How to Wear the Cropped Flare When You’re Short

The good news is you kind of wear them like a tall person would


I am intimidated by cats. I used to mistake my attitude toward Taylor Swift’s feline friends for fear, but now I’m certain that what I feel is intimidation. There’s a fine line between the two emotions; fear suggests an element of irrationality while the latter is often justified. And cats? I know it may be sacrilegious to say, but those lithe creatures are well aware of their intent to frighten.

I say this not to offend my office mates whose owner/cat relationships put T-Swift’s to shame, but to draw a potentially irrelevant comparison between mousers and spring’s most irrefutable trend, the cropped flare pant.

Both are as intimidating as caviar on a sour-creamed blini. Especially if you, like me, are short, and the people carrying said trays of blinis tower above you like NYC skyscrapers hell-bent on not using their knees. To those people I say, “I don’t like caviar anyway!” But I do liked cropped pants. It’s just, how does one adopt a trend that exaggerates a short frame?

My mother, who comes in at a proud 4’11”, taught me the lengthening power of the flare pant. The wide-leg silhouette elongates the leg and when worn over platforms can deceive even the most scrupulous Six Flags employee. Heaven knows I was never tall enough to ride. The thing about this 70s cropped style in question, though, is that’s all flare — no length. The pant’s mouth hits right at the ankle, cutting the leg in awkward eighths of roped salami.

The most obvious solution is still the most effective: wear a platform.

The cool thing about the cropped flare, however, is its versatility. Dress it down with a pair of neutral flatform sneakers

…Or if you’re feeling like that trend has been milked dry, wear the pants with a pair of mules or clogs.

Both shoes give height without being overwhelming, and the clunkiness of the two options detracts from the awkward length. I’m not averse to pairing them with a kitty heel, but like I said, cats. Baby steps, though — literally, because you are walking too fast for me.

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  • Kenns

    I’m only 5’2″ and I love cropped flares, but my husband keeps telling me that my pants are too short and he doesn’t believe me when I tell him they are supposed to be that way!

    • Amelia Diamond

      I am 5’3″ and have cropped flares that I bought online and had shipped to my dad’s house because I don’t have a doorman and he unpacked them, hung them up, took a picture, and texted it to me with this: “???!?!????????”

      • lololol

      • Kenns

        HaHa-it’s futile trying to explain it to them!

    • Lua Jane

      Similar thing happened to my friend not long ago. She’s 6 foot tall and wore cropped skinnies for a while. Her husband however observed that as weird and once politely invited her to go shopping. For pants, nonetheless, because her’s apparently shrunk in washing. It took her a while to explain that pants are supposed to be that way. Fact that the said husband is German, didn’t help.

  • Well this is very helpful! I always have to accommodate trends to my shortness

  • Kelsey Moody

    short pants, long hair– the cat’s pajamas, love it, meow

  • Roisin

    Where are the button down flares she is wearing in the first picture from? J’adore!!

  • parkzark

    I really need these for my cropped flares. Rollin my way downtown.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Hannah Cole

    My short-legged friend 🙂

  • kaml

    flares should not be cropped. this does not look good.

  • Love the second pair.

  • sadie0212

    i now you do not duh u know i am just kidding

  • tiza

    I’m short and I’m a big fan of this cropped flares. I just bought a pair of vintage Levi’s and another pair on sale at Levi’s online shop. Couldn’t wait to wear them both but I’m definitely wearing them shorter – like 2 inches above the ankle and with heels, definitely. I think this look looks really awkward if it’s an ankle-grazer and worn with sneakers.

  • “how to wear cropped flares” reads suspiciously like “how to wear pants.” step 1: put them on. step 2: leave them there.

  • Galina

    Hey, hey, one more tip except for the shoes – opt for high-waisted pants as in the pictures. It reaaaly elongates the lower part of the body which is the point! Otherwise, great tips 🙂

  • Ray, L

    Can’t wait till your mom Reads that “Proudly 4ft 11” line, good thing we are out of the country

  • Denise

    So cool! I love that denim jeans!

  • Linda Kenyon

    I’m 5’3″ and can’t wait to try this!

  • ksenia

    love this!!

    xx ksenia |

  • Esther you look so adorable in flares. And your intimidation by cats is something that really resonates with me. You are not alone.