Fashion will continue its love affair with the 70s era this coming fall/autumn, clearly evident by the wide assortment of paisley prints, fringe, and now, the reprise of the then popular cropped flare hem...or what some would call the kick-hem. Imagine, if you would, a boot-leg or slight bell-bottom hem which has been cut about 2 to 3 inches above the ankle - alas you have the kick-hem. An interesting hem, indeed, but if worn correctly, it adds a bit of whimsy and interest which cannot be denied. Growing up in the 70s, I recall my mother and the dancers on Soul Train wearing wildly patterned, kick-hem pants with matching tunics. I thought they looked very cool, and begged my mother to make me a pair - complete with platform heels. I was all the rage when I went to school in my new duds.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, my love affair for vintage merchandise began at a very young age. It began while spending summers going through my maternal grandmother's vast array of jewelry and handbags from the 40s and 50s. She would then allow her granddaughters to select pieces to take for our very own. Not all the granddaughters appreciated these times, but for myself and another cousin, Gina, this activity was equivalent to spending the day at Disneyland...or perhaps even better. It was through this experience my appreciation for vintage blossomed.

Fast forward 40 years and my fondness for retro still reigns. I enjoy taking trips into Los Angeles to shop the vintage boutiques on Melrose Avenue, or to the Pasadena Flea Market to hunt for the perfect treasure. Though I adore merchandise from decades past, I will not dawn vintage head-to-toe. Rather, I enjoy mixing them with modern. By pairing my items in this fashion, outfits are less likely to resemble a costume. So for today, I've combined 70s inspired kick-hem pants, and vintage handbag with more modern pieces to create an outfit that gives a subtle nod to the past. Enjoy!

Outfit Details: I took an old pair of boot-leg pants from Ann Taylor Loft and hemmed them to create a kick-hem trouser; Vintage Handbag from the Style Nudge Vintage Shop; Heather Striped Tank: Ann Taylor Loft; Strappy Sandal: Ann Taylor Loft (Sold Out buy almost identical pair by Jeffrey Campbell; Ralph Lauren Braided Belt (Many Braided Leather Belts at Nordstrom); Polish is A List by Essie. 



What do you think of the kick-hem? Is this a pant you would wear? If you're unsure about this type of pant, then consider what I have done...take a pair of old pants which have a boot-leg or slight bell-bottom and hem them about 2 to 3 inches to create your own DIY pair. It's a more cost effective way to try them out{wink}

PS. Don't forget to tune in to The Intersection on Periscope (@SoWhattoTwenty) on Wednesday - 7:00pm (PST). I'll see you at #TheIntersection!

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Whitney Nic James
Photographs by Freddy and are the property of So What to Twenty!


  1. Great outfit here, you look stunning! Casual and yet elegant.

    1. Thank you so much! It is a look I would wear to many places.

  2. Glenda,
    What do I think? Ah, but you know! I adore! I will follow suit with the same method somehow, finding trousers are tough for me! Love the vintage handbag and the very sleek look you created here. Love the new + old! XX, Elle

    1. Hi Elle, I wasn't willing to invest in the hem, but taking a pair of pants I rarely wear and converting them was idea. I'm glad I did it!

  3. I think I lost my post, but if it appears twice I apologize! I like this look on you a lot. You wear it well. I think the heels are perfect with the pants and think that the pants definitely call for a heel like this. Genius idea to create your own pair from what you had. I don't remember this look from the 70's, but years of observation have me believing that fashion in the midwest is VERY slow to catch on if it does at all! I do remember matching pantsuits in the 70's (YIKES!!!) with wide-leg pants but don't recall seeing them cropped! Anyway, it's a fun look!

    1. Thanks Karen! I think the heels are the best option and then followed by a tie-up sandal. It's a tricky hem, not for the faint of heart. The 70s was when I was able to really recall fashion, and I do remember my mom wearing them.

  4. Love, love, love your "kick hems" and I adore that you put your fabulous vintage white bag (where did you get that??? ha,ha) with such a great current outfit. You have such great style, it is your confidence and attitude that come through. It's not so much what you wear, but how you wear it that is true style. And, you know how to wear it all my friend!


    1. Thank you so much, Cherie! I feel the same about you. Yes, the bag...LOVE! You've got a great selection, Cherie. I adore my new bag and feel so retro-chic when carrying it :)

  5. Replies
    1. Hi Stephannie! Thank you so very much. Hey, what did you end up wearing to that fabulous event you told me about?


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it really means a great deal for me to connect with my So What to Twenty friends. I hope you subscribed via email or by social media - I wouldn't want you to miss anything on our True Style journey. Stay True, Glenda