Spring is here, which means that my Twitter feed is full of questions about alternatives to shorts. I love shorts, but as a former shorts boycotter, I understand the resistance many women have to them. The logical alternatives to shorts are skirts and capri pants — and for many moms, capri pants seem more practical and logical.
The danger of capri pants is that they can go from chic to frumpy so easily, and no one wants that. I’m assuming that the whole reason you’re not wanting to wear shorts is that you’re concerned about your legs, but keep in mind that the wrong capri pants can be even more unflattering than the right shorts.
Let’s start with a visual:
There are a lot of things wrong with these pants — specifically, the length, the width, and the details. I’ll break it down for you:
The pants in the photo are bad because they hit the model at the widest part of her calf, which makes her legs look wider. Avoid this by choosing a cropped pant that hits just above the slimmest part of your ankle (typically an inch or two above the ankle bone). Pants that stop just above your skinny bits draw attention to those bits, while pants that stop just above the wide parts make you look wider.
The pants in the photo are super skinny; that, plus the awkward knee length, makes it look like the model is straining the fabric, which is not slimming. Instead, look for a capri that falls straight from the widest part of your hip. Steer clear of pants that taper at the ankle; this creates an ice cream cone shape that isn’t flattering on anyone.
Keep your capris sleek and minimal; too many details just add bulk and draw attention to the parts you’re trying to camouflage. Slash pockets widen your hips, while an overstated front seam cuts your leg in half. Stick with a flat-front capri with minimal detailing; avoid flap pockets and cuffs, too, as they add bulk in the wrong places.
So what do the right capri pants look like? Like this:
Are you a capri pants girl? What’s your strategy for styling your capris for the spring and summer?
Photos via LOFT
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