Capri pants are distinctive for their length and undeniable comfort. Shorter than regular pants and longer than shorts, they provide that perfect in-between range of coverage. That makes them ideal for warmer days that call for something lighter, but they are still suitable when it’s slightly cooler outside.
The trick, however, is to select the right pair of capri pants. There are thousands of options available, and they all vary in silhouette and structure. Choosing the perfect style depends largely on your preferences and where you plan to wear them. Here are a few suggestions to help you narrow down your options.
The first step is to size up the length of the pants. This can be challenging because a shorter capri pants style can end virtually anywhere on the leg. Some skim the ankles, while pedal pushers fall to the mid-calf area and clam diggers end at the knee. There are even cropped trousers, which can be appropriate in more reserved environments. The general rule of thumb is to select a style that falls no lower than the narrowest portion of your leg. This contributes to a more balanced look overall and will be easier to style.
Shorter capri pants can work best on a petite frame. The key is simply to select a style that's right for you. In general, shorter women can opt for a mid- or high-rise style if they wish to elongate the legs, as the higher waist pulls the eye upward and lends the illusion of length. If you have a short torso, you can stick with a mid-rise style to create the illusion of a lower waist. Create balance by wearing them with a shorter shirt or tunic top that just grazes the top of the pants. If you’re tall, you might favor something a little longer, but you can always fold the cuffs to give your capri pants a different look. That will work particularly well if they’re made with khaki or denim cropped pants.
You have plenty of options when it comes to silhouettes. Skinny, fitted, wide, relaxed–there are so many that it may be difficult to narrow down your choices to just one. It’s helpful to think about the structures that are most flattering. Both tapered and straight-leg styles look great on shorter women, as they hug the frame in a flattering way and can contribute to the illusion of more length. The wide-leg styles are particularly flattering on taller individuals.
Some capri pants are enhanced with extra details, many of which can be useful but may feel like too much if they all appear at the same time. You might see heavy cargo pockets along the sides, drawstrings at the waist, and wide cuffs at the hems, for example. Think about whether you really need these features or whether you can do without them. Too much ornamentation can take away from the structure of the pant. One way to combat that is to pair your bottoms with something structured on top, like a crisply tailored women’s blouse. In general, sleek pockets along the sides are the perfect finishing touch–they’re just right for holding something small without adding bulk to the design.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to styling capri pants. While they’re sometimes mentioned in the same breath as shorts, skorts, and khakis, these cropped pants can be both casual and dressy depending on the style and what you wear on top.
A style with wide-legs, for example, looks phenomenal with a cotton sweater and a pair of ballet flats. The look is simple, quietly elegant, and a little bit retro all at once. If you prefer something more laid-back for your off-duty events, try a loose-fit tee or a tunic and step into a pair of canvas sneakers or running shoes for an easy look that’s perfect for quick errand runs.
Have some fun experimenting, mixing, and matching pieces with your capri pants until you find a look that’s perfect for you!