While denim is making yet another strong showing on the fashion week runways in New York, London, and Milan so far, everyone's favorite textile is also proving to be just as popular—if not even more so—outside the shows.
After seasons of peacocking for the paparazzi in impractical high heels and kaleidoscopic mash-ups of prints and textures (oh wait, that’s still happening), street style stars are fully embracing the comfort, versatility, and (perhaps ironically) laid-back feel of denim. But, don’t expect them to just wear straight-leg jeans or a boyfriend jacket the standard way. These fashion pros infused denim pieces with their own flair and pro-styling touches. And the sartorial spectrum runs the gamut, from casually cool (think: beat-up vintage tees tucked into raw-edged jeans) to elevated silhouettes (trench coats and pleated trousers), plus just plain fun pieces in between. Besides, street style pros also possess the best layering tricks in the business and the talent to make Canadian tuxedos even more chic than a tailored pantsuit.
So, check out 12 cool, new ways to wear denim, courtesy of Fashion Month street style stars.
1. Throwback cool
Take inspiration from the ultra-chic Miroslava Duma and leave the hems on your high-waist wide-leg jeans raw and pair it with a tee that's equally as worn in. Then, counterbalance the vintage-casual vibe with a polished trench, a structured leather bag, and luxurious slides. (Bonus points if your heels are from the Gucci resort collection.)
2. Mixed prints and textures
First, combine denim washes by pairing a patchwork jacket with faded frayed-edge jeans. Then, make even more of a statement—and layer up for warmth—by throwing a fur-trimmed printed coat over it all.
3. Pleats, please
You could dress up your jeans with a frilly top or fancy coat. Or, just pick a polished shape, like this pleated wide-leg silhouette, which we bet is just as comfy as a pair of pajama pants.
4. Don't distress
Counter your mega-ripped boyfriend jeans with a streamlined trench for an unexpected take on the double-denim look. Plus, the long coat will help block the chilly wind from hitting all that exposed leg.
5. Hot pockets
Personally, we think colorful embroidery on the back jean pockets are the best way to make a memorable exit.
6. It's all in the layering
Yes, you can wear your jean jacket on those Revenant-level cold days. First, opt for a shearling-lined coat and then pack on the knit layers underneath. If you get creative with prints, like this NYFW showgoer, then keep the bottoms simple with a pair of straight-leg jeans.
7. Acid attack
Revisit the '90s with the somewhat polarizing acid wash jean jacket, complete with rose and pearl adornments. If you're feeling extra 90210-meets-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, accessorize with a choker. Score extra points if you find a friend to play outerwear twinsies.
8. 2 becomes 1
Doubling up on denim doesn't always mean a Canadian tux. On a more blustery day (or if you can't decide between patchwork or shearling-lined jacket), pile on the outerwear over a flowy printed dress.
9. Velvet Gold Mine
Style savant Alexa Chung brings her hacked-hem jeans into the designer stratosphere with thoughtful details: a rich velvet blazer accented with a floral pin, a vintage-y cami, and opaque hose layered under criss-cross Mary Janes. (She probably just threw it all on five minutes before leaving the house and came up with an outfit we'll all end up copying.)
10. Skirting the issue
Take the denim skirt up a notch with a swingy-fringy accent at the hems and counterbalance the boho-detail with a tailored black blazer, a ladylke blouse, and killer thigh-high boots.
11. Into the Fray
Fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell takes a jean jacket to the next level with an oversize double-lapel silhouette, frayed edges, and a plush quilted texture. She countered the casual feel of denim with a floral midi dress and, yes, those Gucci criss-cross mules.
12. Street smart
For a streetwear-chic vibe—and sweatpant-level comfort—swap out your traditional jeans for a slouchy drawstring-waist pair with ultra-tattered hems.