Boardrooms, presentations, and meetings do not have to be a denim free zone. If you like wearing jeans, you will love our tips on how to wear jeans to work.
Quite a number of offices have, at a minimum, a casual Friday where wearing jeans is encouraged.
More and more offices, however, are embracing the spirit of permitting their employees to wear jeans to work almost every day. Plus, perhaps you’re working from home for all, or part, of the week. In which case, a smart top (for conference calls) and a pair of jeans will be perfect.
There is a catch. In most cases you are still expected to look like a professional despite the casual allure of denim.
You can also check our tips on how to wear jeans over 40 in general.
Jeans for work
In this post, we show you how to wear jeans in a professional (and stylish) manner without looking like you’re leading a meeting wearing your leisure Sunday best.
Business casual jeans: Are jeans business casual?
A business casual dress code may sound like a dream as you get to wear more casual pieces to the office.
But, it can just lead to confusion as what is acceptable varies from job to job and workplace to workplace.
One thing is clear is that business casual doesn’t mean wearing a t-shirt, sneakers and jeans. Nor does it mean a full, matching suit and high heels.
Instead, business casual attire for women falls somewhere between.
I think, depending on where you work, you can definitely wear jeans in a way to meet the business casual dress code.
5 quick rules for wearing jeans to work
If you want to wear jeans to work, keep these guidelines in mind.
1. A darker rinse looks more professional
A darker rinse jean is considered to be the standard for a more professional denim look.
Denim with a lighter wash is considered to carry a more casual tone that might not be suitable for all offices.
Choose darker blue and black hues for a more professional look.
Fonda @savvysouthernchic above opts for dark wash denim, and matches her blouse to her bag. She elevates her look by making sure she doesn’t forget her accessories, with a pair of drop earrings.
2. Shoes matter
To keep the look pulled together and professional, veer towards the direction of shoes you might otherwise wear at the office.
Think structured pumps, professional-looking wedges, and well-fitting flats.
Definitely steer away from sneakers and anything which looks too casual.
For more style inspiration, read our article on how to wear blazer with jeans
3. Pull it all together with a great blazer
A tailored blazer that fits well is exactly what is needed to take a casual pair of jeans to the next level.
Do not just think you have to stick to the basic black blazer.
Depending on how much freedom you have in regard to sartorial creativity, experiment with different colors and lengths for a look that is unique, chic, and still acceptable for professional norms.
4. Keep it clean
No matter how hard you try, quite distressed denim cannot be upgraded to a very professional look.
The intrinsic nature of torn and shredded denim does not translate well to a professional office look. There are some exceptions of course, especially for those who work in creative industries.
You could try a trouser jeans style with a crease in the middle for a look which combines the feel of pants and jeans.
5. Make it tailor made
Make sure the jeans you select fit well. Whether you go with a trouser cut or skinny jeans, make sure they fit you well (note: are not too tight OR too loose) and are the appropriate hem.
Nikki @40notfrumpy above wears a pair of jeans that end perfectly at her ankle, and adds an on-trend pair of loafers.
6. Add a scarf
A scarf is always a great way to pull together any outfit, and to make your jeans look work-ready. Add a scarf to your blazer, jeans and heels. Take a look at how to wear a scarf for more ideas.
Tops and blouses to wear with your formal jeans for work
If you’re wearing jeans for work, you want to make sure that the top you choose elevates your style from casual to professional.
So, veer away from t-shirts and, instead, opt for classic white shirts, pussy bow or formal blouses and tops in luxe material like satin or silk.
You could also wear a dress over your jeans to create a different look.
Blazers to wear with your women’s work jeans
As mentioned in my top 5 tips, a blazer is your best friend when it comes to styling your jeans for work.
You could opt for classic black, or you could add a pop of color or choose an on-trend print.
If it’s warm, another good option with your jeans is a sleeveless jacket, which you layer over your shirt or blouse.
Karen @styledbykaren above opts for a navy jacket that is almost the same color as her jeans, along with a pair of classic nude pumps.
For more tips, check our guidelines on how to fit a blazer.
Shoes to wear with your best work jeans
Keep your shoe choices formal when it comes to workwear.
So, opt for pumps, stylish booties, pointed flats or loafers. The key is not to deviate from the shoe choice you would usually have made for work if you were wearing a skirt or pants rather than jeans.
Check out some of the latest shoe trends here.
Accessories to wear with your jeans and business casual outfits
Your accessories will also help to raise your jeans a style notch so that they are work appropriate.
Carry a formal satchel or tote bag and add a chic scarf or necklace.
COACH Polished Pebble Leather Day Tote – Kate Spade New York All Day Leather Tote – CLUCI Leather Slim Work Bag – PoeticEHome Mulberry Silk Neck Scarf – COACH Chunky Small Huggie Hoop Earrings – Ippolita ‘Rock Candy – Mini Lollipop’ 18k Gold Drop Earrings – Sterling Silver Multistrand Layered Necklace
9 work jeans outfit ideas
Below are just a few ideas on how you could put together the jeans and other pieces used above. But, there are countless other ways you could mix and match these items for work.
shop some of the items here:
MORE looks for the workplace in a traditional office
Below, you can see more jeans to work inspiration. While the looks below are past season, they should still help you with ideas, and for shopping similar items.
Three looks for a more casual office
Which jeans meet the business casual dress code, are professional and fit well?
For more tips check out my article on how to wear jeans after 40.
Do you wear jeans to work? What is your go to approach for making jeans more professional?
- How To Wear Jeans Over 40 – Guidelines And Lots Of Ideas
- How To Wear Tunics Or Short Dresses With Pants
- What To Wear To Work: A Professional Capsule Wardrobe
- Work outfits for summer
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Feature image by Cathy @themiddlepageblog
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