Casual

Are Capris In or Out of Style?

Hi Deborah,

I’m sorting out my closet, and I notice I have several capris in different widths and lengths. What I’d like to know is, Are Capris still in style? And if so, what should I wear them with to look updated? Thank you, Gabriela.

Hi Gabriela,

I’m so glad you asked this because many of my readers are also confused. There’s always been some negativity around capris, which makes one wonder if capris are out of style?  But the answer is, they’re still very much “in” – not in a cutting edge kind of way, but they are a steady summer wardrobe staple that many gals love.

To clarify, capris are casual summer pants that hit at around midcalf. They can be tapered, skinny, flared wide legs.  If they end just above the ankle, they’re considered cropped pants, not capris.

Many women don’t like capris because they visually chop up your legs and make you look frumpy and stumpy. They’re not ideal if you have heavy legs, and you need to be sure they don’t end at the thickest part of your leg. Just above or just below this point is best. Getting the right proportions is key.

Here’s a look at some popular styles of capris for summer 2021 and what to wear with them to look current and cute.

Capris - Coral

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1. Straight-Leg Capris

Capris follow the same trends as jeans. Skinny jeans and skinny capris have ruled for a long time, and you can still wear them for sure, but straight leg and slim fit straight leg capris are most popular now.  These cute orange straight-leg capris are extra sporty with cute slits at the side. They look great paired with another hot trend – this romantic, flowy floral peasant blouse.  Add a pair of creamy Tory Burch slides , statement earrings and a mini leather crossbody, and you have a very chic way to dress up capris.

Capris - White

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2.  Cropped Wide Leg Capris

Of all the capris styles out there right now, cropped wide-leg capris are the trendiest.  I like this classic white pair, which are fitted across the hips and then widen out to a breezy, loose leg. Most of the wide-leg capris we’re seeing are high-waisted; a high waist helps compensate for the shorter hem length and helps make you look taller.

Crop wide leg capris look adorable with a cropped, tucked, or floral front tie top like this one.  Add a cute bag, beaded earrings, and a fab pair of studded sandals ( capris were made for showing off fab shoes), and you have a smart summer look.

Capris - Cuffed Denim

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3.  Classic Denim Capris

We always think we need to change styles to be current, but sometimes just making a slight tweak can update your look. For example, skinny denim capris are a classic style but add a new top with a cute boho vibe, and you get a fresh new feel. Did you know that a pair of fab shoes and a modern bag is the easiest way to refresh any outfit? These darling espadrille wedge sandals and classy white and chain handbag are a gorgeous way to uplevel a casual capris look.

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Gabriela, I hope you’ve picked up a few good ideas for how to make Capris look fabulous this summer. In the end, it’s not so much about what is in or out, but how you feel in your Capris and owning the look this summer!

Casual

10 Cute and Comfy Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

Whether Thanksgiving dinner is at your place and you’re the chief-cook-and-bottle-washer, or you’re going out to visit friends or family, you want to look polished and pulled together, even if your Thanksgiving celebration leans a little more to the casual side. If you’re wondering what to wear, here are some cute and comfy Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas.

Continue reading “10 Cute and Comfy Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas”
SPRING & SUMMER

How to Wear Denim Culottes and Gauchos

Culottes have been trending in the last few years, and one of the more popular types is denim culottes.

These are basically wide cropped jeans that land just past the knee and are so full they resemble a split skirt. Often they are tied at the waist.

Culottes are often referred to as gauchos, but there is a bit of a difference. Gauchos are less flowy than culottes and look more like wide cut off pants than a skirt. Whether you wear denim culotte or denim gauchos there are a few tricks for getting your best look.

1. Wear a Fitted Top

When you wear a wide bottom a less full top creates a flattering silhouette that shows off your waist.

denim culottes with black top

2. Tuck in

Wearing a button-up shirt? Tuck it in, roll up the cuffs and add some bangle bracelets. Have a sweater. Push up the sleeves and do a half-tuck in the front. A tuck or half tuck look highlights your waist and elongates the cropped pants’ look making your legs look longer.

denim culottes

3. Show Off Your Cute Shoes (or Boots)

Wedges or block heels will make your legs look longer but a pair of cute flats can be cute and comfy. Try snake print, leopard or some other cute ballet flat, slide, even a statement sneaker. Tall Boots look fantastic with denim gauchos.

4. Add a Jacket or Cardigan

A fitted blazer or long sweeping cardigan can be a really cute look with a fitted top and denim culottes or gauchos.

Cropped Pants - Denim

5. Go Longer

There are a lot of culottes that start to fall into the general wide cropped pants category and these are often flattering. Experiment with what length works for you. Generally the taller you are, the better the long gauchos or culottes will look.

