The Do's and Don'ts of Wearing Jeans to Work

men in office wearing jeans and talking
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Casual Friday seems to have taken over the entire week, as many workplaces have relaxed their definition of business casual to loosely include jeans. And even though "everyone does it," you should still stay alert to the impression you make upon your clients, superiors, and co-workers.

This does not mean you should reserve jeans for Fridays only. It means to take care in how you wear your jeans, keeping the style appropriate for the workplace.

Here are some do's and don'ts of wearing jeans to work.

The Do's of Wearing Jeans to Work

  • A boot cut, slimmer fit or straight fit jean looks current and pulled together without being too trendy.
  • Darker denim tends to look dressier than ​light-wash jeans, so wear denim that leans toward the darker shades of blue.
  • Black or gray denim are both popular again. Find a wash that has no distressing or that looks slightly worn rather than a full-on distressed wash jean, making it look more professional and less trendy.
  • Pair dark denim with a pair of black dress shoes and a black or navy blue blazer. Or, try a lighter wash jean with a patterned blazer or fitted brown leather jacket with brown dress shoes. These are very smart looks.
  • Wear a bright colored short-sleeved polo shirt with dark denim. The darker denim pairs well with bold colors but be sure the polo shirt is more fitted and not sloppy.
  • A cardigan over a button-up dress shirt or a v-neck sweater over a fitted undershirt will dress up a pair of jeans. As well, a simple fitted button-up dress shirt and tie go well with a slim-fit pair of jeans and a blazer.

    The Don’ts of Wearing Jeans to Work

    • Skinny jeans are not appropriate for most workplaces as they are too casual and youthful, perhaps giving the impression that you do not take your work seriously.
    • Baggy jeans are sloppy and leave a bad impression, particularly if your backside shows anytime you bend over and reach for something.
    • Rips, tears, and frays are never appropriate for a professional environment. Save your trendier distressed jeans for when you go out at night.
    • Some workplaces may tolerate a casual t-shirt and jeans, but to make a professional impression, steer clear of this look. Try wearing a polo instead of a t-shirt.
    • Never mistake jeans you do yard work in for jeans that are appropriate for the workplace. Jeans should never be soiled or dirty, otherwise, people will question your personal hygiene.
    • Embellishments such as patchwork, rhinestones, or studs of any kind will ensure you are the subject of unfavorable office talk.