Once upon a time, jeans were limited to casual Fridays. Today, women are rocking jeans every day of the week. The trick to making jeans workplace-friendly is styling them right — which means swapping out your ripped skinnies and tees in favor of a more sophisticated approach. If you’re ready to add more denim to your professional wardrobe, try these tips for a polished look that even your boss will be admiring.
Wearing Jeans to the Office: The Dos
Do Go Darker
Dark wash jeans are the standard for workplace environments. They’re clean and crisp and generally have a more professional vibe than jeans that are light or have an acid wash. From a distance, your dark-wash denims may even pass for a navy trouser.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the light denim and acid-wash jeans, which can feel way too casual for the office. Also steer clear of jeans with embroidery or other embellishments that may draw attention to your ensemble.
A nice option is the Mid Rise Perfect Boot Curvy Jeans from GAP. The dark indigo rinse will pass most office dress codes and the structured boot cut looks great with heels, pumps, or wedges.
Do Step Up Your Shoe Game
The right shoe will set the tone and put your coworkers on notice that you’re all business. Sneakers and tennis shoes, of course, are major no-nos in the office. Sandals may also be too casual. Instead, try classic, closed-toe pumps. As a general rule of thumb, the wider the pants’ ankles are, the more pointed your shoes should be.
If skinny jeans are your thing, a single sole pump like the Kristin Cavallari ‘Copertina’ Pump can take your outfit to the next level. This chic high heel pump is on-trend and has a nice, streamlined look at the base of cuffed or uncuffed jeans.
Do Add a Neck Scarf
Before reaching for a chunky necklace, consider a substitution. A silk scarf wrapped around the neck can help soften your ensemble while adding a hint of elegance. Choose a complementary color that will tie the whole look together and wear it like a necklace by twisting it into a choker. Or, for a cozier work look, try a loose French knot.
While it’s ideal to add a variety of scarfs to your professional wardrobe, start simple with a feminine floral print, such as the Kate Spade Night Rose Silk Oblong Scarf. The blooming roses add a pop of color to neutral business attire and can be easily transferred from your neck to your wrist to your handbag in a cinch.
Do Style Denim with a Quality Blazer
When it comes to jeans in the office, a blazer is your best friend. Try a crisp, white blouse or button-down tucked into your jeans. Throw on a blazer with clean lines in a neutral color like black or grey. Once you’ve mastered the look, you can experiment with more daring colors like navy, coral, or even yellow. A blazer is an effective way to polish off your look with minimal effort.
A fitted blazer like the Long and Lean-Fit Lightweight Wool Blazer at Banana Republic is an ideal choice for office-goers. The breathable, wrinkle-resistant fabric is perfect for the workplace and the long sleeves with three-button cuffs create a look that will earn you fashion points both in and out of the office. This piece is a little splurgy though, so make sure you get your discount for signing up for their emails!
Denim does have a bad rap for being too casual for the workplace. But we can change that! If your boss is OK with it, use your new denim styling skills to show co-workers how it’s done.
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