For more ideas on how to wear culottes without looking awkward, check out this post. It’s got lots of other great ideas for what to wear with wide cropped pants.

If you like culottes, but not denim, check out these summer culottes.

OUTFIT IDEAS

3 Ways to Feel Confident Wearing Culotte Jumpsuits

The thought of wearing culottes brings up mixed emotions for most of us. Yes, they’re in style, but can they look chic, especially after 40? I vote yes, especially if we’re talking culotte jumpsuits, which happen to be the hot new trend. Here’s how to wear culotte jumpsuits with confidence.

Culotte Jumpsuit - Casual Print

1. Choose a Flattering Cut

A culotte jumpsuit is no more than a flowy dress with a split down the middle when you think about it. Choose your culotte jumpsuit as you would a figure-flattering dress. Look for one fitted in the top, nips in at the waist, and then flares out like a skirt. This will give you a slimming hourglass shape.

2. A Solid Color is Flattering

Culottes are cropped, so you don’t get that continuous vertical line with long pants. One way to balance that is by wearing a culotte jumpsuit in a solid color. This carries the eye downward, elongating your frame.  Wear neutral-colored shoes in a similar shade to make your legs look longer too.

3. Wear Heels

Flats look relaxed and breezy with a culotte jumpsuit, but if you want a dressier look and look taller, wear heels.  They don’t have to be sky-high. Even a kitten heel will create the illusion of having much longer legs. Once again, nude sandals are ideal!

Casual

How to Wear Capri Pants with Confidence

If you’ve almost given up on capris because you think they make you look frumpy, there may be some truth to that. Capris have a bad reputation for a reason. They tend to shorten your legs (especially if you are short, to begin with), and they highlight wide or muscular calves.

However, there are ways to get around this. Finding the right style and fit of capris, crops, pedal pushers, or whatever you want to call them for your body type can make a world of difference to how they will look on you. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to look great and feel confident in capri pants.

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DEBORAH'S STYLE

Polka Dots Pants – 2 Modern Ways to Style Them

Polka dots have been around forever and lend a light and playful feel to any outfit. How playful depends on how you style them. Here are two modern ways to style polka dots, classic and creative.

polka dot pants, green sweater

1.  Modern Classic

If you’ve ever owned a pair of polka dot pants, then you probably styled them the traditional way were all taught. You match the color of your top to the color of your pants. So if you have a blue and white pair of polka dot pants, you would wear a white top or a navy top. Or, if you were more daring, you might wear a red top, since red, white, and blue are such a classic color combination.

These days there’s much more leeway! The current trend is to wear polka dots pants with something colorful and bright to look fresh and updated. I chose this bright green boatneck sweater to go with my stretchy, cropped polka dots pants. The green with the navy is a vibrant, modern color combination that is more youthful-looking than wearing those safe, traditional colors.

I also like to wear my navy and white polka dot pants with this bright lavender top, a popular color right now. This top takes things one step further because it has texture in the way of lace besides being a nice bright color. So a bright color + lace on a t-shirt worn with polka dots jeans seems new and different!

polka dot pants blue striped sweater

2. Modern Creative

Now, I’m someone who, for the most part, prefers solid colors. The odd time I will wear a print, but I don’t usually wear a print top with print pants. This time I thought I’d be a little different and mix stripes with polka dots.

If you are new to mixing prints, and you are not sure how to mix prints, or you like a conservative mixed print look, then stripes with polka dots is easy to do, and always works. The key here is that this time you do want to keep everything in the same color family, so you get a continuous flow from top to bottom.

Mixing prints is a creative look, and by using the same colors, you keep the look elegant instead of confusing to the eye. If you want to take it one step further, you can add a third color, in the way of a bright bag or colorful shoe, but for my taste, doing both would be overkill.

I hope you’ve picked up some good ideas here, and that you try these out if you buy a pair of polka dots pants, shorts, capris, or a dress! This way of styling polka dot pants works for them all.

One more thing. I love getting your photos. If you create a polka dot look, please send me a good quality photo of you in your outfit.  I’d love to see how this worked out for you!

Holiday Dressing

What To Wear To Mother’s Day Brunch When You Are Eating In!

Your Mother’s Day plans to go out for Sunday brunch may have gone out the window, but don’t let that stop you from dressing up and feeling pretty on your special day. Here are 3 cute, casually chic outfits when you are having Mother’s Day brunch.

 

Mothers Day - Yellow Skirt

Hello Yellow!

