Taken back to our childhood dress-up days, we tried on too many jeans, jackets, shirts, and dresses to possibly count! Yes, three whole days of primping, posing, and smizing — Tyra would be so proud. And while we did enlist some professional help, we left it up to our staff to bring their unique personalities (and styles) to the camera.
Imagine it: Your office, your sacred workspace, turned into a fully functioning photo studio. We totally did it! From our behind-the-scenes outtakes (watch 'em here!), candid staff styling tips, and handpicked fall merchandise from our favorite denim brands, this was a true labor of love — chock-full of pure R29 soul and spirit. So, what are you waiting for? Start the slideshow to meet our beautiful/crazy/amazing team!
Photographed by Sunny Shokrae; Designed by Emily Kowzan; Styled by Laurel Nuzzo; Hair and Makeup by Bethany Brill.
"These Joie jeans are, hands down, the most perfect-fitting, effortlessly cool, and (if I do say so myself) sexiest pair of jeans I have ever worn. That's no hype — I've been looking for a pair of slinky flares since high school, and as soon as I pulled these on, I knew I'd found my Denim Grail. They make me feel like Keith Richards, Jennifer Herrema, and Justine Frischmann, all rolled into one. Best of all, whenever I wear 'em, R29's editor-in-chief (and my personal style guru) Christene Barberich calls me 'Gucci.'"
Joie Mid Rise Flare Jeans in Coal, $228, available at Joie; Madewell top; Céline boots; IIIBeCa by Joy Gryson bag; A Peace Treaty bracelet.
AS: "I'm a tomboy at heart, so denim and I go together like white on rice."
AK: "I tend to gravitate toward super-feminine pieces (high-waisted skirts and bold heels are like my kryptonite), so denim is an absolute essential for me. It keeps things from looking too prissy and instantly adds an element of casual-cool, like you're not trying too hard."
On Amanda S.: rag & bone Burney Vest in Mender, $95, available at rag & bone; rTa Gray-Black Skinny With Black Wax-Coated Panels, available this fall at Scoop; American Apparel tank top; Converse Chuck Taylor Premium Flag Sneakers. On Amanda K.: Joie High Waist Skinny in Blackdigo, $198, available at Joie; American Eagle AE Chambray Shirt, $40, available at American Eagle; Zara Floral Blazer; Christian Louboutin heels.
"My rules for denim? As GG Allin sang 'Anything I wanna do — no rules!'
Years ago, I interviewed the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, wearing a filthy, never-washed pair of Levi's, so I don't think there is a place I wouldn't ever wear denim. Save for maybe a funeral; unless it was a real 'party' funeral."
Levi's Trucker Jacket, $88, available at Levi's; Acne Roc Jeans in Cash; $200, available at Acne; Hanes T-Shirt; Palmer Trading Company handkerchief; Vintage belt.
IC: "I'm still trying to get behind the whole 'denim-on-denim' trend. I'm from Canada, so the 'Canadian tuxedo' look is sort of a no-go."
MW: "Lately I've been wearing bow ties to work. So far, I only own two, and they are both pre-tied. Once I start to accumulate more of a collection though, it'll give me the incentive I need to finally buckle down and learn how to tie one myself."
On Melique: Ernest Alexander Calder Charcoal Work Shirt, $155, available at Ernest Alexander; T by Alexander Wang Twill Jeans With Leather Back Pocket; $295, available at East Dane. On Isabel: Joe's Cut Off Short, $135, available at Joe's.
"I'm so proud that we've created an environment that celebrates individual self expression and style. And that includes wearing denim to work! I love this look because it takes a trucker tuxedo and makes it a dressy affair."
rag & bone Boyfriend Means in Moss With Holes, $220, available at Shopbop; Vintage black kimono; Vintage denim button-down; A Peace Treaty Hozho silver necklace; Zara heels.
CB: "I've had these jeans for almost a decade. They've been through hell and back."
KL: "This outfit is just outside my comfort zone, which is good. Paired with my prized rag & bone leather-sleeved jean jacket — I think the combo is working!"
JP: "I skateboard around the city a lot, so denim keeps me out of the hospital. I'll take a rip over stitches anytime. Today I got nailed by a car skating to work. I flipped over the front hood and landed in some gutter water. Nothing wakes you up in the morning like a brush with death and a sewer shower."
On Chris: AG Jeans Jake Denim Jacket, $275, available at AG Jeans; Levi's vintage jeans. On Katie: rag & bone/JEAN Dash Slouchy Jeans, $130.90, available at Shopbop. On Jack: A.P.C. New Standard Indigo Jeans, $185, available at East Dane.
JN: "I'm kind of a trend-hoarder; I can't get rid of anything patterned, animal-print, or neon. And leather. I love leather."
MP: "Sounds strange, but denim gives me a pseudo-relaxed feeling, even if I'm not. It's comfortable and lasts for ages."
IL: "When I used to work at tech companies, free T-shirts with advertising all over them was a daily workwear staple. That's what helped me fit in!"
On Jessica: AG Jeans Alice Western Coated Snap Shirt, $215, available at AG Jeans; Mavi Serena Blue Ikat Jeans; $107, available at Amavo Boutique; On Martha: Diesel Skinzee Jeans, $168, available at Diesel; On Irene: DL1961 Joy Jeans in Nirvana, $168, available at R29 Shops; NYDJ Foulard Button Down Blouse, $98, available at NYDJ.
"I know it's so cliché, but my two style icons are Jean Seberg and Audrey Hepburn, forever and ever. They really did write the book on simple chic."
Levi's Made & Crafted Empire Skinny in Asphalt, $198, available at Zappos; Madewell striped shirt; Gap ballet flats.
"All I ever wanted when I was 13 was a pair of black Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. Tight! I swear — I begged for them for months until my mom broke down and bought them for me. I think she worried my former preppy self was morphing into a teenage burnout, but I remember wearing them with a Land's End pinstripe oxford and wrestling sneakers, and all was well. This jacket totally took me back to being in seventh grade and having that revelation...like those jeans would change my life. And, in some way, they kind of did."
Joe's Jeans Black Denim Long Jacket, $235, available at Joe's Jeans; ace&jig top and bottom; Loeffler Randall booties.
EH: "I'm a girl that loves her tights to death and would be lost without my jacquard miniskirts. But sometimes, my ultrafeminine style benefits from a little wardrobe diversity."
JW: "A solid selection of jeans in my closet affords me the luxury of being able to get up really early, get dressed in the dark, and know that I'm not going to end up looking crazy."
GM: "Comfort is non-negotiable. If I'm feeling iffy about what I'm wearing, I think it's written all over my face."
On Ellen: Gap Moto Jacket, $89.95, available at Gap; Ruthie Davis heels. On Gina: Courtshop High-Waist Skinny Jean, $135, available at Courtshop; Surface to Air varsity jacket; Margiela for H&M shoes.
On Jada: Current/Elliott The Boyfriend Jean in Love Destroy, $206, available at Current/Elliott; Mango peep-toe leather ankle boots.
"Our biggest fashion concern is making sure our clothes don't clash with our lipstick, so denim is always a safe bet — it pretty much looks amazing with every lip hue under the sun. Yes, even RiRi Blue. And, of course, our denim has to be comfortable and nonbinding — we've got to have plenty of freedom to cuddle those adorable dogs of R29, like little Miss Elly, here."
On Tara: Topshop Moto Black Denim Jacket, $90, available at Topshop; J.Crew leopard pants; H&M shoes; Vintage necklace; On Annie: Current/Elliott The Ankle Skinny Jean, $218, available at Current/Elliott; Equipment blouse; J.Crew necklace; On Megan: NYDJ Gabriella Moto Legging, $130, available at NYDJ; American Eagle Sweater; Alexander McQueen bracelet; Madewell shirt; Nike shoes; On Gabrielle: Courtshop High Waist Green Skinny Jeans, $127, available at Courtshop; Gap 1969 Denim Vest, $29.99, available at Gap; Amy O. necklace.
GA: "I could tell you what I would never wear, but who knows? Trends change. When I was in middle school, I wore bell-bottoms and pedal-pushers and swore I would never wear skinny jeans. Fifteen years later, here I am."
On Gabriela: American Eagle Faded Denim Jacket, $37.46, available at American Eagle; Ansell Bray necklace; Vintage leopard dress. On Christy: True Religion Black Jacket, $228, available at True Religion; ASOS striped dress, Catbird necklace. On Ida: True Religion button-up; Betsey Johnson jumper.
SY: "Julia and I totally see eye-to-eye on everything."
JF: "That literally made me LOL."
On Samantha: American Eagle Dark Denim Jacket, $69.95, available at American Eagle; Current/Elliott The Coated Stretch Stiletto Jeans, $218, available at Shopbop; A Peace Treaty necklace; shirt and shoes, her own. On Julia: Citizens of Humanity Quincy Overalls, $297, available at Shopbop; Aritzia black sweater top; Amy O. bracelets; 1 Ettika bracelet; Zara shoes.
