How to Shorten Your Cropped Flare Jeans (and Keep the Raw Hem)


Don’t you sometimes wish you could buy a new pair of jeans and the length would be just perfect for you? Ones that miraculously looked great with heels, flats or sneakers? Am I the only one?

At 5’2” inches tall, I practically have to crop ALL. MY. PANTS…yep, even the “cropped” ones. But, unless the cropped length on me looks great as regular, I often want my pants to hit where they were intended to hit. And I don’t settle for anything less. If I wear tight tops with a soft belly, nobody is going to tell me not to wear jeans just because the initial length looks totally different on me.

So I crop ALL of them. OK, almost all of them…and raw hems are my saving grace. Cropping jeans right now is easy and free!

Remember when I went to try on a bunch of stuff at Bloomingdale’s? Do you happen to remember these jeans? Well, I couldn’t NOT bring them home with me. The sales representative told me I would get a $50 rebate, and I left all my money there. Because let me tell you — they cost way more than what I usually pay for jeans, but I’m so glad I got them. I also just used the $50 to get the jacket I’m wearing at the end of this post.

The Length Issue

While on the model they are cropped, on me they hit at regular length. During the summer I didn’t really have an issue because they look great with flat sandals or heels…I started having an issue when I brought them with me to wear in Colombia…during Bogota’s fall weather, precisely. The length that looked great with my heeled sandals or slides, looked a little funny with sneakers or boots.

…with heeled sandals
Sneakers vs Boots

This is how they looked before with all the different shoes. I swear every time I tried them on with boots or sneakers I said “they need to be shorter, they need to be shorter”

How to Crop Denim in 3 Steps

Now back in NY in my house, I decided to just crop them.

  1. I grabbed some of my favorite straight leg Levi’s that already had a cropped length I liked. Then measured and drew the same shape the original hem had with a Crayola (very professional, I know!)
  2. I cut across the drawn line. Trying to mimic the same hem took more time than my usual cropping, but I really wanted a similar finish.
  3. I frayed the hem. One little tip about fraying across the hem is to make little cuts every two inches or so, so you’re not pulling long threads and getting tangled up (sorry it’s not pictured).
Cut off piece and initial fraying

4. Now with the shape and initial fraying done, there’s only one last step. You can either wash your jeans or rub the hem against a rough surface. I prefer the latter. If you follow me on Instagram (@julietatorresd) you may have caught the stories where I showed the process. People were cracking up! It’s now on my highlights if you want the full video.

And that dear readers….is exactly why I spent four years getting a Fashion Degree…lol! Not kidding, I actually had a class where we did very similar things when learning about denim.

End Result

I could. not. believe. how much I liked them! The boot was lighter and the flare was more noticeable. They went from looking like bootcut jeans to actually looking like cropped flare jeans. Exactly what I wanted!

And because I knew you would love to see them with sneakers, I did just that and took pictures right away!

I really think that the right length is everything and can change how something looks a thousand times. What do you think?


JacketBlank NYC  – Wearing XS. Third color I have in this jacket.

JeansMother Tripper Jeans – Size down! Even though they are already broken in, they stretch a bit more with wear.

TopJ.crew turtleneck bodysuit – My striped one is gone but it’s available in three solid colors. Love the clean look bodysuits provide instead of tucking regular tops in.

ShoesReebook Club C Sneakers – Only available in white, but I LOVE them.

Shop Cropped Flare Jeans

Follow me over on Instagram (@julietatorresd) for more high-rise jeans, how they cover my mommy tummy and a raw and vulnerable take on motherhood. I believe social media shouldn’t be for the good things only. See you there!