How to Style your Capri Pants for Formal

Capris for formal

How to Style your Capri Pants for Formal

Quote of the day: “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.” Elizabeth Gilbert 

Capris for formal occasions may seem quite oxymoronic. I’m sure most of us consider the capri pants as a casual element, and wear them only for our informal wear. However, the three of us did venture a try into this category earlier this summer.

So when Sheela and Eve, another mother and daughter team, asked to join in with styling capri pants, how could I say no? The mother and daughter duo joined in with us for styling capris with an athletic vibe and with a French Chic look! And you can blame Hurricane Harvey for making us post this so late in the season!! But it’ll be great for next spring and summer so feel free to pin the images!

Eve (The World According to Eve): I think Eve does a fabulous job of showing how to style her capris for formal times.

I do feel that showing off our shoulders is one way to incorporate a dressier feel to any outfit. And then even though her shoes are really sneakers, they are gold, metallic sneakers which make them sparkle and shine. It’s the sparkle and shine that really adds a fancier idea for anyone!

Young women in capris for formal

Sheela (Sheela Writes): Sheela incorporates a long flowy, cardigan over her outfit to add the glam

I think the fishnet stockings along with the gorgeous clutch purse, make this outfit incredibly fascinating.

Jodie’s (50+) Outfit: I admit that when Sheela & Eve first presented this category, I was at a loss. I didn’t have any carpis for formal times in my closet.

So what does any smart girl do when that happens? She goes shopping, of course! Well, I did just that in my mom’s basement for material so she could make me a pair for this category!! When I found this material that was shiny, yet very lightweight, I thought it would be perfect!! In a way, they almost look like leather, don’t you think? And, of course, mom already had a couple of patterns to choose from, so this was a great deal all the way around!

Capris for formal for Women over 50

To add in a dressier element, I wore my bell sleeve top! I was discussing these kind of tops in my Fall Fashion post. This particular top was a steal when it was on sale and with my reward dollars  I got it for a price of about $3. I did shorten the sleeves on this top about 3 inches, because I wanted it to be functional and be able to show off my bracelets. You can also see that I wore a cami under it in these photos, but I’ve since worn it without the cami underneath it.

I think you’re going to be seeing a lot of these fun sleeves in the future, so if you are looking for a good deal, check out what I found! This one is a nude version, here is a basic white, and then there’s a striped one!

Bell Sleeves with our capris for formal

Both my earrings above and bracelet below are from my Rocksbox experience!

The earrings are so colorful and pretty that they would be something I’d have bought if they weren’t so heavy! I’m sure we’ve all had those earrings that can only be worn for a couple of hours. And maybe this try before you buy service could help with those issues?

The bracelet was a perfect match to my vintage purse that used to be my grandmother’s! The fun aspect about the bracelet is it could also be worn as a choker too. I thought this was a smart tactic for a piece of jewelry especially if you’re travelling and are limited on space.

Style for women 50+ with capris for formal

The other element that takes this outfit up a notch in my opinion is my shoes!! I have to tell you that this pair of sandals is one of the most comfortable pair that I own. Nancy has a pair almost like mine in a rose gold and she agrees about the comfort. I think it’s the ankle straps that makes all the difference. That and the fact, that there is very little material on the shoe to rub and annoy your foot!

If you don’t have a pair like these yet, then let me help you! There are block heel versions that may be preferable to some of you, the kitten heel version or even a flat pair!

Capris for formal occassions

Pants: Mom made them (similar here)~~Top: Banana Republic (here)~~Shoes: Abound (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: Kate Spade through Rocksbox-get a month free with code: JtouchofstyleXOXO (here)~~Bracelet: Nakamol through Rocksbox-get a month free with code: JtouchofstyleXOXO (here)~~Purse: (similar here)~~Sunglasses: (similar here)

Nancy’s (60+) Outfit: I know many women keep with a black theme for dressing up, so that’s the route we went with Nancy’s capris for formal occasions.

She wore her black, Traveler’s pants that she bought recently from Chicos and actually tucked them up so they’d be carpi length!

Capris for formal for Women over 60

Baring our shoulders is always thought of as dressy, so I had Nancy pull out her cold shoulder shirt for this look. I figured it was shiny and sexy! I have been seeing more and more women sporting these fun open shoulder shirts lately even around town!! So I have to think they are becoming more mainstream.

Now with winter around the corner, I can see you thinking that they wouldn’t work. But I saw a women once wearing a lace top under her cold shoulder shirt which looked very interesting. It may have me considering wearing a long sleeve under a cold shoulder shirt. Just think, we layer a turtleneck or another shirt under our sweaters. And if we did this with an open shoulder shirt, you could actually see more of the layered item underneath it!

It’s an interesting thought, and I could see it working with one like this one or this one possibly. What’s your thought on that?

Capris for formal events for older women

I figure when you’re wearing a solid black top, this is the perfect time to wear a necklace that will really stand out!

Since we were going formal for this look, we stuck with silver and bling, but just think how any light color would pop against the black!

For example, this yellow leaf necklace would show up fabulously and so would a turquoise one!! I realize that we tend to think about matching items, so if you’re wearing black, you look for black pieces. But if that’s the case, the black necklace wouldn’t show up?

Carpis for formal with Open Shoulder Shirt

And then for Nancy’s shoes with her capris for formal times, we thought the silver pumps would add more sparkle and shine!!

I do think that silver shoes are quite versatile. Ever since my reader, Jude, created a silver pair of sneakers for me, I’ve been hooked!! In fact, I’m planning on getting a pair of silver booties sometime soon! If you like this idea too, there are other options like mules and kitten heels!

Silver Shoes and capris for Formal

Pants: Chicos (similar here)~~Top: Romwe (similar here)~~Shoes: Chinese Laundry (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Charlotte’s (70+) Outfit: My mom also chose the black and silver theme to style her capris for formal events!

Although I did suggest the melon colored cardigan as her topper to try to add in a little color to the outfit!

Many cardigans are quite lightweight and can do the job of adding in some fabulous print or color to any outfit. If you prefer print cardigans then this one is lovely. Or if you tend to reach for solid colored cardigans then this one even has some nice ruffle detail!

Capris for formal for Women over 70

My mom even chose flat shoes for her footwear!! Since many women prefer to wear flats for any and all occasions I rounded up some pairs at the bottom of this post!

Wearing Bling with capris for formal

Since mom’s capris aren’t super dressy, she chose to add in fancier items with her top and jewelry.

There are many shirts that can be considered fancy due to their sparkle and shine. There are some with sequinsshine or even lace details that make any outfit seem dressier!

Capris for formal for 70+ Women

Of course, another aspect that can add pizzazz to our looks is the accessories part! We recently showed our outfits with and without accessories to give a side by side comparison to this fact! I think any of the metals can make the outfit look great. Whether you prefer gold or silver is a personal preference!!

And as a funny aside, doesn’t my mom look incredibly formal next to the dirty truck?? Isn’t it always about perspective-ha ha??!!

Capris for Formal times

Pants: Mom made them (similar here)~~Cardigan: Nine West-thrifted (similar here)~~Top: Fashion 2 Fashion (similar here)~~Shoes: thrifted (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

So I have to admit, that I think all five of us showed there are ways to style our capris for formal times. With metallics, bling and dressier items, there can be occasions when your capris may get out on the town for fun!!

Thanks to one and all of you for your support. It means more than you know!

The Facts

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  • Lovely outfits ladies! I like that flowy white cardigan. Really glamorous look.

    Jessica |

  • Jodie, you’ve proved how important the right cut and fit of a pair of capris is to making a great outfit. I think that too often older gals are afraid of a slimmer silhouette but the three of you look fantastic as do Eve and Sheela. Thanks for the many inspirations.


    • I know even my mom didn’t like her pants too tight at first when we’d go shopping recently. But I do think you get used to it, and it does make us look more shapely instead of boxy!!
      Thanks Rena!

  • Bumbis Mom

    I just shared this with my coworkers. Capris are really popular here and they loved the ideas too! Thanks for linking up with the #FabFridayPost

    • That’s so fabulous of you to share!!
      I’m glad to hear that other women still wear capris!!
      Have a fabulous Monday, and I hope you stop by again!

  • Savvy Southern Chic

    Capris do nothing to flatter my chunky legs, but this outfit looks fabulous on you Jodie!

    • Thanks Fonda!!
      That’s how Nancy (the 60+ model) always describes her legs…..and I always tell her it’s good we are all so different!!

  • Fashiontip Tip

    i love the post!! this outfit is perfect on you I love the capris with a Autumnal twist, Gorgeous shades..

  • mummabstylish

    Oh Jodie, this outfit is perfect on you I love the capris with a Autumnal twist, Gorgeous colours my dear. Thanks for sharing. x Jacqui

  • Loving how you guys styled these! I’m especially loving the pink capris!


  • Laura

    Capri pants work so well for more formal occasions! I think they look great with a pair of fun shoes and are a great option instead of a dress! Love these outfits!

    • Thanks Laura!! I never thought about this as an option, but it goes to show that with a little ingenuity, it can be done!!

  • I like the idea of formal capri pants and your outfit looks fantastic. My legs just aren’t up to wearing to much but longer pants this past year but I like them on all three of you.

    • I totally understand. I’ve always had okay legs, but they are starting to look different now. I’m trying to learn to love them like I’m trying to learn to love my pale skin and curly hair. It’s been a process—that’s for sure!!
      Thanks Terri!

  • You’re all so fab in these dressy capri looks. I love the jewelry too; your earrings are just beautiful. Thanks for linking up, xo


  • Love this post Jodie! I love the idea of styling capris for a dressier occasion, and love all 3 outfits! I especially love your rich autumnal colors, Nancy’s cut out top in black and moms jewelry to dress up the outfit, plus her shoes choice is superb!

    • Oh, Elle!! Your positive comments are so uplifting!!! Thanks so much for including both my mom and Nancy in your words!! I’ll make sure to forward this to them so they can smile too!!

  • These styles are fantastic! Happy October 🙂

  • I honestly thought yours were leather, Jodie!!! They’re gorgeous and it’s so completely unfair that your mum sews, and so well too LOL I need to drag my Singer machine out and attempt something without stitching into my fingers!!

    There are many elements I adore in each of your outfits. For instance, that stunning OTS red thing Eve is wearing (and her attitude). Your gorgeous capris (Charlotte, Christmas is coming up, and I’m your biggest fan, I’m just sayin’). Nancy’s adorable cold-shoulder top with its subtle sheen. And every single bit of bauble Charlotte is wearing. SO much to love.

    • Yes…there are times that I have must consider myself so lucky!! I’ve even been trying to sew a little myself, but I’m better at altering things, than actually creating something. Not that I couldn’t learn, but when? ha ha!!!

  • Chloe

    Hi, I dont wear Capri pants as I’m never sure what to wear with them. Your post has proved me wrong. It’s getting to cold to wear them now, but maybe I should have a go next year #FabFridayPost

    • I felt the exact same way, Chloe. But maybe the secret is finding the “right” pair of capris. Kinda like the right pair of jeans?? Which isn’t always easy, right??

  • Such creative styling! You made the capri pants look so chic, ladies!

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  • Such cute looks! I love how you styled these. Your capris are really a great material, Jodie!


    • Thanks Mary!! Once my mom made these capris for me, I felt so much better about this category!! Yay for moms!!

  • You all look so stylish in your capri pants! Hope you have a great weekend!
    Jeans and a Teacup

  • I’ve never thought to wear capris in a formal way. Love how you dressed them up!

    • Thanks Michelle…it certainly wasn’t on my radar either, but when Sheela gives a challenge, I’m all in!!

  • Mariana Olnowich

    Absolutely love all of your outfits. All of you look so chic. Especially love the pants your mom made.

    • Thanks Mariana!! My mom will love to hear you say this!!

  • Judy Gramith

    You know? I’ m thinkin that a big key to a certain amount of formality in a piece of clothing is all about the fabric it’s made from. Some of the most fun styling adventures are in the contradiction of a casual piece done “up scale”!! Hence a jewel embellished sweatshirt, velvet jeans, embroidered jean jackets or GLITTERED SNEAKERS!:-):-):-) I like the fact that the edges are more blurred and the options are less encumbered by rules.
    You all look terrific! Charlotte made a beautiful pair of capris for her lovely daughter. Great post!

    • It is amazing how the material makes all the difference. Or at least how the material looks. The shiny ones always look more oh la la ish!!!
      Speaking of silver sneakers—they are coming out to Seattle—they are my faves, ya know!!!

      • Judy Gramith

        And whether that’s true or not Jodie, you are my fave for saying so! 🙂

  • What a fabulous job you all did dressing up these capri’s! They look great! Jodie at first glance I really did think yours were perhaps leather or pleather! They look amazing! I love the colors you used there, as well!

    • Aren’t they really fun?? When we were looking in the basement, my mom didn’t think they’d be good as capris, but I twisted her arm. Needless to say, she ended up making herself a pair after mine because she liked them so much!! See, sometimes I do get things right!! LOL

  • Mother Daughter

    I think the fabric of the capris’ makes all of the difference. I have worn sateen fabric capris for a number of more formal events. If it is warm and I haven’t found a dress capris it is. lol Great looks Jodie.

    • It’s amazing how most capris are cotton, right? I never really thought about it until I started looking at trying to make them dressy!!
      Thanks Victoria!!

  • Beautiful outfits!!

  • Ha! Love your mom posing with the dirty truck! And I think all of these outfits are perfect for a formal occasion! I must admit I don’t usually reach for capris in formal situations but they could totally work! You ladies are all pulling it off! Hope you all have a great weekend. 🙂


    • I never reach for capris to be dressy—I always think skirts & dresses, but I’ve met so many women who never wear skirts, so it’s nice to have options, I guess….
      Thanks Lindsey!!!
      Have a fun weekend!!

  • OMG Jodie I am drooling over all the looks. It’s like a complete wardrobe for different occasions and ages! From sporty edge, party to casual time, you guys covered it all… I am so amazed. All of you’re looking so gorgeous!

    • Thanks so much for your positive words, Ankita!!
      I hope you have a fabulous weekend, XOXO

  • Missy May

    Each and everyone is rocking their capri pants beautifully, but I must say that “I adore your look.” I think the choice of blouse and shoes did it for me. Gorgeous!!

    • Thanks so much Missy!! I was super happy with how this outfit came together. I guess it’s true that even a blind squirrel gets an acorn sometimes…ha ha!!

  • Your mom looks like she’s telling the driver of the truck to “shove off! You’re interrupting a photo shoot!” Ok, my little chuckle today. Anyway, I think Sheela’s outfit is glamorous b/c of the dramatic shirt she’s wearing over it. Almost like an unbuttoned long dress. And I’m intrigued by your heels. You say they’re the most comfortable? Wow, I’d think with that thin heel they’d be rickety and uncomfortable but you never really know until you try them on. I’m always surprised at the comfort and discomfort some shoes give that is the opposite of how they look. I think you’re right about the fun sleeves being here to stay. Any shape or size can partake of that trend! Have a nice weekend ladies!

    • My mom will get a kick out of that Julia!!
      And I feel that the ankle strap makes these shoes so easy to wear and walk in. And considering I used to wear much taller heels, this pair is quite easy peasy. Of course, we are all different—it’s true. Heck, I used to walk on a balance beam, so anything is easier after that, right?

    • Thank you so much, Julia, I was going for a Darth Vader vibe truth be told GRIN

  • You all look so fabulous! I would never have thought of capris for a more formal look but I love it! Again you help us think outside the box! Thank you!

    • It certainly wasn’t the easiest outfits to put together, because it is so different than the norm. But that’s what makes life fun, right?

  • You have styled them well more formally! Proof that the material of the pant along with the choice of blouse and shoes makes a big difference.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • So true, so true. Maybe they need to start making caprs in better materials. Although so many of my friends hate them as is, so maybe that’s not a good idea. LOL!
      Have a great weekend, Amy!!

  • Girl…I didn’t think it was possible to make capris look dressy but you pulled it off!! I would totally wear your outfit!

    • Thanks Darlene!! I was in a quandry for days, but it’s all thanks to mom!!!

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    As I’ve said, capris are for every occasion! Beautiful styling, Jodie!

    • I think it’s true. Not always easy, but true!!!
      Thanks Terri!!

  • Rebecca Saffer

    You look great in the autumn colors of your outfit – love it and the accessories are perfect. Nancy looks sophisticated in her black outfit and her necklace is very striking (she has a great collection!) Charlotte, as always, is amazing in the capris she made (what a talented woman!) and the color of her cardigan and great necklace are perfect. Terrific job ladies!!

    • Thanks so much Rebecca. I really appreciate how you include all of us in your comment. I know it really makes mom and Nancy feel so appreciated since I forward the comment to them!!
      All 3 of us have somehow collected a ton of jewelry lately….eeek!!!! That must mean I need to start purging. What happened to my thinking of one in, so one out??
      Have a great weekend!!

  • Just my style! I love capris and practically live in them. I’m wearing them as we speak! You have styled them beautifully! Shows capris can be casual or dressed up to look elegant.


    • Thanks so much Carmen!!!
      I think we can make anything work, with the right style & fit!!

  • Michelle Leslie

    Wow Jodie, your Mom’s really talented. Those capris’ of yours look like they come from a high end boutique. I’ve never been able to master the art of a zipper and those colors really suit you. Love your Mom’s smile in her photos, so carefree and Nancy’s idea of tucking up her Traveler’s pants is really so clever.

    • You have just made my mom’s day, I’m sure, Michelle!! She is a master seamstress, and she just loves making all of her own creations!! In fact, she liked my capris so much, she had enough material to make herself a pair. I’m sure you’ll see them next summer on the blog!!
      And Nancy surprised me with this ideas—isn’t that smart?
      Thanks so much Michelle! I hope your weekend is fabulous!

  • Love how all you ladies dresses up these capris! The shoes are key I think. I adore Nancy’s top!

    • Shoes are my weakness…for some reason I think they are the end all!! Therefore, I plan to die and be buried in my heels—-(one can only hope!!!)
      Thanks Kathrine!

  • ADA

    OK I haven’t worn capris in ages but this is a great and unique prompt by Sheela and a challenge, too. Jodie, your outfit is so stunning with all the great Fall hues. Love the shoes and top. You shine my friend!

    • I’ve only just started with this style. And while it’s not my favorite, or go-to, I will admit, that they can be good for certain times!!
      Thanks so much Ada!! And have a great weekend!

    • A prompt that almost proved to be my undoing, Ada 😛

  • Capris as formal was foreign to me until I thought about the black capris that were recently ‘handed down’ to me. They’re rayon, nylon and spandex, have seams where front pockets would be and are perfect for a dressier option. We’re dressing ‘outside the box’ again.

    • It must be the material that really works for the occasions?? That, and the shaping maybe??
      I think it’s good we work that outside area of the box…..otherwise, wouldn’t we be considered stagnant?
      Have a fabulous weekend, Jean!

  • Tracy Gingles

    Love all the outfits, not sure if I would do them for a formal occasion but for a nice dinner out in the summer they are just right

    • Thanks tons Tracy!!
      I have to admit that I always think dresses and skirt for the more formal occasions, but I have been so surprised at how everyone’s definition is different. Like the time we went to the Met in NYC, and some were wearing jeans. Jeans? Crazy, right?
      Have a fab weekend!!

