Capris and cropped pants are notoriously hard to wear and they can be unflattering on many women. Yet they are still incredibly popular and wonen (including me) love them. They are comfortable, fashionable and fun!
So how can you wear capris and cropped pants in a way that’s stylish and flattering. Discover that today in this article on how to wear capris and cropped pants.
How to wear capris: Why can capri pants be unflattering?
Why can capris and cropped pants be hard to wear?
- First and foremost, cropped pants can be unflattering as they can give the effect of shortening your legs. Especially for women whose legs are proportionally short this can present a challenge. If you want to check your vertical proportions, be sure to read our article on vertical body types.
- They can highlight chunky calves if your pants end at the ‘wrong’ part of your leg. The eye will be drawn to where the hem on your capris ends.
- They can divide your body in half which can often be unflattering (more on this later).
So why do women still love cropped pants so much?
Here are just some of the reasons:
- The overall look of capris tends to be quite trendy.
- They are playful and geeky.
- They can be sexy too with the revealing of the ankle bone.
- They look fabulous with booties, which are still very much on trend this year.
- They are more associated with fun and style.
- They keep you cooler in summer.
How to wear capris and cropped pants?
If you like the trendy and playful vibe of capris and decide to wear them, how can you do so while maintaining a flattering silhouette?
Here are some guidelines for wearing capri pants in flattering ways:
1. capris that are tapered are easier to wear
similar blouse, pants, flats, bag and sunglasses
Capris and cropped pants that follow the natural leg line they will look much better. If you like the look of wide trousers (I do) then go for a full leg, but for cropped pants and capris I stay to a very tight leg line.
2. Wear higher heels
One way to overcome the leg shortening effect when you wear wider pants is to wear higher heels. Wide cropped pants especially look better with heels.
3. apply the rule of thirds
similar top, jeans, sandals, bag and sunglasses
When you are wearing your cropped pants the wrong way, you may visually divide your body in half. That can be very unflattering and it’s much better to aim for a golden ratio silhouette, where you divide your body in thirds.
Your top part is usually 1/3 and your bottom part 2/3 when putting together an outfit which follows this flattering golden ratio guideline.
But you can also create a 2/3 top 1/3 bottom silhouette.
You achieve the 1/3-2/3 look by tucking in your top of the cropped pants. I also like to wear my capris with a long tunic or dress which creates the 2/3-1/3 silhouette.
Tucking your top into your pants is an easy way to achieve a 1/3 – 2/3 silhouette.
If you want to know more about creating a flattering silhouette and the golden ratio, we go in great detail about this topic in a special bonus course that you get when you enroll in our style course. More details about that here.
If you prefer not to tuck your top in and prefer to hide your belly, you can also wear a wider shorter top that skims over half of the belly.
Or you can deceive the eye by wearing a layered top.Below is an example where I wear wide cropped pants, which are even more challenging to wear. Although my top is too long, part of it is in the same color as the pants. Since the darker part ends at my waist, it still created a 1/3-2/3 balance.
Below is an example where I wear 2/3 on top and 1/3 at the bottom. This can be a very flattering look for many women and is a great option for tighter cropped pants and leggings.
similar dress, capri jeans, shoes
The cropped pants below are challenging to wear. They are both wide and end at a traditionally unflattering (wider) part of the leg. To make it work I applied two strategies:
- I wore a short top that ends at my waist
- I wore heels to balance the shortening effect of these pants
- If you wanted to make this look more flattering, you can opt for heels in the same color as the pants.
similar top, pants, sandals, tote and sunglasses
4. Think carefully about your shoe choice
If there is not too much contrast between your shoes and your legs, your legs will appear longer. Shoes without straps are more leg lengthening as well.
I don’t always follow this “rule” so much myself as I prefer my high heel shoes with straps. I feel this still works when I wear heels, but if your legs are very short you may want to avoid straps at your ankle.
5. Higher booties are very effective with cropped pants.
similar dress, pants and booties
This is a good way to prevent the shortening effect of cropped pants, especially if you choose them in the same color as your pants.
similar cropped flare jeans
6. Wear a shorter top.
When wearing cropped pants that are flared or wider, be sure to wear a shorter top. High waisted cropped pants look fabulous with tops that end at the waist.
