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Are you allowed to wear capris???



This has been an ongoing battle between my principal and the staff at my school. I understand and am OK with capris that are jean-like and go just below the knee not being OK, but she now has said that it is not acceptable to wear pants that are 1 inch above the ankle...come on!!!
Some teachers wear khaki pants with our faded blue school sweatshirt and tennies, and that is more professional than my silk, ankle-length carpris that I wear with nice heels? She did say we could could wear gauchos for the winter...go figure that one!!!!
Now, everyone is looking each other up and down speculating on the length of each other's pants..it is crazy!!!


Kind of Funny

It's funny how all school's are alike. I remember when I student taught and had to dress to impress. Now I am a 5th year teacher and at our school, capris are the norm and so are flip flops! Our school does NOT have air conditioning and so the principal is kind of lenient about the dress code.


Senior Member
Tape measuring

I giggled because I could imagine everyone at the parking lot measuring each other's pants. I love capris!

Mrs. G

Senior Member

We are allowed to wear capris. It has never been brought up for discussion at our school. We are not supposed to wear shorts unless it is field day or a field trip. We are only supposed to wear jeans on Friday's, but some people wear them more often.

I think you can look professional wearing capris. Come on! we are on the floor, on the recess field and many other places. I wouldn't want to ruin some of my nicest clothes at school. I don't like seeing teachers in flip flops at school, but I think nice sandals are ok.:p


Senior Member
Capris are great

They're very popular for teachers around here.

Capris can be very classy, nice casual for the classroom.
Someone at your school must look awful in their capris or your principal just doesn't like them. That's too bad. I think it's a great alternative to the slacks look we've been wearing for decades.


Senior Member

We are allowed to wear capri pants. It gets hot here in NC, and this is a more acceptable (dressier?) version of shorts, we believe. Our principals wear them, too.


Senior Member
I was thinking the same thing GB said. I'll bet one or two wore capries that probably would look better at the beach than in the classroom and she felt she had to set guidelines. Our kindergarten teacher wears them and looks very professional. Another teacher in an upper el class wears them and looks - well - NOT professional.

We don't allow the kids to wear backless shoes (especially flip flops) for safety reasons. So with the exception of the above mentioned teacher, none of us do, but many wear nice sandles.


Senior Member
Good Grief

My principal wears much like you are describing, but her brand of choice is Chicos.
Very professional but yet comfortable and cool.


Senior Member
I'd be in a world of trouble if I couldn't wear capri-length pants! I am a little tallish and kind of overweight. I have always struggled to buy pants that are the right length. It is not easy to buy off the rack when you are a little tall. Most plus-size clothes are not also tall-size. I wear a lot of capri lengths. I try to buy them at least 24 inches long. I don't think the shorter versions look as good in a professional setting on me. I live in steamy hot Georgia, so I love this style of pant as it is the best of two worlds: cool like shorts providing coverage like slacks.

We can wear all styles of backless shoe now, but next year, no rubber flip flops. I've always tried to wear dressier clogs and mules and sandals, and I just about couldn't go back to dressy shoes that have backs or straps at this point full-time. At one of the schools I will be working at next year, I'm told the rules about backless shoes are strict. I will probably get a doctor's excuse to continue wearing mine as I feel pretty passionately about it. I wear a size 11 and even that gets snug when I'm on my feet all day!

To me presenting a professional appearance is one of the easy things I do to avoid making waves with the administration. There are so many other ways to get on the wrong side of the administration--dressing appropriately is a no-brainer IMHO.


School clothes

We can wear capris. I wear them almost everyday once it gets warm. The only thing my school is strict about is no jeans, except on Fridays, and then only if you wear a school staff shirt with them. Also, no shorts, except on field day. The staff shirt with jeans rule came from some people looking extremely unprofessional on Fridays with really low-rise jeans, short shirts, flip-flops, etc.

I do wish that principals would address these issues with the people who are not dressing appropriately and leave everyone else alone, instead of making a blanket rule.


Senior Member
Fun Friend you sound like me

I was thinking that being tall I doubt a few of my non-capris are an inch above my ankles! Lane Bryant has some trendy tall pants but they don't go with this body style.I think capris are great and if worn with a nice top are as professional as anything else.

I also am a huge fan of backless shoes! I have a tough time finding shoes as well as I wear a ladies size 14! Some days I am just happy to find shoes that fit!

I work at four schools and the other day the one principal finally relented and told the teachers they could wear capris for the rest of the school year! I am including myself in that one!


Senior Member
dress code

I've always been able to wear what I want to school until I moved to another state. I couldn't believe that I couldn't wear jeans or shorts when I wanted to. When they start paying for my clothes, they can tell me what to wear. Capris are fine. I didn't care for them when they first came out because they reminded me of high-water pants. Now I'm wearing them because I'm not allowed to wear shorts. They don't have air on at my school yet. It's been 85 degrees inside my class last week. My kids and I felt very sick due to the heat. We live in a high humidty climate so it's really unbearable. I come from a cold climate so I'm even suffering more. I'm curious if there is this much concern over what the students are wearing or does the principal just being picky with the teachers?


Senior Member
Teacher Dress

I feel like our school is strict about teacher dress because we can never wear jeans. However, jeans and a staff shirt would look nicer than what some people wear when they're not in jeans! We are allowed to wear capri pants. I live in the South, and it's really hot here, so I'm glad we can wear capri pants. I find myself wearing skirts more and more just to try to cool off.


Senior Member
funny post

I can't believe a school would even have this rule. Can you wear skirts and dresses above the ankle? Why is it pants are bad? So odd.

At the school where I did my student teaching jeans were not allowed. They wanted everyone to dress professionally. Of course, women were wearing those really awful elastic waist cotton stretch pants and men's t-shirts and apparently that was okay because it was not jean material. Sad, but it made the teachers look much less professional than a nice pair of jeans and a blouse.


Senior Member
If we make a 50 dollar donation to Relay for Life (American Cancer Society), we can wear jeans every Friday with any kind of shirt with sleeves (no sleeveless). I make the donation and wear jeans.

It's funny we can wear jeans SKIRTS any day of the week or denim jumpers or tops, just not denim pants!

If our team is playing football or basketball, we can wear jeans and (supposed to but I never do) our school shirt. I'd wear a school shirt, but I haven't bought one in years. They never make a plus-size women's shirt available and I don't like wearing XXL men's shirts that are big in all the wrong places and tight around the middle. I look nicer in my regular tops--I try to wear school colors at least!

K/1 Teacher

Full Member
dress code

My school has absolutely no dress code. We are a very progressive, arts-based school in NYC. People wear jeans, capris, tank tops, flip flops whatever. Many also dress professionally in pants, skirts, dresses, etc. We still are respected, kids have fun at school and we have fun teaching them. I understand stricter dress codes in middle and high schools, but come on, we're teaching little kids and half our clothes get stained with paint, glue, marker, dirt (from sitting on the floor), etc. I'm so glad that I can wear what I feel comfortable wearing.


Full Member
No Dress Code

We also have no dress code. It is my understanding that we have a union protected right to wear what we want.

Except flip flops and open toed shoes, which are considered a safety hazard.

The catch is...professional behavior is one of the areas we are evaluated on. I suppose really extremely innappropriate clothing would be dealt with in that way...by which I mean much to revealing clothes or t-shirts with innappropriate logos.

I have found for me personally that I do wear jeans and polo shirts on occassion, but am treated with much more respect by me peers and the administration if I dress business casual. Dress in my building ranges from matching sweat suits to full on suits with skirts and heels.


Senior Member

Jeans-no! We are not allowed to wear jeans, denim skirts, denim shirts....you get the picture. The funny thing about this to me is that some teachers wear velour tracksuits and nothing is said! We have a very strict dress code- about once a month we can wear jeans. I have worked in an elementary school where teachers could wear anything they wanted- shorts and t-shirts, flip-flops- whatever. Parents would come to school and not be able to identify the teachers. I don't like the severity of the dress code at the school I work in now- but the parents have no trouble figuring out who the teachers are! Since I work in a low income school, it is really important to maintain professionalism. When we are observed, we are evaluated on the way we dress.


