Who out there remembers the Clothes Show?  You know, that old BBC chestnut from back in the day: the one presented by the rather flirty & giggly Selina Scott and Jeff Banks and then eventually, by Caryn Frank as well…?  Well if you can’t remember it, its well worth a google, if for nothing else but a bit of a laugh!

Honestly, it’s a classic… sort of:  I suppose it was a ‘first of a kind’ on TV in bringing us catwalk fashions  (I seem to remember an awful lot of Pet Shop Boys music being used) & how we might translate those catwalk styles into everyday wear; it was also one of the first TV shows to bring us Brits a TV ‘make-overs’.

This leads me nicely onto the cliches they would hash out time and time again when making someone over: trust me when I tell you, it was pretty basic… no 10 Years Younger with botox or surgeries, just a railing of clothes, a hairdresser & make-up artist… oh and the classic advice/rules which should be followed for your body type.  In other words: always ignore fashion trends and attempt to ‘hide’ your physical attributes such as being short or tall… so you can ‘blend’ in to the norm.

(And whilst I’m apparently slating it here, I’d like to state for the record: I absolutely LOVED this part of the show!)

Anyway, back to the make-overs: for example, when making over someone short (usually a top heavy lady)… she (the volunteer) would without fail wind up in quite a plunging v-neck to elongate her neck; she would always be advised to “never wear crops because they shorten the leg.  Always, always wear super long trousers down to the floor with a heel to elongate.  If you wear a skirt, never ever wear a boot as it chops the leg in half.  Always wear a heel.  A court shoe…”  And so on.

Now whilst that may well be good advice, the thing is, its difficult to apply to everything and always.  It also ignores fashion trends and takes the fun out of clothes (for me, at least).  Whilst I’m not someone who has to jump on every single bandwagon that the fashion industry puts out there, I want to be able to join in some of the fun too, right? And as for rules… well, aren’t they meant to be broken sometimes?

As for blending in… in terms of fashion, aren’t we all secretly hankering that ability to ‘stand out’ from the crowd??

With all of that in mind, here’s the big question: can little shorties like me, get away with a cropped kick flare jean? Or will this cut of jean end up shortening the leg too much & being big fat no-no?

Let’s find out…

A few posts ago I talked about the GAP cropped kick flare jeans (in petite) I wanted to try which were not available in store, and upon my return home, still armed with my 30% discount, I went online and horror of horrors: the very colour I wanted to order was sold out in all sizes (now back in stock course, pah!).  Instead,  I decided to check out GAP’s sister company Banana Republic who have a great range in their petites section and I ordered two pairs of cropped kick flares, in different washes to try at home.  Both are now reduced in the sale:

I wasn’t as sure about these mainly because of the frayed hem, which appears to be a very popular finish to in the world of crop-kick jeans.  I think possibly, because most of my clothes have seen better days, especially my jeans, nearly all ripped at the knee from wear rather than being bought as a “look”, I generally prefer to go light on any distressed looks and would prefer a sewn hem, or a ‘released hem’ where the hem looks like its been taken down (rather than just hacked off!).

My first impressions were that I would prefer the dark wash crop-kick jeans (reduced from £55 to £29.99 in regular & petite but limited availability); I tried these first (and with a variety of footwear to see what goes best with them); here’s the front & back view of me wearing the dark was cropped kick flares with an old pair of (Camper) wedges:

Next, the same jeans worn with two of my favourites: Gold Zara ankle boots  and Adidas Stan Smiths:

Thoughts?  Well I wasn’t blown away by them that’s for sure.  I thought the jeans were a brilliant fit on me as the rise was just right, not too high given this style of jean seems to go hand in hand with my nemesis the ‘high waist’ (ugh!): over all a great fit.  However, the colour wasn’t right, it wasn’t going to work for me going into Spring Summer.

And the all important length?  Well, petite ranges are usually for ladies who are 5’3″ and under.  I think these would be an excellent length on those who are 5’3″ or 5’2″ but on me, they just felt wrong.  Or perhaps it was a footwear issue…?