Wearing a shorter top will ensure that your legs look longer.
For more tips read this article on how to wear wide cropped jeans.
Who should not wear capris or cropped pants?
Of course everyone can wear them, but if you like to have a flattering silhouette I would advise on not wearing capris when:
- You have very short legs.
- Your legs are proportionally short to the rest of your body and you’re not wearing heels or a very short top.
For more information on this type of body shape, look at this piece on vertical body types.
In principle though, almost everyone can wear capris or cropped pants so long as you take your body proportions into account and make adjustments accordingly to create the silhouette that flatters you.
The length of your capri trousers is important
Cropped pants and capris come in all sorts of lengths and widths. Just a few inches can make a big difference to how flattering your capris look on you.
Where should your cropped pants end?
For the most flattering effect, find a pair which stop at the slimmest part of your leg, as this will be what is highlighted with your capri pants. Effectively, capris draw a line across the leg and draw the eye there.
For you, it may be just below, or just above, the widest part of your calf. You may decide on a pair of capris or a pair of slightly longer cropped pants, depending on what the best length is for you.
The best women’s cropped pants and capris
Now that you know how to wear cropped pants and capris, it’s time to find the perfect pair. Below you will find some of our favorite capris to choose from this season.
A pair of slim jeans, like the ones from NYDJ (below) which end just a few inches above your ankle will be flattering for most women.
NYDJ Chloe Hollywood Frayed Capri Jeans
Or, you could try the raw hem cropped jeans from Wit & Wisdom (below).
Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans
Skinny jeans have been on trend for many seasons, and they are still a stylish option, but bootcuts and flares are also making a style comeback this year.
A pair of cropped flare jeans is a flattering option, particularly if you wear with heels.
You could choose an on-trend color, or a traditional pair of blue or black jeans.
FRAME Le Jane Crop Flare Leg Jeans
DL1961 Lara Instasculpt Cropped Flare Jean
Jona @the50plusgirl above chooses a pair of gray raw hem jeans with her silver shoes.
Steal her look with this similar blouse (another option here), jeans, slingback pumps, bag and sunglasses.
You can wear the crop flare pants (below) in so many different ways, for work, weekend, parties or dinners.
Nordstrom Signature Crop Kick Flare Knit Pants
Or, you could choose the smart cropped pants from Boden (below).
Boden Bi-Stretch Crop Flare Trousers
A pair of leggings is always a good option for any season. Especially leggings that end just below the knee are a very flattering option to wear for many women. You could wear them with a longer tunic top, the the ones below are also thick enough to wear on their own.
Stella Carakasi leggings are a 40+style favorite, and the capri length leggings (below) look great worn with tunics for summer.
Stella Carakasi Second Nature Capris
Wide leg capris
Despite their leg-shortening characteristics, I have embraced wide cropped pants for a few of my own looks. Just remember to keep your tops short or cropped or tuck them in to get the best proportions.
Vince Camuto Drawstring Rumpled Culottes
Splendid Taylor Cotton Eyelet Crop Wide Leg Pants
For a casual option, if you are working out, working from home or just running a few errands, a pair of crop joggers could be a comfy choice.
Hatley Ally Bonded Cotton Gauze Crop Joggers
If you love the look of a pair of black capris as much as I do, you might like this pair from Stella Carakasi which would go with plenty of tops in your closet.
Stella Carakasi Just Right Cropped Pants
The Theory crop pants are another smart and easy-to-wear option as they will go with all of the tops in your closet.
Dayle @artfulcitystyle above (read her style interview here) chooses a pair of crop pants that end just above her ankles.
Recreate her outfit with this similar top (another option here), wide pants, shoes, necklace, bangles and earrings.
white cropped pants
Do you like the look of white capris? They can be a great style staple for your summer closet.
You’ll find more white jeans inspiration here and white pants in this article.
Eileen Fisher Straight Leg Crop Pants
red crop pants
Red will always add impact to your outfit, and is also a totally timeless option so you can wear your red crop pants year after year.
Rekucci Ease into Comfort Capri with Button Detail
Anne Klein Pull-On Wide Leg Ankle Pants
wide COTTON pants
Wide pants are particularly on trend right now and the silk pants (below) could be perfect for summer or your vacation wardrobe.
