I found that when I started wearing a hakama that I had to emphasize hip movement more than before to keep the hakama from wrapping around my ankles. Obviously this helped my technique. It also helped me from getting too wide or too narrow of a stance. It took me about ten years of wearing a hakama to get to traditional length but I seldom get caught in the long hakama. As long as I am in the dojo I feel somewhat naked without my hakama on but it doesn't affect anything if I am not wearing one.