Pick one of the following color palettes to get Topper's thoughts on piecing together the right combinations:



E.J. Topper's Fabric Tips:

One cannot be sure, of course, but when the media took note a few years ago of world leaders suddenly wearing designer jeans to meetings, word spread that it was Topper who originated the trend. Never one to brag on himself, he declined to comment. Regardless, denim jeans are not only acceptable these days, but are a necessary component of the sophisticated, powerful man’s wardrobe.

The key is choosing the right fit and style. Please keep your whitewashed 80s jeans in the closet and consider the fit of a dark washed, straight leg denim jean. Paired with a cleanly pressed button up, a nice pair of shoes, and maybe a sleek blazer, you tell the world you are in control without being stuffy. You portray that you are trendy, confident, and sophisticated.

If the right jeans are okay for certain occasions, then determining when they’re appropriate is a key step. “You have to consider the industry and the meeting place,” says Topper. “If you’re headed to a meeting with a bunch of lawyers and finance guys in Boston, jeans are probably not the right idea, but if you’re talking marketing with techies in Silicon Valley, you’ll look silly in a suit.”

Jeans are definitely the domain of certain industries and certain types of meetings, so it’s important to know your surroundings and to choose carefully. You can certainly be the trendsetter in your market by making jeans and sportcoats a new norm. “Trust me. Your younger employees especially will love you if you turn fashion from suits toward jeans.” However, you don’t want to go too crazy and be the only guy in the room in jeans instead of a fine Italian suit.

Bottom line: Buy a couple pairs of nice jeans and have the confidence to wear them in the right context.