Summer Obsession: How to Wear Elevated Denim Like a Boss

Get to know the summer's biggest trend.

Denim is a wardrobe classic that’s withstood the test of time in the fickle world of fashion. This summer, denim is elevated to new heights, with sharp silhouettes, interesting embellishments, and high-style twists that make it fresher than ever. Get to know elevated denim, and start incorporating it into your wardrobe, whether you’re slipping out of some blue kicks to dip your toes in the pool or rocking an all-denim jumpsuit like a model off-duty.

Dressed-up denim is an art form. This workman’s fabric be worn into even the most buttoned-up offices when cut into a chic skirt silhouette (Opening Ceremony denim skirt, $175), tailored to a tee in blazer form (MM6 Maison Margiela wrap jacket, $209), and paired with haute accessories like big gold earrings ($19.90 at Zara). Want to make sure your look is strictly professional? Wear a dark wash, avoid frayed edges, and opt for a clean shape.

Backyard barbecues and outdoor summer sips don’t call for just cutoff denim shorts — those are phasing out anyway. Instead, try your hand at elevated denim pieces like a cropped-pant jumpsuit (Alice + Olivia Lucie jumpsuit, $368) paired with a bandana ($18 at Geisha House, Old City) in place of jewelry, worn knotted at the neck or wrapped around the wrist for a dose of true-blue Americana. Want to go more low-key with the trend? Opt for some cool denim sandals (3.1 Phillip Lim Martini denim and suede flats, $495) or athletic-inspired kicks (Joshua Sanders denim slip-ons, $270 at Saks Fifth Avenue).

Whether you’re going to Sunday brunch with grandma or bar-hopping, an elevated denim dress is your best friend. (Alexander McQueen raw-edge denim dress, $806 at Neiman Marcus) For the street-style starlet, go for a cape (Saint Laurent patchwork denim cape, $1990) that screams “fashion girl,” but try to keep the accessories simple. A denim handbag (Stella McCartney Falabella denim botanical tote, $893), when done right, is always a good idea. Hint: Think more chic, embroidered tote than early-2000s mom-jean bag.

And that’s how you do elevated denim to work, play, and lounge in all summer long.