Best Shoes To Wear With Cropped Trousers

I recently put together a video (click here if you missed it) on this subject which proved so popular that I thought I should write a blog about it. As we head towards autumn the shops will be flooded with cropped, ankle-length trousers and I want to make sure you step into the new season in style. The most important thing to remember when wearing cropped trousers is to balance the narrower hem of the trouser with appropriate footwear, i.e. not to wear shoes that are too heavy. The whole point of this look is to showcase your ankles, to add length and to show off your footwear in style. I am a big fan of cropped trousers and wear them throughout the year so it goes without saying that I have plenty of pairs of shoes that go well with them! 

Here are my tips for perfecting the look

Bulky trainers with this type of trouser can make you look short and stumpy and will distort a clean line, especially if you are petite (5ft 3” and under). If you have a long torso and short legs, cropped trousers can make your legs look short. Wear them with the wrong pair of shoes and you’ll do yourself no favours whatsoever.

Thick socks and trainers may be comfy, but paired with ankle-length trousers they scream frump city! Obvious as this may sound, it is a fashion faux pas I have witnessed on numerous occasions and it is one autumn style sin you do not want to commit. If you want to wear chunky trainers I would opt for a full-length trouser.

In general, it is best to steer clear of chunky, heavy soles and of shoes with a high vamp (the front part of the shoe). These include:

Trainers  – the one pictured below is too heavy due to its sole

Clogs – these are too heavy and chunky

Shoes with thick soles and cleating

Shoes with thick, wide straps

Clunky shoes

Ankle-boots or boots which hide your ankles

Loafers and brogues – beware of too much heavy detail on the upper. These are absolutely fine if the upper is simple and the sole thin.

Here’s an image of shoes which I own and wouldn’t wear with cropped trousers

 To look fabulous in cropped trousers, you need to create the illusion of a long, lean lower leg. To do this, put some visual distance between the hem of your trousers and the tips of your toes. A good way of achieving this is through colour: choose shoes that are in your skin-tone (nude), or are the same colour as your capris. Alternatively, wear shoes that look light and airy, especially at the top of the foot. Shoes that have a low vamp (the front part of the shoe), or a pointy or almond toe – as opposed to a very wide, round toe – are also good. Thin straps are fine so long as they don’t hide your ankles. My personal favourite are kitten heels with a pointy toe, either as a shoe or as a slingback, or with straps. As you can see from the photo, I have lots of them.






Here are some popular shoe styles to wear with cropped trousers that will make you look stylish and balanced









Lace-up sandals are open, airy and reveal some skin which helps to elongate the leg. If you don’t like lace-ups, any flat sandal will work. Choose a simple t-strap or multiple straps, but make sure the sandal looks light and airy to complement the breezy look of your trousers. A classicpointy-toed pump (such as the blue, sequinned one above) will elevate the look.  A fine, high-heeled sandal (kitten heel or stiletto) will add a sexy touch.







Block heels are modern and give you some height without the hurt. A nude colour is best, however, any other colour will help create a long, lean leg-line that will give your legs the illusion of going on for miles. 







Cropped trousers worn with ballet flats is a classic look immortalised by Audrey Hepburn which still looks chic today. D’Orsay flats have a pointy toe and chic, side cut-outs which are the perfect complement to cropped trousers.





Espadrilles and canvas flats are lightweight, casual and breezy and an obvious choice for summer. They’re a natural choice to pair with cropped trousers.





And finally, notice how the chunky, platform mule on the left covers and weighs down the foot making the whole look frumpy. Compare this with the low-vamp pump on the right, which opens up the foot and elongates the leg making the whole more proportional.

Good luck and hope you step into your trousers and shoes in style this autumn.

Best wishes

Anita xxx

Personal stylist and corporate stylist in Surrey and London


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