Eileen Fisher Brushstroke Print Straight Leg Silk & Organic Cotton Ankle Pants
For a classic, straight-leg pair of cropped pants, you could choose the Masai Copenhagen pants (below). Tuck your top in for a leg-lengthening effect.
Masai Copenhagen Piana Pintuck Pleat Pull-On Pants
A pair of print pants are perfect for dressing down with sandals and a t-shirt for a vacation, or you could create a more formal look with heels, a blazer and silk top.
Boden Straight Leg Printed Crop Pants
Stripes are always a timeless option when it comes to choosing a print. You could easily style a pair of striped capris in many different ways – with a tee and sneakers, a camisole and sandals, or a blouse and pumps.
DKNY Stripe Linen & Cotton Crop Pants
Which of the capris (above) are your favorites and what should you wear with them?
Keep reading for inspiration on tops, shoes and accessories to wear with your capris and cropped pants.
Cropped pants outfits: Tops to wear with capris
Now let’s put together some full outfits based on the crop pants you’ve seen above.
When choosing tops to style with your capris, think about shirts you can tuck in, or tops which are fairly short and will make your legs look longer.
Max Mara Leisure Cinched Shoulder Linen Top – Boden New Silk Shirt – Loveappella Cross Drape Sleeveless Top – BP. Organic Cotton Pointelle Rib Wrap Top
Emms @beautifuleveryday_uk above tucks her floral shirt into her cropped pants.
Recreate her outfit with this similar floral shirt, jeans and sneakers.
Loveappella Cross Drape Sleeveless Top – Masai Copenhagen Piana Pintuck Pleat Pull-On Pants – J. Reneé Shayanne Slingback Pointed Toe Pump – Nina Crystal Clutch – Monica Vinader Siren Bezel Set Drop Earrings
Jackets and cardigans to wear with capris
Cropped or short jackets can be a flattering style with your capris as they can make your legs look longer in comparison with your torso.
Instead try a cropped style – you could always wear it over a longer shirt – or choose a longer style of open cardigan to create slimming, long lines.
Theory Shrunken Seersucker Blazer – COS Cropped Milano-Knit Jacket – Boden Cropped Denim Jacket – Boden Textured Button Jacket
Nikki @40notfrumpy wears her moto jacket with her ankle length jeans.
Get her look with this similar top, moto jacket, jeans and platform loafers.
Boden Textured Button Jacket – Max Mara Leisure Cinched Shoulder Linen Top – Nordstrom Signature Crop Kick Flare Knit Pants – Paul Green Hadley Platform Sneaker – COACH Jamie Camera Bag – Monica Vinader Siren Bezel Set Drop Earrings
shoes to wear with capris
There are many shoe and boot options you could choose. Leg lengthening options include heels or booties, while you could choose sneakers or sandals for a more casual look.
BEAUTIISOLES Fia Pointed Toe Flat – J. Reneé Shayanne Slingback Pointed Toe Pump – Munro Wallis Peep-Toe Sandal – Paul Green Hadley Platform Sneaker
Shan @teachingonthegc above wears a blazer with her floral crop pants.
Check out this similar tee, blazer, pants (another option here), sandals, necklace and earrings.
COS Cropped Milano-Knit Jacket – Boden New Silk Shirt – FRAME Le Jane Crop Flare Leg Jeans – BEAUTIISOLES Fia Pointed Toe Flat – Over Earth Genuine Leather Hobo Shoulder Bag – Jenny Bird Ola Hoop Earrings
Accessories to wear with capris
What do you like to wear as the “finishing touches” to your capris outfit? Below are just a few ideas of accessories you could choose.
Over Earth Genuine Leather Hobo Shoulder Bag – COACH Jamie Camera Bag – Nina Crystal Clutch – SHYMI Half Link Tennis Choker Necklace – Gas Bijoux Tresse Station Necklace – Ettika Four the Money Crystal Drop Earrings – Monica Vinader Siren Bezel Set Drop Earrings – Jenny Bird Ola Hoop Earrings
Carmen @carmen_gimeno above shows how you could add a pair of sneakers to a cropped suit look.
Steal her look with this similar belted blazer, pants, sneakers, handbag and sunglasses.
BP. Organic Cotton Pointelle Rib Wrap Top – Eileen Fisher Brushstroke Print Straight Leg Silk & Organic Cotton Ankle Pants – Munro Wallis Peep-Toe Sandal – Over Earth Genuine Leather Hobo Shoulder Bag – Gas Bijoux Tresse Station Necklace – Jenny Bird Ola Hoop Earrings
A capsule wardrobe featuring capris
Below you can see many of the capris, clothes and accessories used in this article put together into a capsule wardrobe that is perfect for transitioning into summer.
There are 9 outfit suggestions for you, but you can mix and match these items to create countless other options.
Below you can see the clothes, shoes and accessories used above together in one capsule.
You may also like to take a look at how to create a capsule wardrobe.
shop the featured capris and cropped pants below:
What to wear with your capris? More cropped pants outfit ideas below
There’s more inspiration for you below. These are some previous capsules we created. Although these items are no longer available online, they will still give you inspiration on what sort of outfits you can create.
Capri outfits for summer
Capri outfits for fall
How to wear capris and ladies cropped trousers – more ideas!
To give you some more ideas on how you can wear capris and cropped pants I will show you some of mine.
Some of these images are older, but I thought I would still include them here as they illustrate how timeless cropped pants looks can be. I still wear many of these outfits.
Wide pants cropped jumpsuit
I’m loving this jumpsuit from COS (another option here). It naturally creates the 1/3-2/3 silhouette with the belt. On colder days I combine this with a short jacket so the waist stays emphasized.
Yellow cropped wide pants
Not so clear to see on this image but the pants below (similar option here) are also cropped and wider. I wear these pants with short or tucked in tops and either with or without the yellow kimono jacket (similar option here)
These culottes look like a skirt from the front but they are comfy cropped pants. Again these look best with tucked in (pink) tops or this cropped top in the same pattern.
Fly London sandals and similar crop set here
Cropped jean leggings
I like to wear these cropped jean leggings on holidays. Perfect to combine with longer tops. For more tips check our article on how to wear leggings.
similar dress, jeans and shoes
how to wear capris with a short or tucked in top
similar top, cropped shirt, jeans, sandals, handbag and sunglasses
Capris usually look good with a funky top tucked into your trousers.
You can simply tuck it or, if you need to hide a belly, can wear a longer top underneath in the color of your cropped pants. This will still give you a flattering silhouette.
For more of my favorite jeans brands check out my article on how to wear jeans over 40.
Skinny cropped pants
Below are a few more examples of how I have worn capris and cropped pants in the past.
similar top, jeans, shoes, necklace, hoop earrings and sunglasses
how to wear capris With a simple top
These look best with a wider and long top and can be very flattering. They are perfect for warmer weather.
These Second Nature capris from Stella Carakasi are super fab. Not too thin and very stretchy and comfortable. They are also great for tucking in your tummy. Take a look at how to hide your belly with the right clothes for more tips on this.
You can pair these leggings with an asymmetrical top and a long camisole.
For more tips on wearing leggings, check the article how to wear leggings after 40.
Some final thoughts about how to wear capris and cropped trousers
Right now you can wear pants in all sorts of styles and lengths.
Currently in 2023, cropped pants are still very much on trend and many of my pants are now cropped in some ways.
Please bear in mind ladies that all these are just guidelines. Always let your eyes be the judge of whether the outfit with capris looks good on you. Some of you may even be able to rock your capris outfits without following any of these suggestions.
And if you are in a a funky mood or just want to have fun with your clothing and don’t mind forfeiting the perfect silhouette, then that’s fine too. These guidelines will just let you be aware of the challenges of wearing capris so that you can work with those and make it work!
While doing this exercise myself, I actually discovered some fun new combinations in my cupboard as well. Why don’t you do the same and shop your closet to see if you can come up with some great capris outfits!
Will you be wearing capris this season? What will you wear your cropped pants with?
- How To Wear Jeans Over 40 – Guidelines And Lots Of Ideas
- How To Wear Leggings Over 40 – A Complete Guide With The Best Leggings And Tops And Shoes To Wear With Them
- The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
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Feature image by Jona @the50plusgirl
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I have always worn a pair of my black capris to work with a heel or wedge and never had a problem. The other day I wore them (they are mid-calf and I have skinny ankles) at my new job, which is still business casual like the others, with a belt, cute black and white wedges and a nice white knitted top and my boss had a closed door meeting to me about it. I was completely taken aback and never have I been talked to about my outfit in 20 years! She made me feel like I showed up in a tank top & shorts. She almost told me to not attend an informal meeting because of it too. I’ve never been so embarrassed. Funny thing is I got more compliments from others for my “cute outfit”. Just beware ladies, some people don’t think they’re okay for work. On the other hand my boss likes to wear a lot of shorter skirts with super high heeled boots (hooker boots, in my opinion) so to me, it’s a matter of opinion which is more appropriate. Just make sure your boss agrees. lol
I agree with you Nancy. I think capris can look very chic and I don’t see why they could not be worn to work. It depends on the quality of the capris of course and the way you combined them with your other clothes, but like you I feel they would look chicer in many cases than a short skirt (certainly when that skirt is worn with high heeled boots).
Definitely the longer ,slimmer capri with with a tunic style top or a more cropped top/blouse,depending on how large my rear appears to me on the day,with heels.
Living in Florida, clam diggers or capris are how to dress for hot weather when shorts are too casual. Many women use them to camaflouge aging legs. Now I know what to avoid, though: wide-legged, cargo short pants of any kind. The key is slim cut. I had suspected this, but you confirmed it. Thanks!
I have just bought a pair of capri pants, but sorry am not inspired by your outfits. You are drowning in a huge top in most of them. At the very beginning of the article you say to wear a short top with CaprIs ( which I would agree with) then you go on to model very unflattering looks, the tunic top is particularly hideous. I am going to ear mine with a crisp white fitted shirt or a neat jumper or cardigan
Well, we can’t all have the same taste in clothes, although I would argue that hideous is a very strong word to use in this regard. I do agree that close fitted tops with short cardigans are under represented on this page and would look great with capris. Feel free to send me your pictures so I can add them to the roundup!
I love these tips! My husband’s ex-wife had been giving me some of her older clothes when she started losing weight, and most of the pants she were giving me were capris (I’m 5’8″, she’s not even 5″, so they fit her like regular pants). Now I know how to wear these!
Thanks Lori for your feedback. Great to hear that these tips helped you!
hi it was very nice article but i have a question im a short person(160cm) but my legs are tall in relation of my body which kinda capris iis better for me?2/3-1/3 or with short top?
Creating a 2/3-1/3 silhouette is always nicest in my opinion, so a shorter top would be better. Just try a few variations in front of the mirror and see what works!
HI — what brand/style of shoes (the beige pair in the left and right photo) are in the images above “Capris you can buy right now?” Super cute! I want a pair!!
I bought those many years ago in Italy, so they will not be available in shops anymore I’m afraid……
I am disappointed and sad to find out that because I have short & not too attractive legs, this look will make that worse.
I was actually trying to figure out what kind of socks to wear with capris and lightweight tennis shoes when I found your blog. I avoided capris for years because I suspected they weren’t the best choice for short & curvy ladies but was finally talked into buying some for vacation. There will be a lot of walking, so wearing heels is out of the question.
Thanks for sharing your advice and the pictures (it helps to have the visual cues).
If you like wearing them and they make you feel happy you can still wear them Sirena! It’s not always necessary to go for the most flattering silhouette.
Living in Florida, capris are a year-long staple for me. I especially like pairing capris with a waist-slimming top that make my short body look longer, taller and more shapely. Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome Lynne and thanks for the feedback!
I love your website and this article was great! I agree, I have seen alot of bad capris out there. I have a couple of pairs, and what I’m wondering is this, I am an inverted triangle, 5’5 and a half and 130 pounds, high waist and long legs in proportion with my torso length. Can I get away with capris? If so, what tips mentioned would apply to me?
Thanks for the help,
Yes, it sounds like you are. I would apply all 4 tips (high shoes not always necessary), but just have a good look in the mirror. These guidelines are not set in stone and everyone is different. Have a good look at the silhouette you are creating. If it pleases you then you are on the right track!
You don’t need a definite height to wear clothes u love to wear! its a myth..it depends on you how u wear it! all u need is a good trick!
