How to Wear Mom Jeans, Cropped Flares (or whatever else you call them)


similar shirt (same brand) | jeansboots | sunglasses

Hey, hey, hey!!  The Mom Edit’s Cropped Flares Week….or Mom Jeans Week…or whatever else you may want to call them, has come a close.  In case you’re coming late to this party, last week, each editor on the TME team was “forced” (haha) to give this trend an honest try.  You can see how Amanda, Laura, Cam, Scotti and Jess all wore rocked them in their own ways.

Soooo…what did we learn from this past week?  (Besides the fact that A. there are some really STRONG feelings on this trend and B. this trend is so diverse in cut that we’re not actually sure of the proper name….)

Well…first of all, there’s a strong element of WEAR WHAT YOU WANT.  This trend is not necessarily about leg lengthening, or bum flattening, rather it’s about….fun.  It’s about doing something different, it’s about wearing what makes you feel cool/sexy/edgy/whatever.

So for many of you – and you made yourselves very clear this past week – this trend isn’t for you.  And obviously, that’s OK.  But there are a bunch of us who are totally intrigued by this trend.  So based on what we learned this past week, I’ve come up with a few general guidelines to help you get started.

(I’m always loathe to call them ‘rules’ which are totally made to be broken….)

1.  Keep The Leg Lines Long (Cover the Skin Gap)



sweater (xs) | jeans (size 25, hemmed) | boots

As we demonstrated over and over this week…..the mid-shaft ankle boot (or sock boot) is the Cropped Flares’ best friend.  Hands down, the easiest way to rock this silhouette – in ALL of it’s iterations: flare, bootcut, kick flare, or even tapered leg – is with a heeled ankle boot that completely closes the skin gap.



vest (size xs) | similar top (60% off!!) | jeans | boots | glasses

Below I’ve compared two pairs of cropped flares – one is shorter than the other, and the second doesn’t *quite* fit over my Sorel wedges.  (My black sock boots work with both pairs of jeans, so I wanted to use a different boot to actually illustrate the problem.)



jean 1 (size 25, hemmed) | jean 2 (size 25P)


The half-tucked sweater does wonders for leg lengthening (showing off that high waist), but there’s no doubt that the jeans on the left are more flattering.  I had kicked off this week talking about needing an “aggressive crop” since I’m only 5’2″….but it looks like you almost need to pick which shoes you plan on wearing, then figure out the right length.  (We’ve done this before – remember bootcut jeans?)


Note for Northerners:  Many of you were wondering about wearing this trend in the winter.  First of all, start with long wool socks.  In fact, in all of these pics, I have on a pair of knee-high Smartwool socks.  You’d never know.  Or if you have an old pair of tall boots….some of them could slide right up under your cropped flares for a truly warm option.  I find that the wedge Sorels (as long as I haven’t cropped too much), are a good option, too.



sweater (size S) | jeans (size 25, hemmed) | boots

2.  Try Nude Shoes

Nude shoes always seem to help trick the eye into thinking there’s a longer line than there actually is.  I was surprised by how much I liked the nude booties with the cropped flares – even without a heel.  I think a nude ballet flat would also work.





similar shirt (same brand) | jeansboots | sunglasses

3. Heels Always Work

For some reason, high heels always look good with this silhouette.  Even lower heels with ankle-straps.



sweater | jeans (25P) | shoes

4. Try a Less Dramatic Flare…

So this really comes down to personal preference….but in general, a smaller flare (a cropped bootcut, or kick flare) looks less dramatic than a true cropped flare.  So if this silhouette makes you nervous, you may find the cropped bootcut easier to style.

In fact, I just did a closet-clean out with my dear friend, L.  She’s never been a huge fan of skinny jeans, and has always rocked varying forms of cropped jeans, ranging from cropped straight legs to cropped bootcuts.  She even wears them with her beloved ‘comfort boots’ …but as long as the skin gap is closed, it works!



sweater | jeans | boots

5.  …Or No Flare

Giant zipper?  Check.  Tapered leg?  Check.  Stiff, 1980’s fabric?  Check.  These are the mommest of the mom jeans….but for some inexplicable reason….I LOVE THEM SO SO MUCH.

My one word of caution:  Giant, longer sweaters look terrible with the looser thigh.  These jeans feel so sexy (and make me feel so curvy! #don’tlaugh) as long as my waist is showing via a half-tuck of the sweater.

I applied the same styling tips as above:  cropping them just enough for my short self, but long enough to fit over my sock boots.


sweater – xxs | jeans – go up a size | boots


As my mom pointed out, we’ve now officially come full circle.  Hello, Mom Jeans.

Shop Our Favorite Mom Jeans / Cropped Flares



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Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and shorts known as denim-underwear, always.

