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Monthly Archives: July 2016



By | Figure Flattery, How To..., Wardrobe Savvy | 9 Comments

There’s a variety of names for them.

From clam diggers, three-quarter pants, cropped trousers, cigarette pants, pedal pushers, Capris, and culottes, cropped pants (aka pants that end above the ankle) may go by many names but one thing is for sure, every summer we love to wear them.

Historically women started wearing pants on mass during WWII as they worked on farms and in factories to support the war effort. Before this time only a few women dared to cross the skirt line especially if it was outside of sport or manual labor, one of them was Canadian-born actress Norma Shearer. 

In 1948, fashion designer Sonja de Lennart created a stylish, sexier alternative to pants for women. Her tight, three-quarter length style usually included a short slit on the outer-side of the pant leg. They were called Capri pants, named after the designer’s Capri Collection (which took its name from her love for the island of Capri, as well as the song “Isle of Capri”).

The Capri Collection caught the eye of iconic costumer designer Edith Head in 1952, and she proceeded to utilize de Lennart’s designs for Audrey Hepburn’s Academy-Award winning costumes in Roman Holiday and Sabrina. The Capri pants, in particular, resonated within the world of fashion, becoming popular with notable names like Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mary Tyler Moore and Sophia Loren. These events and women shaped the history, popularity, and influence of the Capri pant silhouette.

History Capris

Today we see four main types of cut-off pants:

  • Culotte: True culottes mimic a skirt. They are usually of soft fabric and designed to reveal they are pants only when walking.
  • Cropped: Pants above the ankle which have a straight or wide leg.
  • Capri: Tapered pants with a hemline that sits close to the leg.
  • Legging: Skin tight pants.

Different types

Who wears what best


These are flattering and comfortable for most women and you can follow the same rules as you would for skirts.


Besides a good fit, width is the biggest factor to consider when thinking about which cropped pants to buy. Because they are cut-off above the ankle they visually shorten your height which in turn can make you appear fuller-figured. The taller and slimmer you are, the more latitude you have to play with width.

For those not blessed with height or a waif figure try the following:

Cropped pants styling 1Cropped pants styling 2 

Cropped pants styling 3Cropped pants styling 4
Cropped pants styling 5


Once again a good fit is essential and given Capris sit pretty close to your leg the potential for uneven leg flesh to show through the fabric is pretty high. If your legs are untoned (yep, I’ve raised my hand too) either look for thicker / more solid fabrics or wear shapewear underneath. Another equally effective home hack is to buy flesh colored control hose and cut the feet end off approximately 8 inches / 20 cms above the ankle. Put them on and check they sit up under your Capris. If they don’t cut them higher and try on again.  You’ll be amazed at the difference they will make when it comes to smoothing your thigh.  They’re a little hot but work like a dream.

Where your Capri pants end can make a big difference to the look of your legs.  Altering them when necessary so they end on a curve in your leg and not the widest point will always be most flattering. This could be above or below your calf or at your ankle. 


Source: Image 1 and 3, Image 2
PicMonkey Collage



If you enjoyed this week’s feature
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or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

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By | Accessorizing | 9 Comments

Nobody’s perfect, and just as people have bad hair days; so too we sometimes experience bad styling days. Sometimes the blame lays with the accessories we’ve chosen.

Personal style like fashion is an art form. An expressive medium allowing us to emit all manner of information about who we are, what we hold important and where we want to place ourselves within the communities we live. Over time, through trial and error we learn what makes us look in the mirror, smile and say ‘that’s me!‘ and why the things that fell short missed the mark.

Accessories are often the make or break factor especially if you have a figure that does not allow you to wear all the styles you may like to. Conversely, the rest of your outfit can make your chosen statement accessory shine or look out of place.

Choosing the perfect accessory to go with an outfit comes naturally to some, while it takes others a little longer to work out what’s right for them. This week I want to explore some of the keys to finding the perfect accessory for an outfit and how to fix things when you know something is wrong but are not sure what.