A pretty spring midi skirt in sunny yellow is a cheery way to brighten your day. Wear it with this feminine ruffle neck top (the latest trend) or your favorite V-neck tee for a more casual vibe. White accessories are always fresh and summery.

 

 

Mothers Day - Blue lace Top

Lovely in Lace

Add a delicate lace top to a pair of edgy, white fringe jeans to make a beautiful Mother’s Day outfit with a modern feel and a slight edge. How do you like the black floral bag? You can put it on your kitchen counter and stare at it like a piece of art (it’s so pretty) until the stay-at-home lockdown is over. Lol!

 

 

 

Mothers Day - Black and White Dress

Earned your Stripes

You’ve been there for the kids your whole life, from their very first step until you the time you saw them off to College. Yes, mom, you have certainly earned your stripes. So what more fitting for a Mother’s Day outfit than this chic, striped midi dress with the beautiful wrap front.

This classy, casual dress is perfect when you are celebrating Mother’s Day on the patio or by the pool and will make you feel like your style hasn’t gone down the drain during this crazy shut-in. Heck, those zebra stripes may even match the way your roots are looking these days! (Lol!)

 

 

Mothers Day - White Skirt

All Eyes on Eyelet

Anything eyelet, like this sweet skirt, is another way to look to create a relaxed, feminine look for Mother’s Day. Add a floral tee and a pair of colorful flats, and you are all set. Like the Kate Spade bag? So do I. I just bought it!  (See here)

 

Ruffles and Bows

Mothers Day - Striped Linen Pants

 

Ruffle sleeve tops and tie waist pants are two popular spring trends. This cute outfit brings the two together in a summery look that’s perfect for your role as Queen of the Day. Slip on these cute Tory Burch slides with these sporty linen pants,  and add a pair of cute earrings to feel fresh and lovely. Treat yourself to a Mother’s Day gift, and grab this darling bag to carry around later.

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!! If you like these looks, be sure to order early, as many things are on sale, and also want to make sure you get delivery since it is a busy time for online retailers.

Casual

5 Ways To Feel Confident In Wide Leg Cropped Pants (and Jeans)

If there ever was a tricky trend, wide cropped pants are it. They end above the ankle; they’re voluminous, and although they look fabulous on the runway, they can be pretty intimidating to wear in real life.

The worry is that unless you are a tall, skinny-minny, cropped pants will make you look dumpy and as wide as a house. How do you wrap your head around this new trend and make them work for you? Here are five style tips to look fabulous in cropped, wide-leg pants and jeans.

womens wide leg cropped pants

1.  Proportion is Key

Wide leg cropped pants are not for everyone but keep proportion in mind if you want to try a pair.  Wide leg high-rise cropped pants are very popular right now.

Hems on vary in length. According to Vogue, flowy, wide-leg crop trousers may be voluminous, but they should be “kicky.”

 

Wide Leg Cropped pants -yellow, floral top | styled by Fabulous After 40

2. Tucked in Tops are Slimming

A roomy top over a roomy bottom can make you look heavy and frumpy. The key is to highlight your middle by tucking in or semi-tucking in a top.  (You may need to get out of the Spanx if you go this route.)  This looks especially stylish when you roll or push up the sleeves.

This navy tee with these chic striped pants ( above)  is an excellent example of a top you would tuck in. Wearing it tucked out would shorten your legs and cover up the fab waist tie belt.

Trend Alert: Striped Wide-Leg Crops are all the rage this spring! If you prefer a print, feminine florals are also popular.

Wide Leg Cropped pants - Polka Dots with waist tie, white blouse | styled by Fabulous After 40

3. Stick to Neutrals

If you are nervous about wearing wide-leg cropped pants like culottes because you think they will make you look bottom-heavy, keep in mind that dark neutral colors such as black, blue, gray, taupe, or black cropped pants are the best thing to wear to look slim.

Darker neutrals like these black wide-leg cropped pants are more slimming than light or bright colors, and who doesn’t want to look a little slimmer on the bottom half, especially with that extra volume? Bright yellow cropped pants, by contrast, are loud and would draw attention to your bottom tummy hips, and thighs. These refined neutrals will make you look very elegant.

Trend Alert:  Pleated Wide-leg crop Pants that are soft and slouchy and have wide belts are new!

Wide Leg Cropped Pants - White, with peach top and jean jacket | Styled by Fabulous After 40

4. Add a Jacket to White Wide Leg Cropped Pants

A short, fitted leather moto jacket or cropped jean jacket is a great piece to wear with a pair of wide-leg pants. Not only does a jacket give you instant authority, but it balances out your hips by making your shoulders look wider.