"I'm loving this outfit, because I'm forever mentally trapped in the era of Teen Witch (a.k.a., best movie of all time with the best dance/rap battle scene of all time) — when Louise bewitches her bestie, Polly, with super-confidence and slammin' moves to join her crush in a street rap-off. Suburban street rap-offs are the best!"
J Brand 304 Destructed Slim Vest, $218, available at J Brand; Gentle Fawn T-shirt.
LC: "I'm admittedly color-shy, so for me, there's no outfit that's easier to pull together than a neutral tee and a pair of boyfriend jeans — I pretty much live in a slouchy light-wash pair that New York editor Annie Georgia Greenberg passed my way — and some stellar heels. Luckily, I inherited an affinity for dramatic, crazy-lady jewels from my grandmother, so my uniform never actually feels like a uniform."
SY: "As a recent transplant from L.A., there were some New York customs I had to learn. For one, if you're a bicyclist crossing the street on the wrong signal, and oncoming traffic honks at you, the appropriate reaction is to not apologize and quickly get out of the way, but to angrily flip the driver off for not running you over."
"Also, commuter shoes. That's a thing."
On Sharon: Joe's Jeans Camo Jacket, $198, available at Joe's Jeans; Zara tank; Vince Camuto heels; Vintage black shirt. On Vanessa: Wildfox Couture Marissa Boyfriend Jean in Euphoria, $216, available at Revolve Clothing; Mango shoes; Vena Cava jacket; Vintage T-shirt; Amy O. ring. On Lauren: Free People Slim 5 Pocket Jeans, $88, available at Shopbop; Zara heels; Madewell sweater; J.Crew necklace; jewelry, her own. On Diana: Siwy Hannah Jeans in Sweet Kisses, $161, available at Siwy; Gentle Fawn jacket; Gypsy 05 tank and sweatshirt; Target shoes.
JM: "At other companies, I used to hit delete the moment a company-wide email chain appeared in my inbox. Here, I read through every comment, because they're creative, they make me laugh, and who wouldn't love to watch a video featuring Spencer getting K.O.'d by Leeann for being accidental outfit twins?"
On Jill: J Brand Sigrid Vest, $249, available at Shopbop; #6 clogs; Maje T-shirt; BDG jeans and jewelry, her own. On Nathan: DL1961 Russel Jean in Mustang, $168, available at DL1961; American Eagle Striped Chambray Button Down, $49.95, available at American Eagle.
A. McDonagh: "We're a tight-knit team and had a BALL at the photo shoot, which I think is reflected in this shot. The jump was Charlene's idea, but holding each on a hip was mine, so I'll take the credit for the final select!"
On Charlene: rag & bone Devi Lace Up Jeans, $253, available at Shopbop; American Eagle AE Denim Vested Hoodie, $69.95, available at American Eagle; Zara boots; Mango necklace. On Aisling: DL1961 Coco jeans in solo, $168, available at DL1961; A Peace Treaty scarf; Mango booties; camo hoodie, her own. On Alex: Paige Denim Hoxton Ankle Zip Skinny Jeans $189, available at Shopbop; Ettika bracelets; Converse shoes; polka-dot denim shirt her own.
JA: "I love the 'boyfriend' look, and these jeans have a relaxed fit and ever-so-slight drop-crotch. When worn a size up, the laid-back look just falls into place."
AD: "Someone or something along the way just made jeans synonymous with cool. I don't think that will change anytime soon."
On Julia: FRAME Denim Le Garcon Jeans, $199, available at Shopbop; Kenzo sweatshirt; Amy O. rings; Chloé boots. On Alison: FRAME Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Jeans, $189, available at Shopbop; RD Style sweater; Topshop necklace; Mango peep-toe booties.
"Personally, I am a denim-below-the-waist type of guy. For those who can pull off denim shirts, jackets, hats, waistcoats, I say kudos! For me, it's one piece of denim at a time, either in the jeans or cutoffs variety."
Levi's Classic One Pocket Shirt in Slim Fit, available at Levi's; Levi's Straight Fit Jeans, $48, available at Levi's; Sperry brown boat shoes.
BC: "Not to brag and say I work in the best department here, but we really do have a great crew. It's awesome to work alongside such strong and incredibly smart women, kicking butt in a male-dominated field, but I also have to tip my hat to the tech dudes at R29 who support us 100%."
