There is something about Capri Pants that can make them a classic staple of any woman over 50s’ Summer wardrobe.
Created in 1948 by the fashion designer Sonja De Lennart, these elegant, chic and sporty, timeless pants come in different materials, styles and colours to adapt to your own personal style and have lived on beyond their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s to almost attain the status of a lifestyle.
Even today, you can find Capri pants in almost every designer’s collection and high street shops like Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, H&M, Ted Baker and others.
But are Capri Pants really inclusive?
A pair of Capri pants is any length between the knee and the ankle with a slim fit. They end in the mid-calf region, so unless you have the silhouette of Audrey Hepburn, who used to pair them with ballet flats, they might be unflattering for most women as they can make their legs look thicker.
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid wearing Capri pants as they can be very comfortable and match countless looks. Considered a sort of compromise between shorts and pants, they are great for those seeking fashion alternatives but not compromising too much.
Celebrities from the past like Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, including style icons like Jackie Kennedy, regardless of their age and body type showed us a universal style secret: it’s all about proportions.
According to Jennifer Connolly, a personal stylist and image consultant who has a passion to help women over 50 dress with confidence, unless we’re tall, we should avoid cuffs of any kind because they visually shorten the leg even more.
“Look for high-rise versions that make the garment look longer, so you look taller”, she advises. “No matter the length of your capris, they’re most flattering when hemmed at a spot where your leg narrows“.
Wearing Capri Pants According To Your Body Type
As a rule of thumb, a woman’s style is not determined by the size of her clothes but by how well she knows her style, her body, and the situation at hand.
If you are petite, the best style trick for you would be sticking to plain, straight-leg versions, free of cuffs, bulky pockets, and other bells and whistles. Better if paired with wedges or slingback heels, a blouse that falls below the waist and a long necklace to emphasize the vertical line.
The best Capri pants for curvy women with generous hips, instead, are the ones slightly arched at the waist, wide at the hips, which fall straight on the leg, without applied pockets or fringes.
Above all, “the cut of your capris should enhance the balance of your figure“, says style experts at Land’s End. “For example, if you have the muscular shoulders of a swimmer, you might like the look of a wide-leg Capri that equalizes the volume at both ends of your body and avoids the ice cream cone effect“.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that a plus-sized woman over 50s must wear only a wide-leg cut to balance her figure, “but it does point her in the right direction—a straight leg is likely to be more flattering than a skinny cut“, they recommend.
In general, opting for a sleek and streamlined look is often the best solution as this style of Capri-Pants usually elongates your body and makes you appear taller. Alternatively, flared legs work well if you want a more relaxed feel.
Regarding materials, investing in timeless and versatile pieces made in linen, stretch cotton or gabardine is always the way forward.
Can you still wear Capri Pants in Autumn?
The weather may not say it’s time for heavy, chunky knits, however, you can always choose transitional Capri pants that look more autumnal but are lightweight.
The secret is focusing now on your Summer sale deals choosing pairs with neutrals or richer shades as they have a much longer shelf life. Opt for grey, dark green, blue, burgundy or brown colours or invest in a pair of relaxed Capri jeans. They are easy to mix and match with a nice blouse and a cardigan for an office-ready look that’s sophisticated and chic.
“As summer becomes more of a distant memory, a pair of crop pants can still work if styled well – explains stylist Bridgette Raes, author of Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want-. Scarves are undoubtedly the best way to add some transitional style to your summer pieces. It may not be jacket weather just yet, but a scarf will add just enough warmth and can easily make your capri pants more autumnal“.
To complete your look use accessories to add pops of colour, avoiding bulky socks or sneakers. These shoes might be comfortable, but unless you go out for a stroll in the park, when paired with Capri Pants they scream frumpy.