Skip to main content
The M Dash

Live with purpose.

The 3-Piece Equation That Will Change the Way You Dress

Transforming your entire wardrobe is as easy as one, two, three...

By Madeleine Kim

We’ll admit it: A cropped jacket isn’t the most intuitive garment out there. After all, jackets are typically formal pieces—layers you add to make your outfit look business-ready—while “cropped” brings to mind midriff-baring tops and other not-so-office-appropriate (but still great in their own way) styles. But with a few simple styling guidelines, a cropped jacket can become an incredibly useful piece in your wardrobe. We asked our Brand Stylist, Nyjerah, to show us the ropes, and she clued us into this simple outfit formula: A slim-cut underpinning + wide-leg pants + a cropped jacket = a chic, wear-anywhere outfit. Read on for three ways to pull off this look, modeled by our Customer Communications Associate, Emma.

The Jeans-and-a-Tee Alternative

The next time you’re about to reach for your go-to jeans and T-shirt, try this slightly more elevated look instead. Fitted, cropped jackets, like the Sant Ambroeus, are the perfect complement for wide-leg, cropped pants, such as the Anderson. Nyjerah notes that the Rochelle tank has a hemline on the shorter side, which means you can wear it tucked or untucked with your cropped jacket. As Emma demonstrates, this outfit is comfortable enough to lounge in, but so chic, you’ll want to dance around and show it off. Looking for something more lightweight? Try swapping the Anderson pants for the high-waisted Caitlin shorts, which pair perfectly with cropped jackets and tops.

The Summer-Ready Tonal Look

When pairing different colors together, Nyjerah recommends sticking with pieces from the same color family to create a tonal palette. Longer, tunic-like tops, such as the Adele, are a can-do for cropped jackets, as long as you tuck them into high-waisted pants to complement the jacket’s short hemline. Want to go for a layered look? As a rule of thumb, look for a bottom layer (like the Sant Ambroeus jardigan) that’s the same length or shorter than your top layer (hello, Scotte jacket!). That being said, rules are meant to be broken—and if it makes you feel great, we’re into it. Bonus points: For a more structured look, Nyjerah recommends swapping out the Scotte jacket’s fabric sash for the Beebe belt or the Wide Stitched belt.

The Fresh Take on Suiting

Adding a cropped jacket is an easy way to give your suit a bit of edge. Here, Nyjerah has paired the tailored Neale jacket with the wide-leg Elliott trouser for some subtle proportion play. She notes that wearing a belt in a different color balances your look and helps add structure to the entire ensemble.

Extra, Extra!
Not a pants person? Not to worry—Nyjerah has a few more formulas up her (very stylish) sleeves. Try wearing your cropped jackets with high-waisted skirts (especially those with a shorter hemline, like the Crosby), as well as shift dresses (think Maaza, Hayden, and Doris), and A-lines (Jaycie, Annie, and Jane are your gals).

Madeleine Kim

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is a Senior Brand Associate at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

See more of Madeleine's articles

Shop This Story

Back to Top

Questions about styling or sizing? Chat with one of our stylists.