The number one trick to wearing jeans at work is dressing them up. Pair skinny or straight-leg jeans with a navy or black blazer and a white button-down. Finish off with a leather day bag and a gold menswear-inspired watch for a classic look that will pass the test at most workplaces.
Wearing an oversized sweater can often lean too casual. To pull it off at work, choose a knit in a color that will complement a bright overcoat. Then roll up your jeans and slip on a pair of statement shoes to elevate your outfit.
At the office, cropped flares work best with sleek, high-heeled ankle boots worn beneath your trousers. To seal the deal, throw on a military-inspired jacket.
Footwear can make or break office denim. For more conservative fields, choose a traditional pump in neutral shades, like black, brown, navy and nude. If you have a little leeway, play around with lace-up heels. They'll pair well with cropped denim or rolled-up jeans.
If you want to make your wide-leg denim look more sophisticated, layer them under an embellished dress. With this look, you'll need a strong statement handbag that can stand on its own.
J.Crew's Jenna Lyons is a master at pulling off the modern denim suit. The key is to choose a monochromatic palette in an unexpected shade, like cream. And don't forget to play around with different ways to tuck your shirt. It's a small styling trick with big results.
Give your weekend wardrobe a professional lift by adding show-stopping accessories, from your high heels to your handbag.
When in doubt, reach for dark blue or black jeans. Darker washes will always look more sophisticated, day or night.
Blazers aren't the only work-appropriate toppers for jeans. Try an elongated black vest with a sleeveless white V-neck and a choker.
Casual Fridays call for high-waisted jeans worn with a graphic T-shirt, patent leather brogues and an oversized blazer.
The pussy-bow blouse is a fall must-have! Lucky for you, it's also a workplace staple. Here are 12 ways to wear a pussy-bow blouse — and look cool doing it.
If you're going to sport embroidered or patched denim, don't go overboard. A little goes a long way at the office.
When you want to try denim-on-denim, leave your chambray shirt at home. Instead, wear a light blue blouse with high-waisted jeans. Then throw on your pièce de résistance: A denim cape.
If casual workwear is your MO, you have Hawaii to thank for that. Back in 1966, the Hawaiian Fashion Guild needed a quick fix to boost sales for its iconic floral shirts. So it came up with “Aloha Fridays,” which allowed all employees to wear Hawaiian shirts on the job at the end of each work week. Eventually, the laid-back look became tradition and made its way to the mainland in the 90s under a new name — Casual Fridays.
Despite the popularity of dressed-down work days, professionals and their employers weren’t exactly sure how to navigate this new sartorial territory. That’s when Levi Strauss & Co. seized an opportunity. Inspired by Hawaii’s “Aloha Fridays,” the brand promoted its Dockers trousers, which were declining in sales, in a handy-dandy styling how-to called “Guide to Casual Business Wear.” In 1992, the pamphlet was mailed to 25,000 HR departments and casual workwear spread like wildfire. In just three years, 9 out of 10 companies allowed their staff to dress informally, either on Fridays or full time, which was up from only two-thirds in 1992. Dockers even sponsored office fashion shows and provided a help hotline for “dress code emergencies.”
And yet we’re all still a little perplexed about how to dress casually at the office. To clear up the confusion, we’ve tackled the biggest workwear dilemma of all: Jeans. Click on the gallery above to find out how to wear jeans to work and still look professional.