Comfort is key

If something you’re wearing is making you physically uncomfortable: maybe it’s a pair of earrings that are too heavy, a tote that feels cumbersome, or a pair of stilettos that are killing your feet even before you’ve left the house – exchange them.   All of these things distract us, cause us to feel a level of self-consciousness and in the case of painful shoes, can turn us into ill-tempered she-devils. In short, they affect how we carry off our look and interact with others. Fidgeting and looking uneasy is the total opposite of chic.


Trust your gut

You know the situation you’re standing in front of your mirror and you like the outfit in theory but you have a niggling in your gut that there’s something not quite right?  I’m not sure about the…..color, bulk, style etc. Trust that feeling and follow your style instinct, whatever it is that you’re unsure about just take it off or replace until you can look at yourself and say – I love it!


Take your time

Accessorizing can be a tricky business. The previous styling tip promotes trusting yourself, and in order to do that you need to take your time to get to know which accessories look good on you, match your personal style and coordinate with the outfit you’re creating. Whenever you have a little downtime, play dress up in your closet. Get intimately acquainted with all the items in your wardrobe. Seek to find as many flattering and personally satisfying outfits as possible. It may take a few months but if you do you’ll soon be pulling items together and accessorizing expertly and effortlessly. 

I take photos of every outfit I wear – that way I can more easily see what worked and what didn’t in terms of style, coordination, and accessories. It also provides a visual record of my outfit options and takes only 2 minutes to do each morning.



Gone are the days (well, until it’s ‘in’ again) when it’s all about matching your accessories. That kind of matchy-matchy styling is considered out of sync with today’s thinking and constructing a look that appears stylish yet effortless.

Pick one statement piece and aim to complement/harmonize it with your outfit, rather than matching all the items. Take inspiration from your outfit but don’t let it dictate everything—the key word here being ‘harmony’.

Bridgette Raes has a very good feature on how not to be matchy-matchy.


Follow Coco Chanel’s advice

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” These are wise words for any woman who has a tendency to wear too much color, too many accessories or too many focal points.

Elegance and sophistication is underpinned by simplicity and moderation. If your bangles make a racket, your neon pink heels clash with your bright yellow necklace or you’ll drown if you fall in the river under the load of your accessories – tone it down by removing the most distracting item. Let the mirror be your friend and always edit yourself.

Source: Image 1, Image 2

Scale to flatter

Accessories should harmonize with the scale of your body’s frame and your outfit.

If you have a small frame, be mindful not to overwhelm it oversized bags or large or chunky jewelry. Instead, opt for small to medium sized accessories.  Tall gals can handle bolder, larger items if their personality also supports it, while curvy women are best with medium to medium-large sized items.  Small items will exaggerate their size by comparison while large items will enhance size.

scaled right  

Visual weight fails

Some accessories fail because of visual weight imbalances.  While contrast in weight can look great it often takes expertise and experience to know how to pull it off.

Take note of the visual or apparent weight of your main garment and add accessories that have a similar visual weight. This is apparent in the image below. While the dress is light in color so too it looks light in visual (apparent) weight and as a result, requires accessories that appear to have a similar weight. Both the heavy visual weight of the black bag and shoes and the solid nature of the embroidery throw off the visual balance of the dress while the accessories for the second are visual harmony.

Weight Balance

Theme unity fails

Another common accessory fail is a lack of unity between the styles. In the first outfit below the earrings and clutch share both color and geometric shapes and are just passable with the dress.  However, they have no unity to the lace ankle boots.  In turn, the lace boots while sharing the color black are too feminine and light-weight to work successfully with the heavy style of the dress.  

All the components of the second outfit share a similar theme. 

Them Unity   

If all else fails, consult a professional 

While DIY-ing your style is always great, nothing beats the opinion of a professional. If you feel you need assistance Image Innovators have many consultants around the work that can help you.

Building a wardrobe with key clothing pieces will be the foundation of your style. Think of accessories, as the cherries on top or the decorative icing on the cake, these embellishments or outfit add-ons are what can make your style stand out and make your looks more personal and unique. 

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If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP