Jeans are one of the most versatile clothing items in any person’s wardrobe, and these comfortable pants can be worn with just about anything. Even though jeans are easy to match, there are a few tips you can follow to help you choose an outfit to go with any pair.
A person can do a few things to choose outfits that go well with jeans, such as paying special attention to the fit and the color or using other wardrobe elements to adjust the formality of the look. Jeans are one of the most common wardrobe staples and are a versatile piece used in many different types of outfits, depending on how they’re worn.
If you find yourself stuck when trying to decide what to wear with your jeans, don’t worry! This article will let you in on five fantastic tips for creating perfect jean fashion every time.
Ever Asked Yourself What Goes Well with Jeans?
Ever asked yourself what goes well with jeans? The answer is just about anything! Jeans are one of the easiest staples in your wardrobe to create outfits with.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Jeans can come in varying levels of fanciness and style. You can get jeans that are more holes than denim, jeans with rhinestones, or just a run-of-the-mill pair of jeans. Jeans also come in many different types, such as bootcut jeans, skinny jeans, bell-bottoms, or even “boyfriend” jeans. Each of these types of jeans gives an outfit a different vibe or aesthetic.
- Jeans come in multiple colors. Along with several shades of denim blue, jeans also come in specialty colors such as black, white, and bright colors. Jeans in neutral tones are a better choice for brightly colored tops. A pair of seafoam green jeans would be better off with a relatively plain oversized white tee-shirt or something similarly simple. Each of these colors will give outfits a drastically different look.
- Denim is neutral. Like khaki, gray, navy, or white, denim is considered neutral in fashion design, which means that other brighter colors can be paired on top of it without causing the outfit to clash. While much street fashion disregards the old guard rules about matching colors and neutrals, building a wardrobe around neutral staples and throwing in accent colors can lead to a sophisticated look. (Source: The Pretty Priority)
Check out the most popular jeans styles for women in that article! Below you’ll find some tips for putting together the perfect outfit with jeans.
1. Look at the Wash Color in Jeans
What you wear with a pair of blue jeans depends on the wash of the denim, which refers to how deep or dark the dye of the denim is. Here are some things to keep in mind about the wash of your denim when you pick out an outfit for jeans (Source: Burton):
- Light/bleached denim: Light-colored or bleached denim tends to have a much more casual look than darker shades of denim and goes better with more informal outfits. Light denim also tends to look better with light-colored tops, such as shades of white or pastel colors.
- Medium wash denim: Medium shades of denim are versatile and can be worn with either formal or informal outfits. To choose medium shades of denim that are better for formal outfits, look for details such as rivets, stitching, embroidery, or gems. For informal outfits, wearing distressed jeans or plain jeans without trim can make any outfit look more easygoing.
- Dark wash denim: Dark wash denim is the most formal type of denim, and wearing a fancy blouse or top can work well with darker shades. Darker colored denim is also a better choice for dark or warm shades when choosing tops and accessories.
Choosing the right shade of denim for your jeans can have a big effect on your outfit’s overall look.
2. Consider the Fit of the Jeans
The fit of the jeans you choose also makes a big difference when figuring out what will go well with them. A good rule of thumb is that the bigger and baggier the jeans, the more form-fitting you’ll want your top. Wearing a baggy shirt on top of baggy jeans will cause the body to lose shape and look frumpy, while wearing a tight top and jeans can look high-strung or high maintenance.
Here are a few of the most common fits in jeans and some tops that would potentially look good with them (Source: Levi):
- Skinny jeans: Skinny jeans can be a good way to visually balance out the fluffy look of chunky fall sweaters or oversized tee-shirts. Skinny jeans are also a good match for more formal outfits when paired with a blazer and a dressy top.
- Loose jeans: To offset the bulk of baggy jeans, both men and women benefit from pairing them with something strappy—either a bright graphic tank top or a camisole with a sheer or mesh overshirt. The trick is to choose something form-fitting for a top or blouse so that there is balance with the lack of shape in the bottom of the outfit.
- Boyfriend jeans: These slouchy jeans are a good match with a simple and tomboyish outfit like a tee-shirt and a leather jacket. Pairing the jeans with strappy heels or more androgynous loafers can help you skew the look toward either masculine or feminine.
