The Denim Download

Feeling down in the dumps about your wardrobe? Nothing can cure those doldrums like denim. A pair of on-trend jeans is like an instant reboot to pair with everything from blazers to sweaters to pairing over a dress, Euro-style. And though new denim is darling, old denim can be dated. Unless you’re going classic like 501s (a massive hit of late and selling out on Etsy and beyond), outdated denim is a don’t.

When it comes to effortless style, denim is ubiquitous. But staying on top of and possibly splurging on a new style will instantly upgrade your wardrobe. So make a jean genie and snap up one of the looks below. 

First up, the barrel jean. I know. The name summons a silhouette you would rather not wear. But this shape is a straight-leg jean with a twist. High-waisted with a wide-cropped leg that tapers by the ankle, these are surprisingly flattering. Pair with a tucked-in tee or button-down and a blazer, and you’ve got a look. These are great, and these are massively on sale, so SCORE. And these are just plain CHIC.

Next up, though I hear skinny jeans are about to come back around (by the time this posts, they will probably be a bonafide trend), I am obsessed with this loose, wide-legged jean that feels oh so ’90s. To me, a loose, slouchy jean like this looks so cool with my beloved blazers or a shrunken cashmere sweater, or have fun with the oversized vibe and go for a loose button-down, which you could belt at the waist to nip things in a bit. I love Raey denim. Bonus points for mature models. Well done, Matches Fashion. Cheers.

Also, I love a pair of trouser jeans, which always stays in style. A perfect alternative to an actual trouser, these can go from desk to dinner in a flash, and the shape is just so flattering for most body types. These are a splurge, and these are more accessible. These are a nice mix between slouchy and trouser, so I dub them a sloucher.

For inclusive sizing, Universal Standard is terrific. I love these jeans as an alternative to sweats for travel and beyond.

And even if you have cargo pant PTSD from another lifetime when you wore baby barrettes and baby tees, give a cargo jean a spin. I dig them with sneakers, a high-heeled sandal in the early fall, a slim tank like this one, or an oversized button-down, as previously discussed. These from Zara are affordable, so don’t be afraid to try this trend.

I adore the look of an exaggerated cuff like these from Goop, but these AF (yes, THAT AF) jeans are a great deal and do the job. These Levi’s are classic and would never go out of style, but still feel fashion-forward and fresh.

If a skirt is more your speed, long denim skirts are back in a big way. Full disclosure: This look is not for me. I don’t love this look around my midsection but, if you love it, go for it. It’s a big trend and looks great with sweaters and dressed down with a pair of Sambas or dressed up with a high-heeled boot. This one from the Gap is a good-time girl.

And if zipping or buttoning feels terrible right now, fear not. These jeans from Rachel Comey have an elastic waist and drop crotch, giving instant cool vibes. All of her jeans are amazing and fit well and up your cool cred several notches.

Oh, and on a whole other note, overalls. I love the dark wash on this pair from Free People. Don’t forget to cuff the heck out of these, pop on a belted blazer and some mid-heeled sandals with a sock, and BOOM. A look is born.  

On the denim jacket front, I can never have enough of them. I collect them and lately am ISO a vintage shrunken Helmut Lang number from the ’90s like this one my best friend Jon wore with swagger on our various adventures around town back in the day, but I am also eyeing up this Frankie Shop oversized look to throw over my shoulders and go. And I still love this lady-like jacket from J.Crew, which is from last fall but updated for the season. The shape is excellent and would make for a nice denim-on-denim look.

For more denim inspo of the luxe variety, you can’t lose with Nili Lotan or Khaite. But if you want to upgrade and still pay your mortgage, American Eagle makes a darn good jean, even for those of us past our youth.

I love the casual cool of denim, and I for one am most excited that baggy jeans are taking over my social feeds. To me, they summon wearability for all shapes and sizes and a genderless appeal that feels so very right now. Holler at me below with questions or thoughts, you blue jean babies. XO

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