Denim Style Guide

Welcome back!

Just as promised, this week I’ve put together a guide for all things denim. Whether you struggle to find something to wear with your boyfriend jeans, or are just looking for a little inspiration for your next denim ensemble,  Stylishly Good Vibes has got you covered.

Photographer: Andrew Downing

Denim has always been an incredibly versatile and critical component of my wardrobe. Jeans are a comfort for me. Throughout the years, I’ve struggled to find the right fit, style and wash for my personal style and shape, but I think I’ve nailed it within the past few years.

In today’s post, I focused on a Mid Rise Bootcut, a Classic Black Skinny, Distressed Boyfriend Jeans and the odd ball out, Batik Denim. These denim styles tend to be the ones that I wear most often, however I have always struggled to coordinate an outfit with them. All of the above denim are practical and stylish, making them necessities for every woman’s closet.

Let’s begin with a true classic: The Mid Rise Bootcut Jean.

Outfit Details:

Mid Rise Bootcut Jean (BDG), Tank (Anthropologie), Wedges (Sam Edelman), Sunglasses (PacSun), Pendant Necklace (My own creation) –> view inspiration here

Back in the early 2000s when skinny jeans were a thing of the past, the bootcut was the ‘it’ cut of denim within everyone’s wardrobe. I remember having pairs and pairs of bootcut jeans, but as I got older they seemed to disappear from my wardrobe completely. It wasn’t because they weren’t stylish, or because they didn’t correlate with my personal style; It was because I hated trying to find a pair of shoes to wear with them. Stupid reason, I know, but I feel like this is a pretty common obstacle faced by those looking to break out a pair of bootcut jeans.

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This particular pair is from the brand BDG, sold specifically at Urban Outfitters. I love this brand because they’re the ideal fit for anyone with a little booty and some curves.

Now, when it comes to styling this time-honored pair of pants, anything goes. Seriously. Any top, whether it be a tank, blouse or sweatshirt, can be easily worn alongside this flared jean.

When it comes to shoes, however, it requires a little bit more effort. My first tip for finding shoes to pair with bootcut jeans is to avoid low heeled boots at all costs. If you want to show off that new pair of combat boots, don’t pair them with bootcut jeans, opt for a skinny or straight cut instead. Bootcut jeans are best paired with wedged booties, wedges, or heels. The entire point of the bootcut jean is to elongate the leg, so why would you compromise the height that the cut gives you by wearing a flat pair of shoes?

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Next up comes one of my favorite pairs of denim, the Batik denim.

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Outfit Details:

Batik Denim (DVF for Current Elliot), Wedge Booties (Dolce Vita)

If you’re unaware of what I mean by “Batik”, I’ll explain. Batik is a technique that uses wax resistant dye to create a design on fabric. Sounds simple? Not quite. Artisans draw a design of their choice with a spouted tool or by using a copper stamp. Once the design is pressed into the fabric, it’s rinsed with boiling water and then the process is repeated until the design is up to the artisan’s standards. The great thing about this particular style is that each piece is completely unique and one of a kind. You won’t find one pair the same as another.

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I discovered this rad pair of pants on the sale rack at Nordstrom Rack. I was a little adamant about buying them at first because they were a very stiff denim, but I’ve grown to love them. Because this jean is a skinny cut, it can be paired with any neutral colored shoe, whether that be a heel or a flat.

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I usually try to pair these pants with a cream or white top because I like the clean and put together style that it portrays when the entire outfit matches.

Onto number 3, the Distressed Boyfriend Jean.

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Outfit Details:

Distressed Boyfriend Jean (BDG), Shoes (Clarks), Jacket (Nordstrom)

This pair of jeans has to be the one that I spent the most time contemplating on purchasing. I had always wanted a distressed pair of boyfriend jeans, but I could never find the pair that fit me just right. Once again, Urban Outfitters saved the day by providing me with this incredibly comfortable pair of boyfriend jeans.

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The key to styling boyfriend jeans is to keep the top half simple, depending on if the denim is distressed or clean cut. I usually like to wear a longer, flowy shirt with boyfriend jeans since they do hang super low on the waist (which I didn’t realize before buying.)

Another thing to take into consideration when buying boyfriend jeans is that you should avoid washing them, seriously. This particular pair of boyfriend jeans was stiff and uncomfortable when I initially purchased them. By not washing them until after five wears, they became as soft as pajama pants.

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Boyfriend jeans are best styled alongside a pair of flats or sneakers, but it’s totally up to your own personal taste. Because this particular style of denim is meant to be construed as super casual and laid back, shoes should maintain that assumption. You wouldn’t pair your favorite pair of pink wedges with these, for example.

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Last but certainly not least, the black skinny jean.

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Outfit Details:

Black Skinny Jean (STS Blue)

Honestly, the black skinny jean is one of my most frequently worn pairs of denim. They’re such a practical wash and fit, and can be paired with everything from your favorite blouse to an old, baggy sweatshirt.

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Styling black skinny jeans is pretty self-explanatory which is why I wanted to mention the importance of taking chances with your style. This wash and fit of denim is the quintessential pant to experiment with new trends. Black can be paired with any color, including navy, no matter what anyone tries to tell you.

This outfit is relatively simple for black denim, however an easy way to dress up the look is by wearing a really cool pair of shoes. I found this gold banded pair of flats at Urban Outfitters for $10, and you seriously can’t beat that.

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I hope that with this denim style guide you gained a better insight on how to style your favorite pairs! Inspiration is all around us, so look to friends who have great taste in denim and see what inspires them. Stay Stylish!

Stylishly Good Vibes!

~Alicia

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