Tuesday 21st November 2017
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Wardrobe classic: Cropped pants

I like cropped pants all year round (and have held forth more than once on the appeal of wearing them with boots) but this time of year is when they really make the most sense. I always feel like a crop just makes my whole outfit feel more together and tailored somehow, even if the pants in question are on the casual side. I like pairing them with clogs, of course, for a little height, and even sneakers sometimes, if I’m just kicking around.

White army pants are kind of a revelation, and I like the twisted seam.

Just a rather perfect pair of skinny pants, simple as you please. (And here’s your cheaper-and-quite-similar option.)

These just look like fun, and I like the elastic at the ankle.

An elegant pleated navy pair that tapers down nicely.

These are quite similar, but they’re black.

Since I’m in a camo mood lately, I had to include these.

And these pants just tickle me, what with all those adorable dots: they’re a good choice if you’d like to try a pair of pants with a print but the prospect also scares you, because the dots are pretty subtle.

These are quite nicely tailored, and I dig the army green.

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 26 Comments

26 Responses

  1. Tammy Madsen says:

    Whoever designs pants/trousers for The Great does a fantastic job. Each time you post a blog with pants from The Great, they’re so damn cool.

    • Dana D says:


      I’ll have to agree with Tim on the proportion issue, and don’t wear this style at any time as my ankles are my least attractive feature…so I’m biased and should now shut up…

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      Tim Gunn is just one opinion out of many! I like Kim’s version…almost to ankle, not at the widest part of the calf. Sometimes it’s fun to play with proportions in fashion…think Rei Kawakubo who was honored at the Met Gala last night. I think they’re fun, and above all, fashion should be fun!

      • lesa says:

        I totally agree that Kim’s selections are the best of breed — she avoided the all-too-common “Gilligan’s Island” crops that flare at the bottom (shudder). And, for the record, I do actually own a few pairs of (very casual) cropped pants. Which brings me to my other problem, particularly with the dressier ones. I just can’t picture the occasion I’d ever wear them. Too casual for the office, to dressy for anything else.

        • Viajera says:

          Uh oh. I kinda like those Gilligan Island ones too! Sometimes anyhow. I tend to have more issues with tapering. Especially with pleats!!! aaargh!!!! Still… sometimes they look okay on.

        • Hick from Styx says:

          The only crops that look good on me are the ones with the flares. Perhaps because I have hips with generous curves, the flares balance my bottom half. All other cropped pants make me look like a Pee-Wee lookalike, shrunken and ridiculous.

    • DeDe says:

      You know, I love Tim, but as soon as he started with the ‘propers’ my eyes glazed over. Proper is a look, but it’s not for everyone, if that makes sense. Some people are definitely *not* that and don’t bother trying to look it and have amazing style regardless. (Just my opinion, you’re welcome to have your own, of course!)

    • M.A. says:

      I feel that the cropped pants Tim writes about are not the slim, tapered examples that Kim’s included here, but those god-awful straight from the hip versions that hit at mid-calf . I see those on middle aged ladies in hot weather and I always feel that the wearer wants to be cool but doesn’t feel comfortable in shorts. A slim tapered crop can be very flattering, but I think they are very hard to pull off with flats unless you are skinny with small hips.

    • DeDe says:

      Tim would hate my wardrobe.

      • DeDe says:

        Ugh, sorry for the double comment – the other one didn’t show up until after I posted this one (which didn’t show up until now, for some reason). I’m not an astrology person but I’m beginning to wonder if there might be some truth to this whole Mercury retrograde business, because sh*t is f*cked up EVERYWHERE.

        (Oh, PS, I’m not implying that I think my style is all that, at all – it’s definitely not! – just saying that a lot of *actually* super stylish people don’t fuss over rules all that much. Also that approximately all my clothing choices would make Tim do that thing where he puts his hand over his mouth and scowls reaaaaaaal hard. Also also, I thought he hated shorts!)

  2. y.k. says:

    great collection! those pants by Mother w/the zippers on the sides are a beautiful color.

  3. Mimi says:

    I knew a chic stylist who wore all her pants just above the ankle. The effect was rather Audrey Hepburn in capris. I’m 5’6″ and through trial and error I’ve learned that an inseam shorter than 26.5″ just looks weird on me. Tim has a point, but cropped pants can be cute as long as they’re not too cropped. Figure the models pictured are probably 5’10” so the pants will fall a little longer on those of us who are shorter.

    • S. says:

      Good info. I’m 5’5″ and like crops to hit about 1″ above the ankle. (Does that still count as a crop? I think it does.) Any higher up the leg makes me feel somehow frumpy.

  4. joannawnyc says:

    I love a good crop! But I have longish legs (in proportion) and skinny ankles. I have been going around and cutting hems off this spring to freshen up my spring trousers (where appropriate).

  5. Viajera says:

    I like Tim Gunn, I wish he had a regular column (does he?)

    Although I abhor capris (which I define as anything cropped knee-adjacent)… somehow cropped pants (lower mid calf area) often look cute to me. Maybe they shouldn’t but somehow they do. Maybe Gunn is really on about capris, mostly.

  6. KimFrance says:

    You just never know what’s going to stir up controversy around here.

    • Tammy Madsen says:

      Ha, Kim!

      Honestly, I turned 50 this year and haven’t worn shorts in a quarter century. I hate my legs. So dresses, skirts, short pants and distressed jeans are my go-to bottoms.

    • DeDe says:

      If there is one uniting principle regarding The Internet it is this: People Have Opinions About Things (myself included).

      • KimFrance says:

        And thank God for that! I just think it’s funny is all.

        • DeDe says:

          Oh yeah, no, it is really funny the things we react to! And here it’s entertaining 99.999999999999% of the time (other places, not always so much!).

  7. Debra says:

    Love Tim but I’m also a rebel so I often ignore his edicts. I’m tall and don’t own many cropped pants. The couple of pairs I do own are of the wider-at-the-bottom variety and I enjoy wearing them in summer with flat sandals. I think I look kind of cool in them but I haven’t asked anyone else to weigh in on that. I hope I don’t look like a middle-aged woman who’s afraid to wear shorts (although that’s exactly what I am). I hope my perception of myself in these pants is a reality. I think I’ll try out some of these pants that Kim has suggested. You never know — that’s what make buying clothes and getting dressed fun!

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, you do look cool! And by the transitive property of blog readership, I also must look cool in my DIY wider-at-the-bottom (or “Gilligan’s Island” per the comment above) crops. They make me happy. And I think that looking happy and alive is very attractive.

  8. Suzanne says:

    As I lie here in my The Great cropped pants… You have to experiment & find your sweet spot (& pay attention to your shoes). Great post Kim!

  9. Elle says:

    OT – I want to know more about the pants in the featured photo! You have mostly casual pants, but that look with the ever-so-slightly cropped dress pants – gorgeous