Can You Wear Ripped Jeans To Work?

If this question was asked 5 years ago, the answer would have been a straight, flat No. But now, there’s no denying the fact that things have changed and is still changing. workplaces are beginning to put in place, more flexible and less stringent dress code rules as opposed to the strict straight collared ones of before. 

Can you wear ripped jeans to work? Well, even though the answer is not a straight No, it is equally not a straight Yes as well. 

There are so many things we have to factor in before deciding if ripped jeans can be worn to work or not. Read on and let’s decipher these things together. 

Reasons why you cannot wear ripped jeans to work


The reason is not far-fetched. It all has to do with you abiding with laid down rules and regulations. Recently, ripped jeans and light-washed jeans were found among Business Insider’s list of clothing you should never wear to work. 

It would never have made it to that list if lots of Recruiters and HR personnel do not already kick against it. 

Some firms solidly maintain that wearing torn, frayed, faded, or damaged clothing irrespective of how fashionable they are, will not be condoned. 

Another reason why you cannot wear ripped jeans to work is that jeans with holes or distressed jeans in general, do not look professional and workplaces have professional settings. 

What kind of jeans can you wear to work instead?

Getting work-appropriate jean is easy. You just have to focus on three key elements; the cut, styles, and washes. 

Find below some jean styles that you can confidently rock to the office while maintaining a professional look at the same time. 

Skinny jeans 

Skinny jeans are the pure definition of classy and chic. The way they mold to your body, giving you such a nice fit is admirable. 

One thing we cannot take away from these jeans is their versatility. Pairing them is really easy as they can go with an array of different footwear. 

A dark-shade skinny pair of jeans would fit perfectly as a business casual look anytime. 

Boot cut Jean

The evergreen bootcuts is a go-to pair of jeans all day, every day. Perfect for curvy ladies as it accentuates your curves and makes you stand out. If paired right, the boot cut Jean can absolutely be rocked to the office.

Boyfriend Jean

This loosely-fit Jean is perfect for casual Fridays. Throw on a blazer to create a more professional look and wrap it all up with some nice, comfortable, wedge shoes or pumps. 

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Circumstances in which you can wear ripped jeans to work

We can go by how relaxed the dress code rules are in your place of work, to determine if ripped jeans would be an acceptable attire or not. 

What is your workplace environment like? Is it more of a formal or a casual one? 

As we earlier mentioned, a lot of workplaces are adopting the casual attire trend but surely, there are bound to be some clear specifications. 

Where do you cross the line with your casual attire? Can all forms of casual clothing be worn? Flip-flops, crop tops, and the likes? 

All these have to be spelled out to avoid giving employees the wrong notion of the organization’s dress code. However, there are some circumstances in which you can rock your ripped jeans to work.

You can totally wear a ripped jean to work depending on your profession. For people in the tech industry, or the media, fashion, or entertainment industry, the dress codes are usually very flexible. 

These kinds of jobs usually have a relaxed work environment and as expected, there will be more relaxed attires. You are bound to see more sneakers, hoodies, and ripped jeans worn to work. In work environments like this, comfort is the keyword. 

You can also wear ripped jeans to work if your organization’s dress code reads ‘Smart Casual.’ Smart casual is quite different from business casual and can condone some more casual attires. Although, you will have to pair up the ripped jeans nicely. 

Pairing your attire nicely in this case refers to settling down for a jean with fewer rips, smaller holes, and not those extremely rough ones with a lot of loose threads hanging out. Dark ripped jeans would look more office-appropriate than a white-washed ones. 

Once you have the jean sorted out, have them paired with a nice, well-fitted buttoned-up blouse and a clean, well-polished pair of shoes. 

One last circumstance in which you can wear a ripped jean to work is if you own your own business. You call the shots and are not answerable to anyone. For you, your comfort comes first in your choice of outfits. 

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How to look professional wearing ripped jeans to work

A professional business casual look in ripped jean is very possible but, it’s totally dependent on how well you style it up. 

Not to worry, we’ll be outlining simple steps to follow if you want to achieve this look. 

White-washed jeans❌ Dark-colored jeans ✅

Opting for a black jean or a dark washed rip jean is a step in the right direction to achieving a clean professional look in a ripped jean. 

Dark-washed jeans are better looking for the office environment. White-washed jeans might look too faded and worn out for such a setting. 

Go for well-fitting jeans

Now, well-fitting jean does not necessarily mean tight-fitting one. It simply means a jean that are cut to perfection, one that sits nicely on your body, one that you feel comfortable in and enables you to go about your office duties with ease. 

Go easy on the rips

Your jean should have minimal rips and smaller holes. Jeans with a lot of rips tend to make you look rough and unprofessional.

You can leave those overly ripped jeans for occasions of more casual outings like a hangout with your friends or a general fun outing. 

Also, avoid jeans with any form of embroidery or ornamental designs on them. You already have a lot going on with rips and would not want to add to it. 

Throw on some light accessories

For an office setting, your ripped jean is better paired with a button-up blouse, preferably white to complement the dark-washed jean. It could either be short or long-sleeved. 

Next, some light accessories would not be a bad idea. A simple neckpiece, nothing too dramatic would suffice, with dark-colored watches and a simple pair of earrings. Don’t forget your handbag or briefcase. 

Styling your hair

Ripped jeans gives you that kind of a rugged feel. Playing along this line but, in a classy kind of way should be the goal. 

To this end, you do not want your hair looking disheveled or, styled in a way that it falls to your face and disturbs you. Have it neatly packed in a ponytail and put on some light, natural makeup. 

Finish up the look with a blazer

To put paid to the ‘casualness’ of the entire outfit, throw on some nice blazer that blends very well with your jean and shirt. 

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Choice of footwear

Avoid putting on flip-flops, sandals, or the likes. If it is skinny jean, a nice pair of high stiletto shoes would take your look from 0 – 100.

You can also settle for low-heeled shoes or pumps if you do not feel comfortable walking in high shoes. Pair up the shoes with a matching belt. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How old is too old to wear ripped jean? 

There is really no age limit to wearing a ripped jean and jeans in general. What you should look out for are the two C’s. How comfortable they are for you and how confident you feel in them. 

If you look good in them and feel good, then by all means rock them all you want. 

Is wearing jeans to work appropriate? 

Wearing jeans to work can only be seen as inappropriate when the dress code clearly states ‘formal dressing’ and you wear them still. 

When it comes to dressing up for work, the company’s dress code policy should always be the point of reference for you. 

Can You Wear Ripped Jeans To Work – Conclusion

Funny how we couldn’t give a clear-cut answer to this question and honestly, this question is not about to have a direct answer any time soon. 

The reason is obvious; as firms differ in field and structure, so do the expectations they have for their employees differ also. Dress code policies differ from one organization to the next. 

However, more and more industries are adopting a progressive mindset to dress codes and doing away with the traditional ‘blue collared’ mindset.

All the same, the onus lies on you to style your ripped jeans appropriately, maintaining a professional look in them. 

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