Looking for a few ways to keep your favorite cropped jeans in wardrobe and still be trendy. I’m showing 4 ways to style cropped jeans with just a few tricks.
Let me start this post by saying that I do NOT find a cropped jeans particularly flattering on anyone but they are especially unkind on a curvy woman with larger calves. However, I recently had a chance to work with my favorite denim brand, NYDJ, and I jumped at the chance even though it was for the cropped length of their new Straight Cropped Thigh Shaper Jeans with Future Fit technology.
This post is not sponsored but my jeans were gifted. All opinions are my own.
While I’m not in love with the length, the denim and its superb ability to smooth and shape, even in white, does not disappoint! And, I’m a big fan of the criss-cross tummy panel that keeps that belly roll from flopping over my hysterectomy scar. Bye-Bye VBL (visible belly line)!
I’m not one to follow every fashion rule –hello, I’m over 50 and love hoop earrings – but even style-guru Tim Gunn agrees with me and says capri pants should be banished from our wardrobes.
BUT MAYBE YOU LOVE CROPPED JEANS
Seriously, I almost backed out on the brand opportunity because I was really struggling to put my full-figure into something that I don’t think is my best look but then I thought – I know there are plenty of women out there who have cropped pants and love them because they wear them instead of shorts or skirts and I’d like to find a way to help make them as flattering as possible.
If this is you, take a look.
CROPPED JEANS vs. ANKLE JEANS
First, let’s take a quick second to define a cropped pants. Sometimes called capri-length, pedal-pushers, or knee-knockers (as my mom would say) – these are lengths from mid-calf to just below the knee.
These are not to be confused with the more universally flattering ankle-length which lands an inch or two above the ankle thus creating a longer, leaner look while still keeping a sliver of skin showing. You know, keep it fresh!
I wore my white ankle-length NYDJ jeans in this post on How to Avoid Online Shopping Mistakes
Before I show you the four looks here are a few style points to keep in mind when styling cropped pants:
PRETEND IT’S A SKIRT
Treat the cropped length as you would a mid-calf pencil skirt – especially when thinking of the proportion of the top and shoes you choose to coordinate.
Consider adding a heeled shoe which adds length to the overall look. Bonus points for the curvy girl if it’s a pointed toe.
Add layers that are as long as, or better yet, longer than the cropped pants. This draws the eye up and down and keeps the eye from stopping and “stumping” at the mid-calf. It all has to do with proportion and not cutting the leg in half.
CROPPED AND CASUAL
A denim shirt and white jeans just seem to go together and if you add a punch of leopard… grrr, Baby. In hindsight, I might have belted this top for a more flattering look.
JEAN wearing 16W || DENIM TOP wearing 2X || SANDALS (old) Similar || CROSS-BODY (old) Similar
FOR THE OFFICE
I’m treating the cropped jeans as a pencil skirt for this office appropriate look and belting the blazer adds further polish and shape. Adding a nude, pointed toe kitten heel helps elongate my leg.
See, THIS is why every woman needs a white blazer in her closet!
JEANS || BLAZER (old) Similar; Similar || BELT; Similar || SHOES (old) SIMILAR || EARRING similar
LONG & CASUAL
The camo duster was a gift from my sister and I wear it on repeat with so many things, even joggers! A wedged sneaker might be better here, but a chunky, platform sneaker lends a trendy flare.
JEANS wearing 16W || T-SHIRT || SNEAKERS Similar; Similar || DUSTER (no longer available) Similar; Similar; Similar || BAG (old) Similar
OLD SCHOOL GLAM – My FAVORITE!
This is my favorite look out of all four because in my mind it conjures up the women in Cary Grant movies with their popped collars and open bottom shirt dresses over slim pants. See how the dress is slightly longer than the cropped pants? You could even style a maxi-dress over them too. Can you believe this dress is from Walmart? Wearing a XXL
DRESS, Similar || JEANS wearing 16W || SHOES (old) Similar; Similar || EARRINGS || BELT (old) Similar
WHICH TEAM ARE YOU ON?
Are you team cropped pants or do you pass them by?
I’m sticking with my NYDJ but I’ll probably go back to my ankle-length jeans. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be incorporating them into some of these same outfits.
I’m not a big cropped jeans girl, but I’m never giving up my skinny jeans…I think
😂😂😂 my favorite look is with the camo duster. It’s just my style 🤷♀️
I would have never thought to put a button up dress or skirt over them, and I do kind of love that!
We’re on the same page Julie. Although I love me some straight and wide leg jeans too.
I LOVE all of these, but that all white outfit is FIERCE!!! Thank you for the inspiration!
Thank you Leann!
Wow! I love all 4 looks and the pedal pusher cropped jeans style. I’m happy to cover up my puffy knees. The camo cardigan and chambray shirt looks are my fav. NMDJ jeans are good quality jeans. Thanks for sharing!
