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What are Cropped Jeans?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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Cropped jeans are denim pants that are shorter than the standard trouser length, but longer than shorts. The hem of a cropped jean may fall anywhere below the knee to above the ankle, depending on its design. These jeans are made for men, women and children. The denim may have a faded, worn-out look or be very dark in color. White and black denim are also used for cropped pant styles.

Most cropped jean designs have zipper front styling, while some have a drawstring or elastic waist. Since their length is shorter than that of standard pants, cropped jeans aren't typically worn in colder weather. Many people find them a great choice for spring or milder whether when it's not hot enough for shorts.

They are a popular kids' style of pant, as there's often no need to adjust the hem and the cropped feature also saves on the hems becoming easily soiled or ripped. Little girls' cropped jeans may have lace trim at the hem or embroidered details, while boys' versions often include a graphic screen print on the back pockets as well as part of the legs.

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In general, the closer the jeans are cropped to the ankle, the longer the leg length they suit. People who have short legs or are petite may look even shorter in the longer styles of cropped jean. Many fashion experts assert that the best cropped jeans for those with these body types is just below the knee, while long-legged, taller people can usually wear any length well. Skinny leg, low rise cropped jean looks are best for average or thin body types, while overweight figures are typically more flattered by slightly wider pant legs and a regular fitted waist.

There are different fit options in cropped jean styles. Some are made of stretch denim which fits close to the body. Other cropped jeans have a relaxed or looser fit which is often called a "boyfriend" style.

Cropped jeans may be hemmed or frayed. They may also be cuffed or rolled at the bottom edges. Another possible look for a cropped jean style is to push up or "scrunch" the legs much like moving the arms of a long sleeved t-shirt up to the elbows. Doing this creates an extra-casual look for this pant style. When a dressier style is needed, such as for an office casual look, dark, neatly hemmed cropped jeans are best.

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snickerish
Post 13

For as long as the "boyfriend" look of jeans is in I will continue to crop my own jeans! It is so easy because part of the boyfriend look is a roll to the end of the jean and worn out is often part of the overall scheme of the jean.

So I cut just a little off of a pair of old jeans and then see if I can roll them comfortably into a cropped setting. If I can't then I cut a little more off. My favorite cropped jeans hit right at mid calf, and as mentioned in other comments - I most definitely throw a pair of heels on with it.

Cropped jeans can be worn

out to dinner at night with heels and a fancy shirt, they can be worn to day outings such as a cook out with a soft t-shirt and then top it off with a fedora for an even more unique look.

One of the few things that I have in my closet that is more versatile is my cropped jean jacket - it goes great over tank tops and can be worn with any cute feminine skirt to tone down the feminine with the slightly rugged look of the jacket.

I just love jean material!

Sinbad
Post 12

@saraq90 - I have been looking for them as well. I have seen them in stores such as Banana Republic and Gap, but I have been trying to hold out till I can find some Seven cropped jeans.

Although expensive (to me), they have an amazing stretch to their jean and the material is incredibly soft. So far I have not found a jean that matches up.

I think cropped jeans for women are a good look. But I personally feel that they should be worn with heels. Cropped jeans tend to make your legs look stumpier and slightly wider and heels take care of that problem in an instant!

Saraq90
Post 11

Because I work in a semi-professional area where dress important, (but we are not talking the kind of place where you need to wear suits by any means) I have found cropped pants are fantastic for summer work wear.

Has anyone found white jeans that are cropped? I think white jeans are a very crisp and clean look in the summer and even better, they go with everything! Making them a perfect pair of pants for work and play.

Perdido
Post 10

My work wardrobe includes a pair of dark navy cropped jeans with straight legs that flare out just a tad at the bottom. These jeans are so dark that they could easily be mistaken for trousers. They go very well with dressy tops.

I have a navy and white striped sweater with a loose, draped neck, quarter-length sleeves, and a banded waist that looks like it was made for these jeans. I wear the outfit with navy heels to work and with white canvas sneakers when I’m out shopping.

My other favorite top to wear with the jeans is a fuchsia button-front blouse with extreme ruffles starting at the neck and extending halfway down the front. The glamor of the ruffles contrasts the casualness of the jeans, and I sandwich the look with matching fuchsia heels.

orangey03
Post 9

My cargo style cropped jeans are very comfortable. They have multiple pockets, and they are made of soft, faded denim. They go very well with spring and summer colors.

