I am the girliest girl you’ll probably ever meet… I was one of those little girls who never liked being dirty and loved twirling in dresses. But as comfortable as I am in a sheath and heels, there are times when denim is simply more practical. Because I love mixing high and low, I have found numerous ways to elevate denim for a style that I have monikered “cowboy chic.”
And just as I have cultivated a signature silhouette in the form of fitted dresses that hit just below the knee, I’ve done the same with denim. I tend to favor a flared trouser in a dark rinse. I often pair these with a blazer and heels for a look that is polished, yet comfortable—perfect for a casual Friday or a weekend brunch. I treat denim like a neutral staple. Because the material is such a classic, the right denim pieces can be paired with so many other separates.
I’ve applied this same formula to other ensembles. I pair a denim shirt with a leather skirt or a mixed print. The juxtaposition of denim with more luxe pieces heightens the style sensibility of the former, while making the latter more accessible and versatile.
My limited denim wardrobe also includes a vintage denim jumpsuit with a halter neckline. It is flirty and provocative enough for a karaoke night, but dresses up nicely with espadrilles and a cardigan for the office.
Someone once asked me how I make even a denim dress look good. The key is to find the right cut (or have it altered) and accessorize it accordingly. Again with a tweed blazer, heels, and fun jewelry, the most simple dress can feel glamorous.
I’ve even found a way make overalls office-appropriate. Now granted, like my other denim pieces, they are not whitewashed, ripped, or embellished. I keep the silhouette clean and tailored—best of all, overalls inject a hint of whimsy and nostalgia into my business attire. I pair them with a button-down shirt, silk blouse, or thin cashmere top, a blazer, and heels. One of my signature accessories is a silk scarf, which I usually wear as a belt.
As if the denim trouser, shirt, jumpsuit, dress, or overalls weren’t enough, I even have a tailored denim blazer. The double-breasted cut feels utilitarian chic, while the bell-sleeve lends a feminine accent. In fact, denim has never felt so elegant. We are seeing more luxury retailers and ready-to-wear brands incorporating denim into their designs, from patchwork and studded handbags to lace-trimmed and appliquéd dresses; ruffles, asymmetry, and embroideries have given the sturdy twill fabric the ultimate fashion-makeover. This season alone, we have seen upgrades in the form of a flared pencil skirt from Tom Ford, a Derek Lam trench dress, a ruffled mini skirt from Alexander McQueen, a Giorgio Armani sheath, an asymmetric jacket from Andrew Gn, and even a strapless gown from Carolina Herrera. Denim is definitely not just for cowboys anymore!