Are Jeans Business Casual? How to Wear them + Outfit Ideas!

Are jeans business casual - faverie

The idea for the first workplace casual dress code was invented by garment designers in Hawaii who wanted to promote aloha shirts. The first major company to pick up the idea was Hewlett-Packard which wanted to encourage its employees to think outside the box.

The idea caught on quickly, and many employers now have endorsed a business casual wardrobe.

Thankfully, you will not have to wear boldly colored shirts in a business casual workplace, but you can wear your jeans. If you have ever wondered whether jeans are business casual, the answer is a resounding yes, as long as you choose the right pair of jeans.

In this post, you will learn how to style your jeans and wear them to work. So be sure to read until the very end because men and women will gain helpful information.

Are jeans business casual?

To determine if jeans are business casual, we must arrive at two different definitions. The first one is what are jeans while the second one is what is business casual. 

In this chapter, I will attempt to answer both of those questions and briefly discuss if jeans should be worn to a job interview and other dress codes where jeans are appropriate. Therefore, I encourage you to reach each section of this chapter.

If you step back in American history, you will find that the term jeans was a nickname for Genoa fustian, a tightly woven cotton twill fabric made in Genoa, Italy. The material was highly prized for its durability while still being comfortable. Many people still love to wear durable jeans today, especially when they are stuck at work.

The first jeans were made in America. The first patent for jeans was given to Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss in 1873. He had already been making jeans for a little while using fabric supplied by Reno, Nevada, businessman Jacob Davis. 

Soon, the rugged pants became a favorite, with men moving to California to strike it rich in the gold fields. As these men became sailors, they wore their jeans, and people worldwide were introduced to jeans.

Therefore, we can define jeans as rugged cotton twill pants.

What’s business casual attire?

Business casual is seen in many workplaces, allowing workers to wear something to work rather than the traditional suit. Business casual attire started in the Silicon Valley area of California in the 1980s and became widespread in the 1990s. After the COVID pandemic, many people think dressing up in sweats and t-shirts became the norm.

You can wear many types of clothing and follow most business casual dress codes. This includes skirts, trousers, and slacks. Unlike traditional business dress codes, suits and ties are not required.

The business casual dress code also incorporates many more colors than the traditional business dress code. At the same time, stick with neutrals and dark colors, although you can add a pop of color to your outfit.

Keeping with the casual flair, clothes should still stick close to your body. While casual dress codes often include very short clothes, business casual outfits should end at a woman’s knee or just a little above it.

Woman sitting chair

You should still wear dress shoes instead of flip-flops or ratty sneakers. Perfect choices for footwear for men include loafers, Chelsea boots, and other choices that keep your toes covered and comfortable. Ideal options for women include loafers, leather boat shoes, and kitten heels.

Accessories should be kept simple and stay close to your body. Stud earrings and small hoops and dangles can be an ideal choice. Chains and simple necklaces are great choices too.

Are jeans appropriate for business casual?

You can absolutely wear some types of jeans under a business casual dress code. They need to be clean and pressed. You need to wear them with dress shoes and other items showing that you respect the business environment.

The first thing to remember if your company has a business casual dress code is that you should not wear jeans with holes in them, regardless of how fashionable they may be. Save those jeans for your off-time because if you wear them to work, you must spend more time doing laundry before you can have fun.

You will also want to avoid wearing jeans with chains or lots of metal attached to them, like you might wear to a punk rock concert or when dressing grunge. These jeans will give the wrong message to some customers. Therefore, they are frowned upon in the workplace.

Another factor to remember is that you will need to dress up your jeans before wearing them to work in a business casual environment. A great place to start is with a collared shirt. Avoid wearing them with a t-shirt or graphic shirt. 

Instead, wear them with your polo shirt or a button-up or button-down shirt. Another excellent option for dressing up jeans is to wear them with a structured blazer or a sports jacket.

What types of jeans are business casual?

Dark-wash jeans are generally considered the best type of jeans to wear in a business casual workplace. You will want to ensure they are wrinkle-free and in good repair. The style of jeans you choose will depend a little on your body build, but you should avoid any where the legs are extremely wide at the bottom.

Regardless of your chosen jeans, you should always wear your jeans with a belt. In the workplace, high and mid-rise jeans are considered more appropriate than low-rise jeans. Your jeans should never droop and should fit your body correctly, including in the crotch. Ensure that you choose a plain belt with a simple buckle, but I will have more to say about that in a moment.

