Capri Pants…Friend or Foe?

It’s Spring…or shall I say, Winter was Spring, and Spring is Summer…or at least it feels like summer…except in Laguna Beach where it feels like early spring in Chicago. 🙂  So, spring or summer, it’s the season for Capri pants (also known as Capris, Crop pants, long or three-quarter shorts, and clam diggers)…a friend inquired about them.  Are they in or out?  yay or nay?  Can everyone wear them, or just women with thing legs and calves.  But “clamdiggers”?  Probably a term from “the south”.

More casual than its full-leg cousin yet still sophisticated and classic (think Audrey Hepburn), the Capri is the perfect summer pant. However, the Capri style can be tricky to pull off; you don’t want it to cut you off in the wrong place, leaving your legs looking stumpy or making your hips appear wider.  That is Never the goal! My friends at Wear this and Toss that, have some specific thoughts regarding this most important topic!
Here are some  tips to make the Capri work for you

What type of cut? This season we’re finally seeing the skinny pant put to rest and a celebration of a wider trouser cut. Women everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief because this translates to a wider cuff that better counterbalances the hips. You can certainly get a little nautical chic with a trouser-cut Capri, but the classic fit is one that is straight-legged and tapered toward the hem.

What length? It really depends on the look you are going for and how much you love your calves! Capris can end anywhere from just at or under the knee or mid-calf or slightly below. Keep in mind that whatever skin is exposed on that leg will serve like a spotlight, so make sure you love what you see!  A loose long pair of walking shorts can translate into the look of a Capri.

Which shoes? The most common question they get is what shoes to wear with Capris. Your “go-to shoe” should be feminine flats, which are all the rage this season. Opt to up your ante with cute jeweled styles, sandals with rosettes or flowers, or closed-toe varieties with cutouts or bows. Unless you want to appear super tall, skip the sky-high skinny heels, as this season it’s more about a thicker heel. Try a platform, a wedge, or a fun, woven espadrilles in a moderate heel, which better matches a capri’s casual cut.  I also think a great pair of high heel sandals (not sky-high) makes for a great, chic look.

What to wear on top? The ideal and easiest match is a blouse or shirt that ends at or a little below your waistband. Beware if your baby doll or jersey top ends at the hips; it will make them look wider than a shopping cart!  I also love a matching or coordinating blazer for work, with a pair of cuffed Capri’s, and heels for work.

How to accessorize? A thick belt will make a Capri pant top-heavy. Instead consider a skinny or thin (one-inch) belt instead. Against a solid color like navy or tan, a metallic belt adds shine and modernizes the look. Swap out a formal belt for a casual, colorful scarf only if you want to zero in attention around your middle.

Other must-haves:

• Belted khaki Capris for a great, crisp look.  This works more for a casual look as opposed to appropriate for work.
• Just below-the-knee Capris for those who adore their calves.  This will Not be me.
• Capri with side slits for a slightly sexy alternative.  This works for everyone.

One of their suggestions is to : TOSS a Capri if you have thick ankles, big feet, or heavy lower calves as this style will highlight those areas.  I have to disagree.  I have thick ankles (but strangely enough they’re weak), big feet (goes along with my big heart) and not the slimmest calves based on too many years of running, and I still love Capri’s, and don’t believe the children go running when they see me.  Of course it still goes back to my Number 1 fashion rule…if you love it, and love yourself in it, Rock on!

Source:  Wear This, Toss That (with my own little tidbits interspersed within).

Great looks while wearing Capri’s:

Be Happy.




  1. I am definitely one of the “wear loose fitting walking shorts” women. At almost 5,3 and size 8-10-12, capris make me look even shorter and feel like a fireplug. Longer, nicely tailored shorts help me achieve a similar look. Thanks for the tips. And yay to variety and multiple options! It is what makes us all so interesting. 🙂

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