How acceptable are jeans at work?

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Jeans, I think, are the most popular item of clothing in the Netherlands. It is pretty normal to see jeans being worn in the workplace. Especially as in the last few years, dress codes have become more relaxed and moving towards informal. But exactly how many people wear jeans to work and what do we think about this? I decide to dive in….


How acceptable are jeans at work?
Photo: Pixabay


Times Change

I was recently intrigued when I read an article about how Americans view this piece of clothing. A survey found that for 84% of Americans who work in an office, jeans are indispensable. Fortunately, half of the 2000 respondees are allowed to wear jeans to work. Only 20% have to stick to a formal dress code and, 5% must adhere to specific (work) clothes. 81% of people responded that in recent years the dress code has relaxed.


Dutch think jeans are ok

But what about here in The Netherlands? According to a 2016 survey done by the flex space company Regus, we are pretty tolerant when it comes to wearing jeans to work. Of the Dutch people surveyed, 87% think jeans are suitable for the office. In the same study, Americans scored a lot lower, with only 73% of people reporting jeans as being appropriate for the office.

I need to comment on this. When the research was published back in 2016, I was in touch with the communications department at Regus. They sent me over the list with the breakdown by country of the people surveyed. For this survey, 890 Dutch and 13,341 Americans were questioned. So as you can see, the opinion of Americans has been more thoroughly examined than that of the Dutch. Unfortunately, I could not figure out which part of America the respondents were from.


Possible causes

In my mind, the reason that so many people feel jeans are appropriate for the office has to do with two things. Number 1 people love jeans. Jeans are a hugely popular item of clothing, and people want to wear them as often as possible. Number 2 is the trend towards a more casual style of workwear. More and more companies allow employees to wear jeans to work. Put the two together and, it is easy to see why jeans in the office have become commonplace both in The Netherlands and abroad.


Jeans and Jeans

Sounds simple, but it ain’t! Because there are jeans and jeans. Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of different models exist. And of course, you have torn jeans. This trend appeared about 15 years ago and has become pretty normal. This is a good example of an item of clothing that many people find unacceptable in the workplace.

But there are still people who wear these for business. It would be great to see some figures on what percentage of us find torn jeans acceptable in the workplace. And if opinions change depending on the size of the holes. Maybe men and women have different views on the matter?

To sum it up: Yes, we find jeans ok, but even now that we are moving towards more casual workwear there are still limits…




Eén reactie

  1. For instance, when you go for a job interview, you should dress elegantly and soberly. Your basic elegant style will speak for itself even as you impress the interviewer with your knowledge and experience.

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