Incorporating Capris Into Your Business Casual Wardrobe

Woman posing in business casual outfit

While many people may initially think that capris are just too casual to wear to work, even if the attire calls for business casual, this really all depends on how you style them, as well as the style of your capris themselves. For those who want to incorporate capris into their business casual wardrobe, here are a few tips to help you to put together some chic but professional looks.

Choose the Length Wisely
The length of your capris will have a huge impact on your overall look, which is why you need to ensure that you choose their length wisely. They should fall to just below the muscular part of your calf, preferably between your calf and your ankle. The reason for this is because this is the narrowest part of your leg, meaning that this is the area that you should be emphasizing. However, keep in mind that everybody is different, and it is always worth visiting a tailor to have your capris altered to a length that flatters your shape the best. You should always opt for a tapered or straight legged capri pant, rather than wide legs, as you want to create a long and sleek look.

Stay Away From Details
As mentioned above, the look that you are going for is long, sleek and professional, which is why you should stay away from any added design details. Whether this may be accentuated side pockets or large cuffs, opt for capris that are minimal and elegant.

Woman in capris talking to her colleague at work

Colors and Patterns
When it comes to choosing colors and patterns for your capris, sticking to neutral colors is always going to be best for the workplace. You should also try to go for a solid color rather than a pattern or print, as prints can be much harder to style, and it can be difficult finding patterns that are appropriate for the workplace.

Choosing a Top
While long tops, and even short dresses or flowy tunics, can look incredibly stylish with a pair of capris, this will only work if you are quite tall. For everyone else, try to opt for tops that fall just to the top of your capris, as this will create the impression of a longer leg. Alternatively, you can also wear a longer top but tuck this in, as this will ensure that your figure is not drowned out.

Woman in capri pants and heels

Many people tend to wear platform heels with capris, and while this can sometimes look great, it can also often end up looking clunky. Sandals or ankle-strap flats are a better option, while a kitten heel will really help to accentuate your exposed calf. If you want to create the illusion of longer legs, opt for shoes that are a nude color, or, if not, go for footwear that is the same color as your capris.

Dressy capris are wonderfully suited to the workplace, as long as you know how to style them. From wearing the right heels to choosing the most flattering top, these tips should give you plenty of ideas when it comes to styling your capris.


Dress Down Fridays

Man wearing casualwear at work

The concept of dress-down Fridays has been adopted by companies all over the world, with even the largest of international corporations adhering to this new dress code on the last day of the working week throughout the year. While many believe that this is more of a recent Western tradition, casual Fridays can actually be traced back to the Hawaiian Aloha Shirt.

The Aloha Shirt
Hawaiian shirts were first created by a Chinese merchant based in Waikiki, who reused leftover kimono fabric to create brightly colored shirts for tourists. It was in 1962 that the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began pushing for the Aloha shirt to become an accepted part of business attire in the state. The main reason for this was due to Hawaii’s climate, with the heat making conventional business attire extremely uncomfortable. It was also pointed out that encouraging workers to wear Hawaiian shirts more frequently would help to boost the Hawaiian garment industry. While the Hawaiian government eventually gave in, allowing the workforce to wear Aloha attire during the summer months, the Fashion Guild continued to lobby for increased use of the Aloha shirt, and it was not long before the workforce were allowed to wear them every Friday throughout the year.

Man wearing khaki pants

One of the main problems when it comes to dress-down Fridays was that, once the workforce shed their conventional attire, the men were unsure of what to wear, turning up to work in shorts and sandals to go along with their Aloha shirts. There were concerns that dress-down Fridays were becoming slightly too casual, which is why Levi’s decided to send out brochures to 25,000 businesses across the country, depicting the clothing that was deemed appropriate casual wear for the workplace. Of course, the brochure was not altruistic and was actually a subtle advertisement for Levi’s Dockers – khaki pants that were usually only worn on the golf course. The Dockers were featured throughout the brochure, and it was not long before the majority of men in the workforce owned their own pair.

Aloha Friday
While Aloha shirts were already popular on the US mainland, it was only in the 1990’s that Aloha Friday, known on the mainland as Casual or Dress Down Friday, was introduced. This was largely due to the recession at the time, with companies seeking ways to boost company morale without having to spend any extra money. It did not take long for the concept of dress-down Fridays to spread across the country, before quickly making its way into workplaces all around the world.

Dress-down Friday is now common at many workplaces all over the world, and the concept also gave birth to the dress code Business Casual, which is often seen as appropriate attire for every day of the week. The next time you are choosing a casual outfit to wear to work on a Friday, do spend a few seconds thinking about the Chinese merchant in Waikiki that this whole concept can be traced back to.