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When it’s too hot for long, tight jeans but I’m not in the mood for full-on shorts, cropped jeans are my ol’ reliable, my trusty happy medium. While they used to baffle me, once I realized how to style cropped jeans I became totally and utterly obsessed, and I now own an array of cropped denim—skinny, distressed, wide-leg, light wash, dark wash, et cetera—that I reach for on a daily basis.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a classic tee and sandals or sneakers, but that isn’t the only way to style cropped denim. The shorter hem works perfectly for accentuating booties and high-heeled sandals, and the more relaxed silhouette can be dressed up with handbags, smart blouses, and of course a variety of accessories. TBH, the possibilities for how to style cropped jeans are endless, but I can totally see why that’s almost more overwhelming than having no clue what to wear at all. Too many options can be more intimidating than zero! That’s why I’ve rounded up a list of 19 must-try ‘fits featuring cropped denim, from tube tops and wide-leg jeans to office-friendly boots, blouses, and blazers.
My advice? Bookmark this story and refer back next time you’re stumped for a good OOTD. You might even want to follow some of the bloggers and influencers below—if you’re into their cropped jean slays, you’ll fall in love with their other looks, too. That said, scroll on for all the cropped denim outfit inspo you could possibly want.
Graphic Tee + Slip-On Sneakers
For a laid-back look that’s still got some flair, rock a colorful graphic tee and some bright white slip-on kicks.
Tank Top + Chunky Sandals
The ultimate happy hour look: a skinny-strapped tank, light wash cropped denim, and chunky mule wedges.
Blazer + Heels
Cropped denim doesn’t have to always be dressed down! Throw on a silky tank, your fave heels and a blazer for an elevated, office-friendly fit.
White Blouse + Boho Bag
You know a wicker handbag is a seasonal must, so pair one with your fave cropped jeans and a crisp white blouse and discover your new spring and summer uniform.
White Denim + Camo Jacket
The only thing better than cropped denim? White cropped denim. Instead of the usual jean jacket, go bold and pair your white pants with a camo jacket for an unexpected twist.
Tube Top + Platform Sandals
Need a night-out look? Grab some cropped jeans with a raw, frayed hem and throw on a simple tube top and your chunkiest platform sandals. Effortless and stylish!
Ripped Denim + Trench Coat
On a cooler day, throw on a lightweight trench coat to give your dressed-down denim some classy vibes. To ensure you don’t look too Sherlock Holmes, go for a cropped jean with some distressing.
Shredded Hem + Tweed Jacket
This look is *chef’s kiss* perfection. Pairing wide-leg, shredded denim with a ladylike tweed jacket, cute boots and a luxe bag is the ultimate in not-too-dressy dressing.
Sheer Sleeves + Matching Accessories
Silver boots with a silver, sheer-sleeved top, plus the bold red bag and glasses? I love this color coordination!
Peplum Tee + Patterned Sandals
If you’re throwing on a simple tee and jeans, rely on little details to jazz up the look. Leopard printed sandals, distressing on the denim, and a sweet peplum silhouette are all small touches that instantly elevate an outfit.
Wide-Leg White Denim + Combat Boots
Please don’t make me pick a favorite part of this look. The white wide-leg denim with cargo pockets, the chunky combat boots, the tied-up top and the newsboy cap? All the awards.
All Black Everything
If you’re unsure how to style something—be it cropped denim or anything else—a monochromatic black look is the move. Contrast light wash denim a black top, black boots, a black bag and even dark sunnies for a particularly chic, no-nonsense fit.
Bright Top + Statement Handbag
Rather than make your cropped denim be the sole focus of your ‘fit, let them compliment your more standout pieces! This hot pink top and dreamy tweed bag are just begging to make a statement.
Fitted Bodysuit + Logo Belt
To make your night-out bodysuits feel more daytime, go for wide-leg denim cinched at the waist with a big belt buckle.
White Top + Barely-There Heels
This look is capital F Fresh. Cropped, cuffed mom jeans paired with a white, long-sleeved shirt, plus nude sandals so perfectly color-matched, they basically blend in.
Leather Jacket + Wide-Brim Hat
Another great look for a chillier day! Layer up with a tee, flannel, and leather moto jacket. Accessorize accordingly with lacy socks, a wide-brim hat (very on-trend for 2020) and your favorite white kicks.
Cropped Button-Up + Pocket Details
Wide-leg jeans with vertical front-facing pockets are a summertime Do. Pair yours with a colorful cropped button-up and some stylish mules for the perfect daytime party flex.
Crop Top + Blazer + Stilettos
Now this is how you wear cropped denim to the clerb! Throw yours on with a tiny tube top, then add a blazer for a lil extra coverage, should you want some. Finish the look with bright red stiletto sandals. Boom. Front of the line and your drinks free.
Classic White Tee + Cute Booties
Honestly, playing it safe never looked so good. For an everyday look that’s still stylish, throw on your denim with a crisp white tee (bonus points for those cute lacy details!) and your go-to brown booties.