The Great Pant Search Continues: Maroon/Deep Red Pants

J.Crew Cafe Capri in Port Wine & Minnie Pant in Warm Redwood

One of my favorite trends this year, along with smoking slippers, are all the pretty colored pants all over the place! I haven’t found any more mustard pants that have piqued my interest, so I’ve moved on to maroon/deep red colored ones. Bright red is one of my favorite colors, but as times goes on, I’ve been collecting more and more deeper shades in wine and maroon. These deeper shades of red are so rich and warm looking, not to mention much easier on most skintones than blaring bright red can be.

I figured I’d give J.Crew a try, afterall, they have the best colors, and I’ve been curious to try their “flattering on everyone” (according to J.Crew) Cafe Capri and Minnie Pants.

J.Crew Cafe Capri – Size 00P – Port Wine

J.Crew Cafe Capri :: Old Navy sweater :: Christian Louboutin heels

I had hopes for this pant. Not only is the color rich and modern, but I liked the fact it has side pockets and a traditional zip-fly…things the Minnie pant do not have. When I showed the boyfriend the product photo of these on the J.Crew website, his reaction was, “so…you bought old lady retirement pants?” Bah! What does he know!

But then they arrived, and I have to admit, they are a little  “retired in Palm Beach” -ish. The fit is more tapered than “slim and sleek”, and the rise is too high for my body type…both of these put together create a silhouette similar to the dreaded “mom pant”. The waist is also cinched with a belt in these photos.

The good:

  • The color!
  • Pockets.

The ugly:

  • The silhouette is more “tapered” rather than “skinny”.
  • Rise is too high for my body type & proportions.
  • Unlined. The pocket linings protect your skin a little from the itchy wool, but I still felt a little uncomfortable in the exposed regions.

J.Crew Minnie Pant – Size 00P – Warm Redwood

J.Crew Minnie Pant :: Old Navy Sweater :: Christian Louboutin heels

I figured these would have a better chance at fitting, since they look obscenely tight on the J.Crew model. The color was a little less exciting than the Cafe Capri, but still a nice, rich fall hue. They fit better and much more flattering on my figure than the Cafe Capri, but still aren’t perfect.

The leg and thigh needs to be slimmer, to skim my leg line in a more flattering way. The waist is also cinched by a belt in these photos, so that would have to be fixed as well. But, my main issue with these is the side zipper!

Firstly, I almost tumbled to the ground the first time I put these on…side-zipper pants are not something I’m used to navigating my way around. Then, I think the lack of a front-zip just looks a bit weird. This is probably all in my head, but I think the zipper-less crotch looks cheap compared to a pant with a zipper. I feel the same way about pants without some sort of back pockets…I just don’t like the look of it. Does anyone else have this hang-up?

The good:

  • Better silhouette for my figure than the Cafe Capri.
  • The color!

The ugly:

  • Unlined. The lack of front pocket linings make these even itchier to wear than the Cafe Capris.
  • Still doesn’t skim my leg line in a flattering way.
  • No side pockets.
  • Just can’t get over the weird side-zip styling.

Each pant has at least one deal breaker, so I’ll be returning both. Even if I were to alter the Cafe Capri, the rise is too high and unflattering. If I were to alter the Minnie Pants, I’d still be bothered by that size-zipper.

But that’s okay, because I had one more maroon pant option arrive in the mail, and this one is a winner Photos soon. :)

Are you shopping for colored pants this fall? What colors are you drooling over?

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Cher

    I was so tempted to try the cafe capri, but the inseam in 00P is way too short for me, and I was pretty darn sure that 00R would be too big around the hips. I was afraid that it was going to fit a tiny petite in the way it does on you. Apparently I was correct! I couldn’t resist trying out the full length trouser though. So those are arriving tomorrow in 00R since 00P will be too short. I don’t have high hopes for them.

    1. Good luck with the trousers! I was eyeing those as well, but figured the slimmer pant silhouettes would have a better chance of fitting. So frustrating about the petite lengths being too short! Hemming can be annoying, but I’d rather have a little extra length and have to hem shorter than to have fellow petites juggle between regular and petite sizes to find a happy medium between length and proportion.

  2. says: Roxana Hickey

    I also tried the Warm Redwood Minnies in 00P, and oh my, they were equally obscenely tight and shorter on me than they are on the model. So I have the 00R on their way hoping they’re a better fit. I did have good luck with the Gap Lightweight Corduroy Leggings, however. I have them in the aubergine and rust colors, size 00R. They’re snug and stretchy. The length on my regulars is 29″, so the petite might be just right for you! Might be worth a shot if you can find those colors in stores (they’re sold out online).

    1. Thanks Roxana! I did try the GAP corduroy leggings, and the fit was pretty good. I was able to snag the rust color, but the color paired with the corduroy looked a little too 70’s for me so I’ll be returning. The aubergine that a few other petites received is very pretty though! I hope the 00R Minnies work for you! I feel these pants have a lot of potential on the right person. :)

  3. says: Amber

    the cafe capri do look a little mom-ish on you. they definitely run bit. i got the cafe capri in houndstooth in 00 and im hoping they work out!! im at least two sizes bigger than you, so hopefully? i havent tried the minnies because of the side zipper. i think it looks funny too. it actually looks fine on you tho, i wouldnt have noticed if you hadnt mentioned it. i did get the pixie pants, too. they’re a little legging-ish, but maybe they’ll work out. i dont know, i hate skinnies, lol.

    1. If the houndstooth cafe capri works for you, I’d be so happy! I love those! Hehe. I didn’t see the Pixie pants because I didn’t even bother looking at pants that didn’t come in petite. Too bad they only come in two basic colors, otherwise I’d give those a shot too.

  4. says: Jessy

    I like the second pair on you, but agreed about returning both. I was just checking out your Old Navy sweater.. the red/white striped version looks rather funky … =

  5. Great review and I can’t wait to see the winners! I sent these pants back without even taking photos. Like you, I was enticed by the rich colors, but also like you, they fit so mom-ish on my frame that alterations couldn’t make them appear remotely as they do on the models. I thought the bi-stretch wool Minnie pants were so unbearably itchy, but read on Chloe Conspiracy’s post that she didn’t find them itchy at all, so it must be personal skin type.

    1. Interesting about the itchy Minnie pants! In full coverage undies, I didn’t notice they were itchy (although I imagine sitting in them for a few hours might prove otherwise), but the thin, unlined wool was prone to VPL. So I tried a thong….hello itchy pants!!

  6. says: Petite LG

    The fit of the second pair was much better than the first pair. I also like the redwood color. I think it’s easier to style than the port wine color. Sadly, either one is perfect for you. Thanks for the review, Kelly! I am anxious to see “the winner” =)

  7. says: Rites of Beauty Blogger

    I love the colours of both pairs. The cut of the second pair is far more flattering, but I think you made the right decision to send them both back.

  8. says: Anonymous

    hahaha “old lady retirement pants” that’s sooo something my husband would say!! LOL!

    Awww too bad about the fit b/c the colours are gorgeous, especially the first ones!  For me the deal breaker is the unlined pants – you know me and itchy wool!

  9. I agree with you, I think the Minnie actually is giving you the line that the Cafe Capri should be, but if it doesn’t work, then back it should go!

    I can’t stand pants without back pockets myself, doesn’t seem right. And I personally dislike side zip anything – I’m more forgiving on skirts but can’t stand them on pants or tops!

    1. Oh good! Someone else who doesn’t like back-pocketless pants! I think it makes the rear end look funny too…haha. Side zips on tops are the worst! I feel like the top is always being dragged down on one side from the weight of the zipper. :P

  10. says: Sarah

    Bottle green jcrew café trouser, but I cannot believe wool pants would be unlined! For $138 you have to be kidding me. First Theory and now jcrew. Lol@ the thong story. All my old suiting pants by jcrew (2003 ish) are lined and a great length (32”). I know their 0 butts got bigger and thighs got baggier over the years, and the newer “00s” are still baggy (34.5” hips? Come on.). I feel a 00 should be a 23, not a 24.5. It seems silly to go up a whole size to 0 to add only .5” to the waist when are all of us are clamoring to drop dough for cute pants! I had high hopes your review would prove otherwise. Sad. Oh well I just saved $138 + shipping, so thank you! I need to see if you have a review on the double-serge pencil from last year. Overall, I might as well add $30 to the price of any jcrew items for alterations. Great review, though!

  11. says: Anonymous

    I tried on those minnie pants too and they looked like glorified leggings on me. They actually look classier/more trouser-like on you!

  12. says: Michelle

    Oh gosh!! My reaction to seeing these pants is difficult to type out…basically I jumped the tiniest bit and said some form of an “ew.” The fit is so unflattering.  :( That is too bad!

    Too bad about the second ones! I especially love that color!

    Usually I am a front-zipper gal with pockets in the back, but there are some exceptions! :)

    Thanks for the review! Now I know to stay away!!

  13. says: Julia

    Tonight I stumbled upon a TON of beautiful colors, in ankle length (better for petites!), all on sale at Urban Outfitters, in cotton stretch and cords too. Cherry red, rust, peach, purples. etc. Good luck!

  14. says: Katie Mieras

    The cafe capri remind me of the retired Palm Beach area (which is where I live :) ). I also refuse to buy pants that have no back pockets, I just can’t do it.

  15. says: JJ

    Why do those Minnie Pants look so ridiculously tight on the model?! It just makes them look terribly cheap/like some sort of legging material.

    Thankfully, it looks like they fit you much better! I see what you mean about them not being slim enough, but they still look nice. Lack of a front zipper aside, they don’t look nearly as cheap as they do in the J. Crew photo.

    1. Hi SkippySays! I’m going to end up returning those mustard pants because the quality is just so bad, and I’m not wholly satisfied with the fit. They are from the Nordstrom BP. department (juniors). Still on the hunt for my perfect pair as well! :)

  16. says: Kileen

    it’s amazing the difference in fit of the cafe capri from the model.  i love the port wine color but it looks like these pants aren’t so petite friendly.  the minnie looks much better on you but i actually find side zip pants to be kinda weird too.  i can’t wait to read the upcoming review of the ones that worked!

    cute & little   

  17. says: Bonhomie

    I had good luck with a “merlot” colored pair of J Brand corduroys. I think the style is “Ali”, but the rise is high (10″) and the bottoms are flared so this may not work for you. However, J Brand has a mid-rise (8″) merlot cord that is more like a skinny jean style. I just love the color.

  18. says: Vanessa Luna

    I’m so glad I found your post about these pants! I was just scrolling through the AN forum archives looking at people’s outfits and saw someone in the Minnie pant who highly recommended them. But, now that I see the review, I think I’ll pass. I’m so in love with slim fitting slacks but I have yet to find a pair that actually look good on me. :(

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