May 042006

With this post I am attempting to achieve two purposes: announcing what I will wear to an upcoming event and shedding some light on the matter of the capri pant.

(This is one of my favorite summer uniforms.)

Due to the fact that my friend’s mother is out of town, I have been invited to attend a “Bring Your Mom to MOPS” event (you got that right — I am the stand-in grandma, but I’m okay with that). But, what to wear? For me, this event is purely social. The weather should be great. Complicating matters, however, is the fact that my friend is shorter than me (I never like to look conspicuously tall).

Working from the ground up, here’s what I am thinking:

  • Chaco’s. (pssst … REI is having a sale, now through Mother’s Day.) Too bad I didn’t have time for a fresh coat of paint. Oh well.
  • Khaki capris. Either the ones in the picture or the ones I didn’t like the picture of.
  • Silk floral blouse.

What I want to show you about the capris is how, even though the length is not special, I look normal. That is because of silhouette. Unfortunately, I have not been able to think of a way to codify the types of capris and crops available into body shapes and make it easy for you to shop. You will have to try them on. Here’s what to look for in the fitting room:

  • (type X) hourglass ~ Something, either at the hip or at the hem, should be at least equal to the shoulders in width. The waist is defined.
  • (type I) rectangle ~ Pant-legs fall from the hip in straight, parallel, vertical lines. Waist may be slightly defined or straight.
  • (type O) oval ~ Pants may taper slightly, being roughly shoulder-width at the hem. Waist appears to be filled in.
  • (type 8 ) figure-eight ~ That’s me. Note the appearance of an oval, but from the waist down.
  • (type A) triangle ~ Pants should be wider at the hem. Absolutely no pleated tummies!
  • (type V) wedge ~ Choose a narrow-at-the-hem capri or walk on the wild side: you can wear gauchos (they balance your wider shoulders).

Ugh! Whenever a post takes me this long to write, I fear the comments. (But at least that means somebody’s reading!) Can you identify your silhouette?

  5 Responses to “Capri Pants & You”

  1. Rebecca,
    I *think* I like gauchos. I like the idea of a flowy-looking pant that almost looks like a skirt. Casual yet a little dressy if needed.

    Not sure I could ID my lower body shape, but I think I’m may have your body type — did you say figure 8? For pants, I like a nice fit in the seat but a straight line down from there. (I wish you would have left your head on the pic!)

    I appreciate Susan’s comments on us “mature ladies” and our needs. You know, I don’t want to look 20 years old, but I don’t want to look 60 either. I want some style and a classic look.

    Thanks for your tips and ideas.

  2. I was thinking of you while getting dressed this morning and some of the recent posts about staples. Since I know you and have seen the top half of those pictures, I wanted to comment on the importance of a good haircut. I think you can really pull those basics off and look well put together because you have a great haircut all the time (and nice glasses that fit your face well). Sometimes I can put on basic Gap, Old Navy staples and still feel yuck because my hair needs a good cut. I remember reading in a magazine
    once that “you can get away wearing Gap clothes almost anywhere if you have a great haircut”. It was a comment made by someone on the east coast and you know how east and west differ. So, especially in my frugal quest, I have tried to keep up good hair (sometimes I haven’t done a good job)even if I have to spend a little more for someone that can do a nice

  3. Jody ~ I, unfortunately, will never attain “a nice fit in the seat but a straight line down from there”. Saddlebags. So the rounded shape of the figure-eight works better for me than any of the others, although my silhouette isn’t really too defined.

    It’s harder to ID the body shape by just the lower. Have your daughter help you with this project: Take a yard stick and put it up next to the outside of your shoulder at the upper arm (that was probably redundant). Hold it there and allow it to hang naturally alongside the body. (You could use a level, I suppose.)
    If your shoulders are square, and the same width as your hips, and waist not super-defined, you could be a rectangle.

    If you can’t figure out your figure type, don’t worry about it. Just keep wearing what you like.

    I, however, will not be wearing gauchos. Saddlebags.

    Stacy ~ Thanks! What a great compliment! (Now I wonder what you’re wearing. The last time someone said they thought of me when they were dressing we showed up to the same meeting both in pink shirt, ivory cardigan.)

    I’m taking your comment to mean that I have succeeded in my mission of making my face the focal point of every outfit. 🙂

  4. Hi Rebecca,

    So … I think I’m a wedge (shoulders a few inches wider than hips, size 6 blazer, size 0 or occasionally 2 pant).

    But the altitude of my upside down triangle is way less than the norm. I’m short (say five feet for the sake of arguement)! And particularly short in the leg.

    It seems that narrow capri is the only kind I can wear without looking clownish or completely out of proportion. (I am so jealous of all those gals who can wear cargo capris! And the capris that look great on you in the picture look like floods on me.) I have to pay very, very, close attention to length.

    On my body, the closer a capri is to a pedal pusher, the better it is. So the narrow capris that roll up are actually quite good on me, despite the wide cuff effect at the bottom. Conversely, I can wear a very narrow capri (think Audrey Hepburn) slightly above the ankle with a heel, but not a flat.

    When I try on a gaucho, though, I cannot help but laugh out loud at that silly person in the mirror!



  5. […] “leg color” shoe. My photographer for this lab said my legs looked short and stubby.  Here’s what I had to say about capris last summer, other than thinking they were going to be out of style […]

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