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How to Style Capris Like It’s 2024 (Plus One Look That’s Best Left in the Early Aughts)

Go on, show a little ankle

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how to style capris in 2024 CAT
Abby Hepworth for PureWow

It’s been years and still Y2K fashion trends continue to infiltrate my TikTok and Instagram feeds. And though I’ve been delighted to see tracksuits and baguette bags make a comeback, never in a million years did I think that capris would be among the list of must-have items making a return to the spotlight. As some of you may recall, capri pants cut off at the ankles—making them an awkward length that’s not too short, nor long enough. To be honest, it was a questionable fashion choice the first time around, so to crack the code on how to style them now (while looking like a cool and modern adult) I tapped two stylists. Read on for eight tips on how to style capris in 2024 and not look like you just walked out of a 2004 sitcom.

Meet the Experts:

  • Mecca James-Williams is a NYC-based stylist and ambassador for Marshalls and TJ Maxx. She specializes in styling and content creation and offers creative direction for publications like The Zoe Report, Wall Street Journal, Bustle and Essence. Her previous clients include Solange Knowles, Zawe Ashton and Michaela Coel. 
  • Kennedy Crichlow is a style expert and content creator based in Los Angeles. She is also the co-founder of Daily Drills, an athleisure fashion brand that sells workout gear, loungewear and accessories. She has over five years experience working in marketing, brand strategy and digital media.  
how to style capris a photo of jennifer lopez, gabrielle union, anne hathaway
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Why Are Capris Trending Again? 

Capri pants were a fashion staple in the ’90s and early ’00s with everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Anne Hathaway wearing them. More recently, we’ve seen trendsetting celebs like Gigi Hadid wear them in New York, fashion brands showing them off on the runways and TikTokers debating whether "Carrie Bradshaw Capris” or “Destiny's Child capris" are cooler.

How to Wear Capris in 2024

“I feel like people are styling capris in a relatively similar way to the early-2000s, with some slight changes such as more high-rise styles, more capri-cut athleisure and less of the ‘skirts-over-pants’ trend that created disproportional looks in the past. In street style, I’m seeing people pair their capris with cute crop tops, big belts and kitten heels, all of which have proven to be timeless,” says James-Williams. Ahead, six additional styling tips to follow and one to avoid at all costs, so you can rock capris the modern way.


how to style capris shapes
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1. Mix Big and Small

Fact: The best part about fashion is being able to experiment with your look. “The most important part about styling capris is making sure your full look is balanced by mixing oversized silhouettes with more fitted styles,” explains James-Williams. The stylist recommends pairing denim capris with a basic tee and an oversized blazer, as “it complements the slim fit of the bottoms.” Don’t be afraid to play around with various sizes, designs and patterns to find a combination that works for you.

how to style capris t shirt
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

2. Go Simple with a T-Shirt and Flats

“Currently, it’s all about quiet luxury,” says Crichlow, “so wearing a simple tee with a good pair of capris and some chunky gold jewelry will never miss.” Opt for capris that have some structure to them (like linen, chino or denim) and a T-shirt that is neither too oversize nor too tight. Finish the look with some flats, and a cute crossbody bag for an ensemble that’s equal parts simple and chic.

how to style capris a model with denim capris
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

3. Try a Looser Denim Pair

As Crichlow explains, a straight- or wide-leg pair with a raw hem is a great choice to distance yourself from the capri iterations we saw throughout the early aughts. “They go with everything and will never go out of style. I probably wear denim five out of seven days of the week,” she says. “Plus, denim capris are perfect for anyone who is slowly dipping their toes into the capri trend, as it looks great on all body types.” Pair yours with a graphic tee or a cropped cardigan for a chic outfit that can transition easily from day to night.

how to style capris button up shirt
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4. Lean Into Casual Athleisure

If you want to wear a pair of spandex capris outside of the gym, try leaning into those athleisure vibes with an oversize button-down and some retro-inspired sneakers. Go for casual comfort with a linen or lightweight cotton shirt with a flowy feel (as opposed to a starched button-up you’d wear to the office), and if you want to have your socks show over your shoes, scrunch them down around your ankles rather than having them hiked up to meet the bottom of your capris.

how to style capris monochrome
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

5. Elongate Your Frame with a Monochrome ‘Fit

When in doubt, try monochrome. Matching your top to your bottom is a great way to elongate your frame without getting too complicated and takes so much of the guesswork out of pairing separates together. You also don’t need to be super strict about exact color matching—so long as your pieces all have either a warm base or all have a cool base, they’ll look just as chic as a truly matching set.

how to style capris cropped
Alena Zakirova/Getty Images

6. Remember, You Don’t Have to Go Too Cropped

Unlike Bermuda shorts which have a pretty specific length associated with them (hitting right at your knee), capri pants have a bit more range and can end anywhere between just below the knee and a couple inches above your ankle bone. If you’re worried that a very cropped cut might look odd on your figure, try something a bit longer instead. You can even temporarily hem a pair of cropped pants an extra inch or two with double-sided tape to fake a new pair of capris.

how to style capris a model showing socks and loafers
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

7. Go Bold with a Socks-and-Loafers Combo

Speaking of functional footwear, loafers are another great option to spice up your look this season. Add some relaxed capris pants and colorful socks to the mix and you’ll have yourself a winner (without looking like you’re a cast member of Hamilton). “I love the little show of skin between a sock and pant hem. It makes the outfit feel ten times more playful,” says Crichlow. “While ballet flats definitely took over [the past few years], I personally lean towards loafers because I like the look of a chunky shoe.” 

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8. Avoid Wearing a Long Shirt

Apologies to model Jacquetta Wheeler above, but we’re leaving this style in the ‘00s (especially as a petite gal). “In my opinion, the worst thing you can do when styling capris is pairing them with a long shirt. The cropped style of capris can make your legs appear short, so the last thing you want to do is make them look even shorter with a long top!” says Crichlow. 



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Beauty and Cultures Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, NY Native

Chelsea Candelario is a Beauty & Cultures Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the...

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Editor

Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...

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