Not long ago, I would have been absolutely horrified at the thought of wearing a denim jacket with a pair of jeans. I even wrote about the correct way to style a denim jacket here. Well, I have been converted. I'm fully on board with the denim-on-denim trend that's taken over Spring 2019.
Why the change of heart? Well, it turns out all-denim looks are an extremely practical choice for my lifestyle. With two young children and a non-traditional job, the casual nature and integral strength of denim, along with its stain-hiding qualities, are ideal for me (and plenty of my clients).
Really, I've been pleasantly surprised by how adorable clients look in a chambray shirt with boyfriend jeans or even a denim jacket with a jean skirt. As a personal stylist, I'm always experimenting with new looks, trend pieces, and of course, the classics. I like the way this particular denim trend can be broken down and paired with existing items in our wardrobes.
Of course, it's essential to style your denim-on-denim looks appropriately so they look intentional. Below are my tips to look fashionable while sporting a jeans-based outfit.
Contrast is key.
There are two ways to pull off the double denim trend. They both involve attention to contrast.
The first option requires you to pair denim pieces that have high contrast. The colors should be very clearly different. This is similar to my advice about wearing black and navy. It can be done, and even look chic. However, you need to make sure it looks purposeful, and not like an accident.
The second option would be to pair two pieces of denim that actually match, like you're wearing a denim suit. For this type of look, I recommend wearing neutral booties or leather sandals with a coordinating belt and bag.
Head over to my friend and colleague Vanessa Valiente's blog,V-style to see her pull off a matching double denim look perfectly.
For either double denim strategy, you must ensure the tone of the denims are similar too. For example, you'll want to pair distressed jeans with distressed jackets. Alternatively, you would want to wear clean-cut chambray shirts with clean, tailored denim.
Avoid pairing items with similar, but not quite matching, washes. If you happen to have two pieces that match perfectly, or two pieces that don't match at all, either of those will make a for a great double denim look.
Add a pop of color.
Personally, I love a red lip with any denim ensemble. It's the easy way to fake being fully made up. Wearing a denim jumpsuit, sunglasses, and a red lip allows you to look trendy and put together with minimal effort. Seriously, you'll feel like you're wearing pajamas while looking like you've walked out of a J. Crew ad.
Lean in to the trend.
There's no need to be shy about denim trends for spring 2019. Pile it on. Wear a chambray shirt under a pair of denim overalls. Add a jean jacket over a denim romper. Get a pair of denim shoes and a denim headband. Too much is what we're going for here.
Shop my favorite denim trend pieces for Spring 2019 below.
Shop Denim Pieces - Spring 2019
rag & bone/ JEAN The Dre Slim Boyfriend Jeans, $225
Frame Pleated Denim Romper, $300
AG "Robyn" Denim Jacket, $198
Good American Good Legs Skinny Jeans, $159
Current/ Elliot The Zenith Denim Jumpsuit, $368
Alice + Olivia Gorgeous Wide Leg Denim Jumpsuit, $485
Lafayette 148 Boston Denim Blazer, $548
Free People Nicole Denim Shirt Dress, $108
Occasionally, there are colors in our wardrobes that work better as supporting players. For example, most people won't embrace a bright yellow pair of pants, yet they will love a pair of yellow heels. Likewise, a mint t-shirt can make one look like an off-duty surgeon, but a mint handbag is a fresh addition to any spring outfit.
Call it mint or aqua, this blue-green shade is best in small doses. It has a tendency to look like hospital scrubs if you go overboard. A little aqua bag is the perfect way to add a spring pastel to your wardrobe.
Last summer, I purchased a pair of yellow suede sandals. I wore them until they literally fell apart. I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised by the mileage you can get out of yellow shoes. They play well with blues, pinks, black, and white. As a bonus, the color yellow is a mood booster. Try a pair of yellow flats. Right away, you'll notice how they spice up the most basic outfits, like a white tee and jeans or a simple black sheath dress.
I find pink can look good on nearly everyone. It's all about finding the right shade. Personally, I prefer a rich, hot pink against my fair skin. This may be why I have multiple hot pink sweaters and dresses in my closet. Almost anyone looks great in a blush pink too. However, the color pink can be intimidating. If you're not a pink lover, start small with a pink accessory, like the watch above.
Neon can be hard to wear, especially if you're a gal who loves neutrals. A little orange belt can liven up the white-button down and jeans look, or provide a point of interest on a navy jumpsuit. Like yellow, orange lends the gift of personality to an otherwise basic look.
When the weather dips below 60 here in sunny San Diego, we are all reaching for the boots and puffer coats. Of course, many of my clients are also traveling to cooler places in the winter and have a need for true winter outerwear. It can be daunting trying to find the perfect piece though. As always, I'm here to take the stress out of getting dressed.
Consider your lifestyle.
If you're anything like me, you might ooh and ah over a fabulous winter white ankle-length cashmere blend coat. If you live like me though, you know that coat wouldn't survive the trip to the car, let alone actual winter weather. Be practical and think about what you're doing, where you're going, etc. It's a similar mindset to packing for a trip. Where are you going in that? What are you doing? Are you hiking? Walking to work? Touring NYC? Attending a conference? The answers will differ for each individual.
You may need three.
Once you consider your lifestyle, you may find you need three coats: one for travel, one for work, and one for active wear. The coat you wear to the office isn't the one you'll reach for to go hiking. Even for my fellow San Diegans, I recommend having three outerwear options. If you live in a place with more inclement weather, you may want five. Again, this depends on your lifestyle. If you work from home and don't leave the house much in the winter, two coats would suffice.
Skip the black option.
I've written before about black not being as versatile as we've been led to believe. It doesn't always pair well with navy, brown, other blacks. Even when paired with white, black can be unflattering against white due to the high contrast. Generally, black near the face has a tendency to wash people out. If you absolutely must have a black coat, add a pop of color through a scarf or turtleneck to brighten up.
Try an alternative neutral.
Instead of black, try winter neutrals for a more interesting look. In particular, I adore an emerald green, cobalt blue, or burgundy coat. These colors are flattering on most skin tones and look sophisticated rather than childish. They are also quite versatile and pair with well with both navy and black based looks. If you tend to gravitate towards neutrals in all clothing, try a light grey or camel.
Update your accessories.
If you adore your old coats but you're feeling a little bored, try adding new hats, gloves, and scarves to your winter wardrobe. Skip the pre-packaged box sets and create your own unique look mixing brands and fabrics. I like to choose one item with a pattern, like a scarf, and then select the two other items, pulling colors from that original pattern, to make my own set. See example above.
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I take the stress out of getting dressed. I'm a personal fashion stylist in San Diego. I help women organize their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. My blog features practical style advice for women everywhere. Addicted to blazers since 2004.