According to Net-a-Porter, flared cropped jeans are THE jeans of the season and seasons to come. I agree, and suggest adding them to your wardrobe in black or blue denim if you’re a trendy jeans gal and wear jeans very frequently. Many of my clients will be adding flared cropped jeans to their denim capsules if they haven’t done so already. 

Flared cropped jeans fall into two camps — straight crops and flared crops. Straight cropped jeans are more sleek through the leg and flare out less dramatically above the ankle. Cropped flared jeans on the other hand, are wider through the leg and create more of a flared bell shape on the hem above the ankle. 

Examples of Straight Cropped Jeans

These are generally easier to style and create a more streamlined look. They are also less leg shortening and emphasize the hip and thigh less. Personally, I much prefer them to the more flared version on my narrow calves and ankles. They are less dramatic but more lengthening to my eye. 

Examples of Flared Cropped Jeans

Cropped jeans that are more flared at the hem above the ankle are more dramatic than the straights, but tend to be more leg shortening. That’s because the horizontal line of the exaggerated flare is more pronounced, drawing the eye sideways instead of up and down. Flared cropped jeans can also exaggerate the size of the thighs and hips, although this is not always the case. Cropped jeans with a wider flare tend to work well on a larger calf and ankle, and on a long leg line.

I have a pair of crops that are more flared at the hem. I simply offset their leg shortening effect by wearing a column of colour. I wear high-contrast tops and footwear with the cropped straights because their silhouette is more elongating. 

Cropped jeans need to be cropped at least two inches above the ankle bone so that they look intentional, and not like your jeans are too short. Some of my jeans are cropped three inches above my ankle. 

Cropped jeans also need to be paired with the right footwear. Here are some troubleshooting tips. I LOVE cropped flared jeans, so much so that they have become a wardrobe essential. But I’m very particular about how they should be styled to look “just flattering enough”. Your figure flattering priorities might be different to mine, but I like to “close the gap” by wearing high-shaft booties, ankle strap footwear (the strap has to be above the ankle), or high-vamped flats and heels that are tonal to the jeans. 

I’ve found that cropped flared jeans did a marvelous job of changing the landscape of my wardrobe. I began adding them to my style last year and now have many pairs in blue denim. I will be adding a few pairs in white denim since we can wear this style of denim year round. I’ve also hacked an old pair of white skinnies and black skinnies to see if that worked. It worked well enough, but the hacked silhouette isn’t quite as fab as the real deal.