close

Retro Rack | category: pedal pushers

home

Retro Rack

Vintage Style In A Modern World

retrorack.blogspot.com

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


In which Gail discusses, at length (or should I say at short?) her volatile relationship with capris.

I can't stand cropped trousers.

No, there it is, I simply can't.

I agonized over this blog post and finally decided, Fashionable Reader, that I owed you honesty.

This is, of course, my opinion, if you are a fan of the crop than you should wear it. But . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I have dabbled in every single one of the styles I discuss herein.

Most, I eventually rejected. Like the middi skirt, I feel the capri foreshortens me by chopping me at the calf. I believe wholeheartedly that just above or just below the knee is a far more more flattering look.

I'm only 5'6" and curvy, a cropped pant is just Not Good. Often they are even unflattering on models.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I tend to feel to get away with it I must wear very high heels.

I think the rail skinny pixie-type can carry them off, like Audrey Hepburn. But I don't look like her, and neither does most everyone else on this earth.

The tall girl (5"8'+) can sometimes work a capri, but please make certain you stick to only a few inches below the knee (otherwise it looks like you just have pants that are too short).

Now, a word on the subject of definitions:
  • Capris
  • Clam diggers
  • Pedal pushers
  • Cropped pants
  • Breeches (as opposed to britches or jodhpurs)
  • Knickerbockers
On the internet and in fashion blogs, there seems to be a good deal of confusion as to which cropped trousers of which style mean what. So I am going to bypass the whole discussion and give you my own definitions. Wha ha ha!

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Department stores tend to file any pant that ends below the knee and before the ankle as a capri. Since I'd rather avoid department store lingo, I'm going to ignore that word altogether from here on out. We will broach each style with a look at both vintage and modern takes, ending with my suggestion of what you might choose, if you simply MUST wear a cropped trouser.

Breeches

The general idea behind breeches is that they are slightly baggy at the top and then come in tight at or just below the knee, then then end or stay tight down to the ankle.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I own a few pairs of breeches, both with a very equestrian look to them. One is part of a 1930s riding suit in grey with matched blazer, very Madame Lefoux. The other are light-weight brown that I have been known to wear them to ride a bicycle. (Sadly, I've no pictures of either.) In general, I prefer to pair this style with riding boots and use for more casual steampunk events. If you are going to go for breeches, try something like this . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Clam Diggers

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Sigh, is there anything good that can be said of clam diggers? I tend to throw this term at any pair of baggy cropped pants either shortened or (more commonly) cuffed/rolled. So unflattering.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

If you must wear clam diggers, do it for digging clams. If you are quite slender and tall, you might be able to carry off this retro take, but proceed with caution!

Of course if you are going for the super hot butch look, carry on, I'll be drooling in the corner.

Culottes

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

They are very wide legged, cut short anywhere after the knee and to the ankle, can be quite skirt-like. Ugh.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I would not sleep well tonight if I suggested, in good conscious, that anyone ever wear culottes. But if you must, go all the way to vintage and don't look back.

Cropped Trousers

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I use this phrase to refer to any mensware inspired trouser that is then cut short, usually just above the ankle. To me this kind of trouser has the look of someone who just didn't buy the right length.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Ralph Lauren 2011 Fall Runway
Who can carry of a cropped pant? Well a man from the 1950s, and adorable gay boy . . . Or, if you must, punk it up with chunky boots in the same color as the pants. Or the Femme Dandy look can sometimes work this, but I think they need to be a LOOK. You know?

Knickerbockers

Besides being fun to say, knickerbockers are quite baggy and come in tight at the knee. Traditionally worn by paperboys, they still have that feel. They were also worn for gentlemen sporting events, hunting and fishing, a so have a strong tweed association. Sometimes, unfortunately, they are still worn for golf.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

They tend to be baggier than breaches and don't have the longer cuff. I own a pair of black which, again, I mainly use for steampunk and bicycle riding. If you are going to wear knickerbockers, you'll always look a little costumey . . run with it.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Pedal Pushers


This is a style I wear. I tend to define them as tighter and almost legging-like. I prefer ones that ended just below the knee or right abov the swell of the calf, and I wear them with very high heals.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

If you wear pedal pushers, I suggest going retro with the whole look. Otherwise they can seem too sloppy and lazy. A knit top instead of a t-shirt and a simple scarf tied about your head can make all the difference. For example if you are on the pixie end of the spectrum . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Of if you are bit more statuesque and of Alexia's proportions, try something like this . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Which brings me to my final thoughts.


