It goes back to that questionable denim dress I loved in middle school—the one that now makes me cringe when I peruse family photos. Because of that dress, my denim wardrobe starts and ends with jeans. But lately I’ve been spotting street style and runway looks that have me reconsidering chambray and denim dresses and tops as legitimate wardrobe choices for those above voting age.
How to make denim clothing look polished? It’s all in the styling. I’ll start with a denim dress from Rebecca Taylor—the quilted bodice makes it special, and pairing it with a leopard-print mini messenger and classic heels gives it a feminine feel I wouldn’t expect from the functional fabric. For something more casual but no less refined, I’ll don a chambray maxi dress from Pray For Mother Nature–cinched with a brown belt and paired with wooden platforms, it’s a way to make denim look bohemian without resorting to patchwork flares. Or, I’ll take cues from the DSQUARED2 spring runway and pair a chambray button-down from Madewell with khaki pants, a thin leather belt, and a fedora: a crisp look that borrows from menswear while adding a feminine slant.