Think outside the jeans box. If you think jeans are only denim, it is time to expand your mind. Consider shorts, jackets, jeggings, trendy overalls, vests, tops, and skirts. Plus, think of all the different styling possibilities. Denim can be grungy, preppy, and even classy. And don’t forget about colored denim. I’m talking red, green, and yellow—not just 50 shades of blue. If you’re feeling creative, you can even DIY customize a pair of denim shorts. The possibilities of how to wear denim are endless.
Here are a few ideas to get you out of the skinny jeans and white t-shirt rut:
1. Denim Shirt With Leather Shorts
Denim and leather go together, as well as ice cream and apple pie. Plus, check out the pretty embroidered collar on this Forever 21 denim shirt.
2. Double Denim
I thought I had sworn off double denim for good after Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears’ matching denim atrocities, but Kim Kardashian’s chic denim separates have made me reconsider.
3. Preppy Denim
Think denim can’t be preppy? Think again. Throw on a striped skirt and tie a cashmere sweater over this Zara denim blouse, and the only way you could get prettier is if you monogrammed your initials onto the chest pocket.
4. Dressed-Up Jorts
Denim shorts are not just for Coachella. Dakota Fanning proves that you can make a baggy pair look appropriate outside the festival grounds when paired with a prim white blouse and quilted Chanel bag. Any structured bag will do if your Chanel purse is at your summer house.
5. Triple Denim
If you can handle double denim, why not try triple denim? This version doesn’t involve wearing a denim jacket over a denim shirt. This Mango blouse has two different colors of denim in the pattern. You might say it’s cheating, but it’s better than wearing three layers of heavyweight denim.
6. Colored Shorts
If you don’t want to be part of the 99.9% of people who wear blue Daisy Duke cut-offs to Coachella, try a neon pink pair like Alessandra Ambrosio. If you want to wear the scarf around your head, by all means, go for it. If not, you can wrap it around your neck.
7. Colorless Denim
Try an all-white denim look if you’re more into neutrals than neons. Choose a thick denim skirt like this American Apparel one, so you don’t have to worry about having your black undies show through it.
8. Mix and Match
Though (boring) work dress codes often tell us that denim is a casual fabric, don’t be afraid to pair it with dressier pieces. Styling aficionado Kate Bosworth paired her dark denim top with a brocade floral skirt and clutch for a dressed-up but still casual look.
9. Printed Denim
Remember what I said about trying new patterns? This Tommy Hilfiger dress allows you to try something other than plain ol’ blue. Plus, you can swap that coral belt out for a red one for the perfect Independence Day outfit.
10. Overalls And Crop Top
You couldn’t get more of an on-trend combination than a crop top with these Urban Outfitters denim overalls unless you added fancy sneakers and dyed your hair purple.
11. Keep It Classic
Forget about all the embellishments and unnecessary layers and keep it classic like Kristen Stewart with just an old t-shirt, leather jacket, and sneakers.
12. Layer Your Dress
This isn’t a dress; it is an awesome H&M trench coat, but it has inspired me to make a denim dress look less like something a kindergarten teacher would only wear.
13. Smart Denim
Choose a pair of black skinny jeans, throw on a blazer and printed shoes, and see if anyone notices that you are wearing denim at the office. Your secret is safe with me.
14. Go Nautical
If Popeye were a very stylish woman like Zoe Saldana, he would wear a Breton stripe top and dark overalls. I think he would still draw the line at red shoes–though I suggest you try them.