At the bottom of the legs are drawstrings that can be tied in a knot or left open. So, I have the option of closing off the legs or leaving them open for better air flow.

The only down side to these cropped jeans is that they button at the waist. I have a very straight waist and no hourglass shape at all, and most pants are not made to accommodate girls like me. I have to wrap an elastic ponytail holder around the button and loop it through the hole to make the waist big enough, but the jeans fit the rest of my body perfectly.

OeKc05
Post 8

Whenever I go on my beach vacation, I bring a pair or two of cropped jeans that fall just below the knee. I like to comb the beach early in the morning for shells before all the beachgoers arrive, and it can be a little chilly out there. Cropped jeans provide just the right amount of warmth while leaving the bottom part of my legs open to the ocean waves.

I like to wade just at the edge of the shore. That way, the water doesn’t come up and soak my clothing. I try to stay far enough out of the ocean that the waves can only wash up on my exposed calves, because wet cropped jeans are quite uncomfortable.

Oceana
Post 7

The prettiest denim cropped jeans I ever owned fell just above my ankle and flared out like bell bottoms. The bottom six inches of the legs were heavily embroidered with a flower design. Yellow flowers with red centers, green leaves, and twisting vines adorned the cuffs and extended up the side of the leg.

These jeans were mid-rise and made of medium faded denim. They were my favorite in college. Unfortunately, soon after I graduated, I began gaining weight and could no longer button them. I have tried since to find a pair like them, but they seem to have been one-of-a-kind.

Monika
Post 6

@strawCake - I'm on the shorter side too, and I much prefer fitted cropped jeans to the looser styles. I don't know why, but the looser cropped jeans tend to make me look a little on the dumpy side. Definitely an undesirable look!

strawCake
Post 5

This article is completely correct: the longer cropped jeans make short people look even shorter. I'm petite, and I've tried on a few pairs of cropped jeans that make me look awful!

However, I do like the capri pants that hit just below the knee. Like the article says, that seems to be a happy medium for people with short legs. They are comfy, but don’t make me look like I’m only three feet tall!

The same goes for skirts as well. I try to keep them around knee length or ankle length and never wear that weird, in-between, mid-calf length.

manykitties2
Post 4

When you are shopping for cropped jeans do you think it is a good idea to go with one that replicates the skinny jean look, or something that has a bit of flair?

I am trying to figure out which will be best for the hot summer weather, but will still look stylish. While I am leaning towards skinny cropped jeans I worry that they will be a bit uncomfortable in the heat.

Also, do most cropped jeans come in different thicknesses, or are they generally thin?

I have been browsing a bit online and can't really tell from the photos how thick the material is on the pants.

Sara007
Post 3

Cropped jeans are great for the summer and I always have a few pairs on hand because I find them great for dressing up or down. I find that cropped jeans also have the benefit of being slimming and can really take the place of your favorite jeans during the summer.

A good idea if you are shopping for cropped jeans is to find a pair that is a bit loose on you in the store. Once those jeans hit the dryer they are going to shrink and should fit you perfectly after that first trip through the laundry. Just make sure you get a pair that are natural jean, those with a lot of stretch likely won't shrink as much.

mutsy
Post 2

@Subway11 - I really don’t like the denim material and prefer cotton cropped pants with a drawstring or elastic waist. These are much more comfortable for me than wearing cropped denim jeans especially when I sit down because it does not apply so much pressure to my waist and stomach area as the jeans do.

I am a little overweight which is why I prefer an elastic waist. I also like wearing espadrilles especially in the summer. They are nice shoes that are a little dressier than sandals. Sometimes I wear linen drawstring cropped pants. Those are my favorite because linen is so soft. The only bad thing is that this material wrinkles easily and you usually have to dry clean linen clothing which can be expensive.

subway11
Post 1

I like wearing cropped denim jeans. They are really comfortable. I usually wear them with a three quarter length sleeve top or a tank top depending how hot it is outside along with a nice pair of sandals.

It is a nice stylish look that is easy to pull off. I also wear white and black cropped jeans because I really like the fit as well as the look of these pants.

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