How To Wear Ankle Pants

5 min readOct 7, 2022


Metal Vogue Jewellery

I’d have to say just about every pair of pants I own hits at the ankle. From jeans to leggings to cargo pants and trousers, I like them to all hit right at, you guessed it, my ankle. I find ankle pants to always be a great choice no matter the occasion. And hell, if they don’t come at the right length, I cut them!

How To Wear Ankle Pants - Poor Little It Girl

Given my petite frame, it didn’t take long for me to realize that scrunching jeans at the bottom that are too long or wearing really anything that wasn’t cropped pants really wasn’t suited for my short frame. When it hits the ankle, it just looks better and makes me appear longer. I know it sounds weird, but it works for me.

How To Wear Ankle Pants

While it most certainly may seem pretty simple on how to wear and style ankle pants, there are a few rules I like to follow. But please, these are just general guidelines. By all means, do what you like! To be honest, in my outfit photos in this post I’m most certainly breaking my own rules. But that’s the fun part of fashion trends. You can read the guidelines but really, it’s all about your own personal taste and comfort.

Ankle Pant Styles

Like I mentioned before, I own a few different styles of ankle pants. You can have denim, joggers, track pants, leggings, cargo pants, twill, and even wide-leg ankle pants. You can shop a bunch of different styles that I love here:

Choose The Right Shoes

Now, here’s where it can get a bit tricky for some. You really need to think hard about your shoe choice when wearing ankle pants. Really, when you’re wearing fitted ankle pants (think slim trousers or legging) you really can do just about any style of shoe. But when you get into a wider leg ankle pant, you need to keep the shoe pretty slim.

For example, I semi broke the rules with the ankle pants I’m wearing in today’s look. These navy joggers are a bit wider, but not so wide I couldn’t pull off a sneaker with them. It helped balance out the oversized knit I was wearing. But I would never do a big boot or anything with this look. Still, want to keep the shoe slim.

How To Make The Outfit Flattering

Whenever you get dressed, no matter what, it’s all about balance. So if you’re wearing an oversized top, you want to wear more fitted pants. If you’re doing wide-leg ankle pants, keep the top slim. It’s all about the perfect pairing. As I said, I sort of broke that rule with my look today, but these pants were SO wide that I couldn’t do the bigger sweater if that makes sense.

If you do go for wide ankle pants, I’d certainly say try a higher heel. And if you go for tight pants, go for a flat or sneaker. And for me, being short, I always like to tuck in my top slightly so my legs appear longer. That’s always the goal — look tall! Ha!

How To Wear Ankle Pants - Poor Little It Girl

Make Sure They Hit At The Right Spot

Ankle pants should, as you might have guessed, hit right at or above your ankle. Pending your height and what store you’re shopping, you may even try to look at cropped pants or heck, even regular if you’re on the taller side. Make sure you try them on so you can see exactly where they hit and note if you’ll need to hem them to be the perfect ankle length.

How To Dress Ankle Pants Up

One of the easiest ways to dress up ankle pants is with a great pair of heels. I love the look of strappy sandals or even a classic pointed-toe pump with them. But really, whatever you want. Just keep in mind that you don’t want a really clunky heel with your dressed-up look. Keep the heel slim and simple.

How To Dress Ankle Pants Down

Pretty sure my outfit today is the definition of how to dress down ankle pants. It was freaking FREEZING when I took these photos, so wearing all the layers and knits was a must. Sneakers are always a casual option to wear with ankle pants. This look would have even been cute, but still dressed down, with a denim jacket and baseball cap.

How To Wear Ankle Pants

Ankle Pants Outfits

So you want a few ankle pant outfits ideas that you can recreate at home? There are seriously so many different ways to rock this trend, but here are a few of my favorite looks from the Poor Little It Girl archives that you can draw inspiration from with pieces in your own closet.

Navy Joggers

This is another way I styled these same navy joggers, but this time a bit more dressed up. This outfit is great for me when attending an event or heading to a work meeting.

(Check out the original post!)

Floral Wide Leg Ankle Pants

Who says short girls can’t wear wide-leg ankle pants?! I live in these pants during the spring, summer, and fall and style them with sweaters or tanks — always tucked in so that there’s a balance to my look.

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Skinny Caro Pants

When people think cargo pants, I’m sure some not good images come to mind of very, VERY bad fashion. This pair is slim fit and stops right at the ankle. It’s a great alternative for when you’re not in the mood for jeans.

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Classic Dark Wash Jeans

But for when you DO want denim, classic ankle-length jeans are a must-have in any woman’s closet. Because I went with a knit on top and skinny jeans, I opted for a closed-toe ballet flat to complete the look.

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Pink Elastic Waist Pants

I couldn’t say no to a pair of elastic waist pull-on trousers now, could I? A great ankle-length option for the office with a sweater and heels.

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Black Trousers

The one pair of pants, besides jeans, I’m sure everyone owns is their go-to black ankle trousers I’ve had these straight-legged ankle pants for years. For real I think almost 8 years at this point. They’re the best and go with just about anything.