The greatest wardrobe leveller? The item that unites the girl-next-door with the It-girl? Blue jeans, of course. The likes of Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and Zoë Kravitz swear by them – even for the front row, as the latter proved when she wore hers with a glittering chainmail top and strappy sandals to attend the Saint Laurent fall/winter 2020 spectacle last year.
As even the most dedicated denim obsessive will know, finding the perfect fit isn’t easy. For starters, the denim lexicon is an expansive one – bootcut, wide-leg, tapered, Boyfriend, Mom, skinny and straight are just a handful of the terms you will encounter on the shop floor.
Baggy jeans were a major trend at the spring/summer 2021 shows; louche trousers were seen at Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Fendi and Balenciaga. Then the autumn/winter 2021 season quashed all claims that skinnies were dead: Molly Goddard introduced the ultimate dress-over-jeans styling hack at her show.
When shopping for a new pair of jeans, take your cues from the cool girls. See below for our handy how-to guide to wearing denim, inspired by the stars who do it best.
Don’t shy away from pattern. Styling trick: Pair your patterned denim with a simple cami to avoid overkill.
Pep up with a standout accessory. Styling trick: When she’s not modelling lacy lingerie from her Savage X Fenty line or showing her love of statement vintage goods, Rihanna keeps things pretty low-key. But she always includes a look-at-me accessory, like a fluffy hat from Emma Brewin.
Take them two sizes up. Styling trick: A fine-gauge knit tucked into a boyfriend shape semaphores cosy-chic.
Reboot the jeans-and-a-going-out-top formula. Styling trick: Zoë Kravitz proved that jeans don’t have to be reserved for casual affairs – just add skyscraper sandals and a barely-there mesh top.
If in doubt, pair with tailoring. Styling trick: Jeans and a blazer are a foolproof off-duty dress code for models zipping between shows, shoots and castings.
Why pick one colour when you can have two? Styling trick: The world is a catwalk for 18-year-old Mona Tougaard. At London Fashion Week last February, she was spied wearing a spliced T-shirt and contrast two-tone jeans outside the shows.
Try them tucked. Styling trick: Heavyweight stomper boots have been a key shoe shape for some time, and they’re the perfect companion to jeans. Kendall’s Prada lug-soled pair are popular with the street-style set and stars alike.
Distressed denim can still look dressed-up. Styling trick: Ripped jeans are surprisingly versatile – add some edge to a smarter outfit with a pair of distressed skinnies à la Gigi Hadid, or keep it casual with a white T-shirt and trainers.
Take über wide-legs for a whirl. Styling trick: Katie Holmes swears by a failsafe jeans-and-tee combo. Her favorite pairs are from Reformation, Rag & Bone and Ulla Johnson.
Channel the summer of love with tie-dye. Styling trick: Several stars including Bella Hadid and Victoria Beckham tried their hand at tie-dying as a quarantine distraction. Why not release your own inner creative, and give your old jeans a lease of new life at the same time?
Try a 2-in-1 look. Styling trick: Bella Hadid is no stranger to an avant-garde pair of jeans. This Vivienne Westwood pair combines classic blue and acid wash denim.
Take a leaf out your dad’s book. Styling trick: Kaia Gerber prefers to keep it simple and often opts for a straight-leg, indigo blue pair of jeans that are the perfect foil for her dad trainers. When she’s not wearing Converse, New Balance 990s are her go-to.
Push the grunge envelope. Styling trick: It’s no secret that Bella Hadid is obsessed with ’90s style. She’s added grungy, oversized denim to her wardrobe of cropped camis tube tops and micro sunnies.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk