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How to Wear Skinny Jeans to Work to Look Polished

Woman wearing skinny jeans at office using smartphone

Skinny jeans can be easily styled to look appropriate for most offices.
Cultura/Getty Images

Many of us work in offices that allow us to wear jeans on certain days. Skinny jeans can be a stylish and comfortable option for work -- but some women find it a challenge to style these body-fitting denims to look professional. Take a look at these outfit ideas for wearing skinny jeans to work, so you can look appropriate -- and fabulous -- without sacrificing style.

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Choose the Right Skinny Jeans for Work

Black jeans white jacket and sequin top outfit

Black ankle jeans are polished and trendy for the office.
J Brand Jeans

If your office allows jeans, you can never go wrong choosing a solid, dark denim jean. Dark indigo or black skinny jeans look most pulled together for work. If you work in a creative field, you can get away with other dark shades too, such as oxblood and dark gray. As a rule, do avoid distressed denim, whiskering and embellishments, which all read as too casual for the office, unless you work in a very creative field. Similarly, light-colored skinny jeans and shiny, coated denim are best saved for after hours. If you want to look trendy, but still professional, try a dark wash jean in a cropped length, such as the J Brand pair pictured here.

You'll also want to be careful with the fit of skinny jeans that you wear to the office. While skinny jeans are close-fitting by nature, there are different degrees of tightness. Look for a style that skims -- rather than squeezes -- your curves, and avoid skin-tight jeggings that can make your colleagues feel uncomfortable. Be sure to also avoid low-rise jeans that can show off too much of your behind, especially when you're sitting. A mid-rise style is easiest to wear and looks best for the office.

Shop these skinny jean styles that you can wear to the office:

  • Level 99 Tanya High Rise Skinny Jean
  • Levi's Perfectly Slimming Skinny Jeans
  • Hudson Barbara High Rise Skinny Jeans
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Wear Skinny Jeans With a Soft White Blouse

Skinny jeans and bow blouse

Soften skinny jeans for work with a silky bow blouse.
Burberry Brit

Upgrade skinny jeans for work by pairing them with a silky blouse. A classic, feminine pussy-bow blouse, such as this style from the Burberry Brit line, softens the look of black skinny jeans. Do be sure you're covered up appropriately for work in a white shirt, by layering a flesh-tone camisole underneath for safety. Dress up this outfit by adding gold jewelry and classic black pumps, or style it more casually for denim days at the office, by wearing it with oxford-style shoes and rolled-up sleeves, as pictured here.

Shop for skinny black jeans on Amazon

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Wear Skinny Jeans With a Tailored Blazer

Rag & Bone skinny jeans and blazer

Black skinny jeans and a black blazer are an easy , chic combo for work.
Rag & Bone

If your office is on the conservative side, you'll want to class up your skinny jeans to wear to work. The easiest way to look pulled together for the workplace is to pair your skinny jeans with a structured blazer. Choose a jacket in herringbone tweed or a classic black or navy blazer to add polish and balance to your more casual bottoms. Plus, a tailored blazer covers your rear end, so you don't reveal too much to your colleagues or boss.

For the most professional look, wear a well-fitting button-down shirt under the blazer. White is a classic option, but you could also choose another light color such as dove gray, or a traditional pin-stripe pattern. For a chic and feminine look, you can also wear a silky blouse in a solid, pastel color. We especially like the contrast look of a gauzy bow blouse under a menswear jacket. Tuck in your blouse and wear a slim leather belt in black or brown, for a conservative workplace. Those of you in creative fields can brighten your outfit with a contrasting belt for a pop of color.

If your office is more creative, you can also layer a fun, printed blouse or a playful striped sweater under your jacket. This is a great way to let your co-workers know you don't take yourself too seriously, while still looking promotion-worthy.

Shop for women's tailored blazers on Amazon

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Wear Skinny Jeans With a Long Cardigan

Vince Camuto belted cardigan and jeans

A long, belted cardigan adds coverage and shape with jeans for the office.
Vince Camuto

Long cardigan sweaters are a great alternative to blazers on more casual days at the office. What's not to like about a top layer that skims the body's curves and offers coverage for your hips and bottom when you’re wearing skinny jeans, helping you to look both approachable and professional. Choose a solid colored cardigan in a classic shade, such as beige, gray, navy or black, to dress up jeans for work. A belted cardigan looks current and helps to define your waist, so you don't look shapeless or sloppy. You can add style and interest to your look by layering a feminine blouse or tunic in a fun print beneath the sweater. Or look for a sweater with dressy details, such as ribbon work, piping or even sequins, to elevate your skinny jeans outfit for work.

Buy long cardigan sweaters for women on Amazon

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Wear Skinny Jeans With a Printed Blouse

White jeans and leopard blouse outfit

Dress up cropped white jeans for work with a leopard print blouse.

Want to wear your summer-favorite white jeans to work? Dress up cropped ankle-length denim pants, or a white skinny jean style, for the office by pairing white jeans with a blouse in a wild animal print. Try wearing this ensemble on casual Fridays at the office and get ready to turn heads when you breeze past co-workers' desks. 

For more conservative workplaces, you might want to skip the white jeans and layer a leopard print top under a traditional tailored blazer, worn with dark wash skinny jeans. 

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Wear the Right Accessories

Banana Republic Bracelets

Banana Republic Bracelets.
Banana Republic

Choosing the right accessories will help you pull off a skinny jeans look for the office. A delicate necklace or classic gold hoop earrings can add a sophisticated touch to casual jeans for work, and draw the eye upward to balance your skinny bottoms. You can never go wrong, either, with elegant enamel bracelets or a good quality, chunky watch. If your office is less conservative, go ahead and wear a printed scarf around your neck for an extra touch of flair.

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Wear the Right Shoes

Gap resolution high rise skinny jeans

Mens inspired loafers look smart with skinny jeans for work.

You're heading to work, so you'll want to wear appropriate shoes with your skinny jeans. We're big fans of how a low-key, menswear-inspired loafer dresses up skinny jeans for the office, while adding a stylish edge. You can also wear high heels with skinny jeans to work -- but save those sexy stilettos or printed pairs for the cocktail hour. You'll look more professional when you match slim jeans with classic, high heeled pumps in a solid color that matches your jeans, to create a long, polished line. For instance, wear navy pumps with indigo denim, or black heels with black skinny jeans. If your office is more casual, you can also try an easy pair of flats with your skinny jeans. For a sophisticated effect, look for a pointy-toed pair that mimics the look of heels, or a slipper-style pair that features sophisticated details like buckles or tassels.

Get more tips here on what shoes go best with skinny jeans.



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