Dressed-Down Dressy Denim

Forget that inscrutable dress code lettered on fancy stationary. In the time since "Sunday best" was a relevant term, the extreme ends of the casual-to-dressy spectrum have tapered off, with today’s brand of cool girl championing the middle ground. Unless it’s an explicitly tux-and-tails occasion, dressing up has a more mutable definition these days, one satisfied by swapping in a statement shoe or silky blouse. So skip the inner debate: Yes, denim cleans up nicely.
Free The Shoulder
Normally, a flash of arm isn't anything to tweet about, but when the temps drop, sleeveless looks becoming something special. When worn on its own and buttoned up, a denim vest can serve as an undeniably cool top. Or you can keep it classic with a black halter and streamlined gray jeans. Just add earrings or pumps, and turn up.
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Left: Levi’s Authentic Trucker Vest, $64.50. Loren Stewart earrings. Right: Levi’s 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans (Plus), $69.50. & Other Stories shoes; stylist's own top; Jennifer Fisher earrings, ring, and bracelet.
The New Suit
After years of knocking our northern neighbors' national tux, we're owning our obsession with a denim-on-denim getup. Pieces in the same wash family look instantly put-together with a wide-brim hat. Or swap the chambray for silk and stand out in allover off-season white.
Left: Levi’s 501 CT Jeans For Women, $98. Pour La Victoire shoes, Jennifer Fisher ring, Loren Stewart ring, stylist's own necklace and bracelet. Right: Levi’s 710 Super Skinny Jeans, $54.50; Classic Western Sawtooth Shirt, $68. Eugenia Kim hat, Pour La Victoire shoes, stylist's own rings.
Black Magic
We're color fiends for the most part, but there's no denying the power of all black in crafting a look that's equal parts easy and elegant. Serve up sultry vibes in a sleek halter and a pulled-back 'do, or make some night moves in a silky button-up and inky-black jeans.
Left: Stylist's own top, Jennifer Fisher earrings. Right: Levi’s 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans, $78; Workwear Boyfriend Shirt, $68. LD Tuttle shoes, Loren Stewart ring, Jennifer Fisher bracelet, & Other Stories earrings.
Put A Heel On It
For those of us prone to changing in cabs or office bathrooms, a shoe swap is an indispensable hat trick. Just slip on an ankle-strap pump or heeled bootie to make your denim feel a little fancier. Especially for those who fear the baggy boyfriend, a heel is the perfect elongating illusion.
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Left: Levi’s 501 CT Jeans For Women, $98. Stylist's own shoes. Right: Levi’s 710 Super Skinny Jeans, $54.50; Boyfriend Shirt, $158. Manolo Blahnik shoes, 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.
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