Revelle Blog


How To Wear Jeans To Work & Still Look Professional

April 26, 2021

Jacqueline Parisi
Jacqueline Parisi
how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle

8 tips for work environments that run the gamut from formal to casual to WFH.

There’s no singular definition of “work-appropriate” clothing — it varies so, SO much by industry. Add the whole work from home trend into the mix, and what you end up with is an “office” that looks different for everyone. Below, we’ve rounded up tips for how to wear jeans to work, whether you’re working from home, in an office setting, or some combination of the two.

01 For a more formal look, opt for black jeans

It’s sleek, it’s classic, it goes with pretty much everything, and it won’t let you down. Here are some of our top picks:

L’Agence Claudine Skinny Ankle Jeans_how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle
Transcend Hoxton High-Waist Straight Leg Jeans_how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle
Seven7 Jeans Plus Lia Tummyless Micro-Bootcut Jeans_how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle

L’Agence Claudine Skinny Ankle Jeans

Transcend – Hoxton High-Waist Straight Leg Jeans

Seven7 Jeans Plus Lia Tummyless Micro-Bootcut Jeans

02 In a more casual work environment? Or have flexibility on casual Fridays? Don’t discount blue jeans

Just because black jeans are more classically formal doesn’t mean you can’t rock a blue pair of jeans to work — but we recommend erring on the side of dark-wash rather than the more casual light-wash. Here are examples of tried-and-true denim that look polished enough to wear at home or in the office.

Ann Taylor Petite Curvy Sculpting Pocket High-Rise Skinny Jeans_how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle
Numero High-Rise Flared Jeans _how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle
NYDJ Slim Straight Leg Ankle Jeans_how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle

Ann Taylor Petite Curvy Sculpting Pocket High-Rise Skinny Jeans

Numero High-Rise Flared Jeans 

NYDJ Slim Straight Leg Ankle Jeans

03 Don’t forget about denim trousers!

Call it what you want — trousers, wide-leg pants, palazzos — but this cut has workwear written all over it. Because they widen at the low hip, they’re roomy and comfortable…but not in an unprofessional, sweatpants-esque kind of way. 

04 Stay away from overly distressed denim & ripped jeans

Depending on your office setting, a slight distressed look *may* work. But nothing extreme — save the vintage, well-worn, street style jeans with the knee holes for home. 

05 Be careful with jeggings

This one’s a bit of a doozy. While we don’t recommend wearing leggings to work, jeggings *can* pass in certain circumstances when they mimic the look of jeans (just with added comfort). Case in point: this sleek pair from Numero.

Numero Mid-Rise Skinny Jeggings _how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle

06 If comfort is top of mind, look for jeans with a bit of stretch

If your office is also your living room and you’re looking to give your leggings a break, go for jeans made with a higher percentage of spandex or elastane since 100% cotton tends to be more rigid. Here are some stellar options: 

7 For All Mankind Women’s b(air) Ankle Skinny _how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle
Levi’s 711 Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans_how to wear jeans to work and look professional_revelle

7 For All Mankind Women’s b(air) Ankle Skinny 

Levi’s 711 Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans

07 Pair with a classic black blazer, cardigan, crew neck sweater over button-down shirt, or blouse

These four options are all incredibly versatile — plus, they layer well for a look that’s simultaneously chic and functional (anyone else have an ice-cold office? Just us?).

08Be strategic with your choice of shoes

Jeans can only go so far without the right pair of shoes. Here’s what we recommend on the scale of formal to informal: 

  • A slight heel (2-3 inches max) that’s on the chunkier side for more stability 
  • Ankle boots/booties
  • Suede loafers
  • Ballet flats

Just starting out at a new job and not sure what’s appropriate and what’s not? Here’s what we recommend:

1. Err on the formal side — but keep a close eye on what your manager and colleagues are wearing. That’s the best way to get a better grasp on the unspoken dress code.

2. If you don’t know what the “official” policy is on attire, ask! There are the most common options: 

    • Casual: what you would wear in public outside of work (think T-shirts, jeans, open-toed shoes, etc) 
    • Smart casual: a step up from your everyday casual look — still informal, but with a touch more polish (think LOFT dresses, blazers, trousers, etc)
    • Business casual: a mid-way point between casual and formal (and the perfect “safe spot” if you’re not sure which direction to go). Includes items like button-down shirts, blouses, maybe even a pencil skirt. 
    • Business professional: this is what you’d expect from industries such as law, finance/accounting, or government (dress pants, pantsuits, slacks, pointed-toe pumps…the whole nine yards)

Revelle is on a mission to make women feel beautiful in their bodies every day by helping them find clothes that actually FIT, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that the recommended items are based on availability as of the date the article was published. You can always get personalized recommendations by joining our community. Also, if you do purchase something by clicking on a link, we may receive a small commission.

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