Adventures in Alterations – J.Crew Navy Tweed Cafe´ Capri Preview


**I recently picked up a pile of items from the tailor, and wanted to show these first, since they’re currently on sale at J.Crew, and can be had for an extra 25% off with code OURTREAT through Thursday, 11/8.**

A good pant can be hard to find, and I’ve been incredibly lucky in the past few months to have found two pairs I love, that fit well in all the important places, that can have the rest altered down to fit. Here’s a closer look at the first pair.

These Cafe´ Capri’s are made of a fairly thick cotton/silk/viscose blend, with small tinsel-y threads running throughout. They are fully lined, which along with the heavier tweed fabric, create a really nice drape. I initially bought these just to take a look, not intending to like them at all. They were on sale, and the word “tweed” piqued my interest, but I was much more interested in the wool herringbone version. I tried really, really hard to prefer the much more muted herringbone pant, but my eye kept falling on the interesting texture, and much better fit, of these blue tweeds.

What sold me most on these was the nice flat fit in the front which looks incredibly sleek and well tailored. I like a place to put my hands, so side pockets are a must, and finding pants that are fully lined has become a bit rare, so it definitely helped sway my decision (even my tailor sounded surprised to find out they were fully lined).

What’s important to look for in a pant:

A good fit in the crotch – too much pulling, creasing, or folding is usually due to issues in other areas, like the rise being an awkward length for you, or the hip/tush/thigh being too tight. Sometimes if the waistband is too loose, taking that in can help a tad, but for the most part, I’ve found crotch issues to a major reason to pass on a pair of pants.

Appropriate rise – the pant’s rise would be difficult and expensive to mess with, so don’t buy a high-waisted pant and think you can get a low-rise pant made out of it. Not worth it.

The hip is not too tight – too much stretching or pulling at the hip area can cause a distracting mess of creases and folds in the fabric around your hip and crotch. It’s best to size up to fit your hip, and then tailor other things down if you find this to be a problem.

The thigh is not too tight – too much stretching or pulling at the thigh area, like the hip, can cause a distracting mess of creases or folds. It can also make your pants ride up as your walk, not to mention can be uncomfortable for sitting. Like the hip, it’s best to size up, and then tailor the rest of the pant to fit if you find this to be a problem.


These fit my widest part (bottom of my hips, tops of my thighs) nicely without pulling, but then are a little roomy in other places. The waistband has a gap, which needs to be taken in, and I’d like to see the legs slimmer for a sleeker silhouette. Luckily, these are common fixes that most tailors can handle without a problem.

Ready for the finished look? Here they are!

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Steph

    Maybe it’s just the way the pictures show up on my computer, but the design and fabric of the pants look very puffy and heavy–not sleek or tapered like the stock photo. I’m sure there will be a huge difference once the pants are tailored though :)

    1. Hi Steph! It’s not your computer screen…lol. These are a thicker material than the usual J.Crew Cafe Capri (plus, the full lining adds a little bulk as well), so you’re right, they are puffy and heavy. Tailoring helps a lot, but no matter what, they’re just not going to look the same way they do on me as they do on a model that’s probably close to 5’10″…and that’s okay.

  2. says: SewPetiteGal

    I love this tweed and like others, can’t wait to see what it will look like post alterations! Very helpful tips on fit too. I need to commit those to memory and demand perfection (or at least something that can be fixed to perfection). I get so excited when pants fit here or there that I often overlook other issues.

  3. says: tt

    I ordered the pants in P2 and they fit perfectly. I loved the texture and fit, but didn’t love that the hem was a little wider than I prefer. I returned them, but wondering if I should after reading your post. I did get the jacket too and am keeping it. (BTW, been enjoying your posts and first time commenting here. I also live in SD.)

    1. No nice to meet another SD person! The jacket is super cute. Slimming the bottom is a pretty easy alteration, but now those darn pants are on final sale so you have to be positive you want to keep them before hunting them down again. I hate final sale. =(

  4. says: alice

    Quick tailoring question. Is it easy to tailor down hips on pants? The smallest regular size on JCrew is always too roomy for me in the hip and waist area. Petite sizes would be too short. Thanks and can’t wait to see how your alterations turn out!

    1. Hi Alice! It depends on if there are pockets on or close to the hip seams. If you did a pant like the Minnie that doesn’t have any hip pockets, it’s just as easy as slimming the leg. When pockets are involved, it gets complicated, and honestly I haven’t had that alteration done (with pockets) so I’m not sure what would need to be done. You could have the pockets sewn shut, and then treat the pant like there’s no pockets there to begin with, and that could work. I hope that helps!

      1. says: alice

        Wow you read my mind, the Minnie was EXACTLY the pant I was referring to! It’s too bad that pockets are tricky in general because I love pockets, but oh well. Thanks so much for responding!

    1. Hi Lizzie! The cost can vary by where you live and how expensive/cheap your tailor is, but slimming the legs cost $24. I’m not sure how much the waist alteration was because it was lumped into a lot of other tailoring work, but I’m guessing about $20 – $30. Hope that helps!

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