The long and the short of it

Shorter, narrower pants are big for spring. Cropped Capri pants are pure Fifties starlet - but if you will opt for pedal pushers, who are we to stop you?

HERE'S THE dilemma: you could always rely on a good pair of pants. Yes, they swung out to the slouch last season and sometimes slim down to cigarette. But, as a rule, pant length was one less thing for women to worry about. Now we are presented with two lengths: the Capri pant, which stops above the ankle, and the pedal pusher, which sits just below or on the knee. Both are fitted and both have been vaunted as the new length. Neither are particularly new. Capri pants were worn by Fifties starlets like Bardot and Kay Kendall. They have never really left summer fashion since. As to who wore the pedal pusher, you've got to look to ingenues like Leslie Caron.

Capri pants don't really pose a problem. Worn with flatties or kitten- heel mules, the capri will give you a little more shape than the voluminous draw-string summer pants at Kenzo, Calvin Klein and TSE. Hermes have made Capri pants in camel suede (pounds 500) which stop just above the ankle and are cut in panels to make them move with you. Fine for Capris that will undoubtedly last longer than the pedal pusher's fashion moment. Viscose mix black Capris, from Sui by Anna Sui (pounds 49), are closer to the Style Police shopping budget. Agnes B's simple Capris in mushroom lightweight cotton (pounds 58) are also on-the-button easy. One variation on the Capri theme is the kind sold in Indian sari shops: shantung satin in faded pastels or delicately embroidered in hotter high summer colour.

Pedal pushers, aka clam-diggers, paddy field pants or crop capris, are a tough length to wear. The cardinal sin at Chloe was to add a frilly little hem to a white pair of pedals, which followed a slight split at each side. Fine if you want to look like a doily. A good pair of pedals is fitted, slit a couple of inches at each side and resting below the knee. Have a really good think about what this bastard length does to the shape of your legs. If you still want to wear them, then who is Style Police to stop you? Myra, the funky fashion chick at Soho boutique Shop, says, "I love pedal pushers, but I'm not spending pounds 400 on Prada. I'm waiting for Shop's new shipment of Sophia Coppola's Milk Fed label (from pounds 100) from LA. I've got a pair of 3in Miu-Miu kitten-heeled mules waiting for them."

Gianni Versace has presented the pedal pusher suit (pounds 710). Don't. Alexander McQueen made them all-in-one with a white cotton bustier. Please don't. Pedals work with minimum effort and an untailored top. French Connection report that their first stock of black stretch satin pedals (pounds 60) are sold out. They are being restocked in charcoal grey satin (pounds 60) and you'll have to wait a month for dusty pink stretch cotton pedals (pounds 50).

For pedal pushers with the French Riviera feel, go to the woman who knows: Agnes B again. We've all agreed that jeans have no place this season. And quite right, too. But Agnes B are working in a lightweight black denim for summer pedals (pounds 58). In basic black or white cotton (pounds 58), Agnes B can't be beaten. Remember, black slims and white balloons. The easiest pedals are a black Lycra-mix pair by Whistles (pounds 85). It is even more important to elongate that leg with kitten mules when you're wearing pedals. Try to wear them with killer stillers and you may be a contender for the Isabella Blow Award for Howling Fashion Mistake of 1998.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

    £35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

    Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most