The business casual dress code does not allow denim jeans because they’re thought to be too casual for corporate settings. While I agree that a pair of light wash jeans generally looks really casual, I wholeheartedly believe that a pair of dark wash jeans or trouser cut style can look business appropriate if the rest of the ensemble is dressy and uber-polished.

I often see women in ill-fitting khaki or corduroy pants with a T-shirt, cardigan and loafers walking around in business casual settings. To me, this particular ensemble choice is not only dated, but actually MORE casual than a lass spiffed out in a fab pair of jeans, button down shirt or knitted top, structured jacket, dressy shoes and statement handbag. It makes no sense. The smart casual dress code can look a whole lot more professional and stylish than a sloppy and passé business casual one.

The reason most corporate companies don’t allow jeans into their dress code (other than on casual Fridays) is that there’s room to abuse the privilege. The assumption is that before you know it you’ll have employees pitching up in worn out denim, sweatshirts and shoddy shoes. But a pair of unstylish casual pants worn in an unpolished way is just as bad.

So what’s the solution? Should denim be banned all together, or is there a way of convincing the powers-that-be that dressing up the right denim can be business appropriate, particularly in a less conservative corporate environment.