How To Turn Pants Into Capris [4 Easy Ways]

Capris are always in style, regardless of the season or the wearer's age. In fact, they are so popular that you can buy the capri style in any type of pants, from leggings to work out in or trousers for work. If you don't already own capris and want to give the style a try, though, you might be wondering if you can turn the pants you already own into capris. Lucky for you, we have done the research.

You have many options for turning your pants into capris. These options range from permanent methods you can use to give full-length pants new life or temporary methods you can reverse at the end of the day. Here are the most effective ways: 

  • Cut and hem 
  • Cut with frayed edge
  • Roll
  • Fold

The method that is best for you depends on what type of pants you are turning into capris and whether you want them to be permanent or temporary. Keep reading to learn about each method and take a look at the examples to determine the best way to change your pants into capris.

A young girl with rolled up blue jeans and sunflower basket by old barn, How To Turn Pants Into Capris [4 Easy Ways]

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Why Are Capris So Stylish?

People often second guess themselves before purchasing capris, wondering if they are even still in style anymore. If you find yourself asking the same thing, don't worry. Capris are always in style because they are so versatile. Like we've already discussed, you can wear capris in any season or occasion. They can be dressed down for casual use or dressed up for professional or dressy use.

It is perhaps a little less known that capris are also in style for men. Popular styles of pants for men, such as joggers, khakis, and chinos can be purchased from a retailer already cut to capri length. Or, men can make capris out of the pants they already have, using any of the methods we will explain below. Click here to learn more about this style for men. 

Methods For Turning Pants Into Capris

Let's look closer at the 4 different ways to turn pants into capris.

Cut And Hem

You can turn your pants into capris permanently by cutting and hemming them. For this method, you will need a sharp pair of scissors and thread. If you have a sewing machine, you can use it to make the job easier or you can use a simple needle and thread to sew your pants by hand.

Fold your pants in half and cut each leg a bit longer than capri-length. If you already have a pair of capris in a length that you love, you can use them as a guide. Simply fold them in half and lay them on top of the pair of pants you are cutting, making sure the crotch of each pair lines up. Then, cut the pants a little bit longer than the length of your favorite pair of capris.

The last step is to hem the legs of your pants. Fold the edges under and sew a new hem. If you used a pair of capris as a guide, you can use them to determine how much of a hem to put on your new pants, depending on how much needs to be folded to achieve the same length.

Cut With Frayed Edge

You can also cut your pants into capris and leave the legs frayed at the bottom. Frayed jeans are in style so this method is less work and will let you turn your full-length jeans into on-trend capris. Similar to the cutting and hemming method, you will need a sharp pair of scissors. It wouldn't hurt to grab your favorite pair of capris too.

Like with the first method, you will fold your pants and lay them down, doing the same with your guide capris if you have them. Then cut your jeans a little bit longer than capri length.

You can then use your fingers or a seam ripper to begin the fraying process. Pull any exposed white threads down to create a fray. At this point, you will have some fraying but if you'd like a more distressed look, you can use sandpaper or small fabric scissors to further distress the hem and expose more threads.


Young girl in blue jeans with basket of sunflowers

If you want to turn your pants into capris without making it a permanent look, you can simply roll the pant legs to capri length. This method works best with skinny-legged jeans or pants, as pants with wider legs won't stay rolled correctly. Don't worry about collecting any supplies for this method because none are needed.

Begin by making one fold from the bottom of your jeans or pants to your ankles on each leg. Make sure they are even, then repeat the process, folding each leg up a little bit until you reach the desired length. While you are folding your pants rather than rolling them, this method is called rolling because the end result is a rolled cuff rather than a neat fold.


Another temporary method is folding. The process is similar to the rolled method but it works best with leggings. Like with rolling, you will take each leg of your pants and fold them up little by little until you reach the desired length.

If you have printed leggings, you might find that when you fold your pant legs outward, you will have a white cuff instead of a shortened version of your leggings. To remedy this, you can fold your pants legs under rather than over.

What Is The Difference Between Crop Pants And Capris Pants?

People often interchange the term "cropped" and "capri," but there is a difference between them. Cropped pants fall closer to the ankle while capri pants end at the calf.

Can You Wear Capris In The Winter?

Capris and cropped pants still remain in style, even in the winter. In order to stay warm, you can pair your capris with winter shoes such as sneakers and boots.  The hem of your capris should fall above the top of your shoe so that some of your leg is showing. This way, your legs won't look shortened if your capris and shoes touch.

What Do You Wear With Cargo Capris?

Woman sitting in a bay window, drinking coffee wearing khaki capris

Cargo capris can be a staple in your casual wear wardrobe. Paired with a t-shirt and sneakers, this look is casual and comfortable for a day spent outdoors or being active.

You can dress this look up too, though. Sandals or delicate flats can soften the look of the cargo capris.

Click here to see these ballet flats on Amazon.

A tank top or floral print blouse can further transform this look into a more feminine and dressed up style.

Click here to see this floral tank top on Amazon.

How Do You Dress Up Capri Leggings?

Capri leggings can be worn underneath dresses for a dressy but worry-free look. You can also pair capri leggings with longer sweaters or tunic-style tops. A blazer over your top can make your look more professional, or you can glam up your accessories for a night out. Heels or dressier sandals will complete your dressier look where slides, casual sandals or sneakers will make your look more casual.

What Kind Of Shoes Look Good With Capris?

The best shoes to pair with capris are ones that help lengthen the leg. Because capris fall at the calf, they tend to make legs look shorter. An ideal shoe will reverse this effect.

Sandals With Ankle Straps

Sandals expose skin which helps make your legs look longer. You can pair heeled or platform sandals with capris or stick with simple flat sandals that have an ankle strap.

Click here to see these flat sandals on Amazon.

Click here to see the heeled sandals on Amazon.

Block Heels

Block heels are shoes with a thicker square, or block, heel. The heel is typically shorter and more comfortable than thinner high heels. These heels look good with capris because they make you look taller and lengthen your legs.

Click here to see these block heels on Amazon.


Flats work well with capris because they soften the heavy and stumpy look that capri pants can create. You can choose a classic and delicate ballet flat or wear a flat with cutouts to expose more skin, lengthening the leg.

Click here to see these ballet flats on Amazon.

Click here to see these cut-out flats on Amazon.

Statement Sneakers

If sandals and heels aren't your style, then you can still look stylish by pairing capris with statement sneakers. Sneakers are more comfortable than some of the other options, and statement styles draw attention away from the hem of the capri pants.

Click here to see these fun sneakers on Amazon.

In Closing

Capris are always in style, so adding a few pairs to your wardrobe wouldn't be a meaningless splurge. However, you can save a bit of money by taking matters into your own hands. Whether you use a permanent method like cutting your pants or you just want to try out the look with a temporary method, you can expand your wardrobe and create endless new looks using the clothes you already have in your closet.

If you're looking for some style inspiration for your brand new DIY capris, check out these articles:

How To Wear And Style Capri Pants: 14 Suggestions 

How Long Should Capri Pants Be? 

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