Pairing denim with denim can look so effortlessly cool — or it can go oh-so-terribly wrong. (Remember that Justin and Britney moment from the 2001 American Music Awards? If you don’t, be glad you missed it; if you need a refresher, click the link above or just Google “tacky denim” — it’s the first image that pops up.)
Blues blending is one of spring’s top trends, but it’s also one of the trickiest to master. Keep reading for five easy tips on maximizing great jeans without being a denim don’t…
JEAN THERAPY: HOW TO WEAR DENIM-ON-DENIM
1. MIX IT UP. Vary washes, hues, textures, fabrics and shapes. For example, in the look above, I paired a dark, oversized, stretch cotton jacket with variegated blue, 100% cotton, shredded slim jeans. I cuffed the jeans and the jacket sleeves, revealing a bit of skin at the ankles and wrists, to keep the overall vibe feminine and to break up what might otherwise create a boxy silhouette. You can also incorporate an item with a unique detail, such as this nautical-inspired skirt that I’m totally in love with.
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Moderation, as with most things, is key. Pair two denim pieces, or three max (for three, consider layering, e.g. jacket over top). Denim accessories are included in this total.
3. MAKE THE “DISTRESSED” CALL. Incorporating ONE distressed denim item adds instant texture and variation — it’s the easiest way to break up the blues. If the beat-up jeans look just isn’t for you, then consider patchwork denim (like this) or embroidered details (like this) — but keep it to just one item, please.
4. ACCESSORIZE WISELY. If you’re going to incorporate a denim accessory (like these sandals, this bag or this patchwork one), then scale back on one of your denim clothing items. Boyfriend jeans + denim pumps + white shirt = YES. Denim skirt + denim pumps + chambray top + denim bag =
BRITNEY. Accessories are also a great way to add color and pattern to an otherwise solid-hued look: I like mixing stripes and bold patterns in small doses, as pictured above, along with a few special pieces of jewelry (such as the Boho Betty bracelets in these pix — get 10% off any purchase with code ANCHORSANDSIRENS). And of course, never underestimate the power of a bold lip.
5. BE TRUE TO YOUR PERSONAL STYLE. You don’t have to be a hardcore fashionista to pull off denim-on-denim. Sure, if your personal style is such that a sweeping denim maxi paired with an indigo off-the-shoulder top says “typical Tuesday,” then by all means go for it. But when it comes to translating trends to real life, less is more. Dip your toe in the water (literally and/or figuratively) with boyfriend cut-offs and a half-tucked chambray button-down paired with a woven belt, stacked bangles and lace-up sandals for a weekend beach trip or a Memorial Day picnic. Try skewing classic vs. trendy.
SHOP THE LOOK:
Current Elliot trucker jacket (similar) | R13 shredded boyfriend jeans | Black Fleece for Brooks Brothers by Thom Browne clutch (get it — on sale! — before this discontinued collection is gone forever) | Boho Betty Stacked Jojo bracelet (get 10% off any purchase using code ANCHORSANDSIRENS) | Hermès Médor watch | Saint Laurent Court Classic star-appliquéd leather sneakers | MAC Russian Red lipstick