One of my favourite items of clothing growing up was a pair of denim pedal pushers, a type of trouser that clings to the thigh, stops at the knee and managed to become quite popular – despite its unpromising vital stats – in the early ’00s. Good for riding a bike because of the bare calves, but impractical in almost every other sense, they were rather like a summer crush – exciting but, ultimately, a disappointment that wasn’t remotely worth 100+ messages on MSN (or the time you spent away from Snake).
GIGI HADID, 2023 ©GETTY
I’m not sure what to think, therefore, about the fact that pedal pushers – or to use their other name, capri pants – appear to be carving out a calf-first path into the wardrobes of today’s Insta-stars. Gigi Hadid has been wearing a pair that my pre-pubescent self, coming of age in the early ’00s, would have cut out of a magazine and pasted in a scrapbook next to pictures of the Olsens. But styled with an otherwise lo-fi outfit of a black tank top and similarly neutral slingback pumps, she managed to make them look – and this is a word that has heretofore not been associated with pedal pushers – chic.
RIHANNA, 2005 ©GETTY
Having said that, they were a favourite of the most stylish woman on TV, Carrie Bradshaw, as well as the coolest person on the planet (then and now), Rihanna. Are they, in fact, a good idea?
SARAH JESSICA PARKER AS CARRIE BRADSHAW ©GETTY
It totally depends on your style preferences, of course. But if you’re into baby teesand oversized blazers, I do think it could be worth taking a pair for a spin (the slim-fit proportions of the trousers will be meted out by the shoulders of the jacket, you see). Carrie’s approach for summer – a breezy cheesecloth blouse with a bandana – will also strike a the right balance.
If, however, all of this is taking you on a trip down a memory lane you’d rather not revisit, fair enough. The next time you’re riding your bike, just tuck the hem of your jeans into your sock and off you go.
This story first appeared on GRAZIA UK.