Jeans in a office setting.....

I just started a new job at an office. We have to spend part of the day processing incoming lab specimens (completely bagged and containers intact, not actually removing from the packaging or reading them or anything) so blue jeans are allowed.

After that we go back to our cubicles and work there the rest of the day. The office environment elsewhere in the building is very upscale.

I would like to be comfortable, but not look like "I'm just running errands on a Saturday morning" either. I'd rather not wear sneakers, but would consider some plain Reebok classics in black or white.

I'm having trouble figuring out how to strike a balance with the work wear. I'm 36 but am very small/petite and tend to look very young in certain types of clothes. I want to look like I put some time and thought into my clothes, as well as look a little more professional.

I've bought some plain black trousers, slightly bootcut. I also found some nice black corduroy pants, very understated. I'm thinking a closed-in shoe with a small wedge, maybe? How about nice slightly flared khakis? I can probably wear a lab jacket for the first part of the day.

Can anyone make any suggestions? Links would be welcome too, so I can look at stuff. Thanks in advance! 8)


  • tgreyztgreyz Posts: 1,627Registered Users
    Well I am very far from a fashion expert, as we speak I'm at work in fleece pants, but I think straight leg jeans with a darker wash can look upscale.
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  • mazeymazey Posts: 709Registered Users
    I would never wear sneakers in an office environment. My job splits my time between working outdoors and sitting at a desk. A lot of times just a simple change of footwear makes me look more presentable (switch from hiking boots to flats or heeled boots). If I wear jeans they are usually a dark wash that will look good dressed up or down, but jeans are OK in my office, we are not upscale by any means.

    What you posted (cords, black pants, khakis) are all fine for an office environment unless it is required that you all wear full-on suits every day. If your office is more formal, stay away from any open toed shoes. There are so many cute flats out there now and wedges are still popular. Heeled boots always work in colder months.
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  • vivasmomvivasmom Posts: 312Registered Users
    JMHO but I think the classic reeboks are dated looking. THey scream 80's to me. There are many sneaker type shoes that are not sneakers, a more european style trainer.

    However, my vote would be for clogs. They are very comfortable to wear all day (nurses and doctors and chefs for example wear them all day) and they can be jazzed up. They even have patent leather clogs. My feet hurt a lot and I wear clogs nearly every day. Maybe check some out on Zappos. HTH
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  • MunchyMunchy Posts: 5,206Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I really like these for an office and they would be ok with jeans and maybe a button down
    /home/leaving?" class="Popup
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    Are you talking about the Reebok shoes with the high-top that reaches to the ankle?

    I was talking about the plain, low-top leather ones; I hate sneakers with shiny stuff and running stripes and racing colors(or whatever they're called) and crazy stuff going on, like the ones tourists wear. I couldn't get a good picture of the ones I mean. The ones I'm talking about don't look 80's to me at all; I see a lot of stylish people wearing them. Maybe it's a regional thing.

    An understated clog is a good idea; I might have to order some online because the ones in the stores here are really unattractive.

    Its good to know I'm on the right track with clothing choices though; that's a relief! I just want to look like a serious adult, but be comfortable at the same time. I'm not used to working in a nice place :roll: :? It's always been dusty old warehouses and basements before.
  • DominicanaHeatDominicanaHeat Posts: 2,729Registered Users
    If you want to be casual yet still look professional, don't wear sneakers. Get a low bootie like this:

    /home/leaving?" class="Popup

    Or a loafer style with a wedge:

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    I think any of these are comfortable but can make a nice pair of jeans, khakis or cords still look casual professional.
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  • SuZenSuZen Posts: 1,595Registered Users
    I used to work in a lab. I never wore blue jeans, though I would wear jeans of other colors. Khakis, cords, cotton pants, as long as they didn't need to be dry cleaned. (Lab work can be messy even with a lab coat.) We were not allowed to wear open toes. Clogs were always my favorites since they give support when you're on your feet a lot.
  • RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
    I work in a very casual office environment as well, and wear jeans basically every day. I just wear well-fitting jeans, usually in a darker wash, no crazy flares or designs or anything (I don't ever wear those anyway though) because it just screams "HIGH SCHOOL" to me. I wear some tan/light brown clogs most days. As far as tops, never anything like a T-shirt or a sweatshirt because I don't want to look like I'm going to the grocery store or shopping, but I'll wear decent looking sweaters, button-down shirts, turtlenecks if it's cold, etc. Just basic tops that aren't too dressy OR way too casual. I'm going to have to vote for no Reeboks as well, sorry :).l

    OP: Are these the kind you're talking about? /home/leaving?" class="Popup
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator

    No :(

    I don't know how to post pictures here; actually those were cute and I would wear them on weekends, preferably black though. The ones I'm talking about is just a plain old lace-up leather, low-top sneaker that comes in solid black or solid white. It's not that awful old-fashioned high-top style with the velcro on the ankle, and it's not that nylon one either (with the turned-up toes? I don't know the lingo; I'm not a really sneaker-y person and usually keep only one pair)

    Dominica, those styles you posted were dead-on. I think I have a good idea of what to look for, now.

    I saw some people with the furry boots on (with the pom-pom ties), but I think that's a bit much. Although at my old job one girl used to wear hers with medical scrubs and unlaced pom-pom ties :shock: :shock: :shock: