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Business Casual Made Simple

Week 1, Day 1 of No Jeans January

By Megan Collins | Jan 2 2017

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Are you ready for Style Girlfriend’s second-annual No Jeans January challenge?

I know, I know, I can’t believe it’s here again so quickly, either. But the whole team is excited, and I hope you are too?!

For the uninitiated, we started #NJJ as a way to kick start your style in the new year. Here’s what I said about the month-long denim detox last January:

“Too many people (men and women both) let themselves fall into a style rut, and never is that more true than in the winter months. When you wake up and it’s still dark out, it just feels easier to throw on jeans and a button-down, rather than…well, anything else.”

So for a second year, we’re throwing down the gauntlet: 31 days, no jeans, game on.

Don’t worry: we’re not saying you have to go shopping for anything new. In fact, what we learned last year is that flexing your style muscles by remixing the clothes you already own actually forces you to get that much more creative and inventive when it comes to your wardrobe.

I encouraged (*cough* made *cough*) Team SG take the challenge alongside our readers last January because #solidarity, and while there was an initiation denim withdrawal period…you really don’t realize how much it becomes a go-to until you remove jeans as an option…we all were dressing 100 by the end of the month.

Sure, we went back to pulling on our 5-pocket jeans in February but not nearly as often as we had before. Jeans had become an option, not a default.

Truly everyone will benefit from relying less on jeans. Whether you’re in a suit every day but dress like a slob on the weekends, or work in a casual environment where jeans are a fall-back, all of us can find varying degrees of challenge.

So here’s how it’s going to go this year:

Each week, we’ll explore a different jeans alternative for sartorial inspiration.

Like an advent calendar, but for pants.

And each week, we’ll reward one stylish reader who shares his jeans-free selfie using the #NoJeansJanuary hashtag on social media with some #SGapproved swag. How’s that for motivation?

That doesn’t mean you have to follow along with each outfit exactly; we just like the idea of digging week by week through all your pants drawers. The point being: so long as you’re going denim-free with your outfits, you’re doing right by the #NJJ challenge.

This week, we’re singing the praises of the humble chino. Starting out easy, you’re welcome!

Chinos are great because they come in so many different fits and colorways; it’s the easiest upgrade to make. And with styles like twill chinos, you’re basically wearing jeans, so you can’t give us any gruff on how hard a challenge this is. For more on chinos’ well-deserved spot in your wardrobe, check out its inclusion on our list of wardrobe essentials.

Perfect for a business casual environment, you can dress your chinos up or down, depending on what you’ve got going on that day.

Below, wearing chinos for business casual style:

Chinos: Unis, $198 | Blazer: Suit Supply, $499 | Shirt: Zara, $30

Coat: A.P.C., $645 | Scarf: Express, $21 | Socks: Mr. Gray, $25

Shoes: Clarks, $86 | Belt: Mezlan, $115 | Fragrance: Frank Los Angeles, $120

Pen: Karas Kustoms, $60Portfolio: Harn, $48



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