Cropped jeans are just that—jeans that have been cropped, or cut to be shorter than regular jeans. This term is open to interpretation, and actually covers a wide variety of styles, including capri, cigarette, clam digger, boyfriend, pedal pusher, cuffed, etc. There is a fair amount of debate about what makes a denim pant cropped vs. capri, or say, cigarette vs. ankle. But all you really need to know is that jeans with a shortened hemline are cropped in one way or another, and that at least one style is begging to be added to your closet!
Pants of any kind, jeans (or dungarees, as they were called) especially, were not really a staple in the American woman’s wardrobe until after World War II. As it became acceptable for ladies to leave skirts and dresses behind in favor of the menswear inspired trousers look, newer, more feminine styles—specifically crops or capris—began to emerge. Cropped pants featured a skinnier silhouette, and the length allowed for showing off a little bit of leg. In time, as denim grew in popularity, it adapted many of the early styles of cropped pant into the jeans we love to wear today.
Cropped denim encompasses many different styles. Not to be confused with ankle jeans, a cropped jean is generally cut anywhere from a few inches above the ankle to a few inches below the knee. Hemlines may be tapered, cuffed, or slightly flared (also known as a kick crop). There are different washes and colors available, including distressed and ripped styles. High waist crops are popular, but you can find low and mid rise jeans as well.
The cropped jean is a great way to wear denim when you’re not quite in the mood for shorts, and long pants are just too hot, making the style perfect for warmer weather. White cropped jeans are particularly popular during the summer. Like any pair of jeans, crops can be paired with a wide variety of tops. Pair yours with a tank or tee when it’s warm, and transition to a cute blouse or wrap top to elevate the style. Cropped pants always run the risk of making the legs look shorter than they are, so wearing a sandal or shoe with some height, or that exposes the top of the foot, can solve this problem.