A Stylist’s Tips for Wearing Business Casual Jeans for Women

March 22, 2024

Denim may be a weekend staple. But if you know how to style the right pair, they can quickly become a workday go-to. Not sure where to start when it comes to business casual jeans?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

At NLW, we’re a team of seasoned stylists with hands-on experience who are actually putting people in jeans regularly. We’ve found the perfect pair of jeans for people of all ages and sizes, and who work in a variety of industries.

We know how to create versatile outfits with denim. We know what works, what doesn’t, and why. Read on for our top tips on styling business casual jeans for women.

How to Style Women’s Business Casual Jeans

One of the most common wardrobe mistakes we see clients make is overbuying jeans. Here’s the truth: you don’t need 50 pairs of jeans. You don’t need even a quarter of that amount.

We always encourage clients to lean into a capsule wardrobe approach. AKA, keeping their closet to a small yet versatile collection of intentionally bought pieces. 

This goes for denim as well. At most, we recommend having two to three pairs of jeans. 

The trick to getting the most out of these few pairs is knowing how to style them. Here are our three favorite ways to style women’s business casual jeans.

1. Lighten Up

You know those closets overflowing with denim that we mentioned? Well, they’re almost always totally devoid of different color options too.

Most people always opt for dark denim– it’s time to lighten it up with a pair of white jeans. 

This color is just as versatile as black or dark navy jeans. White is a core color, meaning it is one of the foundational colors of any good wardrobe. It goes with everything so you can easily dress it up or down for your office dress code.

We also love this color for spring and summer, since light colors signal warm weather. OR, if you live in a year-round temperate climate like California, this is also a great any-season color.

Take inspiration from the photo above and partner your white jeans with another neutral. Or go with a pop of color like a cherry red blouse or a teal sweater.

With white business casual jeans, it’s easy to dress authentically you.

2. Keep It Classic

When in doubt, go classic.

A fool-proof formula to make your jeans look business casual is to wear them with a beautiful blouse and leather shoes. 

This look balances traditional workwear staples with the more casual look of denim. It looks polished for any occasion, and it’s easy to make your own.

For example, if you want to kick this look up a notch, add on accessories. 

Bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings are all great options. But don’t forget makeup, nail polish, perfume, and how you style your hair also factor into how you finish off an outfit.

3. Better With a Sweater

Pairing your jeans with a luxe sweater is another way to take denim from casual to business casual.

Seek out a sweater that feels rich, soft, and luxurious to contrast your denim. Think of high-quality fabrics like cozy cashmere and merino wool in light weights. That way, you won’t overheat and you can easily layer up if needed.

You can also easily turn this into a sleek nighttime look. Just add a blazer on top and finish it off with a pair of boots. 

How NOT to Style Business Casual with Jeans

We’ve covered how business casual and jeans go hand in hand when styled correctly.

Now, it’s time to cover what not to do. Here are our top three “don’ts” when it comes to styling business casual with jeans.

1. Ripped and Distressed Denim

This should be a no-brainer. Ripped, distressed jeans are super unprofessional. They not only look messy and disheveled, but they’re also way too trendy for the workplace. 

When picking out denim, make sure you go for a solid, high-quality pair without any blemishes or holes. Keep your jeans timeless and you’ll get way more use out of them.

2. Capri Denim

The early 2000s called, they want their capris back. 

Capri denim is another no-no. These pants are, by design, too short. But it never looks intentional, and it’s definitely not professional.

At most, you can wear a lightly cropped pair of jeans that show your ankle. But anything that starts going to your shins or higher doesn’t pass the dress code.

(Of course, don’t overdo it in the opposite direction. You shouldn’t wear too long, baggy jeans either. Avoid having a hem that drags on the floor.)

3. See-Through White Denim

Avoid cheap, flimsy fabric and material.

As much as we love white denim, the quality of pants that you pick out can make or break this look.

Too often we see folks end up with see-through white denim. That’s because they’re picking up cheap, flimsy jeans that are either too tight or just not made properly. (Or both!)

Make sure you select well-made, sturdy denim from trusted designers. When trying on white jeans at the store, look at them under different lighting types to ensure you’re covered.

The last thing you want is for your coworkers to see your underwear through your pants. 

Find Your Perfect Pair of Business Casual Jeans with Jeans

Did you enjoy our stylist-approved tips on business casual jeans for women? Get the full Next Level Wardrobe experience by applying for our women’s styling services. Our team of professionals will help you elevate your wardrobe and simplify shopping for good.

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

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