When Not to Wear Jeans

An etiquette expert weighs in

By: Kate Bennett

When is this look ok? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
With people now wearing jeans more often to social occasions, we wondered: When are they not appropriate? So we asked Daniel Post Senning, an author and spokesperson at the Emily Post Institute. (Manners authority Emily Post was his great-great-grandmother.)

“This is a harder question than it used to be,” says Senning, who cites the uptick in “fancy” jeans and high heels as blurring the line on what’s acceptable. “Once upon a time, jeans would never be right for evening—or ever in the workplace. I would even be cautious in a business-casual situation, although clean, pressed, dark-wash jeans could work in a creative work environment.”

Senning’s list of places not to wear jeans:

The office (unless permission is granted by management)

A country club or golf course

A house of worship

A wedding

Anything “formal” or “cocktail attire”

International business flights

A job interview

Read our complete guide to jeans, Denim: The Perfect Fit.