5 Ways To Feel Confident In Wide Leg Cropped Pants (and Jeans)

If there ever was a tricky trend, wide cropped pants are it. They end above the ankle; they’re voluminous, and although they look fabulous on the runway, they can be pretty intimidating to wear in real life.

The worry is that unless you are a tall, skinny-minny, cropped pants will make you look dumpy and as wide as a house. How do you wrap your head around this new trend and make them work for you? Here are five style tips to look fabulous in cropped, wide-leg pants and jeans.

womens wide leg cropped pants

1.  Proportion is Key

Wide leg cropped pants are not for everyone but keep proportion in mind if you want to try a pair.  Wide leg high-rise cropped pants are very popular right now.

Hems on vary in length. According to Vogue, flowy, wide-leg crop trousers may be voluminous, but they should be “kicky.”


Wide Leg Cropped pants -yellow, floral top | styled by Fabulous After 40

2. Tucked in Tops are Slimming

A roomy top over a roomy bottom can make you look heavy and frumpy. The key is to highlight your middle by tucking in or semi-tucking in a top.  (You may need to get out of the Spanx if you go this route.)  This looks especially stylish when you roll or push up the sleeves.

This navy tee with these chic striped pants ( above)  is an excellent example of a top you would tuck in. Wearing it tucked out would shorten your legs and cover up the fab waist tie belt.

Trend Alert: Striped Wide-Leg Crops are all the rage this spring! If you prefer a print, feminine florals are also popular.

Wide Leg Cropped pants - Polka Dots with waist tie, white blouse | styled by Fabulous After 40

3. Stick to Neutrals

If you are nervous about wearing wide-leg cropped pants like culottes because you think they will make you look bottom-heavy, keep in mind that dark neutral colors such as black, blue, gray, taupe, or black cropped pants are the best thing to wear to look slim.

Darker neutrals like these black wide-leg cropped pants are more slimming than light or bright colors, and who doesn’t want to look a little slimmer on the bottom half, especially with that extra volume? Bright yellow cropped pants, by contrast, are loud and would draw attention to your bottom tummy hips, and thighs. These refined neutrals will make you look very elegant.

Trend Alert:  Pleated Wide-leg crop Pants that are soft and slouchy and have wide belts are new!

Wide Leg Cropped Pants - White, with peach top and jean jacket | Styled by Fabulous After 40

4. Add a Jacket to White Wide Leg Cropped Pants

A short, fitted leather moto jacket or cropped jean jacket is a great piece to wear with a pair of wide-leg pants. Not only does a jacket give you instant authority, but it balances out your hips by making your shoulders look wider.

The result? More of an hourglass shape? Women are wearing jackets with cropped dress pants to work. It’s a combo that has been dubbed, the modern work uniform.

Style Tip: Wide cropped jeans are an easy way to ease into this trend because they are slimmer through the legs and thighs and only wide at the bottom.


Wide Leg Cropped pants - Blue Tie, pink sleeveless turtleneck | styled by Fabulous After 40

5. Wear Heels

What kind of shoes should you wear with wide cropped pants?  You may prefer flats, which look great with casual wide-leg pants, but a bit of height does wonders to elevate this look and make you appear taller and slimmer. A great choice is a stacked or a wedge heel. (They’re easier to walk in too).

For a more elegant, upscale look, try a fine pump or even a cute bootie that ends at the ankle. One tip about shoe color- A nude shoe or a  shoe that is the same color as your cropped pants will elongate your look. A shoe in a contrasting color will cut your legs in half, and you don’t want that, as shorter pants already shorten the legs a bit.

Trend Alert: Ruffled Wide Leg Crop Pants are fashion-forward and fun!  But don’t wear them with a ruffly top too, or you’ll risk looking like a flamenco dancer!

That’s the latest round-up of wide-leg cropped pants. Prefer long, wide palazzo pants? Check out this post.


