Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, there’s no in between. I found more negative than positive comments on my Web crawl of fashion critiques, yet the general population including women and girls, tots and teens, mothers and mothers-in-law, love them and wear them with fervor and flair. (So, too, some clothes-savvy men and boys.)
The Internet Web Site, Bitchpants.com capitalizes on the popularity of cropped pants while suggesting (tongue-in-cheek) that something’s inherently wrong with this phenomenon, as suggested by their designation, BPs:
2000: Girl Power!
"Presently, bitchpants are once again taking over the world. You gotta hand it to them: they get knocked down, but they get up again. Like a wicked strain of bacteria that has endured the strongest antibiotics, bitchpants are back and badder than ever."
Okay, so blame it on History!
The Birthplace of Bitchpants
"The origins of bitchpants have been traced all the way back to ancient Egypt. Portraits show Anubis, God of the Underworld, tormenting souls while wearing stylish capris. According to Egyptian beliefs, Anubis tears out the hearts of the deceased to judge them. Was his choice of fashion for functional purposes? Had he adapted after ruining countless pairs of decent khakis with the blood of his victims? Or was it a keen sense of [dash] and panache that led him to wear these cropped cuties? More importantly, did Anubis put a curse on shortened trousers that remains, as some believe, to this very day?"
Well, until I stumbled upon this intelligence I had no idea what the problem was. Now that I know, I say they must be cursed ‘cause I’ve waited most of my life for them to come back! The fact that they have - in a big way - is welcome results as far as I’m concerned. That and my research suggest not a trend but a triumph!
My heightened awareness and profound appreciation of the not-so-trivial attire was sparked recently by an episode of unexpected insight, an AAH-HA! moment concerning the subject. While hardly earth-shattering – it’s only women’s wear – it's still remarkable to suddenly see the marvelous in the mundane.
It happened in passing in the ladies’ restroom. I was primping and powdering my nose when a colleague, a mere acquaintance, joined me at the mirror, she, a congenial and attractive barely thirty-something. So sweet-faced and refreshing was she. While you and I know who I am - a woman of a certain age. We made the usual pleasantries, but I couldn’t help noticing how she looked me up and down, eyebrows raised, approvingly. Suddenly she interjected,
“You’re wearing Capri Pants! At the Office!”
Startled, but having prepared myself for the defensive should it be necessary, I blurted, “Yes, but - ”
“But nothing. You look great! Better than alot who pass the business-casual code.”
(Oh, really? Meanwhile I’m sporting the cropped pants that make the strongest fashion statement, fitted and cut at the knee, with a slim linen jacket and sleek silk tee.)
“I love Capris" she enthused. “I bought several just the other day - Have you been to the Gap, lately? – I got a pair of the shiny ones, you know, the ones that look and feel like leather – They’re gorgeous! - Go see for yourself - Check them out - By the way, good for you -" She added, with a broad smile, "I think I’ll be wearing mine tomorrow.”
Caught up in her excitement, I proclaimed “I couldn’t agree with you more! I absolutely love them! - I’ve AlWAYS loved them! - Since I was a teen. Back then they were 'pedal pushers'. But you’re too young to remember that. I've waited for their come-back ever since. Looks like I’d better stock up - I only have three. I wish – I hope - this time they last.”
“So do I. I think they look fabulous – They’re very appealing on women.”
Her simple statement struck me with its truth.
My mind raced forth with it.
Indeed Capri Pants are comfortable, practical, and extremely flattering to the female form.
In fact they’re the perfect alternative to the ubiquitous and oft inconvenient skirt; liberation from the tyranny of trouser legs and their arbitarary, ever-changing widths and lengths. They are the ultimate expression of mobility, flexibility and free-spirit dressing combined with appeal to aesthetic sensibilities. The flowing curves of femininity are still firmly apparent, as is the calf and ankle, so much admired by men. Only now women don’t have to be constantly constrained by modesty and propriety to keep the legs together, or crossed, the skirt down and the pantyhose up! Better yet, pantyhose can be dispensed with altogether - that expensive drain of resources and bane of women’s existence. (You can bet if men had to wear them they (the stockings) wouldn’t run; the formula would have been fixed long ago.)
Fitted, with the help of a little Lycra, you ladies of hourglass proportions can flaunt your bodies tastefully: the figure is back! Cropped pants are sexy! Cropped pants are stylish and fresh! Cropped pants are Hot. You can dress them up for the office and dress them down for the beach. You can wear them as part of an ensemble or as separates, mix-and-match. You can wear them at the length that best suits.
I’m all for these multiple benefits. I’m elated that we’ve finally figured out casual and comfortable is the way to go. It only took forever! Look at History. The degree to which a person is encumbered or inconvenienced by his clothing has to be a reflection of the amount of individual freedom he has in his society, to my way of thinking. The erstwhile episodes of Capri-comeback throughout the Centuries before this One, were always graced upon men, not women, a further confirmation of my observation. So whilst the gents dashed about in tights and waged war and built and destroyed Empires, their ladies were cached in corsets, hoops, pantaloons, and layers of petticoats. If they were free-spirits, it was only inside their heads and hearts, as so marvelously illustrated by that keen observer of her extremely limited world, Jane Austin.
Nevertheless, according to some lights:
Suzanne S. Brown - Scripps Howard News Service:
"Capri pants aren't for everybody.
If you can’t afford to draw attention to your hips, ankles and calves, avoid capri pants.
Women with bigger calves or ankles might want to wear shoes with a wedge heel. It’s a matter of playing with it, trying various styles on and thinking it through.”
Amy Smith – Women’s Web Daily:
“So they help if you don't like the look of your thighs, but big thighs usually rest on a big butt and big butts don't wear Capri pants well. And what do you do about all that space between the calf and the shoe? (We know the answer to this one -- shave, please.)”
Well, I say for those of you more or less ideally endowed, there are looser and wider-legged and varied length varieties – thus, something to suit and flatter everyone, as much as any garment can, short of shrouding one altogether.
Hmmm, now what to do when the cooler weather comes? Good question! As you can see, I prefer this not be a seasonal or sometime thing. Don’t forget, we women are making history here - Never before have Bitchpants been with us and in our possession so long! This calls for fashion foresight and creativity. I’m open to your suggestions.
What say you to mine?
How about lacy knee socks to fill the gap?
Or high-stepping lace-up boots!
In the meantime I’ll wear my Bitchpants with a "vengeance" and watch to see which way the wind blows....
~ Helga Marion Ross ~