Style and Styling

Denim on Denim: Redux

5 Tips to Keep It Casual AND Chic!

Happy day, reader dearest!

What’s the world’s favorite fabric? You’d be right if you guessed denim. We wear it all year long, and for all occasions. Not only is denim popular, but it’s been a runway darling as well! Denim is having its day, although I don’t think it will ever go out of style… So to honor America’s (and the world’s) favorite fabric, I’m revisiting last year’s post on styling double denim. Catch up with these 5 Tips to Do D2 and still look polished!

Disclaimer: I LOVE denim. I am happy if I can wear it everyday, sometimes jeans, sometimes my jean jacket, chambray shirt, or tote bag. A daily denim fix may be the way my very little bit of relaxed personality expresses itself.

Vary the Shades

To rock your denim on denim, mix darker and lighter shades in your outfit. (Unless you want a jumpsuit look, which can also be darling!) Keep the lighter shade where you want the focus. If you love your booty, then go for a light or distressed wash on the bottom half. Less than happy with your hips and thighs? Dress that half in the darker denim and keep the focus up top! Combine patterns or textures, too. I love my chambray shirt with my old frayed Levi’s. They share a similar value, but the textures and drape are distinctly different. Denim mixes beautifully with softer and more feminine pieces in florals and lace to dress them down.

Find YOUR Denim

Image from Talbot’s.

Like Find Your Floral previously, you need to find the denim that makes you happy. Are you more structured and formal? Look for a pair of trouser jeans in a dark wash, a pair of classic Levi’s, or keep an eye out for a denim blazer. If comfort is key, you may prefer jeans with stretch. Prefer no stretch? (That’s me.) Levi’s 501’s are still made with no stretch. It’s getting to be a challenge to find jeans that do not stretch. Not a trousers person? Denim dresses and skirts are a wardrobe staple for many women! Hunt for jeans with a great fit, and walk like you own the world.

Note: If you want a cute pair of embroidered or blinged jeans, it’s best to keep the embroidery and bling on the places you want to draw attention, and away from the places you do NOT want people to look! There are lots of cute jeans out there with embroidery and/or distressing on the thighs, but my shape doesn’t need anyone’s eye settling there, thank you.

Add Color

Yes, denim is often blue, but we are so accustomed to seeing denim, it fades out of our perception, and we rarely remember it unless it is embroidered, desperately distressed, or blinged. Plain denim behaves as a neutral. Since denim falls on the less flashy side, add color for a lift and to give the eye someplace to focus. A colored necklace or a scarf brings attention back to your face where it belongs.

Lift Your Look with Shoes

Rather than throwing on your old running shoes or flip flops, bring your jeans up a level in a pair of dress shoes. Pumps are just as wearable with denim as they are with a skirt, and give jeans a completely different feel. I’ve worn red lace pumps to the theatre with my jeans. Not an everyday look, but it was perfect for a grown-up date with my hubby! Even a ballet flat will take your jeans from clean-the-garage to date status. Flats, heels… Anything goes! Boots work, too, but generally have a more relaxed vibe.

Grooming: On Point!

How about those cute young things rocking a combination athleisure and denim on denim… They look polished in jeans, a logo tee, jean jacket, and tennis shoes/trainers. How do they do that? Look at the handbag and grooming.Their sports shoes are spotless. The handbag is tailored and top of the line, and their grooming is impeccable. I don’t mean Instagram-made-up-within-an-inch-of-your-life groomed, but the look, when natural, is fresh, clean, and defined. No chapped lips, unruly brows, or dark circles to be seen. Many are rocking a bright lip. Sleepless night dark circles, old running shoes and a beat up diaper tote are not the finishing touches on this “look”.

How do you wear your Denim on Denim? Love it, or wouldn’t be caught dead? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below!

Stylishly yours,


    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for visiting, Pat! The jeans in all the photos are my fast faves, an ancient pair of Levi’s 501’s that I cropped and let fray.

  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    Everything I wear and style is done on a budget. I don’t know when I last bought something for which I paid full price. But my income won’t allow name brands and designer pieces. You are so correct that we can always have clean clothes in good condition, brushed hair, tended brows!! And I usually do. But to my horror, I realized that I have not been paying enough attention to the fit of my bras! I put them on and forget them (until they begin to hurt!). I need to check to see if they are adjusted correctly and doing right by my ‘girls’. In a recent photo, I realized my bra straps must have been poorly adjusted because one breast was hanging mid-thigh and the other was perky where it belonged. Ugh! Great tips.

    • closetplayadmin

      That must have been mortifying, Leslie! (About the girls, that is!) But that strap issue can happen with even a well fitting bra! I am a huge financial responsibility geek, and always get into the numbers with my clients. Buying quality over quantity and getting the best cost per wear you can is a good financial choice, but can be a hard habit to acquire. “Buy better, buy less, wear it more” is one of my shopping mantras! Looking good isn’t about the money, and worrying about how to pay the bills is NEVER stylish!

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