As I mentioned earlier, consider your body shape when choosing your jeans. Generally, they should stay close to your body. Therefore, boyfriend jeans may be ideal if you have an apple or athletic build. Make sure they have enough stretch to move as your body moves. Options with a cuff at the bottom are usually dressier than those without one.

Straight-cut jeans are another great option if you have an hourglass, athletic or apple-shaped body. This option is ideal for wearing under a blazer. You can even wear them with your flats if they are dressy enough.

While you will want to avoid jeans with too much flare, bootcut jeans can also be an outstanding choice, especially if you have a pear or hourglass body. This option is perfect for wearing with a button-down or button-up shirt where there is a little volume to the sleeves. They can also be an excellent choice for people who want to hide some of their curves.

How to dress up jeans for work?

I have already mentioned several ways to dress up jeans for work. In a future chapter, I will give you some suggestions on specific outfits to wear to work. Therefore, let’s concentrate on what accessories to wear with jeans to work.

Men, you may want to wear a great pair of sunglasses. When choosing, ensure that they cover your entire eye. The best sunglasses for you depend on your face’s shape. If you have a round face, opt for more rectangular or square sunglasses as they will help balance your face. The opposite is also true. If your face is squarer, select sunglasses with rounded corners or other circular designs.

Man sunglasses

You will also want to opt for a watch, even if you use your smartphone to tell the time. A dress watch with a subtle band matching your belt and shoes is an ideal option. You can choose one in a style fitting your personality, but it should not look cartoonish.

Wear your jeans with a leather brown or black belt. Avoid options with big belt buckles. Instead, choose one that has a subtle silver or gold buckle. You will also want to avoid any belt with a design on it.

Women, earlier, I gave you a lot of hints on choosing the right accessories. Like men, a great watch is an outstanding choice. You should avoid any noise-making bracelets.

You will also want to avoid wearing any sparkly or bold jewelry, although you can choose options that will add a pop of color to your outfit. Unless you opt for a very subtle chain, you will want to avoid ankle bracelets and do not wear a toe ring.

Can you wear jeans to a job interview if the dress code is business casual?

Always dress for the job you want someday instead of the current opening. Therefore, jeans are usually not acceptable for a job interview, even if the company has a business casual dress code. The only possible exception to this is if you know ahead of time that the company has a very laid-back dress code and that everyone wears jeans to work.

If you are determined to wear jeans to a job interview, wear them with a dressier shirt and a blazer. Often, a black pair of tailored jeans for your body, along with a button-up or button-down shirt, is the best option. You should still wear your dress shoes and a belt. Women, if you need to carry a handbag, ensure that it is a dressier option that is appropriate for work.

There are times when you absolutely should not wear jeans to an interview, even if the company has a business casual dress code. One of these times is if you are changing careers or if you are a recent college graduate. Wearing jeans, in that case, may indicate to the interviewer that you are not serious about getting the job.

You should also avoid wearing jeans if you feel underdressed in them. Part of acing an interview is how confident you feel. Therefore, if you are going to wonder if you are underdressed, choose a different option. It is almost impossible to go wrong with a business suit. If money is tight, check out thrift stores or ask a friend who is the same size as you if they have one that you can borrow.

If you opt to wear jeans, never wear them with a t-shirt. Instead, opt for a well-fitting dress shirt. Options in a neutral color or white are usually the best choice.

Can you wear jeans in other dress codes? Which ones?

Jeans are only acceptable in business casual and casual workplaces. The great news is if you decide to skip wearing jeans to work, they are clean for many other occasions, which is perfectly acceptable.

If you are going somewhere with a smart casual dress code, then your dark-wash jeans are a great option. As with business casual, they should be tailored to fit your body and not have rips or holes, even if the designer put them there on purpose. Smart casual events include some weddings and other special occasions during the day, along with some restaurants.

Some workplaces, especially in rural areas, have a casual dress code. For example, you may see farmers, pool maintenance workers, gardeners, and auctioneers wearing jeans to work, along with a t-shirt.

Man garden hand pieces wood

You may also find some jobs allow jeans for specific job descriptions while forbidding them in their dress code. An example of this is maintenance workers who are allowed to wear jeans because they need more durable clothing because of the tasks they must do. 

