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Business Attire for Women

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I realize that there are many settings that fall under the business umbrella, but I was wondering specifically about your opinion and your employer's policy on women wearing capris to work.

Do you think capris are suitable business attire?

Does your employer allow you to wear them? Do you work in an environment where you actually interact with customers? (in person, not just on the phone)
post #2 of 23
Sure, if they're classy enough i.e., appropiate material & colour. IMO, few people can relly pull them off well though. They make your thighs look bigger and just aren't that flattering.
The other day I saw a lady in the supermarket with BRIGHT pink (flourescent) capris on. Zoinks! Talk about turning heads (in a bad way).
post #3 of 23
In my work as a college professor I can wear pretty much whatever I please. However, the research is clear that students (and others) rate professors and teachers much lower on intelligence, competence, etc when the prof dresses very casually (i.e. jeans and T-shirts) than when dressed more professionally.

With that said, I agree with pushylady...capris tend to make people look bottom heavy. I'm so bottom heavy already that I would never go out in public with capris on!
post #4 of 23
We have no dress code at our school, so most of the teachers dress somewhat casually. I've seen a lot of women in capris on the train, and I'd assume that many of them have contact with the public. Then again, few businesses have dress codes here.
post #5 of 23
Depends on the capris, how they fit, and what they're made of. I think some capris would be work appropriate. I recently bought a pair of "capris" that don't taper too much at the bottom, and actually come to about mid-ankle on me anyway, so I wear those to work. They are a nice dark olive color, fairly tailored cut for the rest of the pant.

On another part of a rant, why is it during the summer all you can find at discount places (Wal Mart, Target) for pants are shorts and capris? Like no one actually WORKS during the summer and might need regular pants?
post #6 of 23
No capri's allowed - we have limited interaction with customers.
post #7 of 23
I work at one of the top law firms in the country, and although the lawyers are generally (when in court) expected to wear business attire (except weekends - they work 24/7, I swear!), support staff can wear pretty much anything except what you'd see on a streetwalker.

I'm one of the few who tend to push the envelope though. I wear flip flops, low cut shirts, funky jewellery and flamboyant clothes in general, and since I'm not trying to make senior partner, it doesn't really matter does it. I'm not the one working directly with the clients.

My performance appraisals are consistently average to above average, I've received significant raises and positive feedback from lawyers and support staff alike, so apparently my firm judges support staff on job skills rather than appearance.
post #8 of 23
I have contact with store managers of all levals so evan though there allowed I dont... I try to dress one step above the store I am in... not hard when you do alot of mass merchadisers..
post #9 of 23
i think it depends on color, type and material as well.
post #10 of 23
My capris are all straight leg, no taper, and are of a light jersey knit, but in a dressy casual cut and in khaki, grey or black, pretty suitable as dressy or casual depending on what I do for shoes/top.

I try to buy all my clothes like that so that I have suitable attire for nearly any occasion.
I have never had any dress codes that excluded anything other than jeans, t-shirts and just plain tacky.
post #11 of 23
It is not allowed in the hospital pharmacy where I used to work.
Although at least one of the women pharmacists did wear them occassionally.
Rules apply to all but her I guess.
post #12 of 23
I don't dislike capris but I would not wear them in public, much less to work. In a way I run my own business - as a physician - but I also have to be cognizant of the norms and mores of the organizations I work with. Thus, the university would probably not mind but the unofficial dress code of the Medical School does not really include capris. (and even in the unlikely event it did, I would not wear them to work!). The hospital has a dress code, unofficially of course but health centers tend to have a plethora of people with uniforms - all of which ID them. Older nurses especially seem to bemoan the days of yore when one could tell an RN from an aide from a medical clerk to a Physician but I don't really care about that. The unofficial code though is that clerks (lowest on the totem pole since they are still med students)wear short jackers, interns wear lab coats , Residents weaR long white coats as do Board certified Physicians with hospital privelages. Most of us ignore that now tho and I think it is for the better. There is one doctor - a senior Chief of one of the spcialties - who wears his long white coat even to Board, committee and other mtgs - but most of us wear regular clothes and I even sometimes wear scrubs with Disney characters or cats on them and no one can tell whether I am an aide, ward clerk, RN or doctor. I don't care. I do however, leave the house suitably (pun intended) attired with a biz suit for meetings and my scrubs for hospital work and teaching. I do not wear a suit every day but I have a lot of mtgs so I wear them more than some of my colleagues.

In other words, I break the rules at the hospital. I would still never wear capris to the hospital though. I believe I should show respect to the people I serve, whether they are 5 or 50 and whether they have a 6 figure salary or live on the street. If they want to see me in capris, that would be home or at the beach.

I never wear shorts or capris to shop either!! It's not that I care what anyone will think - it is just out of respect.

Now, I can see where this might be different in Fla where it is warm and I actually HAVE worn capris and shorts to shop or to Disney or out to eat. But even there, I doubt I would wear them to work, unless I worked outdoors doing yardwork or agricultural work of some kind and it was expected and helpful in the heat.

I hope this is not confusing, lol
post #13 of 23
Working in a call center, the dress code is VERY casual - almost anything goes.

When I was at Walgreen's, capris were a no-no, as were denim and sleeveless tops. For most businesses, you can't go wrong with a pair of khakis and a button-down shirt.

My friend, Jen, is now working in a law office and capris are not allowed there. In addition, she has to cover the tattoo, that's on her calf.
post #14 of 23
If capries aren't allowed, a more business-y alternative is the goucho pant. You can also wear it with high boots so no skin is showing. I love them, and think they look great on all body types too!
post #15 of 23
I have dress capri pants with a scarf belt to them. I wear thoes to work. My office is 'business casual'. On casual Friday's we do wear jeans, so I wear my jean capris.
post #16 of 23
Bit of UK ignorance here.....what are Capris? In the UK it's an old type of car!
post #17 of 23
Pants that end just below the knee and usually are form fitting.
post #18 of 23
When I was a kid, they were called "pedal pushers".
post #19 of 23
I work in a retail store. Capris are not allowed for anyone. No matter how much interaction they do or don't have with the public.
post #20 of 23
Capri's are allowed here! Its business-casual I guess you could say. As a receptionist, I dress accordingly to the weather-I work right by the door, and when its cold, I am FREEZING! For me, my daily dress code is khaki's, capris in the summer, skirts (below the knee) nothing too showy-like tank tops or anything are a no no. So I can get away with a lot, but no jeans, or t-shirts, although some days I feel like I wish I could wear my jammies to work! The other day it was so cold I wore khaki's and a sweatshirt (appropriate for work-not baggy or anything bad, just a MN State sweatshirt) working by the main door gets really really chilly, and there's only so much that my floor heater can do for me!
post #21 of 23
I'm a social worker, so we're notorious for not getting too too dressy . I'll wear nice khaki or black capris to work, but generally I wear dresses, skirts, or trousers.
However, we can wear jeans on Fridays, so I'll do that unless I have a meeting with command or something.
For briefings, it's always suits or dress pants/collared shirts!
post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by jcat
When I was a kid, they were called "pedal pushers".
Hehe - I remember that!
post #23 of 23
I love capri's! They're considered business casual AS LONG AS you do it right.

Such as: don't wear them so tight, you can see your pantylines & see your buttcrack. Don't wear sparkly or spandexy type pants with really high stillettos; if you dress like that, take a few paces down the road & go dance on the table at the gentleman's bar, instead of going into your office to work.

I guess it depends on where you work. At the HQ of my company, a big cube-farm type of office with all the important people stuffed in like sardines? They have to wear jackets & Dockers (men) and the women cannot wear cami-styled tops, short skirts & capri's. Strict stuff there.

But at my office here, way far from the stuffy people, we wear jeans, baggy stuff, we are comfortable. However whenever customers visit we spiffy up and actually make ourselves look decent.

For me, business casual means a long flowing hippie skirt, a comfy shirt & sandals in the summer, and big ol boots, a long thick skirt & a sweater in winter. I cover up.

In any way you slice it, showing too much skin (or wearing tight clothing) is nasty and not business like at all... casual or otherwise!
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