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When styled correctly, a great pair of denim can easily be worn to almost any and all occasions—even to the office. Denim in the workplace can be a tricky topic to tackle, but today, the best jeans for work strike a balance of stylishness and sophistication. When worn strategically, they can abide by nearly all office dress codes, whether casual or corporate. It’s no secret that jeans are the ultimate wardrobe staple, so why not apply that same thought when building your working wardrobe?
There are a few key things to consider when choosing the best work jeans; apart from cut and style, consider if they’ll provide a professional desk-side polish, if they are comfortable enough to wear from nine to five (including a commute!), and if they go well with a wide variety of footwear. For starters, we suggest swapping out your work slacks in favor of fool-proof, go-with-anything denim styles like a standout pair of straight leg jeans or a roomier wide-leg. These can be dressed up with a ladylike heel and work bag or pared down with an office-appropriate sneaker. Because we’re leaning into fall fashion, pair your denim with lightweight transitional outerwear like a timeless trench from Khaite, a quilted shell jacket from Totême, or even a trendy suit vest from Helmut Lang. Crisp shirting is always a match for denim. Find options like a white poplin shirt from The Frankie Shop or a printed Victoria Beckham blouse, below. For the non-jean enthusiast, Prada makes a chic denim skirt that provides the same casual coolness as a regular jean. Pair yours with a fun zebra-printed cardigan and Bottega Veneta mules.
This fall, the best jeans for work are elegant enough to go from one important meeting to the next. Below, find Vogue’s guide to styling the 10 best jeans for work that are equally as stylish as they are sophisticated.
Make the wide-leg your go-to, in-office denim silhouette this fall. From Frame, the ‘Le Baggy’ style is also high-waisted, which makes it the perfect vehicle for an oversized sweater like this one from Khaite. This cut also goes well with any footwear of your choosing, like these fall-festive suede knee-high boots from Staud. Finish the look off with the must-have work bag of the season, Bottega Veneta’s Arco tote in black.
The High-Rise Straight
Classic straight leg jeans always get a spot at the top of our wardrobe essentials list. They stand up to any piece of outerwear or shoe style with subtle elegance. Made In Tomboy’s ‘Erica’ high-rise straight-leg jean is cut from a rigid denim, which gives any look some added edge and texture. There’s nothing quite as classic as a pair of blue jeans and a white T-shirt; get the look with Rag & Bone’s cotton jersey tee. From Tory Burch comes a pair of office-appropriate sneakers, say for a casual Friday?
Cut to flatter, Chloés dark wash flared jeans are especially elongating. For a full denim look, double up and pair with Wardrobe.NYC’s denim overshirt. The Row’s mid-heel leather pumps add a seriously chic touch, while a chunky, gold chain necklace from Laura Lombardi gives the entire look some sparkle.
The Wide White
No matter the season, a great pair of white jeans are timeless. Khaite’s ‘Ian’ jeans in ivory combine the elegance of your favorite tailored trousers, but in pure cotton denim. The wide-leg silhouette fits low-rise on the hips for a lived-in feel. Keep the all-white party going and pair a white sweater vest from Co on top. This has been the late summer and early fall of Birkenstock; the brand’s latest collaboration with Manolo Blahnik comes in the form of these PVC sandals. Tie the monochromatic look together with a Marni tote bag.
The Black Skinny
While most may be in favor of baggier denim these days, there is still something to be said about a classic skinny, black jean. These from Everlane make room for your footwear to shine. Take these kitten heels from Balenciaga, for example. Pair them with other hot ticket items of the season: a suit vest from Helmut Lang and Prada’s raffia tote bag.
The Tailored Taper
Totême’s tailoring-inspired tapered jeans are made from organic dark wash denim, making them the perfect mate to any piece of outerwear or footwear. Pair the elevated denim style with an equally as sophisticated trench coat from Khaite. Underneath, place a barely-there tank top from Agolde. Ballet flats from Everlane with a bow detail make the look all the sweeter.
The Comfy Jean
Edwin’s faded indigo straight-leg jeans have a relaxed, lived-in feel that are perfect for your Monday through Friday routine. The comfortable cut works well for a more casual working environment but also has the ability to be dressed up for more corporate ones. On top, pair with an off-white shell jacket from Totême or a printed blouse from Victoria Beckham. No working wardrobe is complete without a preppy loafer like these from Mango.
The Distressed Black Jean
Frayed hems and distressed denim still have a place in the workplace, believe it or not. This pair from Everlane is done so ever-so-slightly to create just enough of an edge. On top, fall back on more traditional, menswear-inspired garments like a tailored blazer from Veronica Beard or a crisp white shirt from The Frankie Shop. Saint Laurent’s two-tone patent-leather loafers are another classic borrowed from the boys.
When the wide-leg isn’t wide enough, add baggy jeans into the equation. Juxtapose the roominess with a tighter top like this striped turtleneck from Wales Bonner. A tailored blazer is always welcome in the mix, while a heeled black boot from Vince gives the entire look some height.
The Denim Skirt
For the non-jean enthusiast, enter Prada’s denim midi skirt to the rescue. With the same casual, coolness of regular jeans, the style has a more feminine feel. Continue the ladylikeness with a printed cardigan from J.Crew and mules from Bottega Veneta. Throw on Wandler’s ‘Hannah’ leather bag over your shoulder for total sartorial success.