Some companies and nonprofits also allow some employees to wear jeans when out in the community helping people but require them to wear dressier clothes while working in the office. Of course, some companies also reward employees by allowing them to earn the right to wear their jeans or allowing them to wear them one day out of the week.

Of course, your jeans are an ideal option to wear to many casual events. Over 90% of all meals eaten outside the home are in casual restaurants. Other times when you will want to wear casual clothes are when you are hanging out with friends or lounging around the house. Jeans worn casually are also an excellent option for running errands.

There are other dress codes where you absolutely should not wear jeans. The most obvious of these are black tie and white tie dress codes. You will also not want to wear your jeans to semi-formal events. Do not get confused between business casual and business informal dress codes. You should not wear jeans under a business informal dress code.

In the next chapter, I will tell you how to dress up your jeans for business casual dress codes. Therefore, you will want to ensure that you keep reading as you find the information very inspirational. Looking sharp at work is essential for getting the boss job you want. Ideas for men and women will both be presented.

How to make jeans business casual

Now that you know that you can sometimes wear jeans under a business casual dress code, you need to be aware of some tips if you want to pull off this look. It is very likely that every pair of jeans in your wardrobe is not ideal for wearing to work.

Furthermore, it is also highly likely that every shirt in your drawers or closet will not be suitable for wearing with jeans to the workplace. Therefore, I have created a list of tips to help you understand the look you need to create.

The right tops and accessories are essential for creating a business casual wardrobe that your superiors will surely appreciate. Wearing an outfit that is too casual often leaves people with the impression that you do not have what it takes to move up the chain of command. So always wear clothes that look perfect on you. 

If you are just starting out, consider shopping at thrift stores and consignment shops because you should always wear quality clothes. Creating a minimalistic wardrobe gives you many options to mix and match a small number of clothes to look like you have more clothes than you do.

Wear a collared shirt

One trick to wearing jeans in a place of employment with a business casual dress code is to wear a collared shirt. A button-up or button-down shirt is often the best option, and a collared polo shirt is also a great choice. Opt for one without a logo that is designed to fit your body’s build. 

You should not wear your favorite t-shirt or a graphic t-shirt in a business casual environment. Regardless of the shirt that you choose, ensure that it is quality. Those with a smoother texture are ideal because options with a rougher texture may be considered too informal for work. Ensure your shirt is freshly laundered and wrinkle-free.

Always select a shirt that stays close to your body. Therefore, women will want to avoid bell-sleeve shirts and other options with sleeves that hang down. Both men and women will want to avoid shirts with puffy padding at the shoulders as they will look too casual for the work environment.

Tuck-in your shirt

You need to tuck in your shirt when you are at work. The great news is that means you can satisfactorily untuck it when your shift is done. While this is an integral part of the business casual dress code, it is also vital for safety, as you do not want your shirt tail to get caught in any machinery you need to use. 

Young man hands pockets

You may be tempted to only tuck in your shirt in the front and let the back hang loose, called a French tuck, but this is too casual for the workplace. Therefore, when selecting a shirt, ensure that it is long enough to stay securely tucked into your pants. 

You may need to buy tall shirts to achieve this goal if you have a longer back. Wearing a belt can help hold your shirt securely in place.

Wear a belt

You need to wear a belt with your business casual jeans. Pick a conservative belt, such as a high-quality leather belt. Avoid any option with a big belt buckle, such as those from rodeos. Instead, opt for choices with simple silver or gold buckles. 

If you are wearing either gold or silver accessories, match your belt buckle to the rest of your accessories. The belt you choose should be the correct width for the belt loops on your jeans. 

Therefore, if you select a pair of jeans with narrow belt loops, choose a narrow belt. If you opt for jeans with broader belt loops, choose a wider belt. You should select a belt that is the correct length for your body. In most cases, you will want it to buckle in the third or fourth hole.

Wear dress shoes

Both men and women need to wear their dress shoes when wearing jeans to a business casual workplace. Thankfully, that leaves you with many options. Men will want to consider wearing their dress shoes. Appropriate choices include oxfords, derbies, monk straps, or leather loafers. 

