Several things determine which shoes will work best with cropped pants, including the shape and fabrics of your outfit, your body shape, and of course, the color and season.
Here are a few shoe styles that work with cropped pants - and a few to avoid as well.
Flip-Flops or Thongs: These are great shoes for a breezy, summery look. And the good news is, flats will work fine, but with cropped pants, you can have a bit of a heel. Be sure to look for a sandal that's balanced - if it has wide straps, it should have a substantial heel; while a skimpy sandal with a kitten, etc.
Heeled Pumps and Peep Toes: To add a bit of polish and class to cropped pants, consider wearing them with a pretty dress shoe like a pointy-toe pump or peep-toes with a medium-high, classic heel. This is an ultra-feminine, and very stylish look, but avoid heels that are ultra-high or chunky, as they could detract from the outfit.
Wedge Sandals: Cropped pants and wedge sandals are a natural and attractive combination. But since the heels of wedges are bulky by nature, be sure the top of the shoe shows as much skin as possible. You want to make sure the shoes aren't overly complicated, lest they look too "heavy" for the outfit.
Ballet Flats and Skimmers: Having long been the style of choice with both capris, with shorter cropped pants, ballet flats work well about half of the time. Avoid them if you feel your legs are too heavy or short, or if the cropped pants are very wide or long.
Tall Boots: Knee-high boots, or boots that fall just below the knee are ideal with cropped pants with a wider cut, like gauchos. Whether they're flat or heeled, the look is perfect for autumn, and can work with tights or bare legs.
Kitten Heels: When it comes to cropped pants, kitten heels work far better than flats for shorter women, and they add a bit of polish to the outfit. Strappy sandals, slides, and pumps with kitten heels will all work well, but stick with simpler styles, so as not to overwhelm the rest of the outfit.
- Avoid "Heavy" Shoes - Shoes that are cover the entire top of your foot, or have a bulky look or chunky heel can break up the look of the outfit.
- Watch the Color - Imagine seeing a profile of yourself in the outfit you're planning. Now imagine what it would look like if you squinted, so you could just see shapes and colors. You want your look to have a natural flow instead of looking choppy and as if you're made up of different color blocks. For that reason, shoes that contrast with the color of your cropped pants aren't usually a good choice. They will break up the look, giving that blocky appearance. Closely matching your shoes to your pants, hosiery or legs' skin tone will give a good flow to the outfit.
- Keep it Simple - The part of leg that is left showing by cropped pants dictates wearing shoes with a simpler design. Heavy prints, blocks of color or shoes that are otherwise too busy can ruin cropped pants, because they're met at the top with legs instead of fabric - again, giving a broken-up or blockish look, instead of a natural flow.
Footwear to Avoid with Cropped PantsUnless it's part of some fashion experiment, the following footwear doesn't work well with cropped pants.
- Shoes in colors that contrast with your pants.
- Shoes with busy or heavy prints.
- Bulky Shoes
- Ankle Boots (unless the cropped pants are very long, or you have thin calves)