In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


 No matter what your look or size, in my mind the most flattering form of a cropped trouser is something that ends just below the knee. This look can be chic and modern even work appropriate, ultra retro, or punky cute. To that end I leave you with three of my favorites, hoping that if you are hellbent on the cropped trouser that you consider these options first . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger Wears a Retro Red Blouse with Black & White Check Pedal Pushers for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose


Hello fashionable reader, this was my first outfit for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose...

Since I had to load up the car, drive a few hours, and then unload it, I chose a pretty casual outfit for the first day.

Gail Carriger Wears a Retro Red Blouse with Black & White Check Pedal Pushers for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose

Outfit Breakdown


I broke a strap on one of those shoes, gasp! Gotta take it in to be fixed.

It was a good first say outfit if a little warm. 

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger Black & White Check Pedal Pushers at Phoenix Comic Con 2018


I have a long and contentious relationship with capris (or in this case pedal pushers). It's well documented in this blog.

I've settled on them being OK, but for me only with high heels. Rather like pencil skirts and dresses.

So here I am on the final day of Phoenix Comic Fest in my favorite pair.

Gail Carriger Black & White Check Pedal Pushers at Phoenix Comic Con 2018

I paired them with a knitted octopus pinned to my head, some black & white accessories, and my new teapot bag!

Outfit Details


Gail Carriger Black & White Check Pedal Pushers at Phoenix Comic Con 2018

Octopus knitted facinator: Gift
 Velvet top: made it myself
Gold Pen Necklace: No longer available. Similar
Mesh gloves: $16
Teapot purse: $69+ etsy
Check pedal pushers: TJ Maxx, similar $30 or so
Via Spiga wingtip peeps: Long gone, similar from Chelsea Crew

Gail Carriger Black & White Check Pedal Pushers at Phoenix Comic Con 2018Gail Carriger Black & White Check Pedal Pushers at Phoenix Comic Con 2018


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018


Just got back for Tucson, where it was not as hot as I expected it to be. Still here I am in my lightest weight Rockabilly look...

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

The black velvet top started life as a 1940s style dress I picked up from Ross and then decided I'd get more use out of as a shirt (truth).

I paired it with a some simple red capris from Talbots and leopard accessories.

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

Shoes are old ones for Calvin Klein, I've had them for years and they are on their way out (leather is starting to crack). They are SUPER comfortable and I will be utterly devastated when they die.  Although, these are kind cute.

The red top I wore the second day is from H&M. It too is on it's way out, I love that neckline and knit is always a struggle to replace to I'm thinking about trying to find a nice red blouse instead.

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

Love you darlings!

Miss G

P.S. Special thanks to Juliababyjen on Instagram for this great shot:

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard


For the second day of San Diego Comic Con I wore my coolest outfit (literally and figuratively). For this one I went pure pin up.

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

I like red and leopard together, but then I love red, so... Leopard is so very versatile.

Here is another way to do Leopard, although, not in Canada. (One gets mistaken for local comedic talent, as it turns out.)

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

And here is the last time I wore red and leopard together, on the Sword & Laser podcast & video.

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

Right, now where was I? Oh yes... Comic Con.

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

Outfit Breakdown

  • Turban style hat. I've gotten really into these lately and am planning on buying more (I already have red, white, and leopard). They come in quite a range of colors, styles, fabrics, and prices, this one is $8. I want to try one of the ones with a bow next.
  • I paired it with a leopard flower hair clip (similar $8).
  • Steampunk earrings (similar $17).
  • Red sunnies $9 (they seem out of the red, but the red and black are killer). 
  • I'm wearing the Bumbersnoot necklace from Badali jewelry that they SOLD OUT at Comic Con. There are more on their website, $23-48 depending on material. (I'm currently giving one away to a lucky winner via my newsletter, The Chirrup.)
Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

Next up, more from Comic Con!

Retro Rack is also on Facebook and Pinterest where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Retro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)


There is something about gingham, Fashionable Reader, that comes off as intrinsically vintage. Perhaps because we associate it so strongly with tablecloths from the 1950s?