They may also opt for dress boots, like Chelsea or chukka boots. Women also have many options and can opt between high heels and kitten heels. Since you are working towards making your outfit a little more formal, I would not wear flats, and since it is the workplace, you need to choose closed-toed shoes. 

Pumps and brogues can both be excellent choices. Women can also wear their ankle-or-calf boots but avoid those with a more casual vibe, like military boots. If choosing boots, opt for alternatives that are tall enough that no part of your ankle shows from underneath the jeans.

Wear a blazer

If the company has a business casual dress code, a blazer is a great choice to wear to work with jeans. When selecting a blazer, opt for one that is single-breasted instead of double-breasted. Avoid options with bold buttons. 

A terrific choice for men and women who want to create a monochromatic outfit. For example, you could wear blue jeans, a light blue dress shirt, and a darker blue blazer. A charcoal or gray blazer can be a great option if you opt for black jeans. 

Since you are trying to add a little formality to your jeans, choose a structured blazer. Since your jeans have some texture to them, do not select a smooth-textured blazer. 

Instead, opt for one that has some texture to it. An Italian-cut wool blazer can be a great choice. While you can opt for a blazer with a pattern, avoid any that are too bold.

Wear a sports coat

A sports coat is another fantastic option to wear with your jeans to work. Again, avoid anywhere the color or pattern is too bold. Stick with options in solid colors or choices with traditional patterns, such as herringbone or houndstooth. 

If choosing a patterned blazer, opt for a solid-colored dress shirt. As with blazers, the best choices are usually those in more traditional business colors, such as browns, blues, and blacks. Never wear a sports coat that is the same color as your jeans because you will never come close enough. 

Therefore, it will clash, and your outfit will look bad. Ensure you choose a sports jacket and jeans that fit your body’s silhouette. Wearing one that is too tight will make you look overweight, and no one wants that, while wearing one that is too big will make you look like you are playing dress-up.

Select comfortable jeans

You will be wearing your work jeans for at least 10 hours a day if you work a full-time job. Therefore, you will want to choose comfortable jeans. Comfortable jeans should feel luxurious, which often starts with selecting options made from heavier fabrics and options made from stretch denim. 

These jeans will often have Spandex or Lyra mixed in with the denim. The smoother the material, the more comfortable the jeans will be to wear, and the more luxurious they will look. While price is not everything, the designers of more expensive jeans usually pay more attention to details that make the jeans more comfortable to wear. 

If you are just starting out, consider shopping thrift stores and consignment shops, as you can often find name-brand jeans in excellent condition at a fraction of their original cost. Especially if you live in areas where temperatures change radically, think about wearing lightweight jeans in the summer and heavier jeans in the winter.

Opt for jeans in a dark color

Jeans that are darker in color are best for a work environment. You may find that black jeans are ideal for a business casual outfit, and they are effortless to pair with so many tops. Blue jeans were created with indigo dye, and those made with dark indigo dyes are still preferred in the workplace. 

You can also opt for more colorful jeans and tone them down with your dress tops. For instance, during spring, consider those in pastel colors, like millennial pink, light azure, creamy mint, and whimsy yellow. 

In contrast, consider options in beautiful autumn colors in the fall, like forest greens, moss greens, mustard, and burgundies. Of course, if you wear an unusual shade of jeans, you must opt for tops and accessories that work well with your color choice.

Choose high-quality jeans

You may think you are saving money by buying low-quality jeans, but they will not last as long, so you will need to replace them more often. Therefore, as with other clothing items, it pays to invest in high-quality jeans. Lay the jeans out flat and ensure all the seams are flat. Then, inspect the stitching. 

It should be done with tiny stitches using heavy-duty thread. If the jeans have a small watch pocket, examine it closely to see if the manufacturer has attached it in a way that will stay on the jeans, as it can be a clue to how well other pockets will stay in place. 

Then, inspect the button at the top of the zipper, assuming the jeans have one. Ideally, it will be riveted through the fabric. Finally, check the hem to ensure that it is flat.

Wear the right accessories

I have already discussed the importance of choosing the right belt, watch, and sunglasses, but, men, there are other accessories that you may want to consider. Make sure to choose socks that compliment the rest of your outfit. While you can opt for two-tone socks, avoid those that have patterns or images, as they will look too casual in this dress code.

