Ask MCG: When and How Do I Wear Jeans to Work?

The time tested general rule applied towards wearing jeans to work is just to not do it. Jeans have always been viewed as a fashion item that is too casual to wear in the workplace, but many offices have started relaxing their opinion of it. So if you want to challenge a traditional rule, make sure you’re going to do it right.

With the growing creative industry comes a changing perspective on the definition of the word casual. Wearing denim no longer deters people from looking polished and power-dressed, as proven by more and more creative professionals in marketing, advertising, etc. A caveat: jeans can very easily look sloppy when worn with wrong pieces, and disrespectful when worn on the wrong day. If you really want to wear them, keep the following in mind.

Pick the right pair.

If you are unsure of wearing jeans to work but want to give it a go, I suggest a pair of dark, plain, boot-cut jeans. It needs to feel more like a work pair than a party pair, and in order to do that you can start by finding a denim version of what your normal work trousers would look like. If you don’t own a pair like this, go for that staple dark denim that you own. Everyone has that pair that matches everything and has always been a trusty go to. I find that my True Religion jeans goes great with a button down top as it does with a sparkly tank top, because it looks clean and classic. Plus it is one that I feel very comfortable and beautiful in, which helps in increasing productivity in a work day.

Wear Only When Allowed

While it is easy to just walk into the office in whatever you feel like wearing, you might make the wrong statement if you don’t give it a second thought. Don’t assume that just because many offices allow it, you can wear it to yours. How you dress will reflect you respect for your job, colleagues, and self – so better be safe than sorry and wear your fave pair only when:

  1. It’s a Casual Friday – Casual Fridays give employees the chance to be more comfortable and expressive of their personalities. Before you come in with your favorite skinny jeans, try to survey the floor for people who are wearing denim.
  2. On a Field Job – If you are meant to go from one place to another all day, wearing something you are comfortable in might give you more mobility which can turn into productivity. Unless you are going into big meetings, try to wear your jeans with a cute top, blazer, and Chelsea boots. This is a good look when simultaneously trying to look cool, professional, and ready to rock that project.
  3. Office Parties – You don’t have to bring a cocktail dress for that office party. Whether you’re having it in the building or heading to a fancier restaurant, a good pair of jeans is the perfect slate for turning an outfit from busy day to fabulous night.
  4. When HR allows it. Ask. – The safest way to make sure your jeans do not offend office sartorial policies is to ASK. Most HR offices will let you know if something is an absolute rule or not, just ask nicely.

Do you wear jeans to work? How and when do you wear it? Let us know @mscareergirl now!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.