Calling It: These Divisive Pants Are Coming Back With a Vengeance

Last year, puddle pants—named for their ultra-long, loose silhouettes that pool at the floor—dominated the fashion space. Now, suddenly, cropped capri pants are trickling onto the runways and into street style looks, marking a new direction for pant proportions. And I’m not surprised. Recently, we’ve seen a shift in silhouettes where many of the oversize, baggy pieces that dominated fashion are being replaced by more figure-defining designs. Cinched blazers have replaced upsized "dad” jackets. Hourglass silhouettes are taking over. Voluminous A-line skirts with defined waists are practically everywhere. So it was only a matter of time we saw pant shapes shift.

Enter capri pants. In the spring 2024 collections, we’re seeing the pants on the runways at brands including Mirror Palais, Puppets & Puppets, and Tory Burch. On the street style scene, too, the cropped pants are a hit. Some styles fall to the knee in tight legging-like forms, while others are cut to a cropped midi length with more tailored designs. If you’re looking for the best capri pants to shop, there are a wide range of options on the market, from under-$20 styles to designer versions. If you’re after the ultimate investment pair, look to fashion-insider favorite High Sport, whose Kick-Leg Pants have gained a cult following. According to Lauren Santo Domingo, they lend "instant polish—like a Fraxel laser.” Ahead, see how the capri-pant trend is unfolding and shop the best styles on the market.

In the Collections

I first spotted capri pants on the runway at A. Roege Hove in its S/S 24 collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week, then at Mirror Palais during New York Fashion Week, where the pants fell just below the knee and were styled with bralettes and bustier tops. At Tory Burch and Puppets & Puppets, capri pants were looser and more tailored, falling to the mid-calf. 


Mirror Palais S/S 24
(Image credit: MIrror Palais)


High Sport F/W 23
(Image credit: High Sport)


Tory Burch S/S 24
(Image credit: Tory Burch)


Mirror Palais S/S 24
(Image credit: Mirror Palais)


A. Roege Hove S/S 24
(Image credit: Launch Metrics)


Puppets & Puppets S/S 24
(Image credit: Launch Metrics)


Theory S/S 24
(Image credit: Theory)

On the Fashion Set

Fashion insiders demonstrate some cool ways to style capri pants that go beyond what we're seeing on the runways. Adding heels to legging-style capri pants immediately makes them feel dressy as opposed to athletic. Mismatched shades lend an editorial element. A simple blazer or button-down completes the look. In short, the styling options are worth experimenting with.


(Image credit: @endlesslyloveclub)


(Image credit: @anaasaber)


(Image credit: @leandramcohen)


(Image credit: @sophiaroe)


(Image credit: @mayastepper)


(Image credit: @leiasfez)


(Image credit: @endlesslyloveclub)


(Image credit: @erinoffduty)
Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.