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  1. I have the Madewell crop flares in black and the burgundy velvet. I love them soooo much. Wearing boots that close that ankle gap definitely helps. I also love wearing them with a long tunic and short booties. The ankle gap isn’t so awkward then.

  2. Wow! You so totally nailed this look! You look amazing and make my short self hopefully that I could eventually rock them !! I just need a good pair of sock boots … And that sweater in the first couple photos?! GORGEOUS !!!!!!

  3. You have, once again, inspired me. I bought the Rag and bone cropped flares which I had to crop an additional two and one half inches. They look great with my high shaft booties. I wear them with Frye Clara which has a 2 inch heel and with my older Aquatalia Lilli which has a lower heal but a higher shaft and the jeans look gorgeous with both. The shoes that surprised me were a pair of Frye slip on sneakers in a neutral tan leather and my Frye 12r harness boots look surprisingly great too.

  4. Love all of these looks! I need to try my Sorel wedges with some of my jeans, but I have a feeling with my extra height they’re not quite going to make it. I’d been eyeing that Madewell sweater too. Now you’ve sold me on it!

  5. I have to say, I didn’t like how anyone looked in the jeans (I should say that I think you all usually look amazing; it’s totally the jeans, not you!) and I had completely written off this trend …..but then I scrolled down to the very last pair of jeans and did a double take. There is something a little intriguing and adorable about the styling and cut of the j.crew pair. So consider me a possible convert! Miracles can happen!

  6. I think the key to this trend is to believe it and own it. Once again, Shana, you look great in every shot because you like the trend and are having fun with it. It’s not for everyone but that’s kind of what draws me to it. Love the last mom jeans on you!

  7. Of course these are much better than the mom jeans from earlier. A little kicky flare is super cute. I have a pair of Vince slightly cropped – slightly flared jeans from perhaps 5 years ago. They are fitted all the way through then just have that little kicky flare. They look best with nice high heeled pumps. (A very Carrie Bradshaw-ish sort of look.)

    The high-waisted, plus fuller thigh, plus tapered leg….that’s the mom jeans trend. And it’s one that I cannot understand – except for teens! 🙂

  8. The Emperor’s New Mom Jeans.

    I’m good with the cropped flares but not the high wasted tapered mom jeans. The fashion industry must really hate women to do that to us. Again.

  9. On last night’s episode of “Last Man on Earth” the January Jones character was wearing cropped flares. And they just looked okay to me. I mean if they only look “okay” on January Jones, there is no hope that they will look good on me. I like cropped, I like flare, just not together.

  10. I’m not totally convinced, but I’m open to it… the problem now is that I’m confused. I found some high rise full length flares that I bought at the end of summer that I lovvve (one black, one a darker rinse) but I haven’t worn them because I need to hem… can I crop to a standard length, or is full length totally out? Should I chop above my ankle? Thanks!!!

  11. Thanks so, so much for these posts! Cropped flares somehow unleash the pretend-princess in me–all that extra fabric around my ankles, except it in no way interferes with the things a working parent needs to get done! But I’ve needed the help in making them work for anything beyond playing dress-up on weekends. In general I really love “procedural” posts like this series, explaining what makes a look wrong & how to fix it–gives me skills I can transfer to other fashions as well.

  12. I loved this series!!! And would love to see this format again! I am a huge fan of cropped and mom jeans and you ladies gave us great options to consider. Super helpful!!

  13. ANMJ has come full circle! I loved this series of cropped flares, mom jeans, um, whatever it’s called. Thanks for trying it out and giving pointers! This was super helpful and now it will be fun trying something new.

  14. Standing ovation for the cropped flare series! Well done…I have been working them into my wardrobe since spring and appreciate the inspiration and advice. For the naysayers, I have to point out that if you live in a messy winter climate–the skinny jeans and boots (tall or short) is hard to beat in the practicality department, but sometimes I just want a different silhouette…I love my flares and, as a ranch girl, there will always be a pair of bootcuts in my denim stash, but they are not for the kid-chasing mucky days. Cropped flares and my wedge Sorels? Perfect alternative…and its a great way to show off cute shoes. They are not the most flattering jeans I have, but I am figuring out to make them “just flattering enough.” Thanks for the tips!

  15. I loved this whole cropped denim adventure! So much so, that I even played along at home! I am currently enrolled in the amazing “Stasia’s Style School” and have been taking selfies each day anyway. But now I can’t post a photo! Is it true? Would love to share one of my attempts!

  16. I have some cropped flares w/high waist from Madewell that I LOVE. My favorite way to wear them is with heels and a jacket–I can’t get enough of this look!

  17. You have definitely nailed the “crop mom jeans” look and I can’t wait to try some of the tips you detailed in the post. Thank you, thank you thank you!!! 🙂

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