For most women, there are “work-only” wardrobe pieces: a classic suit, square-toed heels, maybe even a wrap dress or two. But what if your favorite jeans (you already thought of a pair, didn’t you?) could become not only your weekend essential, but an office staple as well? Read on for StyleFT’s denim do’s and don’ts.
Style/Fit: It seems that jeans have more styles nowadays than ever before, but when it comes to your job, traditional silhouettes are a must. Anything bootcut, trouser-style, or straight-leg is a given, but don’t shy away from your skinny jeans—most skinnies can work too (just be sure they’re not too skinny, you’ll need to breathe during those agonizingly long conference meetings). On the other end, please, please, please wear jeans that fit you right, and not right now. Baggy pants can only pass at the circus, and clowns don’t generally work the typical nine-to-five. Bottom line: feel comfortable, but look polished.
Color: Again, timeless hues are the denim-clad professional’s best friend. Black, dark blue, and (of course) the classic denim blue, are all ideal foundations for work-denim neophytes. White denim, though tricky, can be the perfect work basic for those hot and humid days. For an extra dose of chic, balance your crisp white pair with a white top (think silky shell tops or sleek blouses) and black blazer. Finish off the look with a statement piece of jewelry (try a gold chain-link necklace or bold cuff), and the perfect pair of pointed-toe stilettos. Bottom line: treat your jeans like you would any normal pant, meaning nothing with rips, embellishments, or wacky prints.
Completing the outfit: Since blazers are the LBD of the work world, they are one of the most excellent choices to ensure that your denim looks sophisticated, and not too casual. Oxford shirts and crewneck sweaters work wonders also, but any nice blouse will do. Too much jewelry when paired with jeans may seem unprofessional, so keep it simple—or stun with one great piece. Bottom line: layering is good, but overcompensating on the accessories front is bad.
A good question to ask yourself when you’re in the seems of a denim dilemma, “Would this outfit have worked ten years ago, and will it work ten years from now?” Let your jeans see the light of day, or business day, that is, and try modernizing your often predictable work wardrobe. After all, there’s a reason why those old blue jeans have remained a classic for so long, isn’t there?