Retro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)

Here I am wearing a pedal pusher version of black and white gingham trousers, which, of course helps the vintage look even when I pair them with a modern t-shirt. This is my Team Soap shirt, from my Zazzle shop.

Retro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)
Team Soap shirt can be found here.

They can be a little broadening, in the manner of horizontal stripes. But I like them so much I will keep wearing them.

Retro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)

I'm in the downstairs part of my office for this shoot. For those of you who follow my FB Lives or my YouTube Channel, you can see why I have problems with back-lighting in this office, but boy it is wonderful from a general light perspective. In addition to the two huge windows downstairs, there is also a skylight in the loft section.

The above photos were taken by the incomparable Brittney Hart.

 Here's some more of these trousers! 


Retro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)

Retro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)


Retro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger Retro Red Top & Black & White Check Pedal Pushers (Imprudence Tour Outfit) ~ Denver


I've claimed to dislike capris in the past, and I still hold to it, Gentle Reader. You have to be so careful with cropped pants. They really do foreshorten most people and conversely make the very tall just look like their got the wrong size trousers. There are some who claim I myself have legs that start at the knee, because of my extreme preference for skirts. You know I didn't wear jeans until high school?
Gail Carriger Retro Red Top & Black & White Check Pedal Pushers (Imprudence Tour Outfit) ~ Denver
with Veronica (via Veronica on Facebook)
Anyway, sometimes, I make exceptions. In this case I made it for these high-wasted black and white check petal pushers that is got at T.J. Max (similar $16), which I wore with red stilettos and a red top.

Gail Carriger Retro Red Top & Black & White Check Pedal Pushers (Imprudence Tour Outfit) ~ Denver
Katrina Erickson‎  via  The Parasol Protectorate Group

I've a black & while head scarf over my hair as the heat and humidity were playing hell with it, this one is vintage. The shirt is from H&M and while I love it, it may be on its way out. It's getting awfully thin and worn. The earrings are little black & white bows from Ruby Blackbird. And I had an earring twin the audience!

Gail Carriger Retro Red Top & Black & White Check Pedal Pushers (Imprudence Tour Outfit) ~ Denver

* As always the shoes didn't make the pictures. I've found, over the years, that unless I get very uppity or the photographer has some fashion training the lower half of the body is inevitably cut off. I've learned this is one of the best ways to tell an amateur from a professional photographer. Just FYI for those of you what want to "pass."

** No insult intended, just an observation.
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger at Bookfest in Red Pedal Pushers with Black and White


Barnes & Noble and their teen book fest this last weekend. It was pretty last minute and I agreed to do a thing because I happen to already be in the area for a morning event, so I figured it was no big deal to hop over.

Gail Carriger at Bookfest in Red Pedal Pushers with Black and White
photo taken by Maude Lynne @the_maude_lynne

Sorry this is the only picture anyone posted of my outfit as I forgot, as always, to take any myself.

I'm wearing a fitted button up black and white striped blouse (yes it goes over the Rack without a gap, it's one of those magic ones).  I got it years ago, likely from Nordstrom Rack. But I've no ready source of good button downs for girls with a large Rack, aside from going custom on eShakti. Recommendations welcome. The sleeves on this one are a little tight but because the rest fits so well and it's vertical stripes I can't get rid of it.

I've paired it with high wasted red cotton pedal pushers (similar $50), black and white Via Spiga wingtip spectator peep toes pumps (similar $60), black vintage leather gloves (similar $30), and a little red headband (similar $10), and red bead necklace and earring set (similar $20).

I'm never sure about pedal pushers, but I like having a few pairs of trousers about, just to remind myself that my legs do, in fact, go all the way up.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.
In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyGail Carriger Wears a Retro Red Blouse with Black & White Check Pedal Pushers for WorldCon 2018 in San JoseGail Carriger Black & White Check Pedal Pushers at Phoenix Comic Con 2018Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and LeopardRetro 1950s Black & White Gingham Check Pedal Pushers Capris (pictures in Gail Carriger's office)Gail Carriger Retro Red Top & Black & White Check Pedal Pushers (Imprudence Tour Outfit) ~ DenverGail Carriger at Bookfest in Red Pedal Pushers with Black and White Gail Carriger in Red Pedal Pushers In England for WorldCon 2014Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions in 2014

Report "Retro Rack"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×