It can be quite a challenge to figure out what you should wear to work when there are no guidelines given before your first day. They may say “business casual,” but this can mean very different things for various companies. If you work in lower to middle-class retail, you may get away with jeans at your job, but if the company is more refined than that, you may not.
That’s why I decided to take an in-depth look at the various ways to figure out Are Jeans Business Casual in your new place of work.
The First day
It’s simple, for your first day, it is always better to overdress than underdress. You might not have gotten a feel for the company vibe during your interview, or you didn’t see what everyone was wearing. Therefore, the best option is to go for the obvious outfit for your first day: the one you wore to the interview!
If it made a good enough impression on them that day, and you felt confident in it, you should wear it again. If your interview outfit did, in fact, include a pair of jeans, you can either go bold and stick to it or switch it out for a pair of black slacks; the choice is yours.
Clarify the dress code…
Assuming you did not wear jeans to your interview, it will at the very least give you a whole day to check out your new place of work and ask for clarification on the dress code.
You will likely have to meet with HR and some managers on the day, as there will be some paperwork to fill out, induction materials to view, and policies to sign. Make sure to use this time to ask exactly what counts as business casual.
Get details on preferences too…
Don’t limit this to asking about jeans; ask about any casual clothing you like to wear, including jumpsuits, leggings, sundresses, khakis, shorts, tracksuits, and more.
You should also ask for limitations on length. For example, a camping equipment shop may allow denim or khaki shorts with branded shirts. However, they may prefer them to be just above the knee or two inches above at most and no shorter than that.
The Preferred Styles Of Business Casual Jeans
Irrespective of your gender, if your jeans were too loose, you may expose yourself accidentally if you were to squat or raise your leg. If they were too tight, they might appear unflattering. The best way to test this is to get into various positions in front of a mirror or a family member and make sure that your backside, stomach, and underwear remain unseen.
No, you don’t have to do the downward dog pose from yoga class; but assume you may be asked to climb some stairs, bend over to pick something up off the floor, or carry a few boxes.
The darker, the more dashing…
Stressed, washed-out jeans or ones with cut-outs or tears are generally not suitable for the workplace; even the most laidback members of management will raise an eyebrow at this.
Darker jeans in shades of blue, navy, grey, or black are preferred, as they appear more sophisticated and refined. Black jeans are often regarded as equivalent to other black pants. Most employers also prefer these to go with branded shirts.
Find a balance…
If you like a pop of color and you are not restricted with corporate colors, you can get away with a darker purple, red, green, or any other color you like. However, you may want to pair it with a more neutral button-up or polo shirt in a neutral color like white, black, or grey.
It’s All Comes Down To The Interview!
Whether you wear jeans on your first day, it’s the interview that got you there! So, let’s start with some advice from our website on What To Wear To An Interview, along with What Not To Wear To A Job Interview, and of course, we also touch on Can I Wear Jeans For A Job Interview?
Of course, you want to make sure your first impression is a good one, and for that, we found the Style Bible: What to Wear to Work, and Beyond Business Casual: What To Wear To Work If You Want To Get Ahead, or perhaps try The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas: A Stylish Solution to What Should I Wear? and Pumps and Pencil Skirts: What to Wear to Work all available online in 2023.
Furthermore, we also found these few online handbooks such as Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body, and What you wear can change your life, or for the men, Ten Garments Every Man Should Own: A Practical Guide to Building a Permanent Wardrobe and the Lands’ End Business Attire for Men: Mastering the New ABCs of What to Wear to Wor to help you looking dapper on your first day!
You could probably get away with a good pair of jeans at work. Rock them as part of your business casual outfit, as long as you put an overall effort into appearing well-groomed and professional.
Just remember to check them periodically for wear and tear, as they may be appropriate for 99 days, only to be inappropriate on day 100 when you bend over, and they tear up right along the seam. Of course, NOT speaking from experience…
We’re sure you’ll look fabulous on your first day!