Men have it so easy, don’t they? For most office-dwelling males, the work-week wardrobe goes like this: suit, suit, suit, suit, casual Friday. But for women, the question of what to wear to work is more fraught. Fraught enough, certainly, to keep shop assistants, style consultants and a fair few fashion columnists (ahem) in business.
And one of the questions that comes up again and again concerns jeans: whether to wear them, how to wear them and which ones qualify as age-, figure- and office-appropriate.
There’s a fine balance at play. Get it right and you’ve added jeans – in dark washes, snappy with silk blouses and shirting; in more relaxed fits, great with this season’s double-breasted blazers – to your workwear arsenal. Get it wrong and it looks like you’ve moseyed into the office from the garden centre.
The answer, or at least one answer, is to think beyond jeans.
Consider denim as you would any other fabric, and a whole gamut of options open up, with a commensurate spectrum of smartness. It contains denim jackets that are more like denim blazers, wide-leg, tab-fronted trousers, round-necked tops, and a swishy skirt or two.
Like this one. Inspired by ballet dancers’ athleticism and grace, it marries the functionality of denim with the liquid ease of a less rigorous fabric. The soft pleats and kilt-style banding mean it could become the one piece of workwear you’d like to wear at the weekend, too. Can your favourite old jeans do that?