How to Wear Skinny Jeans to Work

Woman wearing skinny jeans at office using smartphone
Skinny jeans can be easily styled to look appropriate for most offices. Cultura/Getty Images
of 08

What to Wear With Skinny Jeans for the Office

Woman wearing skinny jeans at office using smartphone
Skinny jeans can be easily styled to look appropriate for most offices. Cultura/Getty Images

Many of us work in offices that allow us to wear jeans on certain days. Skinny jeans can be a stylish and comfortable option for work -- but some women find it a challenge to style body-conscious denim to look professional and polished. Take a look at these skinny jeans outfits for work, as modeled by fashion influencers, and get inspired to look your work-appropriate best, without sacrificing an ounce of style.

of 08

A Few Words on Color and Fit

Black jeans white jacket and sequin top outfit
Black ankle jeans are polished and trendy for the office. J Brand Jeans

Before we show you some cute outfits, there are a few key rules to abide by, when wearing jeans for work.

Choose the Right Denim Wash (Color)

  • You can't go wrong with dark blue or black skinny jeans, which look the most polished for work (and beyond).
  • Ankle-length jeans in dark blue or black are elegant and wearable in every season.
  • If you work in a creative field, you can get away with other dark shades too, such as oxblood and dark gray, as well as lighter blue jeans.
  • Unless your workplace is ultra casual or creative, avoid distressed denim, whiskering and embellishments, which all read as too casual for most offices.

Choose the Right Jeans Fit

  • Take care with the fit of skinny jeans that you wear to the office. While skinny jeans are snug by nature, there are different degrees of tightness. Look for a style that skims -- rather than squeezes -- your curves, and avoid skin-tight jeggings that can make your colleagues feel uncomfortable.
  • A mid-rise jean is easiest to wear and looks best for the office.
  • Avoid jeans with a low rise that can show off too much of your behind, especially when you're sitting.
of 08

With a Bow Blouse

Black jeans and bow blouse fashion photo
Sydne Style

Upgrade your go-to black jeans for work by pairing them with a feminine bow blouse. A black and white version, such as the chic style pictured here, softens the look of black jeans. Try wearing this ensemble on casual Fridays at the office and get ready to turn heads when you breeze past co-workers' desks.

Do be sure you're covered up appropriately for work in a white top, by layering a flesh-toned camisole underneath. Dress up this outfit by adding gold jewelry, classic black pumps, and a serious-looking black leather bag.

Here are more cute outfits with black skinny jeans.

Image from Sydne Style

of 08

With a Tailored Blazer

Fashion woman in blue jeans and tweed blazer
Bows and Sequins

Here's a classic jeans outfit that always looks great for work. Simply pair your favorite dark blue skinny jeans with a structured jacket in a grown-up fabric. Choose a jacket in herringbone tweed, as pictured here, or a classic black or navy blazer, to add polish and balance to your jeans. You can choose a longer jacket that covers your rear end, if you like, or go for a more classic hip-length version — both are stylish and appropriate for the office.

What goes under the blazer? It's up to you, and depends on the weather. For a simple, professional look on cooler days, you can wear a classic button-down shirt. White is a classic option, but you could also choose another light color such as dove gray, or a traditional pin-stripe pattern. For a more feminine look, you can also wear a silky blouse in a solid color, as this fashion blogger did.

Is your office more creative? You can brighten your outfit, if you like, with a contrasting belt for a pop of color. Or, try layering a fun, printed blouse or a playful striped sweater under your jacket. This is a great way to let your co-workers know you don't take yourself too seriously, while still looking promotion-worthy.

Image from Bows and Sequins

of 08

With a Long Cardigan

Fashion woman in cardigan and scarf and skinny jeans
Style Elixir

Long cardigan sweaters are a great alternative to blazers on more casual days at the office. What's not to like about a top layer that skims the body's curves and offers coverage for your hips and bottom, when you’re wearing skinny jeans. To look polished in jeans for work, choose a solid colored cardigan in a classic shade, such as beige, gray, navy or black. Keeping your accessories in the same color family also keeps things chic, as seen here.

You can belt your cardigan, if you like, to define your waist, or let it flow free. (Just be sure to tuck in the shirt you're wearing under the sweater, so you don't look sloppy). You can add style and interest to your look by adding a scarf in a pretty print, as seen here. Or look for a sweater with dressy details, such as ribbon work, piping, or even sequins, to elevate your skinny jeans outfit for work.

Get more inspiration here for adding a scarf to your outfits.

Image from Style Elixir

of 08

With a Blue Work Shirt

Fashion photo of woman in black jeans and blue shirt and trench coat
Crystalin Marie

Do you like menswear style shirts? Here's how to wear a classic blue button-down, and look stylish for work. Black skinny jeans add sophistication to a blue work shirt, especially when it's tucked into your pants and belted. Add polish to this easy office outfit with a classic trench coat, which is wearable through several seasons, and chic accessories. A chunky wristwatch, and a ropy gold or silver chain link necklace, add instant sophistication.

For more conservative workplaces, you might want to skip the white shoes pictured here, and opt for classic black pumps or loafers instead.

Get more ideas for wearing black jeans in your life.

Image from Crystalin Marie

of 08

With a Classic White Shirt

Fashion woman in white shirt and blue jeans
Girl with Curves

Want to know a style secret? You simply cannot go wrong when you pair a classic white button-down shirt with perfect fitting skinny jeans in a dark indigo rinse, as pictured here. There are so many shirt styles to choose from, so you can select one that makes you feel fabulous. From peplum styles that offer plenty of lower body coverage, to slim fits that are made for tucking in, there's a shirt for every woman.

Accessories are super important when your outfit is this classic, so don't skimp on effort. Shoes with polish, a structured handbag, and great jewelry is what will make you stand out, in this classic casual Friday outfit.

Check out 20 perfect outfits with a classic white shirt.

Image from Girl With Curves

of 08

With a Crew Neck Sweater

Fashion woman in jeans and sweater and trench coat
Penny Pincher Fashion

When the temperature turns colder, you can stay warm at work, by wearing a cozy and classic crew neck sweater with your jeans on casual days. Here's how to do that, and make it look stylish. Create a layered look, by wearing a patterned shirt underneath your solid-toned sweater. We love the sophisticated,  monotone color scheme this fashion influencer created, with a black sweater on top of a black-and-white checkered shirt, for a nice pop of pattern.

Red suede or velvet shoes look expensive, and add visual interest to a streamlined outfit for work, along with a classic leather tote. And of course, you just can't miss with a classic trench coat for your final layering piece.

20 cute sweater weather outfits to get you through the winter.

Image from Penny Pincher Fashion