On Axel: Gap Uniform Short-Sleeve Oxford, $19.95, available at Gap; Tellason jeans; Nike sneakers; Mokuyobi Threads hat. On Emily: NYDJ Gabriella Moto Legging, $130, available at NYDJ; rag & bone gold foil boots; Vintage jacket; Cassia gold watch. On Eben: Vince 5 Pocket Stretch Jeans, $195, available at East Dane; Ben Shurman button-up; Paul Smith glasses; Saucony sneakers. On Brittnee: DL1961 Emma Legging Jean in Riker, $168, available at DL1961; Vintage pink moto jacket; Urban Outfitters T-shirt; Topshop black glitter boots.
"You don't have to fear the overall. Styled simply, with a tee and a good pair of pointy-toe flats or skinny heels, a pair of classic overalls can function like a new, toned-down take on the suit!"
Topshop Moto Bleach Long Leg Dungarees, $96, available at Topshop; Mango studded flatform brogues.
JG: "One of the many pluses of working at Refinery29 is that I get to see and try new clothes and beauty products before anyone else. Joie just launched its denim line and, as a huge fan of the brand, I was especially excited to try on my first pair of its jeans for this shoot."
AG: "My rule is that if a button-down shirt is too long then it’s got to be tucked in!"
VL: "My three personal denim don'ts: 1.) I would never purchase jeans bedazzled with crystals — EVER. 2.) I would never try and pull off the harem style. Not for me. 3.) I would never wear jeans to a funeral. Is that too dark for this story??"
On Jenny: Joie Mid Rise Skinny Jeans, $208, available at Joie; Elizabeth and James blouse; Prada shoes; DANNIJO earrings; Theory blazer. On Alex: DL1961 Nick Jeans, $168, available at DL1961; Levi's button-up; shoes, his own. On Victoria: Levi's Authentic Trucker Jacket, $58, available at Levi's; Vintage dress; Acne black booties.
LB: "One of the things that makes the news team so special is that we have a hugely diverse group of opinions (and styles, too), but we manage to come together in a really holistic, heartwarming way.
For instance, we have Lexi Nisita who can rock a pair of overalls like it's nobody's business. She is currently investigating a look called Nü Woman, which is basically a cross between Lanvin and Tilda Swinton, but in reality, the rest of the team thinks she should just wear Miley buns and cozy denim and be the quirk-master she is.
To keep us on our toes, we've got the hardworking (or hard-twerking, depending) Hayden Manders, who is simultaneously the youngest and most profound member of R29 News. Traditional denim isn't his thing, so he is always thinking outside the box, adding patches and wearing darker colors that work with everything.
We can't forget the connective tissue of the team, Miss Seija Rankin, who may be the coolest of all. I don't mean hip, necessarily, but truly cool, as in a cucumber. She always looks so polished and ready, even when she is just wearing her favorite pair of jeans with some leather sneakers. Here's a secret about her: She's a hippie. A pop-culturally obsessed, film-loving hippie. They exist.
Lastly, I guess, there is me, the senior news editor. I just try to keep up with all of these geniuses. It's hard, but I try to be laid-back. I'd like to think my job is just to look good, while these three do all the work. Hey, it's hard, but someone's got to do it."
On Hayden: Ernest Alexander Calder Navy Denim Work Shirt, $155, available at Ernest Alexander; Urban Outfitters hat and socks; Jeffrey Campbell shoes; BDG jeans; Tag Heuer watch. On Seija: Siwy Hannah Slim Crop Leggings; Topshop camo-printed puffy jacket; NYDJ long-sleeve shirt; rag & bone booties. On Leila: rag & bone The Trench Skinny Jeans, $209, available at Shopbop; Mango gold-chained necklace; Everlane white shirt; Esquivel gold shoes. On Lexi: Free People Washed Cord Overalls, $118.40, available at Shopbop; American Apparel striped crop top; Zara shoes.
NK: "Denim has always felt 'in' to me, not only in an 'on-trend' way, but in an inclusive way. Everyone wears denim, and everyone wears it differently; it's average yet exceptional at the same time."
SM: "I've always been a fan of how denim grows with age and feels the best when you have worn it every day for a year."
On Natasha: AG Jeans The Robyn 9 Years Original, $275, available at AG Jeans; Ettika bracelets; Vintage dress and shoes, her own. On Sara: Courtshop High Waist Skinny Jean, $135, available at Courtshop; Gap bracelet; Vintage plaid button-down, T-shirt, and shoes, her own.
