Versace spring 2017

"Look Casual-Chic in Cropped Pants"

You either love or hate womens capri pants, but I'm definitely loving the look because I simply adore how chic and casual a pair of cropped boyfriend jeans and chino pants look worn with a basic tee and a nice jacket or cardigan. Look the picture to your right (below) and you'll see what I mean. Drool.
Womens capri high waist chinos from laredoute
High Waist Capri Chinos/Laredoute

Cropped pants are a great alternative to shorts - which can be worn for chilly nights, dressy casual occasions, or if you just hate baring your legs spring in shorts.

For some, capri pants give them a heart failure and many are even trying to discourage people from buying these 'comfy-mommy' pants. And that's because, unfortunately:

If you're petite, they can make you look shorter.

If you're pear shaped, they can make you look heavier.

If you have short legs, they can make them look shorter.

If you have muscular legs, they can make them look thicker.

I completely agree with those who think capris make them look squat, but trust me it's really all in what hem shape and length you choose and not least, HOW you wear it.

Types of Cropped Pants

Cropped pants are usually classified into two categories, based on the length - walk shorts and capri pants:

Walk Shorts

They are cropped anywhere from just above the knee to the widest part of the calf. Examples are those slinky clamdiggers, bermudas and culottes (which have a flared hem).

I personally despise walk shorts that fall right on the widest part of the calves because they make my muscular legs look stubby and shorter.

So what is the golden length for walk shorts?

Experiment with a long skirt or dress and raise it right on your mid-calves and you'll notice how much thicker your legs will look. However shorts that end above the knee are more flattering and give a leg lengthening effect.

Womens capri walk shorts

However, if you add a pair of heels, you'll be able to counter the shortening effect of the calf-length pants.

Capri Pants

They're cropped anywhere between below the calf to above the ankle. I like this length lot because it sports a relaxed and chic, summer look.

But if we go back to reality - this beat is a little tricky to pull off without committing height suicide, but the strategy here is to choose a pair of capris that are:

  • Skinny/slim/tapered (not wide, nor super-duper tapered)
  • End above the thinnest part of the ankles

.. and not least, pair them with heels to slim down your ankles and calves - and make yourself look taller :o)
Womens capri pants
Womens Capri Pants Ankle Length/Macy's, Jcrew, HSN

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How to Select the Perfect
Womens Capri Pants

To give you a quick overview of what to have in mind when choosing a pair of cropped pants, here is a set of guidelines to follow:


The most flattering cropped hem cut is the tapered shape and also straight leg which provide an uncluttered line which were favored by Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn.

The least flattering cropped hem cut tends to be drawstring types with wide or flared shape. Although it offers comfort it unfortunately creates a boxy block of fabric from waist to hem, visually adding pounds and shortening your height.

So if you're petite, bottom-heavy or have thick ankles then this is definitely the cut you should avoid at all cost!

Mini notebook iconTip: If your body is a bit heavy and feel that the tapered cut make your hips and thighs look bigger then pick straight leg to balance it out. But nothing wider than this or else you'll end up making your hips look as wide as your ankles!

Womens capri pants hem
Flattering and Non-Flattering Capri Cut/Macy's, Gap


If you want to wear the walk shorts-type make sure they hit right above your knee or above your calves. If you have thick, muscular legs - avoid capris that fall right on the widest part of your calves to prevent the hemline from drawing attention to this area.

If you're looking for the longer, cropped style type of pants, make sure the hem extends down to above the thinnest part of your ankles. If you're tall or average with slim legs you can get away with most capri lengths. You can also wear heels (I love wearing my super-comfy Miss Sixty gladiator sandals with boyfriend jeans) to visually elongate your ankles and calves.

Womens capri pant length
Flattering Womens Capri Pants Length/Gap, Macy's

The Shoes

Womens capri pants with wedge shoes
Wedge Heels with Womens Capri Pants/Macy's
Flared ankle capri hem and rounded toe flats are such a horrible combo that it is making me cringe just by the thought of them together.

Yes, even the tallest super-model woman can look funny with ballerinas and flared hem, so choose carefully and stay AWAY from ankle length flared/wide capri hems!

Back to the choice of shoes; assuming you're wearing tapered capri pants, you can choose from a wide variety of flats. However narrower, slightly pointy toes win the look.

Wearing capris with heels

Another type of popular shoe type that look fantastic with capri pants are sandals with heels. I just love how they give capris a fresh breath of air :o) The heel has to be at least 2 inch tall to provide a flattering effect.

For dressy occasions, opt for thinner heels, more like stilettos. But for everyday wear go for wedge heel, espadrilles and chunky (not heavy) heels gladiator sandals.

Create a streamlined silhouette

When deciding on what shoes to wear with the capri pants, you may want to create an unbroken line from hem to toe with minimal material that compliments rather than competes with your pants. Shoes that are the same color as the capris are a good choice. For example: White capris with white, nude-colored shoes. Dark blue denim with black or dark brown sandals.

More fashion advice on Pnats:

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Shop Womens Capri Pants Online

Quick re-cap on what capri pants you should look for:

1. Right Cut: Tapered and straight leg ankle length capris, and above the knee or above the calf walk shorts

2. Right Length: If you have muscular legs or/and thick calves, never buy pants that fall down to the widest part

3. Right Shoes: Narrow, pointy toes and heels win the capri pants

These 3 pointers are especially important if you are: petite, bottom-heavy, short legged, and or thick legged.

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