Is this love—or a summer caprice? Whatever the case, capri pants—which hugged the hips of Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bar-dot and Mary Tyler Moore in the '50s and '60s—are replacing both long pants and short shorts. "They're very versatile," says actress China Chow, who wore hers (black by Vivienne Tarn) to the New York City premiere of Godzilla. "I can wear them at night with strappy shoes or kick around in a T-shirt and flip-flops during the day."
Los Angeles stylist Karin Labby thinks the calf-baring garb is ideal for lazy, hazy days. "Capris scream summer," she says. "They make you think of Sandra Dee at a clambake on the beach." Which brings up a distinction: If the pants hit mid-calf, they're clam-diggers or pedal-pushers; only if they end up just below the knee are they the real capri.
Capris must be skintight, says Labby, "or you're left with a penguin look; the feet disappear, and the hips look huge." But attention to tailoring is a small price to pay. Confides Amber (L.A. Confidential) Smith, who wore black Bisou-Bisous to Out of Sight's L.A. premiere: "I only have to shave my legs from mid-shin down."
Steven Cojocaru and Anne-Marie Otey in Los Angeles and Mary Green in New York City