Capri Pants

AKA: pedal pushers

How to say it: Capri, like the island

Traditional Features: 

body template

  • tight-fitting through the leg
  • mid-calf length
  • short slit on the outer-side of the pant leg


…of the style: Capri pants were introduced by designer Sonja de Lennart in 1948. The pants were part of a larger collection and came in two lengths – one for summer and one for winter. After the years of wide leg pants for women, the tight, sexier cut was controversial but in 1952 it was recognised for the revolutionary style that it was by famous costumer Edith Head. Head dressed Audrey Hepburn in Capris in the film Roman Holiday and Givenchy followed suit by dressing her in capris in Sabrina.

From then the Capri pant took off and became a favourite of women all over – from movie starts in Hollywood to Existentialists in Paris. The Capri remained popular until the 70s but then fell out of favour until the late 1990s.

These days the Capri pant has become a staple on the fashion landscape and makes an appearance on the runways in one form or another every other season.

…of the name: The pants were named for the Isle of Capri, of which the designer, Sonja de Lennart, was particularly fond.

For more info on Capri pants try Fashion Trends Daily, Wikipedia, Speak Fashion or check out the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

Random Facts

  • Tennis player Rafael Nadal wore Capri pants in most of his matches up until 2009 – apparently men wore them too.
  • Grace Kelly is reportedly the first movie stars to wear the Capri Pant on the island of the same name.
  • The brand Lee trademarked the name Capri for their own denim version of the Capri pant.

21st Century Capri Pants

It seems that the term Capri is being used for any kind of fitted, cropped pant, but if it doesn’t have the side split, it isn’t the real thing.

kate spade lee

Kate Spade, Lee

lily pulitzer piazza sempione

Lilly Pulitzer, Piazza Sempione


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