Much like smoking slippers and monogrammed pieces, cropped trousers are an article of clothing every woman should have in her closet. Adaptable for a wide range of occasions, this workwear staple is surprisingly flattering for most figures; try a pleated style if you want a roomier, thigh-concealing fit, while flat-front versions offer a slimmer silhouette. Even better: the ankle-grazing hemline adds a touch of femininity to this menswear-inspired essential and perfectly highlights a standout pair of heels. A wardrobe classic to be sure, cropped trousers have certainly seen their fair share of updates over the years, but this season's renditions prove to be a cut above the rest. Rich fabrics and of-the-moment prints demand the spotlight, while lending the pants a fall-appropriate look. Want to know which styles to look for? Read on to find out!
On the Street & Runway
One of our favorite current takes on the cropped trouser this season came to us courtesy of the Marni F/W 12 runway. The three-quarter-length Cryptic Wool Crepe Pants ($950) festooned with floral doodles are more playful than a traditional suit trouser and feel decidedly modern when paired with the matching Cryptic Silk Crepe Shirt ($920). In addition to prints, when swathed in bright colors, abbreviated trousers take on a contemporary look. Low-slung iterations as seen on Stockholm Streetstyle can be dressed up (with a croc-embossed jacket) or down (with a printed knit pullover) for equally noteworthy results.
On The Market
Topshop Premium Mensy Tapered Trousers ($90)
They say that gray goes with nothing, therefore it goes with everything, so consider these high-waisted wool trousers your blank canvas. You can contrast their boyish vibe with a ruffled blouse or make them more party-friendly with a pair of brightly embellished heels--either way, you're sure to get lots of wear out of them.
Marni Checked Cropped Trousers ($750)
Checkmate! While most of today's picks feature a slim, tapered cut, Marni offers a new silhouette to love: the wide-leg, cropped flare. Featuring a contrasting checked pattern and gold zip details along the sides and ankles, these pants were made for the fearless fashion girl.
Rachel Zoe Ian Cigarette Pants ($275)
Cut from lustrous mauve velvet, these slim-fit trousers exude a chic '70s spirit. Play up their retro look with a silky, tucked-in blouse and a wide-brim chapeau.
Tibi Pailette Jersey Pants ($475)
Fancy pants like these are the perfect alternative to a party dress this season. Shoe-wise, you can either opt for equally dazzling heels or throw on a pair of block heels to exude some ladylike elegance.
Whistles Lia Jacquard Trousers ($182)
The subtle jacquard print on these Whistles trousers will take you seamlessly from the office to after-hours cocktails. They work wonderfully well for the weekend too; just add your favorite tee and loafers for a down-to-earth result.--Jessica Baker