No doubt: Denim is the cornerstone of your wardrobe. But after months of turning to the same cozy sweater-and-boyfriend-jeans combo on repeat, you’re probably more than ready for all the fresh layering opportunities this transitional string of weeks presents, starting with a new pair of jeans. There are endless options out there right now. One thing the most current-looking styles share in common? An ultra-flattering high rise that nips in at the narrowest part of your natural waist, right above the belly button.
And now for a surprise prediction. After seasons of embracing kick flares and rigid wedgies, you’re going to see a return to — you guessed it — skinny jeans. With their flattering fit (somewhere between second-skin and straight stovepipe) and leg-lengthening effect, today’s updated skinnies in classic washes are more versatile than ever. Here’s how to take them from the office to a raucous girls’ night out and beyond.
At The Office
Need a go-to look for those mornings you don’t know what to wear to work? A clingy turtleneck tucked into a leg-lengthening pair of high-waist skinnies will make you stand tall and feel confident, whatever’s on your Outlook schedule. Cinch with a belt and toss on a chic boxy blazer. Major uniform potential.
Low-Key Night Out
Life is full of last-minute invites. Maybe it’s popping by a friend’s book launch party or swinging by that new photo exhibit on your commute home. Whatever comes your way, you’ll look the part with a foundation of timelessly chic pieces like a khaki trench, crisp shirt and jeans that fit like a glove. They’re the perfect canvas for artful accessories that get the conversation started.
Brunch With Friends
The proper way to pull off denim-on-denim was previously a topic of heated debate, but these days, anything goes — including denim-on-denim-on-denim. Our only rule: Keep the fits iconic and the washes authentic. Perfectly worn button-front jeans and a vintage indigo jacket look like they’ve already been your favorites for years. Cowboy boots and a western shirt play up the all-Americana appeal.
Evening fashion truth: You can never have enough “going-out tops” — and they will always look best dressed down with denim. One lesson we’ve learned since they were first popularized in the early aughts: Pairing a statement top with a mid- to high-rise jean keeps you covered while letting loose on the dance floor. Mix a high-drama blouse with artfully distressed stovepipes for an Insta-worthy outfit.
If you’re eager to break out a flirty floral midi dress but it’s still too brisk for bare legs, try layering it over skinny jeans — with just the right amount of stretch — that hit just shy of the ankle. Raw-edged hems call attention to pretty yet walking-friendly shoes. (Advanced styling tip: Pick up the hem on one side of the dress and tuck it into your waistband.)
Whether you’ve blocked the afternoon for a hike or a trek to an outdoor art installation, mixing denim and athleisure guarantees you’ll stay comfortable and look great. This season’s high-fashion riffs on surf-, skate- and hike-inspired staples all look infinitely cooler paired with slouchy faded jeans and chunky sneakers.