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3 Tips to Wearing Jeans at Work (and 1 thing to avoid!)

With workplace dress codes veering more casual, denim Fridays are suddenly turning into denim any day. 

Here's everything you need to know when it comes to wearing jeans at work- and still looking professional.

Tip #1: Color Matters

Choose jeans that are solid colors. Solid color means 1 color. 1 shade. That's it. No weird bleached tiger whiskers or faded patterns. 

When your jeans are one color (even the stitching if you can help it) they look more like regular pants, not denim. This makes them look more professional and less like yard work pants. 

I recommend really dark indigo, white, or black when it comes to jean colors for work. Here are a few suggestions: 

Classic Fit Peach Lift Jean White

White jeans are a classic. I wear mine constantly and buy a new pair each year.

j.crew: 9 vintage straight jean in rinse wash for women, right side, view zoomed

These are the jeans I'm completely obsessed with right now.

How perfect are these stone-colored trousers that are actually jeans?? 

Tip #2: Dress It Up

Denim is more casual, so you'll want to pair it with something more formal like a blazer or button-down shirt. 

Following the same 'every other zone' theory that I talked about here, you'll want your shoes and your shirt to be the same level of formal. For example: nice flats, jeans, button-down oxford. 

Here are several examples. Notice how the nice top and shoes elevate the denim. 

Tip #3: Wear the Right Size

Unless your pants are intentionally baggy and you work in fashion and baggy is in this season...wear pants that fit. 

You know your jeans fit when they skim your body but aren't skin-tight. If you see pulling anywhere, they are too tight. If you see sagging or bunching, they are too loose. 

You want your jeans to fit like a pair of nicely tailored trousers. You may have to pay a little bit more to get the perfect fit, but they will look so much more professional. 

Notice the difference between jeans that fit (on right) and those that don't (on left):

The pair on the left is a size or two too large for me. You can see that with the extra material under my booty. I already am pretty flat in the butt area and these pants are not helping me out at all. Compare that to the ones on the right (these are the J.Crew jeans linked above). They are a half size big (I'm in between sizes, so I'm always going to be a size big or small), but still hug my body without being too tight. They are a dark wash and I wear them to work with a button-down shirt all the time. 

AVOID: Anything not trouser length

Jean shorts and capris can be cute, but they are not right for the workplace. No matter the color, fit, or what you pair with them, anything shorter than trouser length is hard to pull off in the workplace. 

If you're working in a very casual environment, that's one thing. If you want to look professional- keep these shorter lengths for the weekend. 


There you have it! The trick to wearing jeans at work and not looking raggedy. Did you know- denim is one of the must-have pieces for every wardrobe. Find out the other 19 must-have items in this ebook:




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