Senior Member
I agree NC Teacher.

I certainly do not think a teacher should have to come to school all dressed up. But I do think that "beachwear" (shorts/T-shirts/flipflops/etc.) or gym clothes (tracksuits/sweats, etc), gardening/cleaning out the garage clothing (faded/holey/frayed jeans and a T-shirt) or nightclubbing clothes (provocative outfits) do not belong in the school. Some level of professionalism needs to be maintained. I was on an accredidation team for an MS/HS one time and we HONESTLY could not tell the difference between the young teachers and the students. The older teachers were easier to pick out, but a general sense of unprofessionalism existed because ALL of the above was present in at least 50% of the teachers. To be honest with you, I was surprised, since they were aware that the team was coming in and generally schools put forth their best foot on those days. And less you think the team was composed all old people - the majority were in their early 30's.

On the other hand to get all dressed up when you are crawling on the floor with little ones, or a gym teacher, or a shop teacher, makes no sense either. Common sense has to prevail.

I think it is a shame, that because some teachers have no common sense of what is appropriate to wear to school, dress codes have to even exist. Whether one agrees with the concept or not, it is not easy to be treated as a professional if one does look professional (again I am not talking about getting dressed up). Clothes do not change whether you are a good teacher or not - just ones perception of what one is.
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Senior Member
I am glad you agree- what would you think if you consulted a lawyer and she was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops? In my school, we are trying to set an example for our kids. They tend to respect the teachers who dress profesionally more and see them as authoriy figures. Not being able to wear capris is ridiculous, though.


Senior Member
It's a sad thing that grown educated women can't figure out what is appropriate to wear to work. Stretchy close-fitting pants don't even look good on most women! They are certainly not a good look for work either. I can't believe teachers wear shorts to school. There was a time when I knew teachers with nice figures who word longish dressy shorts with pantyhose and a nice top. I wouldn't wear any outfit requiring pantyhose! I would only wear shorts on field day or if I taught gym. I live in a steamy hot climate and don't feel like any of us need to wear shorts to work. Capris or skirts are just as comfortable and look much better.

We have been permitted to wear rubber flip flops to work this year, and I DID wear them a few times. I would only wear them if they weren't dirty and tattered. All of my flip flops are embellished with sequins or flowers too. We won't be allowed to wear them next year, and I am okay with this new dress code. I think I can be just as comfortable and chic in nicer footwear.


Senior Member
mostly anything goes

Our school is really relaxed. I wear capris almost every day. I can wear jeans whenever I feel like it. I wear them a lot in the winter and switch to capris in the spring/summer/fall. As far as shoes go, I can wear whatever I feel comfotable in. I don't like flip-flops, but many teachers wear them. I do wear some form of sandal every day of the week. I can't stand shoes with backs! We aren't supposed to wear tank tops, but many of us wear sleeveless shirts. Shorts are reserved for field day, etc.

My principal has a lot to do with the atmosphere. In the seven years I've been at my school, I can't recall ever seeing him in a tie. I do know he owns a ton of Hawaiian shirts, though! (There are benefits to living in the Sunshine State!) Also, I think my parents are more comfortable with me looking professional and relaxed. We are known for our rapport with parents, and being a Title I and an "A" school, that's hard to accomplish!

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
We wear them all the time. I've got ones all the way from the ankle up to just under the kneecap. Once the daytime temps are above 50 degrees, I'm in capris and sandals. This year, thanks to the fashion trends, I even had GAUCHOS in the winter. I think I generally look pretty put together.


Senior Member

Yep, we're allowed to wear capris.

There was a big bruhaha this year because the administration declared no jeans - even on field trips. That is fine when you are going to a play or to a museum but some of the classes go to the woods or other activities where you can get quite dirty.

The teachers fought back apparently and we are now allowed to wear jeans on field trips.