Cropped Pants

Cropping refers to removing unwanted areas of something.  In regard to pants, it is removing some of the unwanted fabric from the length of the garment legs.  A cropped pant is a pant that is made shorter in length during the manufacturing process or possibly after the fact as an alteration.  Typically done for either trendy styling or to make the garment have a lighter feel.  Removing portion of the leg length reduces the garment weight & possibly the tempature of the wearer.  Doesn't that added breeze on the ankle offer a bit of comfort on those stifling hot days?

Cropped pants come in a wide variety of styles.  In addition, they go by many different names.  Cropped pants are often referenced as capris (capri pants), three quarter pants, pedal pushers, clam-diggers, flood pants (floods), jams, highwaters, culottes, or toreador pants to name a few.  Although these are each a type of cropped pant, they have slight differences (some are the exact same just under a different name). A cropped trouser typically comes down to between knee and calf or ankle length but their is not an exact length measurement that defines this category of pant.  However, some people find the official description of a cropped pant to be defined as ending just above the ankle.  It is our opinion that a cropped pant can be made in various lengths, but most commonly ending just above the ankle.

Cropped pants such as capris are widely popular with people in many countries; especially in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

Cropped Pants

Pants that are cropped are longer than shorts but are not as long as trousers.  In other words, cropped pants are shorter in length than full length pants but they are definitely not shorts.  They are shorter pants, not short pants.

What is the difference between cropped pants and carpis?

Many people (including us) do not always make much about the difference between capris and cropped pants.  We sort of use the words interchanably at times.  When Apparel Search thinks about cropped pants, we think of the word as a parent category.  The capri could then be thought of as a sub category in the cropped pant family.  However, if you are looking for differences, and wish to choose your terminology wisely maybe the following will be of help.

The main difference between capri pants and cropped pants is their length, the seasons in which they are worn and their level of formality. Both types of women's pants are shorter than traditional full-length pants, but capris are slightly shorter than cropped pants. Capris tend to end between mid-calf and above the ankle, whereas cropped pants traditionally end right above the ankle and bear a closer resemblance to full-length pants.

Capri pants can be defined as ending mid-calf and are considered a casual, summer dress choice often worn with a sandals, but can obviously be worn with other shoes as well. Summer Capri fabric can be found made of linen and other light weight & comfortable fabrics. Capris can also be made of other fabrics such as denim or fitness fashion materials which can be worn with a sneaker or other footwear.

Cropped pants is defined as ending just above the ankle.

In terms of the seasons that each type of pant is worn in, cropped pants may be worn well into the fall and even into the winter, depending on the fabric used, the style of the pants, the type of accessories and shoes they are paired with, and the color scheme. Cropped pants may be worn at casual social occasions but can also be very easily styled for more sophisticated and upscale events. Capris, are traditionally a casual, warm-weather article of clothing and are usually made of linen, denim or khaki.

 Women's Cropped Pants

For those of you that prefer to do crossfit training, yoga, or any other fitness activity rather than lounging around you may want to learn about yoga pants which do come in cropped versions.

History in the United States:

Capris' acceptance in the United States was influenced by the 1960s television series The Dick Van Dyke Show. The character Laura Petrie, the young housewife played by Mary Tyler Moore, caused a fashion sensation – and some mild controversy – by wearing snug-fitting capri pants during the show's run.[5] By the mid 1960s, capri-style tight-fitting cargo pants became popular among teenage boys; a good example was the superstar teen actor of that era, Luke Halpin, who wore them in some episodes of the popular Flipper (1964 TV series). After a drop in popularity during the 1970s through the 1990s, capris returned to favor in the late 1990s.

Learn about other types of pants in the Apparel Search fashion terms section.

Many fashion brands and fine clothing retailers sell cropped pants. 

Nordstrom Cropped Pants



See more examples at the capri blog posts on the Fashion Blog.

You may want to also learn about crop tops to go anlong with your cropped pants.

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Learn about performance fabrics in our fashion terms section.

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