Dressing Up Jeans for Work

Catherine Hageman, the voice behind Small Town, Big Wardrobe, finds office-appropriate denim, and the accessories to match.

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If you are allowed to wear jeans to work on Fridays, you are both very lucky and wholly obligated to dress up those jeans.

I'm not suggesting anything terribly fancy. But for too long, jeans have been associated with anti-work outfits. While I have nothing against the classic jeans and t-shirt combo (hey, it's my normal weekend uniform), a little more effort is required for the office.

Today's jeans come in many styles and colors, great news for girls like me who need variety even in their denim. But for work, keep it classic — opt for dark denim in a trouser, boot or straight style. Straight jeans are a great substitute for skinny jeans, and are a style that flatters more body types. Did I mention work jeans need to be dark? It's worth repeating. My jeans are from Target, and they're almost too dark to tell they're denim.

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I love a nice cardigan or a good blazer with jeans. Instantly, your outfit is meeting-ready. Go for a more fitted jacket with some details, like J.Crew's navy schoolboy blazer and wear a contrasting top underneath.

Finally, and probably most importantly — accessorize your jeans. A nice pair of shoes, a colorful skinny belt and some sparkly earrings only add to your cute and work-friendly look.

I've long felt that jeans don't get their due in most workplaces. With the right pieces and a little effort, it is possible to look professional and still be in jeans.

Catherine Hageman dispatches fashionista tendencies fit for a corporate career on Small Town, Big Wardrobe.

What do you think?