By the 1950’s, Italy had already influenced the short pincurl cut, the stand up collar on crisp cotton shirts, and now the slim calf-length pants known as capris made their way to the American shores. Italy’s island of Capri was a popular tourist spot during the 50’s, and the traditional mid-calf style pants worn by the shapely Italian gals drove the guys and the girls capri crazy.
Pants on women were still considered shocking after their arrival in the 1930’s, but became acceptable casual wear for girls in the 50’s. Capri pants followed the slim, body-conscious silhouette of the 50’s, but offered ladies more freedom from the constrictive waists of dresses and poofy, crinolined skirts. The capri pant was slim and sophisticated, and back in the days when smoking was considered chic, the longer, ankle-length version was dubbed the ‘cigarette pant.’
Capris returned in the 90’s as the hottest retro-return fashion from the 50’s. They were modernized with embroidery, bejewelled, and tied off with side bows. Hemlines rose and fell like high and low tide, but they always remained capris.