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Smarter Style: Where Should Capri Pants Hit?

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Okay, it's time for "Ask Heather" here on Smarter Living! Every Monday, I answer a not-so-serious question that you may have asked yourself at some point in your life...or yesterday. You'll get a lot of info and a little fun, I promise.

Question du jour from Beth2930: "I love to wear capris in the summertime -- they are much cooler than pants or jeans. But I'm so confused. There are all different kinds in the mall, some slim, some with wider legs, some that are right at the knee, others longer. What's the best look? And where exactly should capri pants hit on my leg?" 

Oh, Beth, good question! Let's start with one of my favorite quotes of all time: "Don't wear anything that scares the cat." And we all know, a poorly-chosen pair of capris can definitely fall into that realm of inflicting feline fear.

Capris are tough, yet many folks wear them. A capri pant, by popular definition, is a pant that hits midway between the knee and the ankle. Shorter than that, it's a petal pusher. Longer than that, it's an ankle pant. 

Let's put it out there right now: I'm not a huge fan of capris for precisely the fact that most cuts don't do anything for anyone's figure, me included. It is tough to get the exact right length -- the wrong length can make you look shorter or stouter (great description for a beer, but not what I want in reference to my legs).

But, if you really want to go down Capri Lane, here are some hints to remember when shopping: 

-- The pant should hit at the slimmest part of your leg. If you fall in love with a pant that goes lower, think about getting them hemmed to cross at that slimmest point. If the hem is hitting your leg at its widest, well, you will look wider. Call it the Law of the Capri.

-- For capris, avoid cuffs, tapered legs and pleats. All of those look good only on 1.3% of the population. For the rest of us, they just make us look shorter or like we have carrot legs (wider at the top). Right, I don't like that either.

-- Straight cut is your friend. A straight cut is slimming on almost every type of body. Really. Trust me.

-- Keep it monotone. Pair your capris with a similarly colored top for a long lean look. Jazz it up with a fabulous necklace or scarf.

Personally, my fave alternative to jeans or shorts in the summer is a slim, lightweight ankle pant, one that hits right above the ankle. Or forget pants all together! Grab a cute maxi skirt or dress - they are flattering, easy, and will keep you cool.

Do you wear capri pants -- or avoid them? Share a pic of how you wear them! 

©iStockphoto.com/Kohlerphoto


by on Jul. 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
mereinhart28
by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:26 AM

great tips!

I've recently bought a pair of capris and I love them. 

elasmimi
by Ruby Member on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I wear them, but they are not particularly flattering. Just better than shorts and cooler than long pants.

slw123
by Shawna on Jul. 3, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I avoid them.  They don't hit right on me since I am so tall.

proudmommy690
by Christa on Jul. 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM
i've never tried on capri's....i doubt they'd look right on me
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Karissa_ruiz
by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 5:07 PM
My fiancé hates when I wear capris. He thinks they are ugly
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la_bella_vita
by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 5:30 PM

 I have a few pairs of capri's

SweetLuci
by Luci on Jul. 3, 2012 at 6:37 PM

 I have a lot of capris, but didn't know about the length should hit at the most slender part.

heydooney
by Danielle :) on Jul. 3, 2012 at 7:23 PM

I had no idea! I wouldn't mind looking shorter. My legs are a mile long.

And you say they should hit midway between knee and ankle, which on most people is NOT the slimmest part. I'm confused, could you show an example?

BeachMommy07
by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Mine fit right above my knees

Charizma77
by Carissa on Jul. 3, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Good to know!
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