Power jeans are increasingly common in high-ranking business and political circles. Indeed, jeans are now a legitimate part of the global power-dress lexicon, worn to influential confabs where the wearers want to signal they're serious--but not fussy--and innovative.
The look started with the young but has crossed into gray-haired circles.
Chosen well, jeans can suggest the wearer is confident and modern. Traditionally cut blue jeans carry a whiff of the laborer about them, so denim on a leader suggests a willingness to roll up the sleeves and dig in. There's also something of the rebel in a pair of jeans. In the boardroom, that can read as creative.
But jeans must be carefully paired with a pressed shirt and good shoes to be elevated to business class. And some industries haven't (yet) become open to denim as power wear. Banks and accounting-firm boardrooms, for instance, remain decidedly woolen. New York-based career adviser Jonscott Turco says jeans are generally a "no-brainer" in the media, manufacturing and creative industries, but not in financial services and law firms.
It's also possible to go awry with the wrong jeans in the right place. Barack Obama, whose wife and children have been heralded as fashion icons, was ridiculed for wearing dorky "dad jeans" (baggy and high-rise) to pitch at an All-Star game. When Tony Blair wore jeans to meet George Bush two years ago, the British prime minister was criticized for his pants' snug fit.
To wit, fit is as essential for jeans as for tailored slacks. Eric Jennings, Saks Fifth Avenue men's fashion director, suggests that men keep their executive jeans "dark and straight". And never dress as if the jeans had been switched out from formal suit pants at the last minute: No fancy French-cuffed shirts with jeans, he advises.
In fact, getting power jeans right involves lots of no's. No distressed jeans at work. No metal studs. No acid washes. No lavish embroidery. No boot cut. No skinny. No pedal pushers, shorts or cutoffs. No baggy high-rise. No super-low-rise. No holes. And no fussy ironing.
We have Steve Jobs to thank for today's power jeans. 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. "When someone shows up to an interview or meeting in anything other than jeans, it shows inexperience and a lack of confidence," says Andrew Dumont, vice president of marketing for text-messaging company Tatango.
2009-12-20 10:30 编辑：kuaileyingyu