  • Amy D. Christensen

    Once again you have proved that something we thought was not a good idea, can be a great idea. All three of your outfits look perfect for a formal event. I especially like yours and I think some of it has to do with the sheen of the capris and the bell sleeve top. So pretty. And you look fab in those colors. I love Nancy’s cold shoulder top and her silver shoes. Your mom really made her look with the blingy tank and her pretty flats. Great looks ladies. Have a great weekend. – Amy

    • Thanks Amy—It did seem like a stretch to try this category, but maybe that’s good for us?
      Have a fabulous weekend!!

  • Mother of 3

    I have worn capri pants for more formal events as well. I think it’s all about the material of the pants and what you pair it with. Dressy tops, shoes, and jewelry go a long way to making an outfit work; as you all showed us. Such great ideas!

    • Thanks so much…I’m so glad to hear that others can relate to this!!!
      Have a great weekend, and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!!

  • Eileen Flanigan Sinda

    Very well done for all of you. I don’t know if I would call this formal. It is more what they call Office Casual. But all of the outfits are stunning.

    • Thanks Eileen. I have the hardest time thinking formal with pants of any kind, so I can totally see what you mean!!
      I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas! I hope your weekend is wonderful—enjoy!

      • Eileen Flanigan Sinda

        Hi Jodie. I only mentioned the Office Casual idea as I had to learn it when I went on business trips with my hisband. A more formal pant style might be loose black pants, a white shirt, tuxedo style or satin or something soft and flowing, a jacket and fancy jeweled badge. Your bag would be great.

        • Funny you said that because we just took some photos for dressing up with black pants! It’ll be interesting to see if it’s what you had in mind!!!

          • Eileen Flanigan Sinda

            Great minds think alike!

  • Karen

    Once again, winners all around! Eve interpreted this look perfectly for a young lady. It’s dressy but still youthful and fun. And Sheela’s shoes and the long cardigan looks great on her. Again, I like the close fit of the capris. I absolutely love your outfit Jodie! Huge fan of bell sleeves here, so that jumped right out at me. And what a great idea to score some dressy capris from your mom’s fabrics! I’m betting you get a lot of wear out of those! Great look with the pumps. Just fabulous! Those earrings are just amazing too. The whole outfit is one I’d copy in a heartbeat. I agree with Gemma, Nancy’s look is edgy-formal and looks great. You would never know she folded the bottoms under on those Traveler pants to create capris. I like the close fit of the black pants, you can do so much with that style of pant with tops. I love your mom’s gray top and those beautiful shoes! That makes her outfit really shine! You all have certainly opened my eyes to the versatility of capris.

    • You are such a delight Karen!!
      I really was at a loss with this category because I didn’t feel like I had anything to fit the bill.
      Thanks golly, for a mom who sews, right??
      And I think we can be so creative with what is in our closet (even though I kinda cheated for that part). And that’s the fun part about clothing and style. Getting out of the ruts and habits!!!
      Thanks so, so much for your support!!
      And have a wonderful weekend!

    • Thank you so much, Karen!! It was even husband-approved 😛

  • I thought they were leather! And I immediatly loved them! And the hole outfit looks so elegant, the top, your shoes. They are fabulous!

    • Thanks Nancy!! I thought they were such a great material for capris, because they are really lightweight.
      In fact?? My mom liked them so much, she made herself a pair!!!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Oh how I love you capri pants! Your many facets continue to amaze me. Thanks again, Jodie, for continuing to take me “outside the box”!
    Bev xo

    • Bev….you are such a kind supporter!! Thanks so much for your words of encouragement!
      And have a great and stress free weekend with the great news!!

  • Perfect evening style! I love Nancy’s edgy look in all black! amazing! Have a lovely weekend.

    Gemma x

    • Thanks Gemma!!!
      Nancy will be pleased as punch to read this when I forward it to her!!