Cropped pants fall into two categories: walk shorts and capris. The distinction is based on length rather than silhouette:

  • Walk shorts are pants that are cropped anywhere from just above the knee to the widest part of the calf. Clamdiggers, bemudas, pedal pushers and culottes are all forms of walk shorts.
  • Capris are pants that are cropped below the calf and above the ankle. I am allergic to pants at this length. They are extremely leg shortening and unflattering. Models that sport capri lengths wear 4 inch heels which visually raises the hemline. I rest my case.

Retailers and magazines often refer to clamdiggers as capris, which confuses the issue. As long as cropped pants fall on, or above, the widest part of your calf, I’m in favour of them. Anything longer looks dumpy. Stacey London and Clinton Kelly from What Not To Wear are not opposed to capri-length pants (which explains why Stacey wears them throughout her book “Dress your Best”). We will agree to disagree.

Cropped Matchstick Jean in Clean Rinse WashJoe's Jeans 'Welt Kicker' White Crop Stretch JeansKUT from the Kloth Denim Bermuda Shorts

Walk shorts at the perfect length (clamdiggers, culottes and bemudas)

Style&co. Capri with Drawcord HemEileen Fisher Linen Ankle PantsRobert Rodriguez Tuxedo Stripe Jodhpur Pants

Capris at an awfully unflattering length.