Greetings from North Carolina, USA. I just found your blog and I Love, Love, Love it!!! I am an over 40 with very small kids, and have found finding the right age-appropriate, as well as, lifestyle fit very challenging. Life was alot easier (regarding clothing), when I worked! Your blog is amazing and very helpful! I have avoided capri’s simply because of the “they shorten you” mantra, even though I have beautiful ankles, I do not have thick calves, and my legs are not particularly short. At 5ft 6in I am not particularly short, but I suppose us ladies always wish we were a little bit taller! I am thrilled to be able to throw some capris in the mix, because that style does seem to suit my stay-at-home-mom, lifestyle. Thanks for the well thought out post and PHOTOS!!!! on capri’s–and well, every other post I have read today!
Hi Krist. Lovely to read your positive feedback. Enjoy wearing your capris and I look forward to connecting with you further on the site.
Where can I buy the white dress? Love it…
Thanks Veronica. It was bought years ago in a little shop in Bali. It will be hard to find, I’m afraid…
Just found this site and I love it. I, too, was searching for the best way to wear capris/cropped pants. What shoes do you suggest for wearing them in winter (I have aubergine and rust pairs), do I need to wait for spring to wear them again? Thanks very much!
Thanks Evelyn, Capris can be great with boots. I like them with tight high boots worn over them (of course you will lose the capri effect then), or short ankle boots with a bit of a heel.
dear sylvia, i have recently discovered your site and i am amazed by it!! it was about time for style tips for women of our age too! since i ‘ve been many-many times in the netherlands (particularly in amsterdam) i am a big fan of the women’s style over there (smart, relaxed and unpretentiously elegant) and you express it so beutifully! wearing short dresses/long tunics over trousers is something that i first saw it in the netherlans and since then i have a reason not to toss away all that lovely short dresses that other way would look ‘inappropiate’ on me (i am 50, look like 40+). looking always forward for more and more!!
Hi Lena. Thank you for your lovely feedback. It’s so nice to see that women like yourself find my articles useful! Yes, it’s true that tunics and dresses over trousers are popular in Holland. It’s the country of layering for sure. I hope that I can continue to inspire you with my articles and of course I always love receiving your comments!
Sylvia, you look amazing in everything. Thanks for the tips. I now see I need to lose about 10 pounds. Also, being short, I now know I shouldn’t be wearing capris. Thanks
I have been looking for 2 days for ideas on how to wear some ivory capris I recently purchased. I didn’t want to wear flats but I wasn’t sure what heels would accentuate the pants or detract from them. I used all kinds of key words and some brought me to your article. BINGO! I got everything I needed, along with photos of different capris styles and shoes (don’t like them with pumps). I am visual so I need photos. Well my search is over. Thanks so much!
Thanks for letting me know that this information has been helpful to you Diahann! Hope you enjoy the other articles at 40PlusStyle as well!
I’m actually 37 but feel 40! Try as I might I cannot get into wearing capri’s. I just can’t! They look and fit horribly on me and I don’t think they look good on anyone because they chop your legs in half. I’m all about the long leg look. I suppose I take it to the other extreme because I wear all my pants floor length or dragging. This is also the look I see most often out and about and it’s very popular even on pantsuits. I love the look of the long black Zara pants above but that’s even too short. My flare yoga pants, flare jeans and all my business slacks and pant suits all drag the floor at least a little. My palazzo pants puddle on the floor but that’s what they are supposed to do. To me, if my pants aren’t totally covering my high heeled shoes or just have the toes barley peeking out, they are too short. If I want to wear something cooler than long pants, I wear shorts or a short skirt. Pants that come 1/2 or 3/4 down the leg just don’t make since to me. It’s amazing how many people are getting away with wearing capri’s at work or wearing them to job interviews of all things. My dress code for work has a strict policy against cropped pants. I’m required to wear full length flare leg dress pants that go to the floor or short skirts that are above the knee. No in-between’s.
I can understand your view on capris. I have seen many examples just recently where they just don’t look good. Still I think they can be fun on occasion. You are right that my long pants can be longer. I’m also careful now not to get anything that does not come close to the ground. Still I would not let my pants be too long… I must say I don’t understand your company policy for skirts not being allowed at knee length!