Camo cardi is so cozy and I think a duster makes almost anything look chic!
I pass them by. I have varicose veins and largish calves. I do wear ankle jeans, which show some varicose veins, because summer in NC requires that I don’t look like I am dressing for winter. Thanks for the post, Paula – still don’t like crops, but may look at NYDJs in other lengths.
I love their ankle length jeans Ellen! And right now, the nice good is that since unfinished bottoms are so chic, you can trim them to YOUR perfect length! Win!
The look with the blazer – wowsers, Paula! Your hair! Your earrings! The shoes! The belt! Stunnnnnnning. Mr. Dimples better take you out on the town with that look.
Aww, thanks a bunch Lori! We had frozen pizza on the couch in our jammies tonight. Sexy! 🤣
Those are the best kind of dates, in my mind. What’s better than feeling comfortable and being best friends with your husband? Nothing.
Wow, 4 great looks! I’m loving the denim shirt look! Yah, the crops aren’t a good look for me. I have one skinny leg and this style seems to accentuate that difference. One leg fits tight, the other loose, 🤷🏼♀️ I also love the leopard platform sandals. I’ll have to check out that brand of jeans, thanks for the inspiration!
You’re welcome and thank you Gina! I too prefer a length that lands on a slimmer part of my leg. No need to accentuate anything that might make us feel conspicuous! 😘
I often wear capris that end just below my knee because I think long shorts and ankle pants are both unflattering on me! (I may be fooling myself that the capris look better, but OH WELL.) I live in Florida and I’m always looking for something to wear in public that isn’t too hot but also doesn’t expose too much skin for my comfort level. I love the dress over the cropped jeans look the most–so cute. Thanks for this helpful post.
Hey Cathy! I know, there are women who still like them. If you have slim calves, you can probably better get away with it. I think it’s also about what proportions work best on your particular body. I can get away with a 5-6 inch inseam short better than I can wear a 7-10 inch inseam, even with my large thighs. I believe there’s a rule of thirds in there somewhere. 😁 In the end, wear what makes you feel your best. Because if you feel good, it will show up on your entire countenance. 😘
Ah, white pants… I have such a love for them, cropped or long, but they don’t love me!! I have shorter legs, with heavy thighs and you can see through white at every lump and bump I own! I’ve tried thicker, more jeans-like white and while they do hide most everything under them, I don’t want “heavy” in my summer wardrobe!! What’s an old lady to do??!! I do like your suggestions of what to pair with white- especially the camo duster. Dusters and kimonos are wonderful for hiding lumps and bumps! I will keep searching for whites for me, because summer is coming and I must have them!!
Have a wonderful weekend, Paula! Hugs and blessings!
My one true love is white jeans with a denim shirt! That said, I love your other looks especially the camo duster. Unfortunately here in Arizona it gets too hot for me to wear denim much past March. We had a mid 80’s day last week and I couldn’t wait to get home and take the denim off!
Also, we had pizza on the couch in our pjs last night too!
I hear you. Honestly, once summer comes I pretty much lay jeans aside in favor of loose cottony pants or skirts.
This is like my Instagram post/reel today. SO many women said they don’t consider them flattering. YET, I remember when I didn’t like skinny jeans either. I have a theory that it takes our brain some time to catch up with the different silhouettes. In fact, I remember a stylist saying how peplum tops were not for every woman. Which is WRONG now too!!
My takeaway is always that every “crop” is not created equal and to try them all!!!
I think we have to define cropped. Ankle length is flattering on almost every person but cropped messes with proportion and the rule of thirds a bit too much for most of our frames. Peplums only work on everybody depending on where the peplum hit the person. I’ve worn those that look great and others that looks horrible. It’s all about proportion.
You did a great job putting the looks together, especially when it is out of your comfort zone. I really did like the long dress over the pants outfit the most as it drew the eye away from pant.
I’m one that does everything in her power to cover her legs. So long skirts. dresses and wide leg pants are my wardrobe staples. The last few years when skinny jeans and pants were the rage I was not a happy camper.
I’m so happy wide leg pants are in style Carol! They make me so happy. And the more styles in twill or light cotton fabric, the BETTER!
You look so cute in the denim top and white jeans outfit. The blue next to your hair is so pretty.
My gray roots are about 5 inches grown out. Any tips for keeping control of the crazy wiry hairs that stick up?
Good for you Dana! I like to take a little Kenra Texture Taffy, rub in into my hands then just smooth the areas that need it. It’s just enough to control things.
You have great style and know how to dress. I loved all the styles, but I just can’t get on board with the (WHITE!) cropped jean thing. I have thick calves and just don’t feel comfortable or feel that these are flattering on me. I will leave the cropped jeans to the ladies with looooong legs or the slim petite ladies. I’ll stick to the maxi skirts and bold earrings!
I feel exactly the same Faustian. I’m more of an ankle length or longer person too!