In today's business casual environment, understanding what is or is not appropriate to wear in the workplace can be confusing, especially when it comes to capri pants. We have consulted the experts to determine where and when these ultra-cute warm weather garments might be appropriate, or not, including for a job interview.
Capris may be acceptable to wear to work if you are employed in a casual or business casual setting. Unless you are working in an extremely casual environment, you should always pair them with a professional or dressier type top and business-appropriate shoes when wearing capris. Capris should never be worn in a conservative business environment, even on casual Fridays. You should always check your company's dress code, and when in doubt, as your HR representative.
Capris should never be worn to an interview, as they are much too casual. This even applies to ultra-casual workplaces. For an interview, you should always dress in business casual to formal business wear, depending on how conservative the workplace is.
If you are not sure how to wear capris in a business casual setting, what shoes to pair with them, and the difference between Cropped pants and capris, keep reading! We have all the details to get you ready to work comfortably and appropriately.
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How to Wear Capri Pants Appropriately For Work
In the business world, the dress code can vary depending on the formality required. A tourist shop in a beach town might have a much more relaxed dress code than an uptown law firm.
The four types of professional dress codes are Business Formal, Business Professional, Business Casual, and Casual. Capris should not be worn if your company required business formal or business professional attire. They are generally permitted (with some exceptions) in business casual and casual. Always consult your employer's dress code or HR if you are uncertain.
Capris falls somewhere in between shorts and slacks, typically hitting mid-calf, giving an overly casual vibe if paired with staples that are too relaxed.
These days, business casual is common in more and more office settings these days. However, the term is vague and can be subject to incorrect interpretation. Always choose to dress more formally than casually. When choosing to wear capris as part of a business casual ensemble, opt to pair it with a nice blouse, shell, or cardigan combo. They should always be made from that same dressier fabric, like dress pants, only shorter, never denim. Here are a few good examples of how to dress up capris appropriately.
Pair skinny navy capris with a matching fitted blazer and a good quality shell for a relaxed suiting vibe. Black loafers are relaxed yet dressy enough that the outfit looks well put together and professional.
Look for a capri pant in a dressier fabric and cut and a blazer in a similar fabric to recreate this look.
Wide-Legged and Dressy
Another great option is to find a wide-legged pair of capris, or culottes, which have the cut of a much dressier pair of slacks but hit mid-calf. Pair with a professional blouse and stacked, closed-toe heels to complete the look.
A simple cardigan paired with a bright scarf and dress flats makes these capris office appropriate. Nice quality garments here can make the difference between what looks right in an office and casual wear.
Once again, simplicity and higher quality fabrics elevate this look from basic to professional. A short-sleeved camel sweater is accented by a leopard print scarf, his is the sole bit of print in the look. Sleek black capris and nude pumps complete the ensemble.
You can recreate this look easily using higher-end basics, like this top from Tahari.
What Shoes Do You Wear With Capris?
To keep your look office-appropriate, you should pair your capris with dressy flats or heels. Avoid sandals or espadrilles, as they can make you look much too casual. Peep-toe pumps or dress sandals with heels may work, depending on your specific work environment, but flat sandals or espadrilles are a no-go.
Flat dress shoes are low-key and perfect with capris. From ballet flats to pointy toes, choose a pair crafted from a more polished material to keep your outfit looking put together, not childish.
A sleek pair of classy loafers provide a dressy kick to your capris without sacrificing comfort.
Simple pumps with a medium to low heel work the best with capris. Anything too tall runs the risk of looking like a costume.
Interview Appropriate Outfits
Capri pants are never appropriate for a job interview, but that doesn't mean that you need to show up in a three-piece suit for a job in a business casual office. You should research the dress code before you go to the interview so you know what to expect. Here are a few ideas for different situations.
To interview in a casual environment, err on the side of caution with a business casual outfit, like khakis and a button-down. Steer away from wearing denim or t-shirts, even if that is what the employees are wearing.
Unless you are interviewing for a job in a highly professional and conservative environment, like an executive role or a law firm, you can opt for a business casual interview look, as long as you keep to more at the business end of casual.
Try a classic shift dress with a conservative length if the weather is warm.
Blouse and Slacks
If you are not a dress person, nice slacks and a blouse is also a great option.
What's The Difference Between Cropped Pants And Capris?
There is not a lot of difference between cropped pants and capris. In the world of pants, capris fall mid-calf while cropped pants reach a couple of inches lower, somewhere between mid-calf and the ankle. They are shorter than ankle pants but longer than capris, making them a better choice for more conservative business casual situations.
Here a pair of cropped pants are paired with a simple color-blocked top and pumps for an easy business casual look.
Get a similar look with this top from Calvin Klein.
Are Cropped Pants Appropriate For Work?
Absolutely! In a business casual environment, cropped pants are usually permitted due to their longer, less casual length. Just like capris, though, dressier fabrics and accessories are key to a professional appearance.
Both Capri and cropped pants can be excellent warm weather additions to most business casual wardrobes, but you should never wear them for an interview. When in doubt, always check your company dress code, or ask your human resources department for clarification.