How to dress up jeans

Jeans. It’s hard to imagine a complete wardrobe without them. Equal parts comfortable and cool, jeans are the answer to every ‘but I have nothing to wear’ moment.

Just as appropriate for weekend attire as for office wear (unless your workplace is stuck in the Dark Ages) the danger is that because they are so easy to wear, we’ve stopped styling them successfully, and instead have fallen into the habit of throwing them on with whatever’s close at hand.

Jeans may be casual by nature, so looking smart in them requires a bit of effort and consideration. Here are six easy ways to dress them up and leave the house looking polished – as opposed to looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed.

The ideal fabric for evening, a silk top or jacket will immediately raise the whole tone of your outfit. For work, opt for a smart silk shirt – cream is a classic colour. If you’re heading out at night, choose a pretty print or rich jewel colour to add some ‘wow’ factor to your ensemble.

A blazer
One of the few pieces that is synonymous with looking smart, a sharp blazer takes even the most casual pair of jeans from zero on the smart scale to boardroom-appropriate attire in a matter of seconds. You can’t go wrong with a tailored black blazer, but a white silk one will also work wonders. Even if you’re only wearing a tee underneath, this balance never fails.

High heels
A pair of heels is another immediate, easy way to take jeans from day to night. Depending on the formality of the occasion, the strappier the heel, the dressier the look. A delicate pair of heels provides the perfect dressing to an ordinary pair of jeans. Don’t be scared to play around with colour, texture or bling when it comes to shoes, either. All of these details will only help to add interest and elevate your outfit.

Usually reserved for evening wear, sequins are another simple way to dress up your jeans. Think a statement sequin top, jacket or even accessory such as a scarf to ensure your denim doesn’t scream daytime.

Leopard print
Perhaps the king of all prints, leopard print means business or party like nothing else. Whether it’s a pair of leopard print shoes, a coat, top or even just a scarf, this primal print will dress up your jeans no end.

Statement jewellery
Accessories can make or break an outfit and have the ability to take the most basic t-shirt to evening-appropriate with a bit of bling. Add a pair of big earrings, necklace, statement belt, ring or even special handbag to help jeans seem more occasion-appropriate. If you’re still feeling a bit on the casual side, pair with a blazer or high heels to cement the look.

How do you take your favourite jeans to the next level?

Related articles:
Fix the fit of your denim
Are you too old to wear denim?
Your worst jeans problems solved

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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