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If you’ve ever worked in an office setting, you know how hard it can be to choose what to wear each morning. Though some companies have clear dress codes, many offices have unspoken rules about what to wear and what to leave in your dresser or closet.
For a long time, it was seen as a professional faux pas to wear jeans or denim to the office on a day that wasn’t Casual Friday. However, that has changed in recent years with more companies opting for a more laid-back approach to office style. Though not every company has adopted this way of thinking, the tide has certainly turned.
That’s not to say you should assume that it’s acceptable to show up to work with your favorite pair of distressed, ripped jeans. But now, it’s easier than ever to find a pair of the best work jeans for a sophisticated, office-friendly look.
Buying Guide: Best Work Jeans
We looked at the following criteria when compiling our list of the best jeans to wear to the office.
Wash: This refers to the process that gives your jeans their finish and color. For office settings, we recommend avoiding loud colors and going with a darker wash or white denim pants, which are super versatile for most work settings and outfits. Whether your ensemble is more neutral or has a pop of color, you’ll stand out in all the right ways.
Style: As we mentioned before, not all jeans are considered appropriate for the office. Steer clear of jeans that are ripped and frayed; you want your jeans to be clean and in good condition. To air on the side of caution, go for a standard straight-leg pair. Though not quite as slimming as skinny jeans, they are definitely more comfortable without being too distressed or oversized. Bootcut jeans can also be paired with a good pair of boots or heels to complete a business-casual outfit.
What Are the Best Work Jeans?
From brands like the Gap to Levi’s, here are our top picks for the best jeans to wear to the office this season.
1. Paige Normandie Inkwell Jeans
Based in Los Angeles, denim brand Paige has a wide selection of stylish jeans. The shop has a ton of styles to choose from, whether you’re looking for a slimmer cut or a more standard straight-fitting pair of jeans. No matter which route you go, you can’t go wrong rocking a pair of Paige’s work jeans. We gravitate towards the brand’s Normandie style in a darker navy wash. Fit for both your 9-to-5 and happy hours alike, these are work jeans at their coolest (and most comfortable, thanks to a slight stretch). Pair them with a chambray shirt, a white tee, and you’re all set.
2. Everlane Rigid Way-High Jean
If you’ve ever shopped at Everlane, you know the company has a huge assortment of office-friendly styles. Need proof? Look no further than the brand’s denim selection. These Everlane jeans come in a higher rise that looks modern, and they’re made using premium organic cotton that won’t feel overly stiff to wear to work. They’re available in four different washes, all complete with a button closure.
3. Levi’s 501 Jeans
One of Levi’s most classic designs, you can’t go wrong with a pair of 501s, and that’s especially true when it comes to your work wardrobe. The fit looks tailored enough for the office, but they still feel casual enough to wear on the weekends too. They can easily be paired with a suit jacket, loafers, or a pair of fresh white sneakers. No matter what else you wear them with, you’re in store for a meeting-friendly outfit that’s as classic as it gets.
4. Johnnie-O Hugo Straight Leg Jeans
Want a pair of work jeans that you can rock all summer long? Go with these khaki denim pants from Johnnie-O. With a slightly slim fit, they’re designed with a straight cut through the legs. Best of all, they don’t sacrifice on comfort. Made with a combination of modal, cotton, and spandex, they’ll feel soft and slightly stretchy out of the box, with plenty of room through the thighs. An added bonus: They’re available in six different color options.
5. Gap Women’s High-Rise Straight Leg Jeans
These jeans feel like vintage denim, with what the brand boasts as having “a touch of stretch.” They’ll feel snug when you first put them on, but they’ll form to your body’s natural shape the more you wear them. The dark indigo wash makes them an office wardrobe home run, and they can easily be paired with a colorful blouse or with a cardigan.
6. Banana Republic Men’s Bootcut Legacy Jean
We love these bootcut jeans from Banana Republic first and foremost because of their versatile darker wash. Whether you pair these with a button-up shirt, a sweater, or a simple jacket, you can easily arrange an office-friendly ensemble that also shows off your personal style. You can also roll up the cuffs or leave them as they are to accentuate your boots.