- Bootcut jeans: Bootcut jeans look good with traditional short-sleeved tops with either a rounded or a V-neck collar. Since they have a somewhat informal look, natural fabrics such as linen or cotton are a better choice for the bootcut style than silk or cashmere.
No matter what type of jeans you prefer, thinking a little more deliberately about how your top coordinates with the fit of your jeans can help you pull together a better-looking outfit.
3. Use Accessories to Dress Jeans Up or Down
Along with checking out the fit and the color to figure out the vibe of the outfit you’re trying to pull together with your jeans, you should also be looking at your accessories. Here are a few accessories to consider that might affect how well your outfit goes with your jeans:
- Makeup: Pairing glam or full evening makeup with a casual jean look can make for an interesting contrast, but you’ll be able to pull off a more formal look in denim if you wear makeup with your outfit or go all out with your grooming routine. Styling your hair can also help make an outfit with denim look more formal. Otherwise, going au natural can give off a fresh-faced and wholesome vibe. (For different makeup looks, see this article!)
- Jewelry: Wearing jewelry (or not) can do a lot to influence the overall feel of your outfit. A puca shell necklace will give a much different impression than a diamond tennis bracelet, for example. If you’re trying to wear denim in a fancy setting, dressing it up with simple pearls or other semiprecious stones can help formalize the outfit.
- Shoes: Heels and denim and sneakers and denim give two very different aesthetics when designing an outfit. If you’re trying to dress jeans up, be sure to wear a more formal shoe to help elevate the outfit. Otherwise, wearing tennis shoes or sneakers will make it look like you just walked out of class. (For more shoes to wear with skinny jeans, check out that article!)
Denim may lend itself to more casual looks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t elevate it to the level of street fashion with the right accessories. It’s all about pulling
4. Layer for the Weather Over Jeans
Another advantage of choosing clothes that go well with jeans is that you can layer clothing around jeans to make an outfit for cold weather and hot weather:
- Adding sleeveless tops or sheer tops to jeans is perfect for sweltering summer months.
- Jeans are also perfect for cooler autumn and winter weather when paired with cardigan sweaters or sweatshirts. (Here are more winter styles tips that are really hot!)
Since both formal blouses and tee-shirts look great with jeans, knowing which way to go with your look ultimately depends on the weather and the occasion you’re dressing for. Layering clothing in colder months also offers some choice in accessories with additions such as colorful scarves or shawls.
5. Try Distressed Jeans to Show Some Skin
If you want to create a more casual look with your jeans, a few grungier jean styles lend themselves well to a casual jean look. Distressed jeans can run from jeans that are just a little worn in a few places to jeans with holes and rips in them. Keep in mind that distressed jeans typically have to be washed and cared for gently to prevent any distressed areas from getting more tattered and eventually causing the jeans to fall apart in the wash.
What Color of Shirt Goes Well with Jeans?
The best thing about jeans (and why they’re such a popular staple in so many different styles of fashion) is that most types of denim read as neutral in an outfit. So, it doesn’t matter what color your shirt is, chances are you can find some jeans that look good with it. Darker jeans look good with darker or warmer-toned shirts, while light jeans look better with lighter or cooler-toned shirts.
The only shirt that can be difficult to match with denim is—ironically—more denim. Different shades of denim tend to look awkward together, and so does an outfit that is the same shade of denim from top to bottom. If you want to wear denim as part of your top and in your jeans, a good compromise is to layer a denim jacket over a graphic tee-shirt or wear a denim vest so that the color of your sleeves helps to break up the look of denim across the outfit.
Are Skinny Jeans Out?
For fashionistas who find the skinny jean too restrictive (both in style and in blood circulation), there’s good news going into 2021. Along with a general revival of 1990s fashion, many jean fits that were popular in the nineties are also getting another moment in the sun, including the following:
- Flared jeans
- Bootcut jeans
- Bell bottoms
- Mega wide-leg jeans
These jeans add a little more balanced look on the bottom half of an outfit and are a little less constricting, so fashion-forward shoppers can look forward to being trendy and comfortable in the coming year.
Jeans Are One of the Most Versatile Tools in Your Closet
No matter if you’re a casual dresser or you want to look like you just stepped off the runway in Milan, there is a place for jeans in your wardrobe. These denim pants can be paired well with so many different outfits and aesthetic vibes that your fashion options with jeans are practically endless!