Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to wear jeans to the office

For every office with a no-jeans policy, there's an office in which jeans are a staple. But how about those that straddle the two with a jeans-friendly Casual Friday? Or what if you want to kick your denim up a notch?

Reader Elizabeth emailed me with that very question:
I just started working at a casual office and I am having trouble creating work appropriate casual looks.  I love seeing how you make jeans work for the office.  Are there any "rules" you follow when you wear jeans or other casual clothes to work?

While I don't really have "rules" for wearing jeans, here are some of my tips:

  • The darker wash the better. Look for uniform washes--whiskers and other details can be too casual for the office.
  • As far as cuts go, I recommend trouser jeans (usually a thinner fabric that falls straight from your hips down to the floor), wide-leg jeans, or slim cut/skinnies that aren't clinging to your body.
  • I try to go with a dressier shoe. If it is a trouser or wide-leg jean, a pointy-toe looks really chic and balances out the volume. Heels are preferable, since they instantly dress up the jean (even a one-inch).
  • The "finishing piece" is key--a nice blazer or cardigan is a great way to really bring jeans into the office.
  • I usually keep the top something I'd wear with a trouser to work on a regular day.  That way the jeans are the only casual piece in the whole outfit and look less out of place.
  • Bold accessories can really dress up jeans as well--belts, necklaces, bracelets (but probably not all at once. :)
Here are some of my favorite jeans outfits from my archives. Click on a photo to see outfit details and the original post.
     
     Bootcut
    Trouser

    Skinny

    Can you wear jeans to your office? How do you style them to be more office-y?
    Email a pic or link to me by Thursday (9 p.m. PST), and I'll do a round-up post of your pics Friday!

    15 comments:

    1. I can't wear jeans, ever, unfortunately, but our dress code is pretty relaxed in other areas (bare shoulders and sandals are okay, for example). I would love to be able to wear jeans every once in a while, though!

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    2. I agree, the darker the jean - the more "dressed" up you appear.
      In my case my office is pretty lenient but I choose to keep myself put together and not allow my relaxed dress code take me to shabbyland,.
      I wear jeans once a week to work and usually dress is up with heels and a jacket or cardigan.... to give it a more polished look :)
      Here is one of them :https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Vm0OtbLWbXQ/TX93BYbsfBI/AAAAAAAAF6Q/9uSGNeeLEAM/s1600/150320116032.jpg

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    3. i wear jeans to the office about once a week and i love how you added the blazer to make it more professional. and i'm still searching for a pair of good trouser jeans but hopefully i'll find something that'll fill that void. love how yours look on you!

      cute & little
      come join the Color Brigade!

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    4. How I wish we could wear jeans to the office! Even just once a week would be so nice. I definitely agree with your rules about making jeans office-friendly and pulled together. Maybe one day I'll be able to follow them... :)

      - Meredith

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    5. I usually save all my physical tasks (ie: organizing the promo room) for Casual Friday. If I'm not doing the blazer/cardigan look, I'll pair it with a company polo or a company sweatshirt. I generally don't wear the company polos or sweatshirts during the week because I think they look very casual, so Friday is a good excuse to have a little company spirit every so often!

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    6. I think your suggestions are perfect. We can only wear jeans on Fri if we wear a company shirt with them (unless it's cold). I try to dress them up with a great belt, shoes and necklace because polo shirts are not my style and they don't have petite options so the fit is really iffy. I do have one button up that I had embroidered with the company logo so that I have a dressier option.

      I do not wear skinnies or jeggings to work! There are a few young ladies who do, but I find it to be inappropriate for office wear.

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    7. Great tips! One day when I own my own giant company, I think I would have it casual/trendy for normal workdays, and something more formal for meetings...

      xoxo Maria

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    8. These are helpful. I was just thinking about this because I wear jeans and dresses or skirts almost exclusively right now. I need to work on incorporating pants but I have also really wanted to dress up my jeans. I really like skinny jeans with blazers and nice shoes but trouser jeans are just the best!

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    9. Hhm. I could wear jeans in the classroom/office, but I'm afraid my students would make an assumption about their instructor that they probably shouldn't make. :)

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    10. Totally agree on the jean/office breakdown, the darker the jean the better for sure. I also love love love pairing a blazer with my jeans on casual day, although the picture I'm going to email you is a little different than my usual, go-to, blazer, heels and jeans... although I have been known to wear this look with my heels! I'm excited.

      I was going to say my favourite jean look of yours, that you posted above, but i'm lost because I love them all! I'm going to go with the first skinny, with your head down. I just love how you belted the sweater below the blazer.

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    11. So happy to see my question up here and see all the great suggestions from the other readers! Thanks Angeline

      Reader Elizabeth

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    12. I wear jeans to work almost everyday. They must be super dark wash denim. Heels work best. Feel like every time I try and get away with flats, I'm under dressed.

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    13. @ Ashley - we win some and lose some, right? Jeans are definitely a luxury that I'm grateful to have!

      @ lorena - I love your jeans! And yes, I definitely agree that I pay extra attention to not look sloppy when I'm already in jeans.

      @ kileen - they are definitely hard to find (and of course every brand fits every body differently) but they're definitely worth the wait!

      @ meredith - Crossing my fingers that someday you will, too!

      @ ashley - How fun! I've definitely done the polo or graphic tee thing for work, too, usually with a blazer. Actually, that sounds like a good idea for this week.

      @ rachel - oo I hate when they buy those generic shirts that never fit women right. I'm sure you dress them up really nice, though!

      @ maria - someday when you own a big giant company, can we still be friends? thanks.

      @ destrehan's daughter - I agree! I really like skinny jeans + heels, too, but it's really easy to make it look like you're going out on the town instead of to work. Trousers are always winners, though.

      @ terri - Heh heh. My husband teaches in jeans, skater tees, and flip flops. I wonder what they think about him (he teaches college students).

      @ sorren - thanks! can't wait to see your look! That's one of my faves, too.

      @ elizabeth - it was a great question! Just wait til you see Friday's round-up...these gals are seriously stylish.

      @ bonbonchihuahuas - I feel the same way with flats, even on Casual Friday. Plus, I'm a little on the short side so flats and jeans make me look squatty.

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    14. Great tips, Angeline! I can't wear denim to work now, but I used to be able to in a previous job. I applied the same rules myself. Solid tips. You even made me rethink skinnies in the office. They're totally fine with a long blazer.


      ••V••
      www.gritandglamour.com
      @gritandglamour

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    15. @ grit and glamour - glad I am resonating with others' views! I do like skinnies (although my skinnies are not tight--big difference).

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