Denim holds a significant place in our wardrobes, serving as a timeless essential. Even during the heat of summer, white denim emerges as a go-to choice for an effortless and stylish appearance. Despite the casual association of jeans, often considered unfit for sophisticated events, fashion experts suggest that there are effective ways to elevate denim, adding versatility to your closet.
Petite style coach Angela Foster highlights the adaptability of denim in the evolving landscape of dress codes. She notes that denim, with strategic style choices, can seamlessly transition from office wear to social outings, embodying a multi-occasion staple. This sentiment is echoed by certified image stylist Elizabeth Kosich, the founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling. She emphasizes the importance of jeans in achieving a balanced “high-low look,” signifying a stylish yet unpretentious ensemble.
According to Kosich, jeans, regardless of the cut—be it bootleg, skinny, trouser, or flared—possess the potential for refinement through appropriate styling. The goal is to reimagine denim, traditionally viewed as the number one wardrobe workhorse, into a more sophisticated and elevated fashion choice.
Contrary to common assumptions, transforming the denim look doesn’t have to be a challenging task. You have various options within your closet to seamlessly transition your style from casual to classy. The key lies in making thoughtful and savvy style decisions that align with the occasion and your personal taste.
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7 Simple Ways To Dress Up Jeans
Transforming denim into a sophisticated choice is simple. Here are seven stylist-approved tips:
1. Selecting the Right Jeans
Before enhancing your denim appearance, experts advise meticulous consideration of fit, wash, and quality.
Holly Chayes, personal style coach and ‘WhoWearsWho’ consultant, emphasizes commencing with a well-fitted dark wash jean. Tailoring, especially focusing on the waist and hem, contributes to an elevated look.
Angela Foster underscores the importance of fit, cautioning against distressed jeans. Recommending a flattering fit for hips, butt, and thighs, she notes the current trend towards loose, wide-leg denim.
For a casual day-to-day appearance, slouchy jeans offer comfort, but for a more refined evening look, Foster suggests avoiding overly baggy styles and opting for better-quality jeans.
High-quality jeans, even as simple as jeans and a t-shirt, are emphasized by Chayes for an overall dressier appearance.
2. Adding a Jacket
Elevating a jean-centric ensemble can be achieved by incorporating a jacket.
Foster suggests deviating from conventional choices like a black or navy blazer, opting for tweed options and pairing with a graphic tee for a fashion-forward statement.
Elizabeth Kosich proposes a tuxedo jacket as a contemporary alternative. Exploring options like satin-lapelled, two-toned, or tails, she recommends shopping in the menswear department for an oversized fit. Styling with rolled sleeves and a cinched patent leather belt adds drama and allure. Classic bootcut jeans complement the traditional tuxedo silhouette.
3. “Level Up” with Heels
A fundamental element for formal outfits, heels are equally transformative for jeans.
Foster suggests pointed-toe stilettos in bold colors or vibrant platform heels for a funky twist. Hailey Rizzo, a style expert, recommends pairing heels with a blazer and an elegant top to enhance the formal effect.
4. Choosing the Right Jewellery
Emphasizing the significance of accessories, Chayes recommends statement jewellery as a quick and effective way to elevate the overall appearance.
Foster encourages the use of oversized pearl studs or choker-length necklaces for a touch of class when paired with denim and a dark blouse. Diamond studs, tennis bracelets, and jewelled hair clips offer alternatives for a sophisticated look.
5. Metallics with White Jeans
For those open to experimenting with color, Kosich suggests incorporating metallic jewelry to enhance white jeans. Monochrome ensembles can be accentuated with high-polished metals, such as drop earrings, arm cuffs, pendant necklaces, or statement rings.
When opting for numerous accessories, Kosich advises keeping footwear simple and low, suggesting goddess sandals, metallic slides, or leather flip-flops for a balanced upscale appearance.
6. Adding Texture
Introducing diverse textures like sequins or velvet can instantly elevate the sophistication of jeans.
Kosich recommends sequins as a straightforward method to upgrade any look, with considerations for warm or cool undertones. Sequined tanks, one-shoulder halters, or off-shoulder tops paired with high-rise, wide-leg jeans maintain optimal proportions.
Velvet, especially in the form of a blazer, is suggested for cooler months, offering a sleek and sophisticated look when paired with skinny jeans and long, skinny earrings.
7. Swapping Out Your Handbag
Recognizing the pivotal role of handbags in overall aesthetics, Foster advises selecting the right purse when transitioning from daytime to dressier options. A slim crossbody or a sassy clutch is recommended over a big work tote bag.