Join the Conversation

29 thoughts on “5 Ways To Feel Confident In Wide Leg Cropped Pants (and Jeans)

    1. Hi Donna, No problem. Tall boots are fine with these. You can wear a similar color as the wide leg cropped pants for an elongating look or try contrasting with a different color like winter white culottes with black tall boots.

  1. Suggestions were great . I am 5” , 112 labs and over fifty . I love the look of cropped flowy pants . I bought two beautiful silk cropped jumpers that tie at the waist and have the wide legs that at hit at the lower calf . I am pairing with a strappy wedge to explore NYC in July . Thank you for the great tips

  2. I’m 4 feet 11 inches, I love them. And I really don’t care what people think.
    But, then, my entire height is pretty much leg, so…

  3. Call me crazy, but I love this style of pant! I am 5′ 7″ and 140lbs and wear them with healed boots, booties, pumps, and dress them with tennis shoes. Have them in black, navy, cream, and houndstooth. I pair them with a fitted top, jacket or wrap.

    Agreed the style is not for everyone, but I am always completed when wearing these, maybe it’s because they make me happy!

  4. Even though I need to lose some weight, I am very excited about the return of the wider leg. I am over 5′ 10 and enjoyed them in the 1970’s! Crops are great for summer. But, are casual sporty shoes out with these? I see the white Adidas coming back as trend also…

    1. Hi Mary, You can wear a flat sporty shoe like sneaker with a short wide crop pant but I much prefer something with a bit of height to elongate your legs. A low wedge sandal with would give you that little bit of height you need.

  5. Nope, no, no way. This look is not flattering on anyone except those who are tall, slender, and tiny of waist. This trend will not last. I’m glad to see higher rises and waistline definition, though. Think Audrey Hepburn. Classic, comfortable, feminine, and realistic for active lives, especially bicycle commuters!

  6. I so wanted these to work! I ordered the gray pair in the post from J. Crew. Not even close! My daughter said they looked like clown pants. Oh well. I think you need to be much taller than my 5’4” for these to work.

  7. This has got to be one of the WORST fahion trends to come along in a long time. These pants are not attractive in any sense of the word!

  8. I am tall, reasonably slim and I have great legs (the one thing I am sure of), but I will not wear these trousers. There are things in fashion which are just not flattering. Sometimes I don’t care, this time I do. Wide long trousers OK, wide cropped trousers no.

    1. Agree! They also look awful if you have a longer torso. Makes your legs look really short. I could never wear cropped pants when that was in fashion, either.

  9. This trend is fantastic! I am 48 years young and recently bought a pair. Love the look and feel. I bought a black pair from Banana Republic and wear with a pair of wedge booties and a crisp white button up. Looks modern and fresh. Something to have fun with.

  10. Eeeeeeeeeeeegads! Yuck!! Tents for legs harken back to the 70’s. Not a fan of any wider shaped pants. They are unflattering. BTW, can we not recycle over and over and over again? Especially bad fashion.

  11. The only women I have seen wearing them are sales assistants in shops. I think these trousers will be a one season trend as they are not universally flattering and best avoided by older women.

    1. Hi Susan, I have to agree with you. I really think they look very chic if you are tall, slim and have a kind of “fashion forward confidence”, but on the average middle age gal …. tough to wear. A flash in the pan, I’d say.

  12. Seriously, we called these “gauchos” when I was in Jr. Hi. Fun to see them again, I think I’ll skip them this time around though. They were cute on a 5’3″ 13 year old…not so much on me now. :) (Even WITH nude pumps.)

    1. Hi Christy, I think I may have had a pair too. I recently saw some in a magazine that were longer and fuller like a skirt. We’ll see, if I find one I really like I may try it.

      1. Nope, not for me. At 4’11” I would look like a tree trunk/very dumpy. I don’t remember liking them when they were called gaucho’s back in the 70’s and don’t like them now. More appropriate perhaps for a tall slender framed person.

    2. You’re right Christy! I remember having a pair of these “gauchos” when I was in junior high! I think I was the only girl in the whole school who had a pair. After I wore them to school a couple of times, I realized they probably were not such a great look.

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