Detail man feet shoes

Women, you should stick to simple accessories. This is not the dress code to bring out your grandmother’s jewels or to wear any jewelry that stays away from your body. Your wedding ring is an exception, but all metal in your outfit should be the same color. You should wear a simple belt with your jeans. A great way to increase the business focus of your outfit for men and women is to carry a briefcase.

I sincerely hope that you have found these tips helpful and educational. In the next chapter, I will suggest types of pants to wear if you decide to forgo wearing your jeans, so be sure to keep reading.

What types of pants are business casual

You now have an excellent concept of wearing jeans if your company’s dress code is business casual. If you are questioning if you want to pull off the look, then you may be wondering what other types of pants you can wear to a workplace with a business casual dress code.

The answer is that men and women have many great options. In this chapter, we will look at some of them. I will define the term and give you a brief explanation of how to wear them to work.

You will want to avoid wearing some types of pants to work. The most obvious is tuxedo pants with a strip of ribbon down their sides. You may also want to avoid wearing flat-front trousers as they are too dressy for work. 

On the other end of the spectrum, there are other pants that you should not wear. One of them is sweatpants or tracksuit bottoms, as they are too casual. Regardless of the pants you choose, ensure they are clean and wrinkle-free. If they need any repairs, do them before wearing them to work.


Manufacturers usually make slacks from smooth knit fabrics, and their texture makes them an ideal business casual wardrobe choice. The word slack comes from the old Saxon term “slak,” meaning things that are not too tight. 

This characteristic makes slacks a terrific choice to wear to work as they will not bind your body even if you must sit still for many hours. Like jeans, they are ideal for wearing with a blazer or sports jacket and a nice dress shirt. 

Slacks made from wool or wool blends can be a perfect choice if your office tends to be cold because they act as a natural insulator. I will have more to say about wool trousers in just a moment, so keep reading. 

Detail woman walking heels

Since slacks tend to be a little more formal than jeans, you have more options in accessories. Opt for those that will help give off a casual vibe, such as a statement necklace or earrings that stay close to your body.

Khaki pants

British Indian soldiers initially made these pants by dying their cotton pants with tea, curry powder, and mud, allowing them to blend into desert landscapes. Still, when you wear your khaki pants to work, you can stand out beautifully. 

These dusty-colored pants became popular with people outside the military after World War II, and they are rumored to be a favorite choice of President Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. You can style these pants in many ways, including wearing them with a polo shirt and your favorite loafers. 

They also look super when worn with a button-up or button-down shirt and a cardigan. They look particularly great when you pair them with other earth tones, so consider wearing an olive-colored dress shirt under a brown blazer with your khakis.


While many people use the terms khaki and chinos interchangeably, chinos are an offshoot of the original khaki pants. Chinos often have cleaner lines than khakis, making them an ideal choice for the workplace, where khakis tend to look more utilitarian. 

It is easy to create a preppy look by wearing mid-rise chinos with a striped dress shirt. You can also wear your chinos with a leather bomber jacket or crop coat and a polo shirt. These rugged pants are ideal for those long days away from home because you can easily dress them up or down, so you can completely change the look after work. 

While khakis are a dusty color, you can find chinos in many different colors. In a business casual environment, this allows you the freedom to wear pastels in the spring and autumn colors in the fall.

Wool trousers

There are many types of wool trousers, and you need to choose the right kind, or your outfit will become too formal for a business casual workplace. For example, cashmere wool trousers can be a great choice depending on the pant’s design. 

Flannel is a type of wool, making very warm and durable pants that you can easily wear to work. Consider those in a solid color for work. No, you cannot wear your flannel pajama bottoms to the office. 

Gabardine is an attractive option that will give your outfit a vintage flair. One of the most popular types of wool pants is tweed, and its unusual weave lets the fabric drape nicely so that you can stay comfortable all day. 

The smooth finish of worsted wool pants makes it look luxurious. When picking out wool pants to add to your work wardrobe, consider that some options may need to be dry cleaned.

Linen trousers

Linen trousers are especially a great option during warmer weather. These pants come from the outside covering of flax plants and are incredibly durable. This fabric is breathable so that you will stay comfortable all day long. As we discussed with jeans, avoid options with extremely wide legs. 

Be sure to accessorize your outfit so that these pants do not look like you just rolled out of bed and headed to the office without getting dressed first. Linen pants and a blazer is an ideal option. You should also avoid linen pants that are too baggy as they are inappropriate for the workplace. 

