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Restyling a Mannequin- Cropped Jean Proportions

Happy Tuesday ladies. When I made a quick stop at the mall late yesterday, I passed a woman heading out to her car wearing wide-leg white linen crops with a long black and white striped shirt and white tennies. Her short dark hair was covered with a white baseball cap and she was wearing bright red lipstick. She looked cool as a cucumber, cute as a button, and extremely stylish. Everywhere I look these days, I see cropped pants so when I spotted this window display, I decided to restyle the outfit and play with the cropped jean proportions.

BTW- I think this necklace is a total misfire with this outfit. It’s too visually chunky and dressy for this casual look.

This square neck shell top is in crisp cotton with beautiful cheery colors with a tiny metallic thread running through. It has bra strap-friendly shoulder straps and its hip length is perfect to wear untucked. In fact, it looked terrible when I tucked it in.

FYI- the very first review on the website complains that the stripes don’t match on the front of this top. Of course they don’t because they can’t!  The front yolk is straight and the bodice fabric is gently gathered to ease over the bustline! Please read product reviews with a critical eye.

Here I am in the outfit the mannequin is modeling. The straight-leg crop jeans are in a very pale wash that’s perfect for summer and coordinate nicely with the top.

Even though these cropped legs are straight, I know I wouldn’t wear this length so I tried the top with these modern ankle jeans. I prefer this proportion on me because it elongates the look of my silhouette. I also favor the paler wash of the crops over the darker jeans because the transition is softer.

woman showing twp versions of cropped jean proportions

Then I swapped into a button-front striped shirt in the palest of blues. The top on the right is longer, which theoretically shouldn’t improve the cropped jean proportions, but because the soft blue creates a column of color with the crops, it does elongate the look. There’s less body lengthening with the darker wash ankle jeans but my legs still look longer.

woman in side by side showing cropped jean proportions

What proportions do you see in this side-by-side comparison with the cropped jeans?

Do you prefer the column of color?

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident, comfortable, and happy.



  1. I feel like you the longer light blue shirt does elongate your legs in the jeans but I like the column of color on the right with the lighter jeans. The picture on the right is too bland for me.

    The outfit on the left is perfect for a warm/hot summer day.

    Thanks for sharing and keeping us up to “snuf” in the fashion world.

  2. The length of the pant wouldn’t matter as much if manufacturers would offer crops, ankle length pants, etc. in a lightweight material in the summer. I have an older pair of Jill crops that are made of a lightweight dark denim type fabric, and I LOVE them. It seems that lightweight fabrics are mostly offered in a drawstring waist pant, and I don’t like tucking shirts in hot weather, either. Is there any way to make fabric suggestions to retailers such as Talbots, Jill, etc.?

    1. I’m with you, Kathy. I want lightweight pants without a drawstring. I tend to just snip and remove them but what I really want is a smooth front waistband.

  3. Maggie Fisher says:

    Both rather ho hum. Summer again@!

  4. Side by side pics are helpful for sure. I sew, the stripes not matching is too distracting for me. It’s too hot for jeans for me, and I don’t care for cropped/ capri length on myself. I’m in the minority maybe, I like skirts and dresses. Stay cool!

  5. I dunno – I think you look great in both outfits with the lighter wash cropped pants. The sleeveless striped top is so cute – and your lip color matches!! But the long-sleeve shirt also looks great with those cropped pants. I understand the desire to elongate the look of the legs with the longer (but darker wash) jeans, but the lighter wash looks fresh and summery to me.

  6. The tops are both nice. The colorful top is good for a hot day and I would try it with white anything on the bottom. Jeans? I have a blue striped button-down that is good with a white tank top underneath or on its own. I’m surprised that I use it so much when in a hurry to get out the door.
    I’m with you on the cropped pants. They make the leg look a bit “stubby” and just don’t flatter me.
    Thanks for the post.