Next up are Banana Republic’s  petite mid-wash cropped kick flare (reduced from £55 to £39.99 available in regular and petite sizes): my first impression of these was that I didn’t like the colour too much, however, once I put them on, that thought definitely disappeared.  Here I am trying them on with a Tommy Hilfiger stack heeled sandal:

I really liked this pair: The wash was actually the exact colour I was looking for (even if I hadn’t realised it before!).  And again, like the previous dark-wash pair, the fit was excellent.  Worn with a pair of heels, the length seemed to work too.  So I gave it a go with some flats (pointed Boden slingbacks & gladiators):

Miraculously, even without a heel, I still liked this pair on me.  I thought they were both a flattering cut & that the cropped length was indeed something I can get away it.

After sleeping on it, I decided I couldn’t cope with the distressed & frayed hem: its just too Robinson Crusoe for me.  I still get crop-kick-envy when I see others carrying the frayed look off beautifully, its just not for me. Both pairs were sent back.

(Also, since writing this blog, and uploading the photos, I’ve discovered that these aren’t the best/most flattering angle and I need to tell you my legs are not this stumpy – I need to have some words with my photographer!!)

So where else to look?

GAP has now got the petite cropped kick flares back in stock but what puts me off ordering them is the ‘mid’ rise… I then remembered Next do petites and had a little nosy and came across these:


Perfect. The inseam is described as being 24.5 inches long which would indeed (in theory) be properly cropped on me.  Off I shot to my local Next with barely 20 minutes to my name before I had to school run and excitedly I checked the rails and… no, not stocked in store.  However, a pair was ordered in for me to try on and… just 24 hours later, I was back in store, trying them on.  I hadn’t realised the jeans would  be high waisted though:

No.  Just no.

The colour was a dreadful artificial denim blue – and what I mean by that is that it made the denim look like it wasn’t real denim- if that make any sense?  The cropped-ness was ok, but the high waist – oh. my. lord!  You can see from the rear-view what its done to my back side, but from the front… well, don’t say I never give you anything… I’ve saved the best laugh for last:


I’m not sure the photo does the sheer awfulness of these jeans on me justice: it doesn’t show just how high & how terrible these looked.  This is the size 6 and they kept slipping down a little as I attempted to take the photo,  but if I held them up – the waist came up to just under my boobs – no lie!  I was in tears (of laughter) in the changing room… and when I emerged the sales assistant gave me a worried “should I be calling the guys with straight jackets?” look.  I explained to her why I’d been laughing so hard and she kindly said “awwww, that’s a shame” whilst furrowing her brow further with a “what’s wrong with high waisted jeans? Rihanna wears them? I wear them…” look.  I just did my best fake smile whilst thinking, I’m no spring-chook… and scuttled back to the car whilst trying to suppress my laughter…

As I did the school run straight after the ridculously high-waisted crop-kick experience, it almost felt like I hadn’t actually done it (go to the shop & try the jeans on that is) and I almost forgot about it… almost.  Luckily for you, there was photographic evidence so I couldn’t not include it!

I suppose there is always the option of just chopping up a pair of your old flares?  I just don’t have any… however, if you’re feeling brave and fancy taking a punt, you could get this look on the cheap: Me&Em have these fabulous looking flares for just £15 in the sale, with most sizes still available.   I would imagine they didn’t sell that well in the winter months because of the colour but they have the most fabulous vintage stitching – I would definitely buy a pair, but yet again the rise looks too high for me.

Final verdict:

I’m short, just 5′.   Yes, I’m no Alexa Chung and yes, the cropped-ness of a crop-kick probably does make my legs look shorter.

However, I do believe I could rock a cropped kick-flare, especially if worn with a little mid-block heel, such as these Gucci-esque Daniel Footwear Gold pumps:

daniel footwear gold fringed pump

Finding the right crop-kick flared jean though, is like finding the perfect pair of any jeans: it’s no easy task.

How about you guys?  Anyone having the same problems as me?  Or are you at the other end of the spectrum with crops resembling pedal pushers instead? Have you found a perfect crop kick flare – where is it from, I’d love to hear from you. Xx

Postscript: I’m sorry for the full 3 week hiatus.  I clearly need to plan ahead for school holidays and have learnt a valuable lesson… I was left quite frustrated over Easter at not being able to blog/do my research etc.  I’m attending a blogging workshop locally in a couple of weeks which will hopefully assist me in my time management and diary planning so that I don’t just fall off the radar again.   Also, I don’t really know if I need a disclaimer, but the header images were found on google/Pinterest. Xx