These pants look great when paired with a button-down or button-up shirt. Consider choices that are medium-waisted and wear them with a belt to give them a more formal appearance. 

Linen trousers in a neutral color look beautiful with many blazers and sports jackets. You can opt to create a monochromatic outfit or opt to go with a complimentary color scheme.

The next chapter is for you if you are ready to consider wearing jeans in the business casual workplace. I will give men and women many outfit ideas, so you can easily choose what to wear with jeans to work. Therefore, I encourage you to keep reading.

Business casual outfits with jeans

There are many ways to wear jeans in a business casual work environment. Thankfully, more companies than ever before are following this trend that many believe started in the 1990s. While it definitely became more fashionable during that decade, the trend can be traced back to the 1960s.

The first movement was started by Hawaiian garment makers who gave each state congressperson two Hawaiian shirts and encouraged them to wear them on Fridays. The start of casual Fridays took off from there.

At about the same time, Hewett Packard introduced Blue Sky Days casual Fridays. The company’s founders, Bill Hewlett and David Packard, wanted their employees to think creatively. And they hoped that letting them dress casually on Fridays would encourage this habit. 

Fast forward to 1992, Dockers, which Levi had brought, started a massive marketing campaign promoting business casual. When putting together your outfit, consider these business casual jeans ideas.

Women’s outfit ideas

There are many ways to wear jeans in a business casual women workplace. As I have already discussed, choose jeans that fit you and stay close to your body. You will also want to wear them with a belt. Dark-colored jeans are the preferred option.

Blazer + denim button-up + pumps

You can easily create a double denim outfit and wear it with your favorite structured blazer. This is an excellent look for wearing with your black or gray jeans. Then, pair it with a denim button-up shirt. It should have a collar, but you can choose between long-sleeve or short-sleeve options. 

Woman sit stairs hand chin

Add your favorite blazer to it. One in a neutral color is an ideal choice. Finally, put on your pumps. You can opt to go with just a watch and your favorite sunglasses, but if the button-up has a V-neck opening, you can choose to wear it with a necklace.

Cropped jeans + light-colored button-up + stiletto sandals

Your cropped jeans can look great in the office. Be sure to select a pair that ends at your ankles, as those ending higher may make your legs look bigger. Dark-wash, black or deep charcoal jeans are the best choice. Then, pair it with a light-colored button-up blouse, and one made from silk or silk-like fabric is an outstanding option. 

Choose a blouse that is a light color so that you have an interesting contrast between your dark jeans and your light top. If the weather is cool, pair it with a wool cropped jacket if you must go outside. Your stiletto sandals and a leather sling bag are perfect ways to complete this look.

Jeans + silk blouse + structured blazer + high-heel pumps

Your jeans will look perfect when you wear a silk blouse with them. Instead of a button-up, consider one that slips on over your head. Then, top the blouse with a structured blazer. Consider wearing your dark indigo denim jeans with a tan silk blouse and a black blazer. 

While you can go several ways with your shoes, your high-heel pumps bring a touch of class to this outfit. Consider carrying a large black leather handbag. The only accessories you may need with this look are a luxury watch and a belt.

Denim jeans + button-down shirt + scarf + loafers

When the weather cannot decide what it wants to do, a scarf is an ideal addition to wear with your dark-denim jeans and a light-color button-down shirt. In this case, you can choose a short or long-sleeved shirt. One with a bit of texture is the best choice. 

Then, wrap the scarf around your neck and wear your kitten-heel loafers. Ensure you select a scarf in a light color so that it will contrast with your jeans. A dark leather belt and black loafers will look great with this outfit. Consider carrying a slingback purse that will add a subtle pop of color to your wardrobe.

Black jeans + black top + cardigan + leopard-print shoes

Black jeans are an ideal option for the office when you pair them with a matching black button-up top. You can choose a plain option or one with a small bow at its neckline. Then, wear a caramel-colored cardigan over it. Ideally, select one that ends about your knees. 

Then, wear your leopard-print shoes. You can draw attention to your shoes if you want by wearing cropped jeans, but make sure they come down to your ankles. You can swap out the caramel color for rust if you desire, and wear it with your rust-colored pointy high heels.

Jeans + button-up shirt + blanket scarf

Wear your jeans and a long-sleeve button-up shirt when the weather is frightful. You can even top the shirt with a sweater if you need the extra warmth. Then, wrap a blanket scarf around your neck. Consider keeping the colors neutral by choosing your black jeans and a white button-up shirt. 

This is the perfect look for wearing a black-and-white plaid blanket scarf. Finish the look by wearing your high-heel ankle boots. A white parka looks great with this look when heading outdoors. You can either carry a handbag or a shoulder bag with this option.

Jeans + button-up shirt + sleeveless shell + wedge heels

Your dark-wash jeans will look beautiful with a button-up shirt and a sleeveless shell. The trick to pulling off this look is to add a classical touch by wearing them with your wedge heels. Consider wearing complementary colors to your dark-wash jeans when choosing your blouse and shell. 

Therefore, you will want to wear a light blue shirt and a purple sweater. You will want to emphasize the dark-blue color by carrying a dark-blue handbag. Since you will never match the color of your jeans, choose wedge heels that are either purple or light blue. 

While you want to limit the amount of jewelry that you wear, this can be a great outfit to wear some simple silver or gold earrings and a gold chain necklace.

Jeans + printed blouse + pumps

No rule says you must go with a solid-color top when wearing jeans. Therefore, consider pairing them with a silky button-up blouse. Keep the pattern right for your body’s silhouette. That is to say, avoid large prints and horizontal stripes if you are larger. 

Choosing a printed blouse that draws attention to your best body features, such as your chest, can be a great choice. Then, wear a neutral-colored blazer over the blouse. This is especially important if the blouse has bolder colors as you want to stick with darker colors. Your pumps will make this outfit look more professional.

Jeans + fashion jacket + shell top + pumps

When the weather is in between, layering is an excellent option as it allows you to adjust your outfit throughout the day. Start with a button-up blouse and cover it with a no-sleeve shell top. Then, add a fashion jacket. 

You can go with a monochromatic look by wearing your dark jeans with a medium-blue button-up and a light blue shell top. Choose a fashion jacket with various shades of blue and wear it with your blue high-heel pumps. You could also switch up the look by wearing a white button-up and an off-white fashion jacket.

Jeans + vest + blazer + button-up shirt + boots

Adding a vest under a blazer can completely change its look. Again, this is a perfect outfit when temperatures change radically throughout the day because of its many layers. Start with your dark-wash jeans and a white button-up blouse. Then, add a luxurious vest. It can be wool or silky, depending on your preference. 

Complete the look by wearing a blazer. You can choose one that is the same color as your vest, or you can pick one in a complementary color. This is the perfect outfit to carry a shoulder bag with, especially if you are a little bigger than you desire, because the strap on the bag and the lines in the blazer and vest will help elongate your look.

Men’s outfit ideas

While women get many more choices under most dress codes than men, that is not true of business casual. Men, you will love this dress code, especially when you wear your favorite dark-wash jeans. There are so many options that if your workplace tries to institute a new dress code, you may want to find a new place with a business casual dress code for men to work.

Jeans + shirt + sports coat + Chelsea boots

A button-down shirt paired with your jeans is perfect for a business casual workplace. A cotton sports coat is an excellent choice for summer, while a wool option is ideal for winter. When choosing colors, stick with black or dark-wash jeans. Then, select a light-colored shirt. You can go with a solid or select one with a subtle pattern. 

Finally, wear a sports coat that helps bring the two colors together. A luxury watch may be the only accessory that you need. If the weather is frightful, you can wear a cropped coat over the sports coat and wrap a scarf around your neck.

Jeans + dress shirt + sweater + tie + loafers

A sweater is an outstanding option to wear with your jeans in a business casual workplace. The layers of this outfit are ideal in the spring and fall when temperatures can change rapidly. Start by putting on your dark-wash jeans. Then, put on a button-down dress shirt.

Man posing sit chair hat
Source: Emmanuel Akinte on Unsplash

Pick out a solid-colored tie that works with the sweater’s colors. Button the top button of your shirt and put on the tie. Then, pull on the sweater. You can choose between a V-neck and a round neck, but the sweater should hide all but the very top of the tie.

