There’s nothing quite as American as blue jeans. In fact, the Chinese word for jeans, literally means ‘Cowboy pants;’ an obvious nod to the American west. Just the same, some men have trouble introducing this iconic garment into their work wardrobes.
Though you might feel that wearing jeans is only an office possibility on casual Fridays, if you’re smart about it, you can make these a part of your regular rotation without raising any eyebrows. Take a look at EveryGuyed’s Guide on How To Wear Jeans to Work and consider adding some denim to your working wardrobe.
The Jeans Themselves
The key issue is the jeans themselves. No matter what you pair them with, a ratty pair of jeans will make you look like a joke at the office, rather than the casual style maker you hope to be. The jeans should be low-key, dark, clean, and not the focus of the outfit. Go with jeans that fit your body, ride high on the hips, and aren’t too baggy.
If you’re still at a loss for what’s wearable at the office, put them through what EveryGuyed likes to call the Pastor’s Daughter Test. If you were dating a pastor’s daughter, and meeting her father for the first time, would you wear these jeans? If yes, then you’re good for the office – if no, then keep looking.
Jeans are simple and easy to wear, but just the same, here are a few simple tips and guidelines you should keep aware of:
- Don’t double up on denim. If you’re wearing jeans, avoid wearing a denim jacket, or a chambray work shirt.
There are dozens of guides, rules, and tips online about how to break in jeans, and how to keep your denim looking its best. We’re not going to preach about it, but here are some simple denim care tips to tide you over:
- Wash your jeans as little as you can get away with.
- When washing, wash them in cold water, inside out, otherwise you’ll risk fading and shrinking.
- Wash alone, or with darks, unless you want to see blue stains on your white shirt.
- Even denim wears out eventually, so don’t wear your jeans two days in a row unless you want to get a broken-in effect.
Some Workable Outfits
If you’re still a little stumped, here are three, quick, easy outfits that work in nearly every office environment.
Jeans, button-up shirt, sweater:
A classic office approach to jeans is to simply wear a button-up shirt, and put a solid-color sweater over it. Casual without being too casual, this is the perfect choice if you’re just testing the waters, and not sure if wearing jeans at the office is acceptable yet. Feeling a bit more ambitious? Swap the sweater for a cardigan for an even more casual variation.
Jeans, flannel shirt:
For a more preppy, casual approach to jeans, pair them with a flannel shirt. Great choices include J. Crew, and LL Bean. The flannel is a practical workingman’s shirt, and the jeans make it a very conservative-yet-casual outfit.
Jeans and blazer:
Another classic working outfit, a blazer paired with a pair of dark wash jeans is a great choice.
You may have noticed that none of these outfits focuses on the jeans. Each would work just as well with khakis or dress pants, which is important. Though James Dean’s white t-shirt and jeans look is a classic, it focuses on the jeans, making it far too casual. Since jeans already add a level of informality to your look, pick outfits that don’t rely on your jeans.
- The Jeans: Stick with up market, well-fitting jeans.
- Denim Care: Treat your denim with respect, and make sure they look their best for the office.
- Don’t wash them too often, and only in cold water, unless you’re shrinking them.
- Outfits: Pick outfits that don’t focus on the jeans. Since your jeans add a casual aspect, you might want to add some formality with other pieces.
Need more jean suggestions? Want some help with brands, or color coordination? Use the comments box below to solicit the help of the EveryGuyed community!