If you are reporting back to the office, you may have noticed a sea-change. After a full year of everyone staying in for safety and leaning into pure comfort with their clothing, more and more offices—even in the most traditionally conservative fields such as law and finance—are going business casual. Women’s clothing, as it has for the past century and a half, offers more choice and variety than men’s clothing and you might be wondering, what the parameters are for ladies’ business casual? More specifically, are denim skirts business casual? They are versatile and comfy, essentially elevated jeans, and can be so sharp! Can you wear a denim skirt to the office? The answer is definitely yes, with a few caveats.
Denim skirts, just like jeans, exist on a spectrum from thoroughly disreputable to absolutely impeccable. Unless you manage a punk-clothing boutique, you really cannot wear a faded and distressed drop-hem denim micro-mini skirt to work. We’re not big on “don’ts” around here, but I’m going to say that is a “DON’T.” That said, a dark wash denim pencil skirt with traditional 5-pocket jeans styling at the waist and hips would look terrific at nearly any office. You can wear it with a well-cut tee (think of the better basics we extoll) and in the event of a client stopping by or a Zoom meeting with the boss, you can slip on a blazer or elegant cardigan to look traditionally professional onscreen.
Consider a denim skirt precisely as you would a pair of jeans. If the wash and treatment would not be office-appropriate for jeans, it isn’t right for a skirt, either. Let the length of the skirts and dresses you would generally wear to work be your guide; you can afford to go an inch or two shorter, but no more. If you haven’t yet tried out the colorful denim jeans that have been available for the past couple of years, a skirt is a great way to dip into this still-trending look! Try a denim skirt in olive or lilac or peach for spring, and you might find that color-dyed denim is even better than traditional indigo for your work looks!
In cooler weather, consider styling your denim skirt with tights, especially opaque deniers in any color, booties, and slouchy sweaters for work-appropriate comfort. If your personal style leans to more tailored looks, wear the same type of tights, but pair your skirt with a trim cashmere sweater or twinset and loafers. Perhaps comfort really is your top priority now that you have enjoyed so much of it, so you can wear your denim skirt over leggings and ballet flats, paired with a pajama-soft long-sleeved T-shirt.
For the warmer months, go bare-legged if you can. It’s cool and always cute! Casual canvas sneakers are always a safe shoe bet with a denim skirt, but you could choose espadrilles, sandals, or ballet flats, too! Pair your skirt with a bateau-neck three-quarter-sleeve tee for a classic look, or go a tad boho with a tank topped by a short chiffon kimono. You could choose a graphic tee for fun or a gingham collared button-up for a timeless, seaside outfit.
Now that we have established that you really can wear a denim skirt to work even in a traditional office, you can have fun building your outfits and feel confident as you go through your day in comfort as well as terrific style. Keep it polished, and we know you will find yourself reaching for your favorite denim skirt again and again! Find your new work wardrobe workhorse with a classic denim skirt.