Dress Blues: Three Ways To Style Your Denim Shirt

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For our money — which, granted, isn't a lot — there's nothing more essential, practical, and stylish than a comfortable denim or chambray shirt. In fact it's such a fashionable go-to that on certain days at Refinery29 HQ, our staff is a sea of blue. But lest you think this all-weather wardrobe wonder is strictly a casual affair, we're here to tell...no, show you that the denim shirt has a place in more formal, fashion-forward looks as well. To that end, we looked to those jeans masters, GUESS, who hooked us up with an ultra-soft denim button-down, and whipped up three outfits that take this everyday staple into true occasion dressing. Get ready to look at an old fave in a new light.
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One of the best things about a good denim shirt is that it can make a statement, even when it's layered under arresting pieces. Here, we went for a luxe, avant-garde Western look with a striking cropped-sleeve camel blazer, edgy leather pants, and cowgirl-appropriate, glam accessories. The GUESS denim shirt doesn't just stand up to all these disparate, challenging pieces — it ties them together. Lesson learned: The bridge between your hard-edged, high-fashion picks is a little touch of faithful, flexible denim.
GUESS shirt, Work Custom pants, Louis Vuitton blazer, Givenchy heels, Danny Igo necklace, Nasty Gal necklace, Noir ring
Photographed by Katie McCurdy; Set Design by Marie-Yan Morvan; Styled by Nina Tiari; Hair by Sera Sloane Bishop; Makeup by Andrew Colvin
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This semi-pro sweetheart look was a real favorite around the office. Obviously, that bright-red vintage vest hits the eye like a Valentine's Day card and those patterned bottoms catch a lot of attention. But with a printed blouse underneath, there's no question they would clash, and a white button-down wouldn't fare all that much better. Since these pieces really call for a touch of casual formality, the GUESS denim top is a great way of linking them together — and doesn't disappear when paired with all that color and pattern. Plus, that blue-and-red matchup is perfection. There you have it: Your bold, richly toned, upscale pieces can be good friends with your chic workwear, after all.
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GUESS shirt, Alice & Olivia pants, vintage vest, vintage jewelry, Urban Outfitters belt
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Isn't this look romantic? Yes, that skirt would be at home at the office, a date, or even some society soirée. The accessories, too, are all about elegance, glamour, and luxury. But by adding the GUESS denim shirt, we've injected not only a bit of edge to this very ladylike ensemble, we've given it some cheek, as well. With a bright-red lip and a cute clutch, this is the way to be the woman in the room everyone's talking about. And it took nothing more than careful, cunning use of one of our most dependable, beloved everyday pieces: the denim shirt.
GUESS shirt, vintage Chanel, Marc Jacobs shoes, Prada necklace and ring
Photographed by Katie McCurdy; Set Design by Marie-Yan Morvan; Styled by Nina Tiari; Hair by Sera Sloane Bishop; Makeup by Andrew Colvin
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