The BEST Jeans, According To Your Calf Shape

Sandals let you dip a toe into summer trends, but it’s your ankles that get that first taste of spring. After all, hiking up a hem is a pretty low-touch way to start showing skin. But, no cuff is universal — there are as many crops and cuts as there are leg shapes, and we’re breaking down both. You see, each leg deserves its own special treatment, the exact hem that'll let it shine. Whether you're walking around on a pair fit for a soccer star, or one shaped like the letter V, you may be doing it in the wrong pants. Cut it out, ahead.

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Suno top; Courtshop Daria jeans, $58, available at Courtshop; and Topshop shoes.   

The Soccer Legs
Chances are you've studied gymnastics, have been in dance classes for as long as you could walk, or are, as the name suggests, a soccer player. But, even for those who don't fit those descriptions, your calves are strong and muscular. There's lots of definition, although the widest — and sometimes toughest-to-fit — part is at the top of the calf, where most of the bulk is.

Crop: Just above the ankle.
While your ankles may taper, aim for jeans that stick to a straighter line. A slim-fit pair is great for showing off your shapely, powerful legs, but instead of anything with too much stretch (think jeggings), look for jeans that are stiffer and straighter.
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Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Paige Verdugo Crop in Ultra White, $179, available at Paige; Zara Draped Front Poplin Shirt, $69.90, available at Zara; Dr. Martens 1461, $110, available at Dr. Martens.

The Long & Lean
Though a lithe leg shape like this one is defined, it lacks the noticeable curve that appears in some other leg shapes between the upper and lower calf. The area below the knee is a bit rounded, but overall, the leg has the appearance of a long, seamless line, with the bottom tapering into a slim ankle.

Crop: Two-Thirds Down Your Calf
The more willowy your leg, the higher you can crop your pants. A high crop also lengthens your frame, meaning you can ditch heels and opt for a flat, sneaker, or loafer. Here, we chose a chunky black lace-up to contrast with the model's monochromatic look.   
White + Warren Cashmere Marl Mesh Crew Neck; Erdem jeans; Chelsea Paris Angel, $465, available at Chelsea Paris.

The Column
Of all the leg shapes, yours has the least amount of distinction between calf and ankle. While your legs may have curves and definition, generally the width of your ankle and calf are almost one and the same.

Crop: Low down on the ankle.
We often suggest that the most flattering point for your jeans to end is by the slimmest part of your leg. But, that's not as easy to determine when your leg measurements are all fairly equal. Look for silhouettes with a wider cut that don't outline one specific part of the calf and crop super low on the ankle — think of them as intentional high-waters. Pair with a heel to elongate your legs.
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Edith A. Miller top; 3x1 W25 Crop Baby Boot in Bowie, $245, available at Shopbop ; Vans Slip-on, $45, available at Vans.

The Lollipop
Your calf shape falls somewhere between The Long & Lean and The Soccer Legs. But, the difference lies in proportion: All your width is focused right below the knee at the top of your calf. The rest of your leg is slim, including your ankle. 

Crop: Right beneath your widest measurement.
While a cropped jean would generally never land on the upper calf — that's capri territory — you can look for one that's a bit higher. Make sure it falls below the widest part of your leg but also shows off a bit of your lower calf, which helps to elongate the whole leg. A cropped flare is a great choice because it widens at the bottom and contrasts with the uppermost part of your calf.

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Delpozo top; Genetic  Los Angeles Birkin High-Rise Straight Crop in Rider, $192, available at Genetic  Los Angeles; Nasty Gal Low Rider Flatform, $68, available at NastyGal.

The V

There is some curve in your leg, but generally it resembles the letter V. It's widest at the top and slimmest at the ankle, and the area between is a steady slope.

Crop: Mid-ankle.

A lower crop is more flattering on this calf shape, because the lower you go, the slimmer the part of the ankle it will hit. But, in addition to crop height, an important tip for this shape is to try a generous cuff on a loose-fit jean. While baggy denim is on trend, turned-up legs actually add some width toward the bottom on your calf and balance everything up top — creating a flattering proportion. 

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