In addition to white T-shirts, little black dresses, and tailored blazers, jeans stand as a fundamental item in everyone’s wardrobe, irrespective of personal style. However, not everyone can afford designer jeans. Fortunately, fashion experts suggest numerous ways to impart an expensive look to your denim. The key lies in consciously and strategically combining them with other luxurious elements that effortlessly elevate your overall appearance.
“Denim is such a dependable wardrobe essential that, at times, it becomes overused,” notes Elizabeth Kosich, a fashion expert and full-time stylist. “We often find ourselves stuck in a denim routine, but elevating your daily denim is simpler than it appears. All it requires is the addition of one element of luxury.”
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6 Ways to Make Your Jeans Look Designer
Consider the following insights from professional stylists, and no one will suspect that your jeans didn’t come with a three-digit price tag.
1. Pair jeans with a silk blouse.
Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a fashion expert, stylist, and contributor to Margo Paige, suggests that one of the simplest ways to impart a high-end look to your jeans is by pairing them with luxurious fabrics—such as silk, satin, crepe, charmeuse, and cashmere. This tactile contrast creates an aesthetically pleasing juxtaposition.
In specific terms, New York City-based image and style coach Carol Davidson recommends teaming jeans with a solid silk blouse in a rich jewel tone like emerald or eggplant for an unexpected yet chic combination. Kosich adds that nothing exudes luxury like cashmere, proposing options like a cashmere crewneck sweater with ballerina flats and pearls, a cashmere v-neck with pointy-toed black pumps and a sparkly choker, or a cashmere turtleneck with metallic loafers and shoulder-grazing chandelier earrings.
2. Add a leather belt.
The transformative effect of a belt on denim may come as a surprise, according to Melony Huber, a stylist and co-founder of the La Peony collection. However, not all belts are equal. Huber recommends selecting one made of high-quality materials like genuine leather, suede, or snakeskin.
GraceVan Cleave, a personal stylist and founder of Amazing Grace Styling, emphasizes the impact of eye-catching hardware on a belt. Look for a brown or black belt with a bold or ornate buckle, and ensure your top is tucked in to highlight both the accessory and achieve a polished look.
3. Take them to the tailor.
Considering the significance of how jeans fit and contour to your body, Fonseca suggests taking them to a local tailor. Tailoring offers various adjustments, from tapering baggy legs for a streamlined appearance to shortening the hem or adjusting the waistband to prevent unsightly gapping.
When jeans are tailored specifically for your body, they adopt a custom and high-end appearance, adds Davidson. Ensuring your jeans comfortably fit two fingers inside the waistband is essential, and there should be no buckling between the knee and ankle, indicating that the pant leg is too long.
4. Go for a colorblock effect.
Colorblocking, involving the pairing of two or three complementary colors for a bold and high-contrast look, is a popular technique. Sunica Du, a designer and owner of Sunica Design, recommends employing this approach with jeans for a fashion-forward and high-end appearance. Red, in particular, creates excellent contrast with blue jeans. Experiment with combinations like a rich burgundy sweater with matching booties or a crimson belted coat and matching handbag.
5. Add some custom embroidery.
One of Du’s preferred methods for elevating jeans is custom embroidery with a small, timeless motif. This detail adds a significant amount of personality, turning your jeans into a canvas for creativity and resulting in a wholly unique outcome.
Platforms like MakeYourOwnJeans.com offer options such as having your initials embroidered on the pockets for a personalized touch.
6. Layer on some luxe outerwear.
The right outerwear can effortlessly make any pair of jeans look chic. Denim and leather complement each other, notes Kosich, who recommends a timeless, well-fitting black or camel moto jacket. Fur, especially guilt-free faux fur, imparts an expensive look to everything.
For colder months, Kosich suggests layering a fur vest or oversized fur jacket over a neutral solid top for a glamorous twist on a casual look. A classic trench coat is another ideal outerwear piece, as suggested by Desurmont. opt for a belted trench in a versatile neutral shade like beige or khaki, ensuring it fits well on the shoulders.