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woman in jeans, brown t-shirt and soft pink, button suit jacket

How to wear denim to work

When Levi Strauss popularized denim for San Francisco gold miners, he never could have imagined the impact the fabric would have. Today, 96 percent of U.S. consumers own a pair of jeans, according to research conducted by Cotton Incorporated. With so many options available in this material, it’s nearly impossible to leave these pieces out of your wardrobe.

With full-time workers spending around eight and a half hours on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s important to feel comfortable and stylish. Denim offers both of these qualities, but the challenge is making sure outfits are office appropriate. Here are a few tips to ensure your jean looks don’t contradict company policy:

Pair with a blazer

It’s common for people to think that denim immediately makes an outfit look more casual. You can get the best of both worlds by pairing your women’s dress jeans with a professional jacket. While neutral colors – black, navy blue, gray – are the obvious choice, bolder boyfriend blazers in a fun print can add another layer of style to your wardrobe. If you go with the latter option, incorporate simple accessories like gold jewelry sets; you don’t want to overdo it!

Modern Jacket

Incorporate other denim pieces

While jean pants may be the most worn pieces of this favorite fabric, you shouldn’t pigeonhole your style into just bottoms. There are plenty of denim alternatives that are just as easy to wear to work. A button-down chambray shirt with a statement necklace is a good look, as is a high waisted pencil skirt in denim with wedge heels and a simple blouse. Don’t be afraid to experiment with jean material; you’ll be surprised just how versatile it is!

“If you’re trying to be a little more edgy, try a half tuck.”

Find the right top to tuck

Looking pulled together is all about attention to detail. One of the simplest ways to dress up your denim is to tuck in your top. A silk dressy blouse or classic button-down are great options, especially when worn with flare-leg or bootcut jeans for women. These pieces are perfect for both the office and an evening out afterward, especially if you switch from daytime flats to going-out slingback heels. If you’re trying to be a little more edgy, try a half tuck, with the back of your top left out.

Denim Skirt

Invest in a dark wash

There will always be a time for distressed denim or white jeans, but these selections may not be your go-tos for the office. Instead, opt for a pair of jeans in a dark wash. Deep blue and black women’s skinny jeans offer you a blank slate on which to add on top of and are incredibly slimming. Don’t shy away from patterns, bold colors and fashion accessories when you have simple denim on the bottom.

Remember stand-out accessories

With so many ways to dress up your denim for the workplace, it’s easy to leave out other wardrobe elements. If you do, however, you’ll be missing out on putting the cherry on top of the perfect look. Strong accessories can really make your style pop, and they shouldn’t be overlooked no matter how professional or casual your jeans are. Choose a complementary color and use it to incorporate women’s heels and a scarf in the same shade or similar hues. An animal print bag adds a sense of fierceness to your outfit, while a statement necklace goes well with both a collared top or a simple t-shirt.

Scarf Poncho with Belt

To find the right shoes to pair with your pant choice, read our article on what shoes to wear with women’s jeans.

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