The result? More of an hourglass shape? Women are wearing jackets with cropped dress pants to work. It’s a combo that has been dubbed, the modern work uniform.

Style Tip: Wide cropped jeans are an easy way to ease into this trend because they are slimmer through the legs and thighs and only wide at the bottom.

 

Wide Leg Cropped pants - Blue Tie, pink sleeveless turtleneck | styled by Fabulous After 40

5. Wear Heels

What kind of shoes should you wear with wide cropped pants?  You may prefer flats, which look great with casual wide-leg pants, but a bit of height does wonders to elevate this look and make you appear taller and slimmer. A great choice is a stacked or a wedge heel. (They’re easier to walk in too).

For a more elegant, upscale look, try a fine pump or even a cute bootie that ends at the ankle. One tip about shoe color- A nude shoe or a  shoe that is the same color as your cropped pants will elongate your look. A shoe in a contrasting color will cut your legs in half, and you don’t want that, as shorter pants already shorten the legs a bit.

Trend Alert: Ruffled Wide Leg Crop Pants are fashion-forward and fun!  But don’t wear them with a ruffly top too, or you’ll risk looking like a flamenco dancer!

That’s the latest round-up of wide-leg cropped pants. Prefer long, wide palazzo pants? Check out this post.

 

Pants

What to Wear With Culottes This Summer

In September, I gave you some tips on what to wear with culottes in the fall. Now we are heading into hotter weather, is it any different? Here’s what to wear with culottes this summer.

What to wear with culottes | side tie t-shirt with lavender culottes

1. Causal Culottes – Try a Twist Tie Top

This summer culottes are popular for both day and night. The most casual ones come in denim or stretch cotton, and there are many bright and pastel colors. These pretty, lavender, cotton culottes have a high waist and look great with a short crop top. However, when you have a bit of a tummy (which 99% of us do), they are not very forgiving.

A popular alternative is a casual tee that knots at the side or the front and shows off part of the hight waist. The soft, gentle draping makes tops like this so much easier to wear with culottes.

Some think that culottes need to be worn with heels to look good, but when you wear casual culottes and a slim fitting tee with some shape, sneakers can look really cute.

These gray perforated sneakers match the gray top, keeping the look more color coordinated and therefore more slimming. A cute tote in similar colors also ties into this fabulous summer look.

Continue reading “What to Wear With Culottes This Summer”
Pants

How to Wear Cropped Flare Jeans and Not Look Like a Frump in Floods

Crop flare jeans are supposed to be cool and fashion-forward, but you may think they look like geeky floods.

In part you are right. Cropped flares can look off if they aren’t styled right. They also tend to make you look short and wide. So how do you style these tricky pants so you don’t look stumpy or frumpy? Here are a few good tips.

1. Find Your Perfect Pair

It’s easy to get stuck in a style rut, which is why it’s so important to challenge yourself when it comes to new trends like cropped flare jeans. Take a few pairs into a dressing room and try them on.  You might just need to find your perfect version of these jeans – the ones that suit your unique body type and personality.

For example, one pair of crop flare jeans might be more feminine than another, or slightly longer in the leg or higher in the waist. You might find a pair with a stripe down the side, which could make all the difference to how you look and feel in them. 

I bought these cute release hem cropped flare jeans because they are quite slim through the leg with just a subtle flare which I find very flattering. They’re also a good length (they hit just above my ankle) and I like the boho summer feel of the release hem. I’ve styled them casually here, but you can also make cropped flare jeans look a little dressier, as I did in another post.

If cropped flare jeans are still not for you, nothing lost, but you’ll never know unless you experiment. Remember, fashion should be fun!

2. Wear Heels

The easiest way to nail this look is to wear heels. A sexy pair of pumps or sandals can look very chic with these type of jeans.  A while back, I wore a pair of cropped flare jeans with nude high heel strappy sandals. My new look took me from being on the fence about cropped flare jeans, to loving them!

Crop Flare Jeans - Coral

High heels too uncomfy for you? There are lots of other shoes that go with cropped flare jeans. Block heel sandals are always a sure bet. Or, you can wear rope wedges in summer or even flat canvas espadrilles or sneakers for a laid back summer look.

Backless mules look sophisticated too, but remember you will look shorter and wider so flats are best for slim, average to tall types.  In the fall and winter booties with a medium -high heel give crop flare jeans an edgy look. One last thing to note: the wider the flare, the higher the heel.

Crop Flares - White with Olive Top

 3. Try Longer Cropped Flare Jeans

Some cropped flares are short gauchos which end at or just below the knee, while others hit mid calf or near the ankle.

