5 Fresh Ways To Wear Your Favorite Denim Styles

There's a reason why we almost never throw away our old jeans — and it's not because we're secretly wishing acid-wash will come back. The truth is, most denim styles are timeless enough to never turn into forgotten hand-me-downs, whether they're the threadbare skinnies you've lived in since college or the boyfriend jeans you reach for on those days when you really want to stay in your pajama pants. But, just because you can wear these staples over and over, doesn't mean you shouldn't find new ways to style them — especially once your go-to combinations (white T-shirt and Converse, anyone?) go stale. 

That's why we've asked talented Brooklyn woodworker Ariele Alasko, who wears jeans literally every. singleday., to road test new and interesting ways to style her denim from Paige. (And, to be honest, we think she makes quite the case for holding onto last season's — or decade's! — faves.) From the non-clichéd take on spring's ubiquitous flares to the grown-up approach to overalls, here are the fresh ways to wear your favorite denim standbys.
Vintage scarf; Alasko's own boots and jewelry.

The Standby: The Stovepipe
"My style is very casual and constantly a little sawdusty," jokes the California-raised Alasko, who first learned to woodwork and weld as a sculpture student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. "I'm always in skinny jeans and a T-shirt." To break Alasko's favorite denim staple out of its comfort zone, we looked to a new spin on the denim-on-denim trend.
The Styling Update: Mixed-Wash Denim Separates With A Pop Of Color
Head-to-toe denim is nothing new, but how you approach it can be entirely unique. Here, we styled Alasko in a loose, boyfriend-style denim jacket in a faded wash to complement, not compete with, her medium-wash skinnies. This also avoids a matchy-matchy look that can come across as a little overdone. Then, we tied it all together with a colorful bandana — a relaxed take on the omnipresent neckwear trend. Outfit-coordinated furry friend optional: "That's Mazie — we rescued her from a high-kill animal shelter, and she's about three years old," says Alasko.
Vintage hat; Alasko's own jewelry.

The Standby: The Overall
Because Alasko's work — which includes everything from crafting spoons to building tables and large-scale patterned-wood artworks — is so, well, messy, her denim comes in as her first line of defense. "I usually wear jean coveralls over my clothes," she says. But, really, why keep the utilitarian denim one-piece relegated to the workshop?
Alasko's own boots.

The Styling Update: Sophisticated Layers With Unexpected Accents
Instead of making the overalls the main event of Alasko's outfit, we just treated them like a normal pair of jeans, creating a laid-back foundation that also embraces the patchwork denim trend. It might seem like an oxymoron to "dress up overalls," but with a few sophisticated layers — a silky blouse, delicate pendant necklace, and breezy trench — we took them from workshop to work-appropriate, stat. We added a red wide-brim hat for an unexpected color pop and undid one of the straps to stay true to Alasko's easygoing aesthetic.
The Standby: The Flare
"I wear jeans every day," says Alasko, who retains her West Coast aesthetic, both in her low-key approach to dressing and in her art. It makes sense, then, that she would look so at home in this season's ubiquitous '70s flare.
Vintage shoes.

The Styling Update: A Tomboyish Button-Up, Juxtaposed With Feminine Heels
Listen, some things always look good with flares, like a tucked-in shirt. But, that doesn't mean you can't make that combo your own, too. We found a boyish-cut blouse with some surprising details, like a wider sleeve and oversized silhouette, and then swapped out the perhaps-too-obvious platforms for a cognac heel. The vibe is more cool French chanteuse than Laurel Canyon hippie.
Alasko's own jewelry.

The Standby: The Lived-In Boyfriend
The ultimate lazy-girl fashion item: The boyfriend jean is the perfect item for those days when you'd rather be wearing sweatpants but for various reasons (work, social conventions) can't. And, there's nothing wrong with making the baggy style work overtime! "I don't really dress up much," says Alasko. "Even when I go out I'm still dressed in jeans."
The Styling Update: An Unstructured Blazer & Graphic Top
To give Alasko a new way to style her jeans for a night out, we finished off her look with a blazer — a surefire strategy to dress up anything, particularly denim. A jacket in a softer, unstructured shape — and in a more daring double-breasted style — offers a new twist on this most basic of styling tricks. Then, we added a graphic, colored blouse to up the fancy factor. But, for a girl who prioritizes comfort, we nixed high heels in favor of pristine white sneaks.
Vintage jacket.

The Standby: The Distressed, Light-Wash Skinny
Another thing we learned about Alasko when visiting her studio: She loves things that are a little rough around the edges, from the patina-hued vintage photos hanging on her wall to the bison skull chilling on the floor of her workspace. So, to bring her distressed favorites back to the future, we decided to go to the past: to the very au courant 1970s.
The Styling Update: '70s Kimono With Lace-Up Flatforms
We ditched Alasko's rebel uniform of skinny jeans with a leather jacket and instead paired her distressed light-wash denim with a resplendent indigo kimono. The frayed edges give the statement piece a touch of rugged, hippie glamour, while the voluminous shape balances the slim fit of the bottoms. To keep the outfit from feeling too reminiscent of the past, we paired it with lace-up nude flatforms, this season's fashion-forward footwear style. It's a look that's more Southwestern than punk rock and all the more iconoclastic for it.

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