  7. GAIL Cosens says:

    I don’t care for the shirts that are so see thru that I end up wearing a tank under which can be hot in summer… Any suggestions? Love your style

    1. I don’t care for them either. I always wear a nude bra and if it shows through, the top is too sheer.

  8. First off re the necklace; do agree with you as feel it being a little dressy (multiple strands/torsade/seed-bead sizing) would work better with a skirt/dress or trouser style or wide leg pants, combined with a lower cut neckline top. As to the tops and pants; personally prefer the one column combination of the striped blue ‘n white shirt with the light blue crops. Actually I would even like to see the shirt tied in the front, as would visually elongate the legs and create a bit of a waistline. Last but not least, though the color striped top is summer perfect; IMHO (as a sewer) the stripes in the yoke band (even though irregular) could have been laid/cut horizontal and not vertical. -Brenda-

    1. Yup, you’re so right about the yoke. I hope Talbots is listening.

  9. I like that the cropped pants seem to be a bit longer on you than on the mannequin because it makes them seem more modern. I’m not a fan of the shell top – it reminds me of the tops I used to sew back in the 60s-70s. I’m still getting used to the lighter wash denim…but it’s growing on me. I like that shirt a lot – it could be a versatile piece in my wardrobe.
    Like others here – I like the side by side comparison photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and helps illustrate your points. I learn from you every day!

    1. I’m glad you find them helpful, Cyndi

  10. I’m really liking the cropped jeans for spring/summer this year. They hit you at the narrowest part of your leg ( slightly above the ankle) and are more flattering than capris. They feel fresh and current for those of us that do not wear shorts. And look cute with either sandals or fashion sneakers.

  11. I always love the side by side comparison photos. You can really see what you are describing so well. Thank you.

  12. I am very familiar with the sleeveless top, which when looking at it in the store, registers as a pale pastel. BUT looking at your photo, the red stripes are predominate. And they are a similar value to the darker jean. With the longer, darker wash, they create a column.

  13. I like both theae outfits, but I would not buy the striped top. The mismatched stripes bother me especially since some of them match. It would have been better if the material tor that piece was horizontal.

    1. I agree, and that would have been a simple fix.

  14. The crop pants look cute & fresh with both tops.

  15. I liked the Talbots striped top with the cropped jeans; however, I do agree with the reviewer on Talbots about matching stripes. As a long-time sewer of clothing for over sixty years, it would take a lot of extra fabric to get a complete match at the top – but it can be done – and used to be done in the past, especially on more pricey clothing. Take a look at some old Hollywood movies and you’ll see perfectly matched stripes and plaids created by top-notch craftspeople. It’s gone by the wayside in recent years to get the most out of fabric – and, of course, save money.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Natalie! Many of the finer details in garments have gone by the wayside to save money and time. My mother taught me how to sew over 50 years ago and how to match plaids and stripes to a tee. It takes some effort, but doesn’t anything that’s worthwhile?

  16. I’m so happy to see you in pants again! You look so pretty and youthful!! I love the jeans. The Oxford shirt is something I wear often so I like that pairing best. (I’m sorry but I’ll probably never wear another dress ever lol!)

    1. I totally get it. Some people just aren’t dress wearers:)

  17. I like both tops on you but I prefer the shirt, you would get more use out of it. I like the proportion of the longer jeans and longer shirt.i like the sandals. I’ve been struggling with finding summer shoes that won’t bother my dislocated toe.

  18. I like both tops, but would wear the shirt much more often than the square neck top. Mid-calf just wouldn’t be a good length for my legs, but I’m also still trying to find ankle pants that look good with my “clunky” supportive shoes. Your sandals look so much better. I’m also wondering how the fabric of the ankle pants felt, being so heavily polyester. Too warm for summer?

  19. I think this may sound odd but I like the length of the crops when there is a cuff on the pant. For some reason, you probably know why Jennifer, a cuff is more flattering, at least on me. I have my mother’s legs, kind of stick straight with knees that bump out on the inside, so it really matters where the hem falls on my legs.

