Dear Summertime Bastard Cousin of Dress Pants,
I kind of hate you and why are you still in my closet? Please leave.
Yours in confusion,
I'm putting my summer wardrobe together and found some pants I've purchased over the last few years. I've never worn them. They have just hung around from season to season, perhaps waiting to find a purpose. Or perhaps waiting for Godot. I really don't know and pants don't talk. And if I did have talking pants, you should be worried about me. But sometimes shoes talk to me. I assume shoes yelling "buy me" to women is fairly normal, right?
Let's get this straight right out of the gate: I generally like capris and certain cropped pants as a casual alternative to shorts. Some are really flattering and comfy. I remember the fury capris caused when they first came into vogue. The fashion people of the world had a fit because they were somewhere in between shorts and pants and nobody knew what to do with them, except for the fact that they had the potential to be really, really unattractive and unflattering on women, sometimes making even the skinny, long-legged chicas of the world look short and stubby.
Well, women decided they liked wearing them (hey, they cover cellulite, unlike most shorts) and capris gradually changed from a one season fad into a classic summer staple for many. The fashion world listened to what shoppers wanted for once. Yay us.
The conundrum laying on my closet floor right now is what to do with "dress pants" which are actually capris, cropped pants or anything in between. They look, fit and feel like dress pants, except they end awkwardly at my calf, ankle or some strange no man's land in the middle.
I've never worn a pair of these out - whether casually or for work. I feel weird just trying them on and attempting to make something look right with them. They certainly throw the body's proportions off. A jacket which looks great with a pair of pants will be off balance when those pants are capri or cropped-length.
Do we really need to wear these as career wear? Most folks work in air conditioned environments in the hot weather and I know a lot of people whose offices are so cold that they're grabbing for the sweaters they need to keep around.
Shoes never look quite right with them either. I've seen sandals, slides, wedges, pumps and yikes...flats. Because every woman is different, you have to 1) know your body type and how to enhance it; 2) wear them at exactly the right length (much like a skirt); and 3) wear the right height and style of shoe or they can change your leg and body shape in all different ways. Of course, none of them are good.
Dressy capris kind of look like they're trying to be pants, but haven't tried hard enough. Or like they're pants, jr. All the complaints the fashion pundits had when capris first came on the scene are especially true of the dress pants version of them: awkward length, unclear purpose, unflattering, making women look short, squat and heavy instead of the usual goals of appearing leaner and taller.
For work or for dressy occasions, why not just wear lightweight dress pants which fit and flatter without much effort instead? Save the capris for the grocery store or a picnic.