Body Type

Short – Can You Wear Cropped Pants?

When long pants are too hot, shorts make you feel too exposed; cropped pants are the perfect answer.

There are pedal pushers just below the knee, capris hitting mid-calf, and cropped ankle pants graze the ankle bone.

But the question is… can you wear cropped pants if you are short, or will they make you look shorter?

Yes, so long as you follow these guidelines:

1. Choose a Slim Cut

Wide cropped pants make you look broader and shorter. If you stick to slim pants that fit close to the leg- tapered or straight leg, you’ll be O.K.

2. Go for a Neutral Color

Closest to your skin color-If, there is no big contrast between your leg and your pants; your legs won’t look cut in two. Light skin gals can try white, tan, or light gray, and dark-skinned gals can wear black-brown or khaki.


3. Avoid Large patterns

Solid cropped pants are most slimming, or if you wear a pattern keep it small so it doesn’t overwhelm.

4. Wear a Heel or Wedge

It will add a few inches. Flat shoes with cropped pants can make you look short and squat. A shoe can elevate your frame and make your legs look longer than they are.

5. Keep the top of the foot open

Wearing sandals or low vamp shoes to expose skin and elongate the leg.

6. Stick to tops that skim

By wearing tops that look the top of your capris, you show more pants and give the illusion of a longer leg

7. Wear Tops with a Wid Neckline

These will also help draw the eye up, balance you out, and make you look taller.

Just because you are short doesn’t mean you have a tiny figure to go with it. Here are a few other tips for camouflaging problem areas.

8. Tummy – Be careful of drawstring waists

These drawstring cargo cropped pants look great on this gal because of her gorgeous pancake belly and thin legs; however, if you have a midlife mommy tummy, the drawstring waist, massive pockets, and baggy legs will make you look like you are wearing a laundry bag. Choose something that doesn’t put all the attention on the tummy. (Nordstrom

9. Go for a Wide Waistband 

Black is always Audrey Hepburn elegant and figure-flattering to a woman’s bottom half. This wide waistband pulls in and camouflages that midlife middle. The tapered leg is slimming and sexy too. (Nordstrom)

10. Big hips and Thighs -Avoid Cuffed cropped pants

Don’t want to look shorter? Then don’t wear pants with a cuff. You may think the roll-up seems cute, but it will only cut you down and make you look stubby, and if you have an extra few pounds on you, wide too. These pants are best for med-tall gals with average legs. Any gal with bulky thighs should stay from these, as the vast pockets will only accentuate them.

11. Buy Flat front cropped pants

Let’s face it. For many of us, the answer to wearing pants and looking good in them is to wear your shirt tucked out, and these stretchy cropped pants are perfect. There are no buttons, zippers, or stuff to get in the way, so you have a seamless tower of white for which to place a pretty top.

12. Test Low Rise Cropped pants

O.K., loose and slouchy and relaxed on the right gal. It would help if you had a flat tummy and a low waist to pull these off.

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11 thoughts on “Short – Can You Wear Cropped Pants?

  1. Thank you for the advice-I am 5′ and 100#-pear shaped-difficult to find clothes to look Classy, and ladylike but not Frumpy or “teeny-bopper”. Many of us are still alive out the there-we like to look our best for ourselves and our grandchildren!
    I am partial to crop pants in summer-do not have the legs for shorts-and like wearing higher heels.
    Thank you, ladies.

  2. I adore cropped pants and seeing the examples in your newsletter is great! I was quite drawn to two of your offerings.

  3. Love your newsletters. Heels just don’t work with most of these cropped pants. All of these cropped pants would look great with flats or flat sandals, except the “heading South” blue ones which are hideous, and the Loose black ones, which are not much better. Heels with cropped pants just look like you are trying too hard.

  4. Thank you so much for letting women know we are NOT all the best figure types for cropped-length slacks. More women cannot wear this length well than can wear this length well. I will be glad when this style goes away but it doesn’t look like it will be any time soon; it’s all I see in the stores for summer.

  5. I can’t wear any of these looks because my thighs are massive (23″ upper rubbing on each other disasters). I’m an 8, but my thighs make me look chunky.

    1. Hi Elle,
      If you have large thighs you are right in thinking that a more “balanced” look will def. be better for you. Pants with a slight flair at the bottom will even out the top. The legging is not for everyone. Thanks for sharing and your honesty!!!

  6. Great tips! I want to find a flattering pair of cropped pants, but it hasn’t happened yet. (I have a long waist and short legs, which doesn’t seem to help!) You’ve inspired me to keep looking.

    1. Hi Anne,
      Good luck with your quest! The one tip for your body type is that you might want to wear some wedge shoes with them to help lengthen your leg. Also, wearing some cropped jacket or sweater might help balance you out.

  7. I think the slim-legged ones should only be worn with flats, but that’s my opinion. The wider-legged ones look great with heels (but not the drawstring cargo type). The blue harem ‘heading south’ ones look atrocious. I even hate them on my daughter, who’s 21, 5ft 11 & weighs nothing. I love this site, Deborah.

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