Jeans + turtleneck + blazer

A high-quality turtleneck or mock turtleneck worn under a blazer with your black, charcoal gray, or dark-wash jeans can be an ideal choice. Ensure you pick a turtleneck that is the right weight for the weather so that you will stay warm all day without getting overheated. 

Shy away from options with padded shoulders as they will not look right under your blazer. Since a turtleneck has a casual vibe, stick to choices in traditional business colors, like dark blue or black. Then, wear a structured blazer. You can opt for one that has a pattern to it if you want, such as a plaid or a herringbone.

Jeans + button-down shirt + blazer+ vest + tie

You will look super when you wear your jeans with a button-down shirt, vest, and blazer. Consider starting with a pair of black jeans that fit your body well and a white button-down dress shirt. Then, choose a solid-color necktie in a regular width. 

The trickiest part of putting this outfit together is deciding which vest and blazer you will wear. Create an interesting contrast by choosing a plaid design for one or the other and wearing a solid color for the other one. Your leather-band watch and leather loafers are great finishing touches.

Jeans + dress shirt + tie + blazer+ trench coat

A light-colored trench coat is an ideal option with your dark-colored jeans. Then, wear a pale blue dress shirt and a dark blue horizontally striped tie. Wear a dark blue blazer to add a finishing touch under the trench coat. 

Ensure that there is enough color difference to make a distinction between the blazer and the jeans easily. You can opt to go without any accessories if you want. Depending on your planned day, carrying a canvas tote bag can be a great choice.

Jeans + chambray button-down shirt + cashmere sweater + suede shoes

Give a vintage twist to your business casual outfit by wearing jeans with a chambray button-down shirt. The shirt should have a button-down collar, which you will want to button as it gives a more professional appearance. 

Then, top the shirt with an open-down-the-front sweater. You can choose between various colors, but I especially like brown and rust-colored ones. Be sure to grab a simple leather belt that fits you and the belt loops on the jeans. Your suede leather lace-up shoes are an ideal choice. If the weather is cooler, consider wearing your trench coat and a fedora.

Black jeans + t-shirt + dress shirt + oxfords

Your black jeans and t-shirt are a great base layer for that day when you cannot wait to get off work. Then, top the t-shirt with a crisp button-down dress shirt. Let the weather determine if you wear a short-sleeve or long-sleeve shirt. 

Man standing hands pockets

A black leather belt with a simple silver buckle is an ideal option. Give this outfit a more professional look by carrying a black leather briefcase. While you may want to bring your sneakers along for after work, opt for your oxfords during business hours.

White jeans + ribbed sweater + button-down shirt + long leather coat

A button-down shirt worn under a ribbed sweater looks perfect on a cold day. You can opt to wear a tie if you want, but this outfit does not require one. Pick a sweater in a business color, such as brown, blue, or black. Choosing one with a slight color variation adds visual interest to this outfit, but do not go with one that is too boldly colored. 

Then, opt to wear your long leather coat. It should easily cover your butt but stop about mid-thigh. Adding leather to the sweater helps keep this outfit from becoming too casual for the workplace.

Jeans + button-down shirt + corduroy jacket

A corduroy jacket is one of my favorite looks anywhere, except at formal events. I am particularly fond of the ones with large elbow patches that are a slightly different color than the jacket. One word of caution. Do not choose a corduroy jacket where the weave is too close to the weave in your jeans, as it will make your outfit clash. 

I especially like this look in the fall when worn with an orange or burnt red dress shirt and a brown jacket. You can go in a white dress shirt. This option also works well when the dress shirt is worn over a t-shirt that is just allowed to peak through at the neckline.

Jeans+ suit jacket + button-down shirt

A single-breasted suit jacket that fits you well is a great option to wear with your jeans. The jacket should be in a modern style, not one that hangs to your knees. Then, wear a button-down shirt with it. You can choose whatever color works best with the suit jacket. 

You will want to stick to dark-colored jeans. If the suit jacket has a breast pocket, then stick a colorful silk pocket square in it to add a pop of color. Tweed suit coats are ideal, but you can go with other options. Just ensure there is as much difference as possible between the texture of the suit coat and jeans.

I hope you have enjoyed thinking about these different options. Before you race to your closet to pick out your clothes for tomorrow, keep reading as I share a few concluding thoughts.


I hope you have enjoyed learning more about wearing your jeans to work if your company has a business casual dress code.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask.

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