One of my most popular posts ever has been how to wear ankle boots with jeans, and I have recently posted about cropped jeans/straight leg jeans which prompted some questions about what shoes to wear with cropped jeans. It’s prime cropped jean wearing season!
I love having fun cropped jeans to wear during the spring and summer. They are cooler than skinny jeans both because of their shorter length and less tight fit. Honestly, when it comes to shoes for them, I think you can do so many things! That is the best part about cropped jeans – they are the perfect thing to show off your cute shoes.
What Shoes to Wear With Cropped Jeans
Here’s the funny thing, I wore this outfit and put on three different shoe options intending to show you a couple dos and one don’t. I ended up liking the don’t the most of all! Just goes to show you that you can still learn something as a blogger. Taking photos of an outfit really does visually help you see what works, even if just a mirror selfie. In this case, all shoes really are options. Below I am sharing a few tips on how to make them work to your advantage though.
Cropped Jeans Breakdown
Before we get into shoes, we have to talk about cropped jeans. The key types of cropped jeans are a cropped straight leg jean, a kick flare/demi-boot, and a culotte. In most of the photos today I am wearing a cropped straight leg pair in a boyfriend type style by Madewell. You can shop them here. Madewell is always a favorite for me in terms of denim.
Where to buy Cropped Jeans
Next, where and what brands to buy? In terms of most affordability, Old Navy offers a great line called the power straight option. My personal favorites are Levi’s and Madewell, but they tend to be my personal favorites for jeans in general (see my post about the best high waisted skinny jeans). Madewell has some really great kick flare jeans which if you have never tried on this cut/style, I highly recommend going in store and trying it before you rule it out. They are actually really flattering. They also make arguably the best, non-distressed straight jean and culotte. Their culotte is what I am wearing below. When it comes to different washes and a slightly more modern, boyfriend, broken in feel, I love Levi’s. A new fan favorite is Agolde which is what I am wearing in the photo with the purple polka dot shirt below. Find them here.
Cropped Jeans Dos and Dont’s
- DO buy your cropped jeans where they hit a couple inches above your ankle. You want them in the area where your legs start to narrow from the calf or a little below.
- DO NOT buy your cropped jeans were they are touching your ankle bone.
- DO NOT buy your cropped jeans were they hit it the widest part of your calf. That is too high on your leg. You DO NOT want a capri.
Cropped Jeans with Flats
Wearing cropped jeans with flats is perhaps the easiest and most flattering way to go in my opinion. Your ankle is visible creating a clean, long leg line. There aren’t a ton of tips or dos/don’t here. If you are unsure about shoes, start with a flat or flat sandal. Sneakers count in this category too though I don’t have any photos.
Shop My Outfit From This Post (Comment with questions about any other – they are all from previous posts. Some are pretty recent though.)
Shop Cute Flats
Cropped Jeans with Sandals
By sandals, I mean anything that comes up on your foot but doesn’t have a true ankle strap. This is another pretty easy option to go for as far as dos and don’ts go.
Shop Cute Sandals
Cropped Jeans with Ankle Strap Sandals
This is the trickiest of all the options in my opinion and the one I intended on giving a don’t example for in photos. In the end, I loved it! My don’t was going to be my wedge shoe below since it has a very chunky, dark ankle strap. Looking at the photos I decided it worked because you can still see enough of my ankle and foot thanks to the open footbed. There are some ankle straps I would still say are don’ts.
- DO wear ankle strap sandals when the ankle strap is thin like my heeled black sandals in the last photo below.
- DO wear ankle strap sandals when the ankle strap is just one strap still leaving enough of your ankle above and below the strap to show your skin. You do want a gap between your strap and the bottom of your jeans.
- DO NOT wear a wrap style ankle strap that goes all the way up your leg hiding all your skin eliminating any leg differentiation between your shoe/ankle and your jeans. For example, I mean a sandal like this or this.
Shop Cute Ankle Strap Sandals
Cropped Jeans with Pumps
I don’t have a great photo example of cropped jeans with a full pump, but a pump is a great option to pair with a cropped jean for a sleek and classic look. Below, you can see a mule pump with jeans and a cropped work pant with a pump for the same effect. No major don’ts here. I would avoid a chunky, platform style pump and opt for a classic and sleek pump.
Cropped Jeans with Boots
For the winter and cooler months, a boot is a great option to wear with a cropped jean. Probably the most tricky of all options, styling boots with cropped jeans can be really fun. Here are a couple things to consider.
- DO pair a sock type boot that gets narrower at the top with a wider pant like a culotte or a straight leg jean that has enough room for it to fit under. You want the top of the boot to be narrow so that it goes under the jean. See my example below.
- DO NOT wear a heeled, above ankle boot that does not narrow towards the top with a straight leg pair of jeans so that there is no gap between your boot top and jeans. I.e. don’t wear a tall, wide boot and have it meet at the bottom of your straight leg jeans. Your leg will appear to be one straight, wide column.
- DO pair a short, flat ankle height boot with a cropped pair of straight/slim jeans (not culottes) leaving a small amount of skin visible between the boot top and the jean bottom. The best type boot for this is a sleek Chelsea style boot vs a chunkier style ankle boot. I don’t have a great example photo for this, but I will try to take one and add it.