For business casual, jeans have been a question of style every time an invitation says business casual.

There are some items that are always appropriate for this dress code. These include skirts, long sleeved shirts, blouses, and slacks – in certain colors. Often times, the same shoes that are seen in business formal are appropriate for business casual.

However, depending on where a person works, jeans could be appropriate. Some jobs – such as detective work and teaching – don’t allow jeans to be worn at all. Other jobs – particularly more creative areas or office jobs that don’t have clients come in 24/7 – do allow jeans to be worn.

Often times, the jeans that are allowed are darker in color. There are no tears or holes in the jeans that are appropriate in business casual – save them for the weekend or going out with friends. Dark wash jeans are closer to color compared to suit skirts and pants that used to be worn. When jeans are worn in the work place, they are often paired with a dressy shirt – a blouse for women or a button up shirt for men. T-shirts and jeans are a big no-go for the work place unless it is expressed by the boss.

Another thing to be cautious of when trying to decide if to wear jeans to the work place is the color. If there’s a more relaxed environment, different colors could be appropriate. Colors like red, orange, and yellow are often too ‘out there’. Cooler colors, such as brighter blues and greens, could be okay in certain areas.

Keeping in mind the length of the jeans is another thing to do. Shorts are always a no-go. Going to the dress and skirt standards is always better than guessing. When a company doesn’t allow skirts or dresses to go above the knees, keep jeans below the knee as well.

Another no-go with jeans is wearing sneakers or flip-flops with the jeans. The workplace is not the beach. Flip-flops and sneakers are often too casual unless working in construction – and that’s only for sneakers. Jeans relax an outfit, but they do not give employees a right to wear anything with the jeans – if at all allowed at the workplace.

If unsure if jeans are okay in the workplace, watch co-workers. If other co-workers wear jeans, stay within the color range and length ranges that they wear. It’s always better, however, to err on the side of business formal than too casual in the event that an outfit is causing second guesses.