(Not Too) Tough Denim

GIF photographed by Alex Thebez. All others photographed by Jody Rogac.
Almost as long as they’ve been around, jeans have been a staple in badass types' devil-may-care uniforms. While the affair between denim and rebels defies generations, ours favors a more refined iteration of the look. Edited down to the bare essentials — leather, boots, and a cool 'tude — the denim outfits below are the antithesis of trying too hard, but they still have every bit of edge.
Two-Way Street
Love the bad-gal vibe but need a breather from your worn-to-death leather jacket? Try a moto vest — an especially handy option for fickle fall weather. Zip it up with nothing underneath, or throw it over a black denim jacket and perfect-match skinnies when the temps drop.
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Left: Levi’s 501 CT Jeans For Women, $98; Sleeveless Off Road Jacket, $299.90. Toga Pulla shoes, Loren Stewart ring. Right: Levi’s 710 Super Skinny Jeans, $54.50; Boyfriend Trucker Jacket, $69.50; Sleeveless Off Road Jacket, $299.90.
Working For The Weekend
Channel denim's original get-your-hands-dirty purpose for your off-duty look. Play up the no-frills character with a built-to-last wardrobe, like a denim jacket or vest, gray sweatshirt, and dark jeans. Opt for a cropped style to show off your roughed-up boots.
Left: Levi’s 811 Curvy Skinny Jeans, $59.50; Classic Crewneck Sweatshirt, $58; Authentic Trucker Vest, $64.50. Dr. Martens shoes, Sorelle earring. Right: Levi's 715 Boot Cut Jeans, $78; Boyfriend Trucker Jacket, $88. Toga Pulla shoes, Loren Stewart ring.
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Get The Boot
When you’re a live-in-the-fast-lane type, having a lead foot isn’t just an expression — it’s a necessity. Satisfy your substantial-footwear prereq with a combat boot that balances out body-hugging bottoms, or create a leg-lengthening line from waist to toe with straight-cut jeans and black lace-ups. Flip your collar up, kick ass, repeat.
Left: Levi’s 710 Super Skinny Jeans, $54.50; Boyfriend Trucker Jacket, $69.50; Sleeveless Off Road Jacket, $299.90. LD Tuttle boots. Right: Levi’s 712 Slim Jeans, $78; Off Road Jacket, $900. Dr. Martens shoes, Jennifer Fisher ring and earrings.
Shape Shifter
Dare to make an off-kilter choice by swapping out expected basics for more progressive stand-ins, like a cropped, mock-neck muscle tank. Or try playing up a lithe figure with ultra-skinny jeans and a cropped button-up. Weigh it all down with embellished creepers for a far-from-sweet finish.
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Left: Levi’s 715 Boot Cut Jeans, $78. Stylist’s own shirt, Eugenia Kim hat, Miansai bracelet. Right: Levi’s 710 FlawlessFX Super Skinny Jeans, $88; Box Shirt, $69.90. Eugenia Kim shoes, Jennifer Fisher bracelet.
Blue Is The New Black
An all-black-everything color scheme might make for an instantly edgy look (and a visually pleasing Instagram page, if you're into that kind of thing), but in real life, a strictly gray-scale wardrobe can get tired real quick. Experiment with grounded shades of blue to add dimension to an alt ensemble.
Left: Levi’s 501 CT Jeans For Women, $98; Sleeveless Off Road Jacket, $299.90. Right: Levi’s 710 FlawlessFX Super Skinny Jeans, $88; Box Shirt, $69.90. Jennifer Fisher bracelet.
Styling by Sue Choi; Hair by Andre Gunn at Honey Artists; Makeup by Grace Ahn; Nails by Casey Herman at Kate Ryan Inc.