Wide crops are cropped pants or jeans that are wide or very wide on the leg, usually mid or high in the rise, and cropped two to ten inches above the ankle bone. They are flared at the hem to create an A-line shape. The flare can be subtle and narrow, or dramatic and wide, depending on your preference. Culottes and shorter palazzo pants are a version of wide crops. Wide crops are not the same as cropped straights or cropped flares, because wide crops are wide from thigh to hem. Fabrics can be soft or rigid, solid or patterned, pleated, paperboy or flat front, casual or dressy, cuffed or straight, elasticated or structured, and neutral or non-neutral. The collection below shows a good assortment of wide crops.
Wide crops were a fringe trend about five years ago, and went mainstream three years ago. I see many women across a range of ages and body types in wide crops on the street, and more every year. In my neck of the woods, the silhouette is gaining momentum, along with high-rise, relaxed straights. I see fewer skinnies and leggings.
My clientele, family and friends run the gamut when it comes to wide crops. Some took to the silhouette like a duck to water because they do not wear tight bottoms. Some like wearing the soft and knitted versions and leave it at that. Some warmed up to them and have added multiple pairs over the years. Others committed to a pair, left them hanging in their closets for a while, almost returned them, but decided they liked them after all. Some tried them, but passed them on because they have a hard time breaking out of the easy “slim bottom + fluid top” outfit formula that makes them feel streamlined and comfortable. And some flatly refuse to try them because they’re committed to keeping their bottoms narrow in silhouette.
My clientele who don’t like wide crops, who also span a range of body types and sizes, generally felt the same way about them. Wide crops can draw unwanted attention to the midsection and/or thighs, which are the areas of the body they want to keep streamlined and without bulk or constriction. This is especially true of the stiff and rigid denim variety. Finding UNTUCKED tops to go with wide crops that were not too cropped, voluminous or long is another challenge. Occasionally, a very slight and small size client would feel that wide crops overwhelm her. Some like the vibe but feel they lack the height to carry the silhouette. Generally, wide crops made these clients feel wider than what they would like.
I am always on the side of the wearer, and understand these feelings despite me thinking that they would rock the right wide crops. I have petite, plus and curvy clients who feel fabulous in them. But there is no point in forcing a look onto a person that doesn’t make them happy. Full stop, and next.
I was an early adopter because I adore the ‘70s integrity of the silhouette. I got my first pair five years ago and haven’t looked back. I wore the first denim pair into the ground, and they were recently passed on. At the moment, I have four pairs, which are all workhorses. I wear them a little longer than shown on the models. The white and sailor jeans are the most dramatic with wide hems. The red and micro check are narrower versions. The red is pilling quite badly so I suspect they will be passed on next season despite my de-pilling efforts. I will happily replace them with a similar red pair.
Over to you. After five years of all sorts of variation of wide crops, how do you feel about wearing the silhouette?