I suppose some people pull off the look, just not me. In casual environments they are appropriate I agree. I think close to the ground for long pants is great but I just prefer mine to be a little longer than that as a personal preference. The skirt length rule is over the top I agree but I signed on for it when I took the job. I can understand companies expecting their employees to be dressed well though, especially in this modern day of people wearing rediculously casual clothing to the office. In my case, long pants are a good alternative when I don’t want to wear a short skirt or when I don’t feel like wearing pantyhose.
Capri pants were much in evidence yesterday in London where the sun finally decided to shine. I was thinking of altering my black Joseph work suit to make the trousers (as we English say) capri length. I am not short and very slim. But now I am hesitating. I don’t like heels. But I don’t like formality much either.
I suppose I will pin them up and try some shoes first and the tucked in top.
Thanks for the great article.
Capris are very much on trend and will continue to be so for the coming season as well. But yes, as I’ve illustrated it’s important to pay attention to proportion. I’m still having fun with them though, even in flats.
Thanks for the article. I wanted to share one more reason why people love capris (at least my mom’s favorite reason). When you’re in that middle height range, it keeps you from having to do a lot of alterations.
Very true! Thanks for your feedback.
great article Sylvia.. solved my dilemma! Though I am tall and slim, still was hesitating to wear pants which stopped just above ankle. Now I definitely know how to pair them with tunics and tops. Can I wear formal looking capris (longer ones)at workplace??Should I pair them with shoes or heels?
Yes, I think that capris can look very chic in the worklplace and would be suitable for most workplaces. I think a shoe with a (low) heel would be nice. The shoes I showed in the pictures are actually not ideal as shoes with no straps will be even better for a longer leg line. But if you are tall, you can get away with many types of shoes.
You might be interested in knowing that the tunic-cropped pants look was popular at the Fall 2012 Fashion Week. Here’s an article on it: http://www.style.com/stylefile/2012/04/are-tunics-and-cropped-pants-a-winning-look/ It’s definitely a warm look for winter.
P.S. I love your website and plan on returning often. You have wonderful fashion tips.
Thanks Karen for your kind words. Yes I know. Cropped pants are here to stay! I also included these trends in my trend report for Fall 2012
I have added a couple of new topics with capri trousers (and mix&match) on your style formum. Couldn’t resist it. Love the forum. Hope that more people are going to contribute. If not, I hope it inspires them. Either to say: oh no…., not like that. Or : hey, not bad. I am open to any comment.
Great to see that you are mixing and matching Greetje.
I love capris! I’ve never considered them unflattering, though I can see how they’d be a challenge to a certain figure type. Because Im so tall they’ve always looked good on me.
I currently only have one pair but I’d like more. I like your suggestion to wear them with a tunic but what I really liked was the 1/3 – 2/3 ratio explanation. I had never thought of it that way before but it’s so true!
Thanks Heather. I use the rule of thirds with all my dressing. Breaking your body in half is just so unflattering!
Hi Sylvia. I just LOVE capris! Yours are fabulous – the skinny look is so flattering. (You’ve lost weight too methinks!). I think the capri length on yours is just right – any shorter and I don’t think it compliments many women’s legs at all; and very hard to get the 1/3-2/3 etc balance. Well done!
Thanks Petra. I agree I like my capris longer rather than shorter!
I appreciate the extensiveness of your advise. Must have cost you a lot of time. And it is very helpful. As a matter of fact, it inspired me so much (… you know what is coming now..), that I ran to the shops and bought a grey capri,. Little pleat at the top and turned up at the bottom, together with a long yellow/white striped shirt, tucked in at the front and hanging loose at the back and a pair of, irresponsibly pricey but lovely black platform Acne sandals. Very hip but not too young. I know, I know… I should go through my wardrobe and make other combinations…, I am so weak.
Look forward to seeing it! 🙂
Another great article Sylvia. You never disappoint your readers. I love the new ankle length pants. I am short but have long legs for my height so I can wear shorter pants if they are tight enough. That is the key to looking good in them – they must hug my legs all the way down. And I agree that the number one reason to wear them is to “show off fabulous shoes”!!! I think they are a modern and playful look – the fun in fashion keeps us youthful. 🙂
One idea you gave me that I have not tried is to wear a longer top over them. I need to do some mixing and matching in my closet. More inspiration!