    1. Interesting, Pam.
      You’ve described my legs, perfectly ( without my recognition) which must be why I unknowingly struggle. Where is the hem “sweet spot” for you?

      I really appreciate your help and take on this subject.
      A sister in style,

  20. Morning! The long, column blouse with the cropped jeans, proportion wise, are more pleasing.

    But in saying that, the length in the cropped are more capris, in my opinion. Capris are definitely more aging. I know there are many discussions out there on capris. On any body type, capris are aging.
    I also find dark wash to be more flattering – especially “those of us at a certain age”. Lighter wash jeans, I believe, not only wash ME out, but also add extra weight.

  21. I like all the pants with both shirts that you modeled. I would wear the light crops in summer, and darker pants in cooler weather. I wish my my upper arms on the inside were smoother so I could wear more sleeveless. I am not overweight, and use hand weights, but it does just so much. I use self tanning to help them look better. Any ideas?

  22. Paulette Levy says:

    Well I like the sleeveless striped top best but I think I’m supposed to choose the shirt for proportion?
    To my eye you look taller, legs look longer with the striped sleeveless top.

    1. Paulette Levy says:

      I do like the cropped length for summer wear. They look cooler.

  23. Joann Czarny says:

    I prefer the ankle length and I do like a crop jean, but I like it to flare at the bottom so that it slims my ankles. The tops stripes are too large for me and would accentuate a larger bust.
    Thank you for the side by side lesson in proportions. This is so helpful!

  24. P.S. I just realized that there is no horizontal stripe at the top of that colorful shirt! Sorry about that. But the structure of the shirt made me think that.

  25. The blue striped shirt is more flattering – perhaps because of the V-neck and the collar. Although I love the colors in the other top, those horizontal stripes at the top of the shirt would not be figure friendly for me (large bust and 5’2″). So I think the column of color is a better look. Is it possible to get the ankle length jean in the lighter wash?

  26. I prefer the column of colour, but that may just be because I tend to wear shirts more than sleeveless top. A It’s so helpful seeing the side by side photos.

  27. I do like both of the tops with the lighter cropped jeans. I usually love a square neckline, but the vertical stripe and squareness of the straps and neckline maybe make it a little too boxy. I’m thinking in real life (and not a still photo) it might look less boxy though. They both are a nice casual summer look I would probably try.

  28. While you certainly look very nice in either pair, I think the dark wash modern ankle jeans are more flattering than the cropped and are what I would choose to buy if I needed another pair of jeans. Are they a summer weight? How did you like the high polyester content in the modern ankle pant? These DRDs are very helpful and a great idea! Thank you.

    1. The modern ankle feel great on but it’s not a lighter weight than an average jean.

  29. Mary Ruth Harden says:

    I love the bright striped top with either jean. The light blue striped shirt does elongate the body but I also like the contrast. Good choices!

    1. Phyllis Hughes says:

      I always love to wear a column of color because it is slimming and makes me look taller, or at least so I am told. However, I like all the outfits and combinations you showed today. Mid-calf is probably not the best length for anyone, but the first outfit is really cute. I would be very happy to wear it to a barbecue, a picnic, or the store. I am short and no matter what I wear I am going to be short and a little wider than I would like. Sometimes, we just get too worried about looking “perfect” in my opinion. Or maybe that is just the way I am feeling today and tomorrow I will go for perfection and even wear full make-up. Just ignore me today; I’m obviously not in a perfection mood.

      1. I agree with you. We’re looking at casual outfits with jeans that we’d wear at home or to a BBQ. Perfection is not necessary; comfort and simple tailoring is. The first outfit is really cute, and whether I look taller or not, I think I’d be confident in it. The top would be great with shorts too. My minor beef with the striped top is that I think slightly longer straps would help it fit better over the bust. The shirt is too pale for me to wear — also, a formal collar can look and feel hotter in the summer, although I like columns of color a lot.
        Jennifer, this post is so helpful, thanks!

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