How To Dress Up Jeans: 10 Ways To Make Your Denim Stand Out

Jeans are arguably the most versatile and long-lasting item in any wardrobe. They come in myriad different hues, shapes, sizes, styles—you name it. And while it’s easy to pair your favorite denim with a graphic tee for a casual look, figuring out how to dress up jeans in order to make them perfect for any occasion takes a little bit more creativity.

Luckily, there are so many street style mavens, fashion bloggers and influencers who have cracked the code for us. During our occasional lack of sartorial imagination, we can turn to these fashionistas and let them inspire us with their effortlessly cool and classic ensembles. Thanks, guys!

To give us all a bit of inspiration, we rounded up a bunch of different ways to dress up all your favorite pairs of jeansFrom elevating boyfriend jeans to create the perfect office-ready ensemble to taking go-to skinnies from day to night, there is no shortage of ways to make your denim look chic. No matter your favorite style of jeans, there’s a way to make them look as polished as you want. Using simple tricks like adding a blazer and heels or pairing a graphic tee with a more polished jacket, these stylish folks can amp up any pair of denim.

Don’t be afraid to go bold, try something new and switch it up. You might find that the top you pushed to the back of your closet looks amazing with your high-rise flare jeans. The possibilities are truly endless, but we rounded up 10 different looks for you to try out below. Go forth and wear those jeans in whatever way you want. Read on to see all of the cute outfits. 

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STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Curves to Contour

Courtesy of Curves to Contour.

1. White Top + Printed Blazer + Black Ripped Jeans

One of the easiest ways to dress up a classic pair of black skinny jeans is with a chic blazer. Have some fun with it and choose a pattern rather than a solid for a little bit of a statement this season. This is a great way to spice up a simple white tee, too—take it from Nicole of Curves to Contour! 

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of Topshop.

Jamie High Waist Ripped Skinny Jeans

These ripped skinny jeans will be a go-to in your wardrobe for years to come thanks to their classic silhouette.


STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Christina Zayas

Courtesy of Christina Zayas.

2. Puff-Sleeved Top + Structured Bag + Long Jeans

Christina Zayas‘ puff-sleeved top is a fun way to add a little flair to any denim look. If you’ve got a pair of longer jeans in your closet, try adding a puffy sleeve and structured back for an easy and polished ensemble. Add in some heels or heeled booties for even more stylish vibes.

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of Levi’s.

High Loose Jeans

This pair of light-wash jeans from Levi’s features a super loose fit in the leg that looks great contrasted by a more formal top and accessories.

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Oh To Be a Muse

Courtesy of Oh to Be a Muse.

3. Pattern Mixing + Heels + Boyfriend Jeans

Have some fun with your denim looks and try pattern mixing on top like the blogger behind Oh to Be A Muse did. Pairing stripes with florals is an easy way to get the look and test it out if you’re unsure what patterns might look best together. Add a hat and some heels and you’re good to go.

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of J. Crew.

Slouchy Boyfriend Jeans

Try rolling the hems of your boyfriend jeans for a more classic look, or keep them unrolled for a slightly more refined style.

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Liz in Los Angeles

Courtesy of Liz in Los Angeles.

4. Graphic Tee + Jacket + Frayed Edge Jeans

While it might not seem like a graphic tee and frayed jeans can be dressed up successfully, they totally can—and blogger Liz In Los Angeles is proof. Just add a nicer jacket, some heeled booties and a classic bag and you’ve instantly amped up your denim look. (A little bit of red lipstick helps, too.)

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of DL1961.

Hepburn Wide Leg Jeans

For the ultimate lived-in look, you need a pair of wide-leg jeans that looks positively destroyed (in a good way!) like these from DL1961.

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Lou What Wear

Courtesy of Lou What Wear.

5. Solid Blazer + Heels + Skinny Jeans

If you want to keep things classic but still elevate your skinny jeans, try adding a simple solid blazer, heels and a structured tote like the blogger behind Lou What Wear did. This look is a go-to for so many—and for good reason. It allows you to easily dress up almost any pair of jeans for a cool, casual and still work-friendly outfit.

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of Good American.

Good Classic Jeans

Shop this pair of skinny jeans from Good American in sizes 00 through 24—you’ll wear them for years to come.

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Cece Olisa

Courtesy of Cece Olisa.

6. Off-The-Shoulder Top + Heels + High-Rise Skinny Jeans

Let the sun shine on those shoulders, baby Try tucking an off-the-shoulder top into your favorite high-rise skinnies like Cece Olisa. Then, add a belt, heels and pop of color on your lips and you’re ready to go. To make this look more casual, too, you can also swap the heels for sneakers!

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of Madewell.

10″ High-Rise Skinny Jeans

These jeans from Madewell are the perfect year-round wash, available in a few different lengths and sizes 23 through 32.

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Just Add Glam

Courtesy of Just Add Glam.

7. Striped Top + Hat + Paperbag Jeans

Jennifer Henry-Novich’s outfit proves that paperbag-waisted jeans make a statement on their own, so the trick here is simply to elevate them. Using a neutral striped top, fun hat and a mini handbag to bring out the already-cool style of these jeans is the way to go. Add some heels for an even more dressed-up look.

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of We The Free.

Bombay Belted Pants

These paperbag jeans from We The Free are so soft, making them the perfect happy medium between sweats and actual denim.

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Christina Zayas

Courtesy of Christina Zayas.

8. Silky Cami + Statement Heels + Ripped Black Jeans

If you’re looking for the perfect edgy-but-still-dressy date night outfit, look no further. Pair your favorite black jeans with a silky cami, statement heels and a matching bag to copy Christina Zayas’ look. It’s a simple but effective way to look amazing no matter your plans.

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of Garage Clothing.

Vintage Straight Jeans

High-rise black jeans are truly a blessing. This pair is affordable at only $56 bucks and can be styled for day or night!

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Oh To Be a Muse

Courtesy of Oh to Be a Muse.

9. Denim Top + Sandals + Straight-Leg Jeans

Don’t knock denim-on-denim until you’ve tried it! When you pair two different washes of denim with a fun bag and cute sandals, you can an effortlessly elevated look perfect for warm weather. You can also belt your jeans and do a half-tuck for an added polished detail.

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of Princess Polly.

Hayden Knee-Rip Jeans

This pair of straight-leg jeans from Princess Polly features cool-girl approved distressing at the knees for a lived-in look.

STYLECASTER | How to Dress Up Jeans | Lizzie in Lace

Courtesy of Lizzie in Lace.

10. Ruffle Top + Heels + Skinny Jeans

Another ridiculously easy way to dress up your favorite pair of skinny jeans is with a fun and bright ruffle top and open-toe heels —just take it from the blogger behind Lizzie in Lace. Try matching your top to your accessories for a truly coordinated look you can wear to the office, on a Zoom call, or out to brunch.

STYLECASTER | How To Dress Up Skinny Jeans

Courtesy of Everlane.

The Curvy Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny Jeans

This pair of sustainably-made skinny jeans from Everlane is a must-buy, available in sizes 23 through 35 and two different lengths.

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