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How to pull off the cropped pant look

Woman in desert rose thongs, flower-embroidered crop jeans and matching top

Cropped pants are always pretty awkward – they look too long if you’re petite and too short if you’re tall. But, with the proper length, top and shoes, you will be able to rock these pants with confidence. There are endless ways to style cropped pants, but we provided some pointers for you to follow.

Control Mesh 5-Pocket Twill Capri from Monroe and Main
Control Mesh 5-Pocket Twill Capri from Monroe and Main

For your reference:
Cropped pants: Fall well below the knee but stop above the ankle.
Capri pants: Sit below the knee but stop in the middle of the shin.

Here’s how to flatter your figure with cropped or capri pants:

Find your fit

Fit and length are tied for the No. 1 factors to keep in mind when shopping for a pair of cropped pants. Your whole look will be thrown off if you chose a pair that doesn’t suit your figure. The worst length and the one that you should avoid at all costs – no matter your height – is a pair of pants that hit right at your ankle. This fit will look like you just took them out of the dryer. To find the right length that will complement your height, follow this simple formula: The bottom of your pant leg should fall right at the point where your calf starts to taper off. Ladies, we call this your sweet spot.

This trick works for both petite and tall women, but there are still some considerations to keep in mind:

Steer clear of a wide-leg cropped pant. The added fabric is too much for your tiny legs and will give you an overall frumpy appearance. Baggy pants may even make you look shorter, too. Instead, opt for a pair that is tailored, sliming and close to the legs.

If you fall under this category, you’re probably used to the cropped look by now, as most of your pants already appear to be short. To avoid this awkward feeling, it’s important to make sure the crop look is  intentional. Tall women can successfully pull off a pair of dress capris by finding a pair that hits mid-calf – or even a bit higher.

Stretch Button-Leg Capris from Monroe and Main
Stretch Button-Leg Capris from Monroe and Main

Find the right top

You may not realize that your top holds a lot of power when paired with cropped pants – the right style top can strengthen your whole appearance. It’s all about balance and proportion.

A longer blouse will hide your legs and make them seem even more petite. A slightly shorter top that falls at your hips works better, as it will accentuate more of your legs. If you have a long torso, tuck your blouse in to further extend the illusion of having longer legs. If you’re wearing low-rise pants, only tuck your top in if it’s fitted, otherwise you’ll look rather boxy. Tops with a lot of extra fabric and flow will make your legs look shorter. Consider adding some definition to your silhouette by pairing your cropped pants with empire waist tunic tops.

Refrain from wearing 3/4 length shirts with cropped pants. The reasoning behind this is because it’ll look like you have outgrown your clothes with a cropped shirt and cropped pants. That, or you just don’t know how to properly do laundry. If you fall under this category, lucky for you, you can get away with wearing tunic blouses or longer, flowy tank tops.


The right pair of shoes

When wearing cropped pants, your kicks will – without a doubt – make or break your outfit. For both petite and tall women, shoes with ankle straps, dark coloring or a flat sole will make your bottom half appear larger. That’s why most women stand on their tip-toes when trying on a pair of pants. Height automatically adds length, so you’ll want to wear high-heeled boots or sandal wedges with your cropped pants. This will help you achieve a streamlined look and flattering figure.


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