4 Chic Ways To Dress Up Your Denim

BAZAAR Fashion Director Kerry Pieri shows us how

Styling Denim

Photo: Will Vendramini

Denim has always symbolized a certain casual nonchalance. But despite its relaxed connotations, it can also be the backbone of more polished style—especially during the year’s warmer months. “Denim is the trick,” BAZAAR Fashion Director Kerry Pieri says, in regards to creating chic looks during the summer. “It’s all about having pieces with versatility.”

Denim is not only a universal base to build upon with other pieces, it also strikes the perfect balance between “dressed” and down to earth during high-temperature days when the dress code is inherently more easygoing.

Whether you’re transitioning from a uniform of social-distancing sweatpants or are ready to prove to yourself that there’s more to summer denim than beachy cutoffs, the looks ahead prove denim is the rare staple that can elegantly translate across most scenarios. Below, Pieri ushers in the sunniest season with four elevated outfits incorporating her favorite AG Jeans pieces.

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Look 1: Denim Jacket + Wide-Leg Pants

Styling Denim

AG Jeans jacket, Archive Gucci top and Zimmerman pants, Paloma Barcelo heels, Jennifer Fisher earrings and ring.
Photo: Will Vendramini

“I like a pair of baggy high-waisted jeans that I can put on over a bathing suit,” Pieri says. Her striped top teams well with white wide-leg pants and a classic denim jacket, giving off a sleek nautical aesthetic that’s ideal for warm days spent in the sun.

For a polished finish that can take this look from the pool to a leisurely lunch, accessorize with a pair of simple gold hoops and neutral-coloured sandals.

Look 2: Striped Jacket + High-Waisted Jeans

Styling Denim

AG Jeans, Orseund Iris top, Archive Jean Paul Gaultier jacket, Malone Souliers shoes, Machete necklace, Studio Amelia bag.
Photo: Will Vendramini

Create an upscale-feeling graphic effect by styling a striped jacket with a white tee and light-wash denim. “These jeans make standout vintage pieces feel modern,” she says in reference to her ’90s jacket. With a sharp black heel and everyday-glam sunglasses, this elevated denim look translates to cocktails, dinner, and whatever entertainment follows.

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Look 3: Statement Top + Bermuda Shorts

Styling Denim

AG Jeans shorts, Frankie Shop top, Bottega Veneta shoes, Lady Grey ring.
Photo: Will Vendramini

Of all the denim trends in 2020, the Bermuda short is a standout pick for warmer weather, with its practical length and more wearable range than short-shorts. “I think the denim Bermuda trend is a summer hero piece,” Pieri confirms.

Follow her lead and style your pair with a statement puff-sleeve shirt and braided mules. This formula is all about having fun with proportions, so don’t be afraid to push the volume up top, and go with a decently high heel. If the mood strikes, complete your look with a swipe of red lipstick.

Look 4: Crochet Top + White Skirt

Styling Denim

AG Jeans skirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim top, Orseund Iris top Paloma Barcelo heels, Carolina Santo Domingo bag, Velvet Canyon sunglasses.
Photo: Will Vendramini

A hallmark of any strong wardrobe is texture. Here, Pieri’s choices of seasonal white denim, crochet, and straw come together for a breezy look that evokes an off-duty, getaway mindset. The flowing, open-knit top, layered like a caftan over the equally sophisticated midi skirt, is the picture of luxurious summer ease.

This combo is ready for high-summer sidewalk strutting or lounging outside pretty much wherever you are—and the skirt is perfect for slipping out of if you eventually land on a beach. To expand where this outfit can go even further, just swap the bandeau for a neutral camisole.

Photography by Will Vendramini, Styling by Lindsay Grosswendt, Hair by Blake Erik, Makeup by Mark Edio.

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.

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