3 Cool Women On The Hyper-Specific Ways They Wear Denim

Fashion is emotional. Our outfits spring from a mood, an intention, a desire to create a visual identity that’s uniquely ours — and no fashion mainstay is more instrumental in the making of personal style than denim. Feminine or masculine, rural or urban, this fabric — of presidents and punks alike — is one of the few that can cross culture, class, and context with ease.
For Yasmeena Rasheed, Brianna Lance, and Brenn Lorenzo, a keen eye and understanding of denim's versatility have helped them develop highly individual aesthetics. From a classic-creative approach by way of the Lone Star State to a skater girl’s search for the perfect ollie-compatible cut, each tastemaker weighs in on what the world’s most reliable fashion no-brainer means to her. In partnership with Gap, ahead, we celebrate individuality through fit and style — and a strong point of view.

Yasmeena Rasheed

I can’t go into a store and buy everything on the mannequin, but I get to be creative.

"When I first put on my hijab, I had the impression I wasn't able to express myself," says Yasmeena Rasheed, an influencer who now embraces her hijab has part of her unique style, inspiring her 173K Instagram followers. "It's a little more effort, but it's fun. I can't go into a store and buy everything on the mannequin, but I get to be creative." While Rasheed's approach to fashion is modest, within those parameters, she's crafted an elegant, free-flowing mix of timeless pieces and of-the-moment styles.
"My first pair of actual jeans were from Gap," says Rasheed, who had previously only worn jeggings. "I decided to face my fears and get a pair of real jeans. After trying on every pair in the store, I left with light-wash, mid-rise skinny jeans that I loved. They were stretchy, comfy, and right on trend. Those became my everyday jeans for a very long time."
Photo by Emma Trim
Photo by Emma Trim
Then came the dawn of boyfriend and mom-fit jeans, which truly sparked Rasheed's passion for denim — and comfort, as she says stiff styles that restrict her movement "always [put] me in a bad mood." Most often, she’s pairing her preferred looser bottoms with button-down shirts, opting for a French tuck, though she'll bend the rules in the interest of balance. "If I'm wearing a longer denim jacket, I like my jeans to be slimmer," she says. "I like a cropped denim jacket, [too], but it depends on how wide the pants are."
Ultimately, it comes down to freedom of choice: to have multiple favorite denim styles, to shop the high street as a modest dresser, and to adapt one's style according to any number of factors. "My style depends on how I feel," Rasheed says. "Sometimes I wear all black, sometimes I'm really colorful, or I want to wear all neutrals. I’m really into neons right now; it just depends." What’s clear is that Rasheed is unafraid to experiment and, in that way, is paving the way for women everywhere.

Brenn Lorenzo

Photo by Emma Trim

When I slip into the perfect pair of jeans, I feel confident. I feel great knowing the pants look good.

For Brenn Lorenzo, the perfect jeans must fit one very specific criterion: They need to be loose enough to skateboard, which she’s been doing for nine years.
"I used to wear skinny jeans when I was skating, but as soon as I made one bad move or fell, they’d rip," says Lorenzo, a skater, influencer, and all-around creative. "I just didn’t have enough room to move and be comfortable."
Given her diverse interests, it's no wonder Lorenzo counts on denim's convenience and go-anywhere quality — and its uncanny ability to adapt to the wearer's needs. After her grandmother taught her to sew by making dolls' dresses, Lorenzo pursued fashion design and styling (including some for Refinery29). At the start, she stayed behind the camera and thought, for a while, that styling might be her future career. But soon, she found herself on the other side of the lens. "A lot of different opportunities came up that I wanted to take advantage of, so now I just style myself as a means of expression," she says.
Photo by Emma Trim
Photo by Emma Trim
Like her career, Lorenzo's dress sense has also evolved. "I used to wear a bunch of colors and patterns, but now I steer towards more classic denim. I like a medium or dark wash, a high-waisted or boyfriend jean. At the moment, I'm really loving white and cream-colored denim." One constant, though? You can find Lorenzo sporting a fresh sneaker, almost always, to round out her '90s-skater-girl vibe.
So while it might've taken Lorenzo a few falls to figure out that skinny jeans weren't for her, now, she has a much clearer idea of her ideal denim. The perfect pair, she says, would accentuate her hips and show off her figure — and give her a sense of self-assurance. "When I slip into the perfect pair of jeans, I feel confident. I feel great knowing the pants look good."

Brianna Lance

Photo by Emma Trim

I’m from Texas, and denim is part of the lifestyle there. It’s in the American DNA.

"I've always been a big denim person," says influencer Brianna Lance, who's also a DJ, musician, creative director, and brand consultant. "There are different definitions of what's sexy, but I think one of the sexiest things a woman can put on is a pair of jeans."
Ever since Lance was a young girl, her parents encouraged her to embrace her interest in fashion, which led her to a career in New York City. But when it comes to her style sensibility today, she's never far from home.
Photo by Emma Trim
"I'm from Texas, and denim is part of the lifestyle there. It’s in the American DNA. The cowboys were always wearing super-starched high-waisted jeans with big belt buckles. It was an aesthetic I’d seen for a long time." Lance says that while no one else may detect the subtle home-state sensibilities in her style, her background manifests itself in other ways. "I still feel very Texas in the principles of the way I get dressed. There’s a practicality, where I want to be comfortable, but there is another part of me that doesn't leave the house without eyeliner."
Just as kohl is a signature for Lance, so is one particular fit of denim: She’s a die-hard high-rise person — and admitted to once having a stack of 40 pairs of jeans in her wardrobe. "It doesn’t matter what wash; if they're skinny or straight-leg, white or color, they must be high-waisted." As for the rest of her look, Lance keeps it clean, pairing her lean denim silhouette with a simple T-shirt, tank, or button-down. Because "with a great pair of jeans, you know you'll look chic, no matter what."

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