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How to Wear Wide Legged Cropped Pants

This story was shared by a client and it happens more often than you’d think!

She was shopping at a favorite store and she brought a few things into the dressing room. The sales woman helped her and handed her a few pairs of pants. When she came out in one outfit to see herself in the larger mirror, she was wearing a pretty top and a pair of cropped wide legged pants the sales woman had given her to try on.

She looked at her reflection and said, “I don’t like these pants. They feel too short and wide.” The sales woman responded with, “But that’s the style and that’s what people are wearing.” She didn’t chat with my client about it or share ways that might make it feel better to her or simply acknowledge that she didn’t want to wear those pants. Instead, she completely disempowered her with a blunt statement that made her feel wrong and out of touch.

Thankfully, my client knows enough from our classes together that she didn’t take it to heart and simply didn’t buy the pants.

Who cares if something is in style if you don’t feel amazing wearing it!

That brings me to the conversation about wide legged cropped pants…

Ugh! They have been around for a while and they won’t go away no matter how hard I wish they would!

Cropped pants with a wide leg are one of the hardest looks to style and have it look and feel good. They can so easily make your legs feel shorter and your hips feel wider and throw off the natural balance of your body.

I’m not saying don’t wear them.

If they make you happy and you feel amazing in the outfit you’ve put together with cropped wide leg pants, go for it. That’s what style is all about…interpreting fashion to make your own style statement AND feel great in it.

I’ll confess that, for the most part, I don’t feel good in cropped wide legged pants. I feel frumpy in them and all my focus goes to my thighs. But I’m nothing if not determined and I decided I would play with this look and see if I could make an outfit with wide legged cropped pants that I actually enjoy wearing.

Here’s how it all came about!

I saw this look and thought how relaxed and casual she looks.
1. Comfy pants in a neutral color
2. A pretty t-shirt front tucked
3. Relaxed flats

Okay, I thought…let’s do it!
1. Comfy pants in a neutral color
2. A casual t-shirt front tucked
3. Relaxed flats

I hated it!

Here’s why (and then I’ll show you how I fixed it to make ME feel good).

There are three components that came into play (as they do with ALL outfits):

1. Color
2. Balance/proportion
3. Expressing personal inner beauty words

Let’s deconstruct this outfit:

Color: While I do wear a little black on bottom (and I know she was wearing navy), it’s never my best or favorite color and in this case it felt particularly heavy, overwhelming and flat. The slightly warm red of the top isn’t bad, but I don’t love it combined with white.

Balance/proportion: The neckline feels droopy. I don’t look (or feel) good in dropped shoulder tops or oversized tops and don’t get me started on front tucking anything. I feel messy and fussy. (You can see my video here about that: Even when I knot it differently in front, it doesn’t work…it feels better, but still not great.

Expressing my inner beauty words: One of my inner beauty words is ‘exquisite.’ This means that anything I put on has to feel exquisite to me and this outfit feels anything but exquisite. It might be perfect on someone else with different inner beauty words and different coloring, but it doesn’t make me feel exquisite.

What does the outfit need in order to work?

Colors: Warmer colors
Balance/Proportion: The balance and proportion wasn’t terrible on the other one, I just didn’t like the way it was achieved (no oversized tops or front tucks for me!)
Expressing my inner beauty words: I need to feel ‘exquisite’ or express some ‘controlled fire’ (another of my inner beauty words) in the outfit.

The next version of the outfit was this one:

Can you see the difference?

Colors: Deep olive brown and a chartreuse top that I love and with brown boots.
Balance/Proportion: The pieces hit me at good places to balance my body vertically
Expressing my inner beauty words: It definitely feels more ‘exquisite’ to me.

I decided to play with this concept a bit more so here’s another option:

Colors: Warm ‘controlled fire’ colors.
Balance/Proportion: I like the idea of a shorter top when I’m wearing shorter pants so my legs don’t feel truncated and I feel best in that when worn with a jacket (it provides me with a bit more coverage).
Expressing my inner beauty words: This is my version of exquisite in a casual outfit as well as ‘controlled fire’ being expressed with the golden mustard color. I could also add a belt and play with that as well to add more exquisiteness and ‘control’ to it.

What’s the takeaway here?

To create an outfit you love it has to be comprised of at least these 3 things:

1. Colors that look amazing on you.
2. Pieces that mix and match to the proper balance and proportion for your body.
3. A complete outfit that is a full expression of your own unique inner beauty.

The options are endless once you put those tools to use in your wardrobe. It takes some of the mystery out of getting dressed and leaves you with outfits that spark joy every time you wear them!

Now I have an outfit with wide legged cropped pants that I actually will enjoy wearing. How fun is that!
Do you wear wide legged cropped pants and have a favorite outfit with them? Or do you avoid them? Just curious…

* * *

If you’re thinking… ‘I’d love to be able to do that for myself but feel overwhelmed trying to figure it out,’ I invite you to check out my class: ‘Create Your Personal Style in 6 Weeks.’ We cover so many topics in depth. Check it out here: or set up a time for us to chat: and I’ll be happy to share the ways in which I can help you create outfits (with or without wide legged cropped pants) you love!

A Note About the Clothes: All of the garments pictured here are vegan (made from fabrics that did not harm any animals). Please note that I am passionate about ending animal suffering and choosing cruelty-free clothing is just one aspect of a vegan lifestyle. If you have any questions about being vegan or what fabrics are vegan please let me know. I am happy to help and will answer any questions with kindness and compassion.

Some of the affiliate links may generate very small commissions for Total Image Consultants. This helps offset the cost of the special software used to create this report.


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Ginger Burr is a fashion stylist and personal shopper serving clients worldwide from metro Boston.