SOME of the world's most successful people have shed the stuffy suit and tie to become more casual.

Prominent executives of tech giants such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and the late Apple found Steve Jobs have all been seen wearing jeans in business environments giving a new meaning to 'work uniforms'.

Virgin founder and billionaire Sir Richard Branson was once purported to have said that he wore the same pair of jeans every day.

And a new study shows the Scottish workforce is following suit.

Now only one in eight workplaces insist on a smart dress code - with denim the top choice for casual workwear, according to research by global fashion search platform Lyst.

The study reveals that half of UK workers now follow a casual or smart casual dress code at work, allowing for jeans and other dress-down styles.

It also emerged one in five consider the rules at their place of work to be ‘mostly smart’, making allowance for casual touches.

As a result three quarters believe workplace attire has become more casual across the board in the last decade.

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It is perhaps not surprising that the Somerset fields that hosted last weekend's Glastonbury Festival was a haven for jean wearers.

For many hard-wearing jeans are part of the armoury for any festival, when dealing with the great outdoors and the potential for unpredictable weather.

Victoria Beckham swapped her high heels for jeans and wellie boots when joining husband David.

And Norwegian pop star Sigrid showed off her normal outfit of a jeans and a t-shirt when belting out her best known songs on stage.

The history of blue jeans is said to have really began when a Bavarian immigrant named Levi Strauss brought denim to America in 1853. Blue jeans were then said to be perfect for cowboys and miners alike.

It was the iconic Holywood star James Dean who popularised blue jeans in the movie Rebel Without a Cause in 1955. He wore a T-shirt, a leather jacket, and jeans, a uniform men began copying immediately.

The new study indicates that denim does not just remain a staple in everyone's wardrobe - it is becoming even more popular.

Sales of denim in the past year have soared by 30% in the past year as the classic fabric has become acceptable in all spheres of people's lives.

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A spokesman for Lyst, which commissioned the study to support their comprehensive analysis of denim in 2019 – The Denim Report – said: “As work hours have increased and the ‘always on’ culture has come to prominence thanks to developments in tech and connectivity, the lines between our work lives and our home lives have blurred.

“This meeting of worlds is reflected in our expected work dress codes.

“Work is no longer siloed off from the rest of our lives, and therefore it is right that the rules around dress codes in the workplace have become more relaxed.

“Jeans are synonymous with style, practicality and comfort, and have successfully bridged this gap between casual wear and workwear.”

Siobhan McKenna, the 27-year-old owner of her own Glasgow-based ethical fashion business ReJean Denim, believes that workplace fashion has followed a pattern of more office flexibility.


"Workplaces are changing and so is the fashion," said Ms McKenna, who specialises in turning defective second-hand denim into stylish workwear jackets for men and women of all sizes and a "There is more flexiblity in everything these days.

"You feel more relaxed and better able to produce work, because you are not pretending to be this person in this suit who is professional.

"Denim has always been a timeless fabric, and that's why I choose to work with it because it will always be relevant.

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She believed that wearing denim at work is more popular with younger generations.

While her grandfather has never worn jeans, her brother, Martin, who works in the PR department of a law firm wears jeans and a shirt to work and "looks smart".

"You don't need to wear a suit all the time, and you work better without that because you will be relaxed," she said. " It is all about how you feel mentally."

Tony Links, buying manager for Slater Menswear said there remains a big demand for suits.

He said: "We are seeing professionals in certain types of jobs, such as the tech and media industries opting for a business casual look, choosing to pair jeans or casual trousers with an open neck shirt and a blazer as opposed to a suit.

"Although we have seen an increase in customers purchasing Levi’s and Wranglers in particular across the company for workwear, it doesn’t compare to the business demand for suits."

While Elvis Presley became associated with wearing jeans, it is said it was only if a film role demanded it.

The study also found that three out of four of 2,000 adults surveyed believe their jeans are a key component of their style, with the average Brit owning five pairs – three of which they regularly wear.

One in seven live in their denim every day and one in 10 adults admit their go-to jeans will only see the wash once a year.

Despite their position as an indispensable item of clothing, only half of those surveyed believe they have ever owned a pair of jeans which was ‘perfect’ for them with regards to fit, style and wash.

The ‘perfect’ jeans have to be a straight leg, a light wash finish, and cost £41, according to the research.

The most popular fit for jeans among Brits is the straight leg look, with over a third opting for the classic style.

Three in 10 prefer a slim leg profile in their jeans, and 23 per cent take the silhouette even closer with skinny-fit jeans.

Other popular fits include the bootcut look, which resonated with one in four Brits, and high-rise jeans, which were the preferred style for one in 10 shoppers.

The research, conducted by, also explored the extent to which denim has infiltrated our wardrobes beyond jeans ownership.

The most popular denim product after jeans is the denim jacket, which hangs in three in 10 wardrobes across the country.