I often get asked if it is okay to wear certain questionable items to work, like leggings, jeans and open-toe shoes, for example. I always turn the question back on those who ask me because every workplace is different and I can’t go against the dress code of a company. Certainly, if a woman is questioning what is and isn’t okay to wear then the company likely could be doing a better job of making the rules of attire clearer.
Now that we’re entering summer, it’s not uncommon for workplace dress codes to get more lax. With white jeans being so popular, they can be a crisp, professional option for business casual environments. However, some rules on wearing white jeans to work should still be followed. This is your place of work, you don’t want to look like you’re heading to a barbecue after all.
Before you put on your white jeans for work, take a look at my tips on how to wear them professionally.
Watch the tightness
Skinny jeans continue to be popular, and this includes white jeans. Skinny white jeans are an acceptable option as long as they aren’t too tight. White not only show off every lump and bump, they can look as inappropriate as wearing leggings without your bottom being covered when they are too snug.
No rips, shreds or tears
Work is not the place to wear white jeans that are distressed or worn. Consider having one pair of white jeans for work and a pair for weekend if you prefer your jeans to look more lived when not at the office. White jeans should be worn like any other pair of tailored pants, crisp, neat and polished.
Elevate your white jeans to create balance
An easy way to make white jeans look more professional is to pair them with more elevated pieces. By combining more professional pieces with your jeans, a middle ground is created that looks business casual. Avoid wearing sweatshirts, graphic t’s or other super casual pieces with your white jeans.
No flip flops or casual weekend sandals
Unless your workplace is super casual and it’s acceptable to dress for work the way you would dress for the weekends, casual sandals should be avoided. The look becomes way too laid back for a professional environment when paired with casual white jeans.
Cropped jeans are questionable
Ankle length white jeans can be okay, but capris, boyfriend styles or cropped pants may come across as too weekend casual.
Professional outfits using white jeans
To give you some examples, check out these three looks I put together using white jeans.
I styled this first look using white boot cut jeans from AG. I styled it professionally using this seasonless navy blazer from Elie Tahari, a striped work t-shirt from J. Crew, and popped some color into the look using these orange mid-heel pumps from Marc Fisher and printed scarf from Sole Society. I finished the look with a navy tote from Tumi and knot stud earrings from Tory Burch.
The components I styled with the jeans are pieces that can be worn in a more professional outfits. However, by pairing them with the white jeans a perfect business casual look is created.
This next summer Friday outfit I styled using a pair of skinny jeans from J. Crew. For a relaxed, yet professional look, I added this Lafayette 148 top and cardigan. Finishing the outfit, I used this pendant from Chico’s and silver backless loafers from Dolce Vita. The outfit is complete with this mini portfolio in black from Banana Republic.
This last look is the most casual of all three. However, it still has professional components that make it work for a business casual office. Using the same skinny white jeans, I added this summer sweater in beige from J. Crew. Instead of casual sandals or open-toe shoes, I added more professional flats in a nude suede from Sam Edelman. Lastly, the necklace from Kate Spade also has a professional touch. For a hint of color, I added this orange bag from Madewell.
Your white jeans can be worn to work if you style them appropriately. With these tips you’ll be ready for summer and ready for work at the same time.