Very happy that I can still give you new inspiration Suzanne!
Thank you so much for this review. I have really been confused by the pant leg lengths this year. Capri – cropped- cigarette – never sure where they should hit on my leg and how to wear them. Since I am 5′ 2″ most capris land at the top of my ankle bone – adding a high heel has been enough to make them lean looking. But now know that some should be hemmed to look more capri-ish.
I’m not sure if I would hem them. I actually like them a bit longer… For a slightly shorter look on certain occasions you may just twist them over. Thanks for your first comment at 40+Style!
I cannot chose between the orange top outfit (nice, the polka dot belt) and the black and white (very nice necklace). But that is because I love black and white and I love colour. But I don’t have to hesitate to chose between long trousers or capri: definately capri. And especially when you are wearing a dress on top of it. I prefer the silhouette to go “in” again at the bottom. Dresses with trousers are a difficult thing for me, and you love the look. So many people… so many opinions.
I would call trousers that end just above the ankle a 7/8. As my pair with the black stripe at the side and the orange top (see style forum). I still have a lot of trousers that end halfway my calf. But I have nice legs, so I will keep wearing them. Always emphasize your assets, n’est pas?
Thanks for the tip of 1/3 -2/3 or 2/3 – 1/3. I think I follow all your rules, but I will pay more attention.
You probably would have liked the combination I wore today then. I wore my dark grey capris with the orange top and the polkadot belt!
Thanks for a very informative article! I love the outfit with the white dress and camel capris! I’ve been wearing capris for some years now, and I find that the lenght that is most flattering for me is about 4- 5 inches above the ankle, as it shows the slimmest part of my legs, and I have nice ancles:) Paired with nude shoes I feel that I can pull it off:)
That is how I like them best too. The longer the better!
As always a nice, clear and structured article. Love the polkadot belt and how you ‘shopped around’ in your own closet! My favourites are both ‘tunics with capri pants’- outfits. One question: you show 3 pictures with outfits you posted in the past. The most left one is indeed a capri. For me the 2 other ones look like regular ‘skinny’ trousers and not like capris, since they come to your ankles. Or do I see that wrong?
Hi Anja. the middle one is definitely a capri. It’s the same one as the other white one. The last one is borderline for sure. But the pants are definitely too short. And any pants that are too short, I treat them like capris.
Aha, thanks for the explanation. And it shows how things can appear different in different pictures;-).
Thank you for this post. I have actually been wearing capris for several years but am now wondering if mine are slightly to short. I too wear them with tunics which is a favorite style choice. They currently are still hanging out in the rubber maid bin waiting for the weather to decide what the hell it’s going to settle down to!
If you have time I just put a new Trending link up. I’d love to see you pop over..
For me it’s certainly true that the longer they are the easier they are to wear. If they are not too short you may want to wear them now already with some ankle booties!
Thanks Lissy. That is one of my favorites too!
I’m contemplating making some capris for summer (here, it starts about November) because in hot weather I want something that’s shorter than full length and isn’t shorts, so I was very interested in this article and found your information useful. I do dance classes in summer and find this length excellent for that and travelling to and from, so I’m less concerned with elegance than being comfortable and decent (and will be wearing sox as my dance shoes require them)! One comment – I always think high heels look like middle aged women in mauve shell suits, peroxide hair and too much makeup; sorry, but much prefer a small heel, which does lengthen legs but avoids the tarty.
These are great tips! Thank you so much. I realize now that some of the “capris” I’ve tried aren’t capris at all — hitting at mid-calf or even higher. (I think the clothing manufacturers need to be more consistent with their labels). But your explanation of 2/3 and 1/3 helps a lot, and I think I can translate this idea to different lengths. (And as I suspected — shoes are key!) Thanks so much for this timely and very useful post.
Hi Anne, Sorry I made an error (now corrected). Any pants that stop anywhere at the calf are classified as capris. But when they stop at or just below the knee they are bermudas. Pants that end anywhere around the calf are the most challenging to wear as they shorten the legs.
Happy to read that the article was helpful to you!
OK, thanks for the clarification! I really love the length that you are wearing.