Capri pants are three-quarter length tailored women's trousers that are a popular item of clothing in the summer months. Capri pants have been a fashion favourite amongst women of all ages since they were first invented in 1948.
A Brief History of Capri Pants
Womens Capri pants were invented in 1948 by the designer Sonja de Lennart, with two separate lengths for winter and summer wear. Sonja de Lennart studied fashion in Germany, and, after the Second World War ended, she started her own boutique, and showcased her first collection in 1945, which became known as the 'Capri Collection' and involved a full swinging skirt with a broad belt, a wide brimmed hat and a tailored shirt with three-quarter length sleeves. Capri pants later became the garment for which de Lennart is primarily remembered.
The tapered length of Capri pants ends midway along the calf, well below the knee. The trousers became known as Capri pants after the Mediterranean island of the same name, which was frequented by the fashionable and famous throughout the 1950s and 60s, the time when the Capri pants first became widely worn. They were initially designed to be worn by women, but were also worn by men, especially in Latin American countries. Trend-setting Hollywood actresses helped to make the Capri pants a perennial summer fashion mainstay; famous Capri pant wearing actresses of the time included Grace Kelly- the first major star to adopt Capris- and Audrey Hepburn.
Capri pants can be worn by women of all shapes and sizes but there are some styling tricks that can be helpful to create a flattering look for women with certain figures, such as 'apples' and 'pears'.
Styling Capri Pants if you are have an 'Apple' bodyshape
Women with apple body shapes have a tummy and chest that are proportionally bigger than their legs. To wear Capri pants and look good, team them with a loose top that falls to the top of the hips. Capri pants in a bold bright colour and worn with a dark coloured top helps to create a slimming silhouette as the eye is drawn downwards to the legs.
Styling Capri Pants if you are Petite
If you are short, Capri pants can be hard to wear, particularly with flats as they can make your legs look short and stumpy. Changing the balance of the outfit is key to making the look work for you. Wearing a top that is waist length or even shorter is a good way to look in proportion with the trousers as the outfit is then 'broken' up. The top should fit quite snugly around the waist for this look to work, although a top with batwing shoulders could help to flatter the waist and hips. Always look for Capri pants that are narrow fitting and tailored- any wide leg versions should be avoided at all costs. High waisted Capris worn with a cropped top will make you legs look long and slim, although mid-rise Capris are a good choice if you are short-waisted.
Heels are your friend if you are short; choose wedges for comfort and ease of walking.
Capri Pants if you are 'Pear Shaped'
Many, many women are pear shaped, as in their body shape roughly resembles the outline of a pear with hips and thighs that are wider than the waist, bust and shoulders.
To wear Capri pants and look stylish, here are some tips:
Heels will help to elongate your legs and avoid looking heavier than you actually are.
Avoid Capri pants with any unnecessary embellishments that add bulk to the hips and bottom. These might include large side pockets, elasticated waistbands- these are all often found on 'cargo-style' Capri pants.
Neutral coloured Capris in say, navy, beige or black, worn with a tailored and crisp-looking white shirt and accessorised with brightly coloured shoes and other accents always looks modern and stylish- this could be a good look for the office in summer.
Avoid Capri pants with large patterns as they could easily look overpowering and make your hips look large and bulky.
Volume on the top half of the body can help to create the illusion of smaller legs and hips. With this in mind, Capri pants worn with a floaty blouse can be a flattering look for pear-shaped women.