Capris vs Cropped Pants: What’s The Difference?

Capris vs Cropped Pants: What's The Difference?

Throughout the centuries, pants and trousers, in all of their shapes and forms, were worn by both men and women because of their comfort, practicality and versatility.

While in some cultures and countries they may have been far more common for women to wear, in Western societies it took a long time for pants to become a typical, everyday garment for everyone.

The two of us over here absolutely love pants, which is no surprise considering how frequently we discuss them on our site (for example, here and here).

We have primarily focused on jeans and the different cuts and styles they come in because, in our opinion, there is still confusion regarding the names of jeans designs.

And it’s not because of ignorance either, some of these styles look so similar that you require a very sharp eye to spot the minute differences that set them apart.

Read also: Levi’s 501 vs 505 Jeans: What the Numbers Mean?

However, jeans are not the only trousers that cause confusion thanks to these details, other types of pants can be just as frustrating at times, having to remember all the names and differences.

This is why we enjoy writing about this topic as a way to help you tell apart the numerous styles of pants available and, as usual, how to best style them and which body shapes they suit better.

Today we will be looking at two styles of pants that, once again, differ so little that they are often called by each other’s name.

It’s Capris and Crops we will be discussing, two types of pants that some love and others strongly dislike. While they do indeed share many similarities, there are some distinctions between the two, which we will go into more detail in a minute.

Let’s get started!

1. Capri Pants

A Girl Wears Capri Pants

Girls, we will be honest with you, Capri pants may not be a favorite style for most women, but this design has been around for a very long time and are still in fashion today.

While some love how they look and how comfortably they wear, others are of the opinion that they shorten the appearance of the legs, making them look thicker as well.

Now, with that being said, if you love capris or cropped styles in general, by all means, go ahead and rock them, and specifically for those of you who belong to this group, we will include a couple of tips on how to best style this design for the most flattering look.

But what is the story of Capri pants?

Invented in 1948 by Sonja de Lennart, a Prussian fashion designer, whose career started in 1945, and 3 years later she introduced the Capri Collection, part of which were the Capri pants that are our topic for this comparison.

The name of this collection was inspired by the Island of Capri in Italy, which was a beloved place for her family.

Read also: Italian vs French Fashion Style: What Are The Differences?

At the time this collection and style came out, a number of renowned celebrities at the time took great interest and wore them both in and out of stage. Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Sophia Loren and many other prominent actresses.

Over the years, this style of pants has been in and out of fashion as its designs and variations changed.

Capri pants refer to pants that are calf-length, usually, ending either mid-calf or just below that, without getting too close to the ankle.

Often times, they are referred to as cropped pants, but while they are technically cropped, they are not crop pants per se, as this term relates to another style of pant, the one we will discuss right after finishing with this design.

You might also like: Mom Jeans vs Straight Jeans: What’s The Difference?

1.1 How to Style Capri Pants

Perfect for the warmer months thanks to their length, Capri pants are some of the most challenging ones to find a perfect match for your body type and style.

The most important thing to consider is length, first and foremost. Too long, and your calves might look a couple of inches too thick, too short and your legs will appear shorter as well.

A general rule of thumb is to find Capri pants that end either just above or just below where your calves are widest, in order to mitigate the abovementioned issues.

Furthermore, opt for straight or tapered designs, because wide-cut or flared ones are not that flattering, if you ask us. They may work for some, but generally they will make the legs appear much wider and shorter.

So, how do you style Capri pants?

We would recommend that you lean more towards longer tops when wearing capris because they will help give the appearance of longer legs and a more flattering silhouette.

However, if you prefer short tops, then opt for capris with a high waist, which would do the same thing as a longer top in this case, while also bringing the attention to the hips and waist.

As for which colors are best for this pant, we would stay away from wearing bright colors and very ornate or flashy patterns as they will disrupt the balance of your outfit, bringing the attention to all the wrong places.

Instead, neutral colors and preferably a one-colored look are the best way to go about it. It’s no secret that a one-color outfit is far more flattering than those with a number of colors matched together, and it also helps create a slimmer and taller appearance regardless of your body shape.

Lastly, when it comes to shoes, we prefer nude colors, as we have mentioned in other pieces as well, as nude skin-like colors make your legs appear longer despite what type of pant you are wearing.

Sandals, preferably those with a low or wedge heel, are another suitable choice for this pant. Those who prefer flats can wear them with capris, but petite or women with short legs are better off with a little bit of height to their shoe.

This video below gives a quick and simple overview on how you can style capris with a variety of tops and shoes.

iLook - How to Style: Capri Pants

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2. Cropped Pants and How They Differ From Capri Pants

A Girl with Cropped Pants

Cropped pants, as a term, refers to pants that are shorter than ankle-length or standard length pants and trousers.

However, because there are particular names for every style of cropped pants, this term now refers to styles that end just above or right at the ankle.

Opposite to capris, which require some trial and error to find the best length that won’t make your legs look short and wide, cropped pants are universally flattering and look great on all body types, shapes and sizes, regardless if you are petite or tall, plus size or slim, ankle-length cropped pants will work for you.

What sets cropped pants apart from capris, aside from the length difference, is also the flaring that most cropped pants are characterized by.

Another difference between the two, is also the occasion that they are worn in. While capris tend to be more suitable as casual wear or for a night out with the right type of heels and top, cropped pants can also work as formal wear when they are made of linen and come in the flow, full leg.

Read also: Bootcut vs Straight Jeans: What’s The Difference?

2.1 How to Style Cropped Pants

Because cropped pants come in so many styles, such as skinny, flared, high waist, low waist and so on, there is plenty of room to play around until you find the perfect match for you.

As with Capri pants and most other types of trousers, if you are looking to create the appearance of longer-looking legs, then opt for skinny cuts with a narrow hem at the ankle. If you prefer wide-leg designs, then a length that ends just above the ankle is a good approach until you find what length you like best.

For tops, you can choose from a variety of styles here. Long and short ones will look just as good, depending on what look you are going for, and both slim and oversized tops will work, too.

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We prefer hoodies and sweaters for a very relaxed and casual style, and an elegant blouse if you are option for flared cropped pants for a formal occasion.

Regarding color, as per usual, monochromatic looks are always flattering, but you can experiment a little here with matching different colors that complement each other. Patterns aren’t off limit either and accessories are also quite suitable to include in a variety of colors that suit your overall outfit.

Lastly, for shoes, this is another great thing about cropped pants as you can make them work with practically any type of shoe. Ankle boots work great, so do sneakers, vans and, most importantly, stilettos and most other types of heels as well.

Read also: Mom Jeans vs Boyfriend Jeans: What’s The Difference? How to Choose?

We love this video by Busbee Style on how to wear culotte-style cropped pants, which are some of the most versatile in style, in our opinion.

3 Ways to Wear Cropped Pants

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3. Conclusion

With all of the above being said, the two main differences between capris and crops are in length and overall style, with capris being shorter, calf-length pants, while cropped ones are above or at the ankle in length and come in a number of cuts ranging from skinny to wide-legged ones.

We enjoy the occasional Capri pant outfit, but we find that cropped pants leave more room to mix and match tops and shoes into the outfit.

We hope you enjoyed today’s topic! See you in the next one!

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