How to Make Skinny Jeans Professional

Avoid distressed styles to keep your skinny jeans professional.
Avoid distressed styles to keep your skinny jeans professional. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Skinny jeans are often associated with extremely trendy styles, which can make it difficult to make the slacks look professional. However, by pairing skinny jeans with more classic styles, you can dress the jeans up to make them more workplace appropriate. If you work in an office with a strict corporate dress code, skinny jeans may never be professional enough for your setting. However, it is possible to make them professional enough for most workplaces that feature a casual Friday dress code, or in more laid-back or creative environments.

Choose a dark, solid wash. Light-colored skinny jeans, distressed, whiskered or otherwise embellished varieties will almost never be professional enough for a corporate environment, unless you are in an artistic field such as fashion. A solid, very dark blue denim or black will look the most pulled together and professional.

Choose skinny jeans that are fitted but not overly sexy. Don't choose skin-tight skinny jeans. Although skinny jeans are inherently snug, there are varying degrees of tightness, and a cigarette-leg jean will be more professional and appropriate than skin-tight leggings. Along the same lines, don't choose jeans with a very low rise.

Pair your skinny jeans with a dressy, fitted top. For the most professional look, choose a well-fitting button-down shirt and a blazer. For a softer look, a flouncy or gauzy blouse can be paired with a jacket for a pulled-together, professional look. Avoid low-cut or overly trendy tops, which detract from the professional appearance of your skinny jeans.

Choose professional shoes. Heels often create a more polished appearance with skinny jeans, although flats can also be appropriate. Solid-colored pumps are always a good option for dressing up skinny jeans. Coordinating colors creates a long, polished line, such as black pumps with black skinny jeans or navy blue with denim.

Dressy touches like buckles, menswear-style tweeds or neat bows provide professional shoe embellishments. In more casual atmospheres, dark boots can be sufficiently professional. Be wary of trendy styles like booties, which can make your skinny jeans seem less appropriate for the workplace.

Tips & Warnings

  • Professional-looking jewelry and other accessories such as a stylish handbag and coat will also dress up skinny jeans for the office.

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