” creates an illusion of greater length, as well as accentuating the curve of the ankle. Wearing “invisible” socklets will further accentuate your ankle and amplify this illusion.
7/8 Leggings Versus Cropped (or Capri) Leggings
If you’re thinking 7/8 leggings sound like cropped (or capri) leggings, you’re going too far. Cropped leggings are usually cut off mid-calf (they’re more like 6/8 length). Cropped leggings show more leg than the standard 7/8 length is designed to. And - strange as it may seem - cropped leggings can also make the legs look shorter, because they usually cut across the thicker calf area of the leg.
So think of the 7/8 legging as the perfect sweet spot length: They’re not full length, not cropped. They create a perfect illusion of a longer leg!
Are All 7/8 Leggings the Same Length?
As previously mentioned, the ⅞ measurement is relative to a full length version of the product. But what one brand deems full length can be different from another. So, if you’re shopping online, how do you know what a ⅞ legging will look like on your body?
Here are three ways:
1. Pay Attention to Inseam Measurements
The product name might say 7/8 length, but usually in the product details you’ll find more precise inseam measurements. You can use that to take your own inseam measurement (or compare a favourite existing pair of leggings or jeans). Inseam measurements are usually in inches, so they’re much more reliable than something as subjective as “ankle” or “7/8”.
2. Or to Model Height
Some websites will tell you the height and size of the model pictured in the product. This will give you a good indication of how that same product might sit on you (although no two bodies are precisely the same).
But if the legging is ankle length on a model who is 5ft 7” and you’re 5ft 3”, you’ll know it’s going to be longer on your frame. Vice versa if you’re taller than the model on the website.
This method is not an exact science (sometimes photos on shopping websites are retouched), so if you have the option, inseam measurements are more reliable!
3. Read The Customer Reviews on Site!
Many sites, including Knix, have generous customers who leave product reviews. They can enter their size and height and review whether the product was true to size. It’s worth reading a handful of reviews to see if there’s any consistent feedback that you might want to incorporate into your buying decision. Again, this method is not an exact science. But I usually do a quick scan of reviews before I hit check-out!
Always Check the Exchange Policy!
You probably don’t need us to tell you that clothes sizing can be tricky. Whether it’s for bras, shoes or leggings, sizing is never really perfectly standard. There’s always a degree of trial and error and for that reason it’s good to be aware of the retailer’s return and exchange policy.
For the record, with Knix, clothing items are eligible for return or exchange within 30 days of delivery. However, these items need to be unworn with the tags still attached to qualify for a refund or exchange.
We really hope you’ll find your perfect fit. But, if you don’t, you can rest assured that you can exchange it or get a refund! Check out our leggings here.