Guest Blogger Candice Batts: Breaking News! Financial Professionals wear denim too!
Why is this breaking news you ask? Well, my friend Shanna and I were speaking of this very thing recently. As a denim expert, I always pick her brain about the new trends in denim. Recently, we began to chat about the presence of denim in my office. I work at a very prestigious financial firm in the Global Wealth Management Division where we provide financial planning strategies to high net worth clients. Monday through Thursday our attire is what most would assume, corporate and professional. This specifically means that a designer suit for men and women is the standard and expected dress code as we interface with clients and conduct various meetings during the week. But, on Friday…we let our hair down a little.
Friday is usually our day to catch up on most of the administrative items that need to be attended to as well as prepare for the next work week. So now the question becomes: How is a hip, young financial professional supposed to rock denim to the office appropriately? I suggest that both men and women stick to dark wash denim. Lighter denim looks too casual in an office setting, while darker denim presents a more professional demeanor. Ladies can easily pair it with a black blazer and white blouse mimicking their standard corporate attire. For those slightly less conservative, darker denim can allow you to wear this season's bold colors and prints in a manner that's more office appropriate. As far as the style is concerned, ladies should go with a bootcut jean. This style has begun to reemerge in popularity so there are a variety of options to explore. DL1961 and Joe's Jeans offer some great styles on the high-end while Express and Gap offer more affordable options. The more popular skinny jean can also be worn in the office, but be careful, the only assets that should get attention in a financial firm are the client's.
Straight leg styles are best suited for men in this setting, however more fashionable types can go for the slim straight looks which are slightly more fitted. These styles can easily be paired with a blazer and a button-down shirt or even a pull-over sweater with a collared shirt. Great brands for men to consider are AG Jeans or J Brand Jeans who offer nice, clean styles and washes. Rule of thumb gentlemen, be sure that your jeans are not too baggy. As with women, the attention needs to remain on your good presentation. Baggy jeans give off the impression of laziness and it is important that your attire represents the hard-work you do in the office.
In both cases, the rule is to be sure to wear your denim with a ‘3-piece suit’ mentality. These outfits allow fashion forward professionals to inject their individual style and upgrade the normal financial professional uniform to an outfit that can take them from the office straight to a Friday afternoon happy hour without skipping a beat!