Dressing up jeans is easy if you pay attention to a few important details when putting your look together. From choosing the right pair of jeans to the right way to accessorize and other important tips, this style guide will make it easier for you to wear denim and always feel comfortable with your look.

Find out how to dress up denim for a perfectly polished look with these simple style tips and take your look further for a cool and trendy outfit.

Choose the Right Jeans

Well-tailored jeans are the best fit for a more dressy look. If you’re looking for the perfect pair of jeans to dress up or down easily, go for a dark wash pair of skinny jeans. Slim fit and tapered jeans are other great fits, but for bootcut and flared jeans things get difficult. 

Boyfriend jeans are the hardest to dress up, but if you’re sure you want to try, read more about how to dress up denim.

Skinny Jeans With Shirt And Pumps
photo: Jessica R.

Pair With a Cool Top

When you’re rocking jeans you want to dress up, most of the pressure for the finished look moves to the top. From a well tailored Oxford shirt to a sequin top, there are plenty of excellent style options, depending on the style of jeans you choose. Go for a lace top for the ultimate style update with denim on bottom.

Dressing Up The Denim Jacket
photo: Levi Nguyen

Dress Up Denim with the Right Sweater

If you want to keep your top simple, dressing up denim starts to rely more on your sweater. A simple cardigan doesn’t have enough style power to take your look up a notch, but knitted tops with a more statement feel are a good idea. Go for sweaters with balloon-sleeves or well tailored shoulders and don’t avoid knitted items with cute embellishments.

Dressing Up Skinny Jeans
photo: Jessica Grace

Add Heels

The simplest answer to the question of how to dress up denim is to simply add heels. Whether you’re going for high pumps or strappy sandals, make sure they make a strong statement. You can also rock jeans with ankle booties, but sticking to kitten heels or flats won’t have the same effect, unless you go for a really dressy top and accessories.

Denim Shirt With Maxi Skirt
photo: Maleah Sparks

Belted Jackets

The best way to dress up denim in colder weather is to pair it with a belted jacket or top. It usually adds enough polish and with the right choice of heels, you’ll be rocking your jeans for evening wear in style. When you’re pairing a coat or jacket with jeans, make sure you create enough color contrast for the look to really get dressy.

Ripped Jeans With Tuxedo Jacket
photo: Virgit Canaz

Pair With a Blazer

A blazer is another perfect answer to how to dress up denim. Even if you’re sticking to a simple white tee, the addition of a well-structured blazer adds just enough glam to your look. Tuxedo blazers are a great choice, but you can also go for less formal blazer, as long as they don’t look slouchy. Match a bright colored blazer with dark wash jeans for the perfect effect.

Dressing Up Jeans
photo: Marianela Y.

Glam It Up with Accessories

Whether you’re layering necklaces or opting for a few chunky bracelets, the right accessories are very important in dressing up jeans. Strong statement jewelry is a great fit for a dressy jeans looks for evening, but make sure you’re not taking it too far by wearing clashing jewelry that makes your outfit look too busy.

Jeans With Over The Knee Boots
photo: Jess A.

Go With High Boots

Boots are another great way to dress up denim. You can be daring with knee-high boots or keep them shorter while focusing on a dressy top. Just like with coats, boots should stand out, so avoid wearing black boots with a very dark wash denim. It won’t be a bad look, but it might not be as dressy and cool as what you’re going for.

Jeans With Print Top And Jacket
photo: Petra K.

Keep Your Look Monochrome

When you’re mixing in enough texture, you can easily pull off a very elegant look by keeping your look restricted to just one color. The looks only gets dressy if you’re dealing with either very dark or white denim. Anything in between can use a bit of extra color.

Dressy Double Denim Outfit
photo: Sonya K.

Make Sure Your Hair and Makeup Are Flawless

The final step in the simple guide on how to dress up denim is to make sure your hair and makeup perfectly reflect the dressy vibe you’re going for. The right hairstyle can add just enough sophistication and keeping your makeup well defined is also important for your polished look.

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