CW: "For Annie and I, who have more adventurous tastes, denim is like a blank canvas, no matter how out there it is. Even if cropped, baggy, high-waisted, and with an all-over pattern, jeans are a base for us and give us the license to play around with the rest of our outfits. They're magical like that!"
On Connie: One Teaspoon Desperado Awesome Boyfriend Jeans, $141, available at Shopbop; Topshop printed sleeveless top. On Annie: NYDJ Gabriella Moto Legging, $130, available at NYDJ; Tibi jacket; L.A.M.B shoes.
KH: "The jeans I'm wearing in this shot are vintage deadstock Levi's from my favorite vintage shop in San Francisco, Ver Unica. They have a pretty amazing tag on the back that says 'Fresh Produce,' yah!"
LK: "Yves Saint Laurent is famously quoted as saying, 'I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity — all I hope for in my clothes.' Indeed Yves, indeed."
CK: "This H&M chambray shirt is one of the most comfortable items I own — I could literally sleep in it!"
On Katie: Levi's vintage jeans; Vintage David Bowie T-shirt. On Lauren: NYDJ Sheri Skinny in Coated Denim, $130, available at NYDJ. On Caitlin: H&M Denim Shirt, $24.95, available at H&M; Vintage leather skirt; Sam Edelman boots.
JH: "Kate Moss said, 'I always try to be a little chic.' The same goes with denim at work — mixing it with a great blazer, a more structured button-down, or sophisticated shoes can really make denim enviable in the workplace."
KL: "I'd like to use this platform to set the record straight about a few things: 1.) That time that I was spotted in the girls' bathroom, I was NOT creeping. I needed a place to keep a keg on ice for a party happening in the Refinery that night. The girls' bathroom closet was the ONLY place that made sense. 2.) Most people at Refinery29 do not know that the true pronunciation of office assistant Melique Williams' first name is Mel-ee-Q."
On Judy: NYDJ Sheri Skinny in Tennessee Cove, $130, available at NYDJ. On Kristian: G-Star Raw New Radar Slim, $170, available at G-Star Raw; True Religion Coated Shirt, $319, available at True Religion.
CS: "Denim sweatpants. Sounds so wrong but feels (and looks) so right."
KH: "Do I have any 'denim deal-breakers?' Considering I wear a bloodhound-embossed jean jacket on the reg — I'd say no."
AA: "Shorts with tights is my favorite for fall. I love how the pairing highlights my legs and it's a great way to extend the life of a summer wardrobe staple."
On Candace: Siwy Sofia Slouchy Slim Lounge Pants, $229, available at Shopbop; Zara jacket; Joe Fresh top; Zara heels. On Alyssa: Topshop Moto Indigo Mom Short, $60, available at Topshop; American Eagle sweater; J.Crew top; Sam Edelman boots. On Kate: Courtshop High Waist Skinny in Navy, $127, available at Courtshop. Preen top; Cole Haan heels.
NG: "What I love most about denim is that it has character, and it lends balance to all the fairly conservative, voluminous pieces that exist elsewhere in my closet."
JT: "I don't really have any hard-and-fast rules, but I would say I most often throw on skinny jeans with a white tank — it's my unofficial uniform. For a day when I need to step it up a little, a blazer and heels do just the trick."
On Neha: Mavi Alexa Mid Rise Super Skinny Jeans, $98, available at Nordstrom; Ralph Lauren button-down. On Jess: DL1961 Emma Legging Jean, $374, available at DL1961; Joe's Jeans Lucetta Bib Shirt, $158, available at Joe's Jeans; Ruthie Davis heels.
AC: "Boyfriend jeans are incredibly liberating in so many ways."
KK: "I'm impressed by anyone who can pull off denim overalls after the age of 12. I actually love the look, but I'm still a bit traumatized by my childhood. I was really, really tall and lanky. Swimming in a pair of too-short overalls wasn't my best look."
EK: "I fully endorse the Canadian tuxedo. Isabel Cafaro, you need to represent!"
On Anne: Current/Elliott The Boyfriend in Super Loved Destroy, $229, available at Current/Elliott; Zara button-down; J.Crew shoes. On Katelynn: Siwy Claire Slim Crop, $182, available at Siwy; Zara top; Alexander Wang boots; J Brand 620 Super Skinny Powerstretch Jeans, $202, available at Shopbop; True Religion One Pocket Oxford Shirt, $238, available at True Religion; L.L.Bean signature heels.