World leaders and politicians are glorifying lax 'casual Friday' dress codes by donning denim during high-profile meetings and events regardless of what day it is. Once viewed as rugged apparel worn by rebels the likes of James Dean and Marlon Brando, jeans are becoming increasing acceptable attire when worn correctly by influential power players in business and political realms.
The Wall Street Journal details The Rise of Power Jeans, noting that this bold shift in the fashion paradigm of the professional world must be perfectly executed in order to make a successful statement. Denim wearers must flaunt a perfect fit (not too snug, nor too high-waisted), and they must "be carefully paired with a pressed shirt and good shoes to be elevated to business class." There are more possible pitfalls than perks to wearing jeans in the business world -- and repercussions include demonstrating a lack of respect, a poor fashion sense, or grossly misjudging the appropriateness of an opportunity to slip into your Levis -- for better or worse.
For instance, in the tech industry, and most creative industries, job applicants should wear jeans simply to fit in at all. According to the Wall Street Journal, we have Apple founder Steve Jobs to thank for the modern day power jean, "His uniform of Levi's 501s and a black turtleneck was synonymous with innovation in the '90s; now, in the tech world, dressy pants can be viewed with suspicion."
The worlds of finance and law are still not hip on wearing jeans as business attire, so the trend has yet to infiltrate the workforce on the whole. And wouldn't you agree that no pair of jeans could ever trump the statement made by wearing a perfectly tailored suit? Just ask Cary Grant.