The modern Capri pant is the ultimate combination of functionality and femininity, and they have to be one of my favourite bicycle trouser styles.
It’s a style that enhances the female figure with proper hips and a waist for a truly classic look, while the tapered leg that ends just above the ankle, or just below the knee, make for the ultimate action pant: no flare to tangle in bicycle chains, dangle in puddles or catch on stiletto heels.
The style works so well that the Capri has been around since the beginning of women wearing trousers, in fact it was the beginning.
Some say Capri pants were introduced by European fashion designer Sonja de Lennart in 1948, and were named after the Italian isle of Capri, where they rose to popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
But the prelude to the Capri began long before that, and it was the bicycle that played the critical role in its creation.
At first women attempted and succeeded in riding the bicycle wearing ankle-length skirts, but it wasn’t long before the more daring ones started to hitch them up, haul in the hem and create a voluminous Capri.
The bloomer of the 1890’s had all the trimmings of the modern Capri: a waist and hips to fit all women, not just super models, and a fitted knee or ankle to remedy the problem of spoke tangle or worse the nickers-exposing skirt flap.
Since then the Capri has morphed many times, but it has always retained the key features that make it the ultimate woman’s trouser.
However, the morphing through the ages has not always resulted in great fashion. In fact, it’s most disastrous incarnation was when they came back in fashion in the 90s after a short period of being out of vogue.
The worst Capri in history was a Capri pant in a hideous elasticised cotton that after only an hour looked as if you’d slept in them for a week.
They were also designed for 10 year olds: if you had any sort of belly, the badly shaped flat front caused all manner of problems.
But that was then, and thankfully the Capri managed to survive this minor fashion glitch and now it has evolved to all new fashion heights.
There are some seriously stylish Capri morphs out there that have solved all the problems of yesteryear, almost too many to choose from, but my favourite at the moment are those created by Melbourne based designer Neisha.
They bring everything to the Capri that it used to lack and nothing that is naff.
First her fabrics are a bold fashion statement, the fishman-style dropped leg rules out any of the Capri’s most painful faux pas, the flat front, and they stop just above the ankle giving a hint of leg with no knee creases.
Indeed, the Capri is back as the ultimate celebration of feminine beauty, freedom of movement and high fashion!