When in doubt, wear jeans. On days when you can’t decide what to put on or you’re crunched for time in the morning, it’s almost too easy. But, in summer you might second guess your go-to or fall into an outfit rut in an attempt to keep cool. Just because it's warm doesn't mean you have to abandon your beloved blues entirely. Rather, it’s about ironing out how you style your jeans in summer with a few key looks that are cool but feel deliberate, not dull or lazy.
This is not to suggest that you can’t ever wear jeans and a tee. If you’re going with a simple T-shirt, try wide-leg jeans that will feel a bit more breathable while adding a bit of intrigue and polish. Alternatively, opt for something bolder with your top (think bright hues and eye-catching prints, such as this summer’s tie-dye trend) and go classic with your jeans. You can never go wrong with simple skinny jeans — especially a frayed pair which allow for a bit of ventilation. But, like the rest of your wardrobe, summer is the time to experiment with your denim, so pops of color and unexpected silhouettes will take your look to the next level. The outfit ideas below should help get your sartorial juices flowing.
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Summer Jeans Outfits: Layered Denim
Something as subtle as a double waist can turn simple denim look into a sleek fashion statement. Pair a classic white sweater with relaxed jeans featuring a double waist and a flatform.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Of-The-Moment Color
For a relaxed-yet-romantic vibe, start with some frayed denim and add a printed blouse and vibrant colored heels. This combination is nice and casual for everyday wear, but with a slightly feminine touch.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Crisp And Chic
Adjust your denim philosophy to one marked by clean lines and smart tailoring. This cropped flare denim and crisp striped oxford combination, accessorized with white slingbacks, has an elegant vibe about it that perfectly suits a summer mood.
Summer Jeans Outfits: All Around Denim
Give the Canadian tuxedo a fresh update this season and match slouchy jeans with a short-sleeve denim shirt worn so only the top buttons are fastened and the lower half is open. Or, try layering a top and jacket in different hues. Complete this urban cowboy aesthetic with some Western boots or keep it casual with cool sneakers.
Summer Jeans Outfits: '90s Inspo
The late '90s are calling to remind you JNCOs were a thing. Answer with your own 2020 version of either the cargo or the ultra-wide denim trend — the bigger the pant leg the better. Complete the throwback vibe with a grungy sheer tie-dye top.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Tailored Casual
A tailored blazer over a white bodysuit and fisherman sandals is an unexpected combo. The best of business sleek and whimsical chic come together with light-wash jeans as the glue that holds the whole look together.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Preppy Chic
If you needed another reason to get in on the shrunken cardigan craze, this is it. A fuzzy cap-sleeved cardi is prim enough to make a pair of simple cropped jeans feel polished and ladylike, without ever approaching frumpy or fussy territory. Lean into the French girl sensibility this look suggests and accessorize with heeled leopard print slides.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Cool Contrast
Distressed denim is the perfect match when you're going super-feminine on top. The laidback style softens the impact of a blouse featuring a statement graphic print like this one from Aimee's label Song of Style.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Dress + Denim
Wearing a dress over pants has been a recurring style motif throughout the last year of designer collections. Give this trend the summer treatment and layer a floaty, romantic dress over some perfectly worn-in vintage high-rise jeans. A wrap or button-front style, or an asymmetrical hemline, will give you more flexibility in adjusting the fit and placement of the dress over your jeans.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Dressed-Up Overalls
Embrace the comfort of overalls without sacrificing style. Go for a casual half-on overalls look and add a long denim jacket with a bold colorful shoe to really make the outfit pop. It's the ultimate mix of modern cool and leisurely comfort.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Jeans + Tee Reimagined
Faded boyfriend jeans and a plain white tee aren't the most obvious elements to start with when a striking, stylized ensemble is the goal. But add in some shoulder pads and sophisticated accessories, like wrapping your ankle straps around your jeans and a chunky gold chain, bump these relaxed basics into the next class.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Touch Of Trendy
Simple doesn't necessarily mean uninspired. Pick a pair of jeans with a standout feature or detail, and let them do the heavy lifting. A cropped cardigan is all these zip-off skinnies need.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Going-Out Ensemble
The typical rule of thumb for dressing up denim is to go for a dark rinse, but summer's heat calls for a lighter touch. To transform sky-blue skinnies for fancier occasions — say, date-night or rooftop cocktails — the "going-out top" is your new best friend. Choose a sensual style, like a deep v-neck slinky tank, then add some wow factor earrings for extra glamour.
Summer Jeans Outfits: Cool Layers
A statement top is a summer staple in its own right, but it takes on a downtown-cool quality when your jeans are peeking out from a skirt or top tied around the waist.
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