Play around to see which ones flatter your legs best. In general, longer cropped jeans are more slimming. The perfect length is just above the ankle.

3. A Dark Wash is Slimming

If you are concerned about looking squat in crop flare jeans, the darker wash, the thinner you will look. Also the less detail on your jeans (studs, pockets, rips) the slimmer you will look if you are bottom heavy.

Cropped Flares - Denim with Striped Top

4. Avoid Long Tops

Looking fab in cropped flare jeans is about getting the proportions right. They look best worn with fitted top, jacket or a shirt or top that you tuck or half tuck in.

This way you show off your waist and make the your legs look longer, which is important because as mentioned cropped jeans tend to shorten your legs. A belt also looks good.

The only time you can really pull off a long top over cropped flare jeans if is you have really long legs and wear heels.

Feel like giving this type of jeans a try? Follow these style pointers to look fabulous and not frumpy in crop flare jeans.

Pants

3 Easy Ways to Wear Bold Stripes Over 40

Bold, colorful stripes are a new spring trend that should be on your radar. You’ll find stripes that run every which way, in vibrant colors, on just about everything! Yes, these stripes are strong and lively, but there are ways to wear them over 40 without feeling like the circus has come to town! Here’s how.

Bold Stripes Outift- Gold red and white Fringe Top with vintage wash, tan culottes, rope circle bag, brown wovern mules, tassel earringsshop the look

1. Wear Toned Down Stripes

Colorful stripes are one thing, but wide and bold stripes too? If this mix seems overwhelming for your personal style,  then look for more subtle striped pieces like this cute fringed top inspired by a vintage beach blanket. The saturated spring colors are softened with a faded wash that gives this top a more laid back vibe.

Continue reading “3 Easy Ways to Wear Bold Stripes Over 40”

Casual

Pink Oversized Sweater Makes it Feel Like Spring

It may not be Spring, but I’m pretending it is anyway! This time of year I find myself drawn to lively, warm colors that remind me of a beautiful spring garden. This stunning pink sweater is just what I needed to brighten up the dull winter. For anyone who says color isn’t important, I’ve got to disagree. It makes a huge difference in how we look and feel.

Pink oversized sweater navy pants | Deborah Boland | Fabulous After 40

I bought this sweater because I couldn’t resist the pretty coral-pink  color. It’s so cheery and uplifting. In fact, this color inspired me to pull out an old painting I had in storage in my basement and hang it in my office.

I’ve become a big fan of the oversized sweater look. (Remember the gold oversize turtleneck I wore a couple of months back?) I love the relaxed, slouchy silhouette because it makes an outfit look so effortless and chic.

Pink ribbed oversize Topshop sweater | Deborah Boland over 50 fashion blogger

This sweater is super soft and cozy, and it’s surprisingly lightweight too. You tend to think of big sweaters like this as being hot and heavy, but not this one. It’s also got a great V-neckline, which is always flattering, because it shows more of your neck, and makes you tall and slender. And do you see the fine ribbing? Great texture!

My sweater is from TOPSHOP, a brand that I’ve been buying a lot lately. I find Topshop has a good selection of modern styles, fantastic colors, and it’s reasonably priced.

navy cropped pants from Banana Republic, pink suede shoes, pink sweater

How do you like the cropped pants? These dotted pants are from Banana Republic, one of my go-to stores for classic pieces with a modern twist. I probably own about 6 pairs of their pants because they fit and wear so well.  Navy is always an excellent color during this transitional time between winter and spring. I’d say these pants are spot on!

As for the pink suede pumps, I bought them last year and thought they were kind of fun with the sweater. They give my outfit that fun, feminine, pretty in pink vibe.
Woman wearig pink oversized sweater and navy cropped pants looking at painting

This sweater has long sleeves, but as you can see, I like wearing them pushed up. It makes me feel more sporty, and I just like the look.

woman in pink oversized sweater holding up and looking at floral painting

“Look ma, no hips!” It’s amazing how a voluminous sweater like this can fool the eye. When you wear a wide sweater up top and skinny pants on the bottom, you create the illusion that your hips and bottom are much smaller than they really are. Deborah Boland wearing pink floral sweater hanging a painting

Isn’t that pink out of this world? I find that any pink shade helps give your skin a nice glow. This one is more on the warmer side.

Deborah Boland wearing pink floral sweater and looking happy

I’m thrilled with my new outfit and my painting!

pink oversized Banana Republic sweater worn by Deborah Boland | publisher Fabulous After 40

If you feel like putting a little Spring in your wardrobe ( and your step), then you can shop this look by clicking on any of the links above. I’m counting the days until spring. How about you?