by Sharon Mosley
It’s back in the saddle again. Time to round up those fresh jeans and head into a new season of denim—a favorite in our wardrobes, year after year. The stars of this season’s fashion rodeo lineup are extra relaxed, playing like a modern Western with more options than ever. Here are some ways you can ride high and get in the denim spirit right now:
Shimmy into skinny. The slim silhouettes are still going strong, so if you love the skinny look, you can easily update it, dressing jeans up by tucking them into a pair of new boots this fall. Opt for straight legs if you’re tired of squeezing into those tighter jeans. The newest way to top off slim jeans? An oversized poncho or swingy cape.
Relax with fuller silhouettes. While skinny jeans may not be going away, fuller silhouettes are coming on strong, giving us alternative, roomier styles that we can wear for all kinds of occasions. Cropped jeans with raw hems are ultra-chic when worn with heels; cuffed “boyfriend” fits are fun, too, and cute with casual flats.
Fade into fall. We’ve always been used to denim lightening up in the spring and summer, but this year, the faded stuff washes right on into fall. Lighter blue denim pieces are a great way to make the transition from summer into cooler weather. Pair your chambray shirts with darker jeans and vests. Another traditional summer denim classic showing up for fall? Shorts! Pair them with tights and boots in chilly weather.
Wear it with everything. Blue denim plays well with other pieces in your closet. Pair it with creamy neutrals, classic leopard prints, luggage-brown accessories or black leather. Or wear denim head to toe. Denim is one of the most versatile fashion must-haves, whether you’re a boho rocker or a tailored professional.
Think accessories. It’s a lot easier to fit handbags and boots into your life than it is to wiggle into a new pair of skinny jeans. Check out studded denim clutches by Chanel, denim cross-body bags by Pucci or knee-high denim-and-leather boots by Tom Ford.
Embellish it. From artsy prints to patchwork to fringe, denim gets detailed this fall with more and more surprises. Designers have decided that this sturdy classic is not going to ride off into the sunset, even as leggings continue to gain ground. After all, our wardrobes are plenty big for all of it —and there are plenty of new ways to wear our favorite denim duds. Hee-haw!
Go for jeans with flare. Seventies fashion continues to influence designers, who have taken the high-waisted wide-leg jean to a new level this year. This is probably one of the most versatile denim silhouettes out there now. Wear darker washes with high heels to work and whiskered, distressed washes with flat boots on the weekends.
Do denim in new ways. Yes, we all want that perfect pair of jeans in our closets, but how about trying a tailored denim shirtdress, a great new midi skirt or a pair of funky overalls? If you don’t have a classic jean jacket in your wardrobe, add one this season. It will become your “go-to” piece to wear with everything.
Denim gets a leg-up on fall fashion trends in Tom Fordís knee-high boot detailed with black leather.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.