How to make hot pants

Updated April 17, 2017

Hot trousers, which are simply very short shorts, first grabbed attention in the 1970s. For the confident and leggy wearer they are another way to turn up the summer heat. Buying hot pants can be a risky business, however, because they fit everyone so differently. So make your own instead. Find a pair of body-hugging trousers or jeans and stitch up hot pants for sizzling summer days.

Try on the pair of trousers or jeans for fit. It's best to use trousers that fit snugly at the hips with a mid-to-high waistline.

Mark how far down you'd like the hot pants to go using tailor's chalk. The hot pants can always become shorter after you've cut them, so in the beginning it's better to be generous with the length.

Take off the trousers and fold them carefully so that both legs are flattened, one on top of the other.

Measure down from the chalk mark 5 cm (2 inches) to allow room for fraying, and draw a dotted line all the way around the pant leg. Repeat this process with the other leg, and then refold them to make sure the lengths match and the shorts will be symmetrical.

Cut on the dotted line to remove the excess material, and set aside. As you are cutting, be careful to keep a straight line and to avoid mistakes near the thick seams of the pant leg.

Try on the hot pants for fit. Shorten them if necessary. If you're happy with the length, fray the cut edge of the shorts by running them through a washer and dryer for a distressed, worn-in look.


If you want a more polished look, hem the shorts after you cut them.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Pair of tight-fitting trousers or jeans
  • Needle and thread
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About the Author

Halie Theoharides started writing professionally in 2001. With work published in "NOÖ Journal," "Shampoo" and "Yes, Poetry," she was also the recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English Award. Theoharides holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College.