A Guide to Wearing Jeans to Work

A woman wearing jeans with a button-up blouse

Back in the day, wearing jeans in a professional environment was completely unheard of! But now, it’s not that unusual to see jeans at the office – occasionally in more formal environments. We’ve even watched sweats and joggers make their workplace entrance!

Whether you can only wear denim for casual Friday or you’re allowed to wear jeans seven days a week, you might still need some style inspo to strike the right note. Check out this style guide for wearing jeans to work to guarantee your denim look is workplace appropriate.

Dos and Don’ts

There are always a few basic rules to help guide you when you want to wear jeans to work. Keep these rules in mind when choosing your workplace denim:

  • Skip the light wash; dark jeans look more professional.
  • Low rise is out! Mid-rise and high-waists are sophisticated.
  • Denim shorts and mini skirts are almost never appropriate.
  • Pair jeans with heels, not sneakers, to elevate the look.

Now that you have a few rules in place about how to wear jeans at work, we can talk specifics about what to do with your favorite denim looks.

1. Wear a Blazer

When wearing such a casual fabric, you can use your other clothing choices to elevate the ensemble. Dress up jeans for work by wearing a tailored blazer that takes your look to the next level. You can stick to a plain black blazer, but we like to get a little more creative.

Wear jeans to work with a blazer in unique colors or lengths for a chic, sartorial style. At a more casual workplace, a floral blazer could make the perfect splash. Or, opt for a neutral hue with patterns visible just when you roll back your sleeves.

2. Black and Dark Rinses

 A woman wearing dark wash flared jeans

We’ve already mentioned this above, but light-wash denim is considered less professional and more casual than a black or dark rinse when you wear jeans to work. But you should also keep an eye out for other denim details that may bring down your look.

Many dark washes also come with artificially faded patches, light spots, bleached patterns, artistic rips or holes, and even distressed sections. We recommend avoiding all these details if you’re trying to dress up jeans for work.

Details that do make jeans look better for the office may include:

  • Statement buttons
  • Contrast stitching
  • Accent pockets
  • Cuffed hems

3. A Clean Silhouette

Some denim styles work better for special occasions and formal events than others — especially full-length or high-waist silhouettes. With the evolution of denim, you’re not stuck with a basic boot cut; there are so many different styles that help you dress up jeans for work!

Our favorite denim silhouettes include:

  • Mid-rise cropped flare jeans
  • Culotte style jean in bright colors
  • High-waist wide-leg jeans
  • Split hem slim-fit jeans
  • Cuffed skinny jeans
  • Basic flare jeans

Keep the cropped styles for more casual days and full-length silhouettes for professional outfits.

4. Tailor the Look

When you wear jeans to work, you want them to fit well. Who wants to constantly be tugging on their waistband or hemline every time they get up to get a drink from the water cooler or make a cup of coffee?

Here’s how to ensure your jeans fit just right. When you try them on, check for the following:

  • Waist: The waistband should lay flat along your hips (or your belly button if high-rise), and you should be able to comfortably stick one finger into the band.
  • Butt and Thighs: You should feel your jeans sculpting and holding your butt and thighs securely, but they should NOT scrunch and tighten uncomfortably when you sit.
  • Inseam/Crotch: You want your jeans to fit flush against your body when sitting or standing. Opt for a slightly looser fit to ensure sitting is comfortable.
  • Length: You have a little flexibility with cropped jeans, but aim for a hem in the middle of your shin. Full-length pants should cover most of your heels.
  • Materials: Some jeans are 100% cotton, while others have some spandex or nylon mixed in. These stretchy fabrics make jeans more forgiving and durable.

5. Perfect Blouse Pairings

A woman wearing a black blouse with jeans

Wondering how else to wear jeans to work? Dress up jeans for work with a nice blouse! Just like a blazer enhances your denim outfit, a nice blouse can help elevate the look, too. Skip out on the graphic t-shirts and tank tops, and go for some luxe blouses.

Shop classic styles, like button-ups, in formal materials, including silk or satin. Some additional details that can add visual interest to your top without making it too casual include ruffles, pockets, ruching, and self-ties.

6. Your Accessories

If your blazer and blouse aren’t enough to make your denim more professional, you have a few more options in your accessories. Wear jeans to work with the right jewelry, purse, or scarf to automatically transform your style.

When it comes to jewelry, you have two options. Keep it classic with delicate gold sets, like layered necklaces, pearl earrings, and thin bracelets. Or, amp up the volume with big statement pieces in colors that accent the rest of your outfit.

For your purse and scarf, we recommend a matched set with a printed silk neck scarf that you can tie around your neck or your purse handle to add a pop of vivid color and movement to your ensemble.

Putting It All Together

Now that you know how to wear jeans to work, you can create various outfits ranging from casual Fridays to Monday morning meetings with the boss. However, the key to nailing the jeans-at-work look lies in selecting the right pair.

At The Willow Tree Boutique, we offer a wide range of denim styles and sizes to cater to every body type and personal style preference. Our jeans are designed with attention to detail and a focus on quality, ensuring a superior fit and enduring style.

Elevate your work wardrobe with a pair of boutique jeans from The Willow Tree!

Kim Kidd

Kim Kidd founded The Willow Tree Boutique in 1992 with a mission to help women of all ages and sizes feel confident and appreciated. The boutique offers a wide range of clothing options, including tops, bottoms, and accessories from top brands at affordable prices. Over the years, The Willow Tree has grown from a small clothing boutique to a beloved fashion destination.