Denim plays a huge role in every wardrobe. Skinny or wide-leg, crop or flared, it’s a timeless standby that works for almost any occasion. The challenge with denim is finding ways to make it look and feel modern, and luckily the last few seasons have offered fresh spins via updated silhouettes, surprising embellishments, and updates to fit and construction.  

To celebrate this brave new world and gain some insight into what our future wardrobes might look like, we caught up with Felicia Garcia-Rivera, the mastermind stylist behind our recent denim lookbook, as well as with Jackie Kim, Barneys’ Associate Fashion Director, who clued us in on the the ins and outs of what works in denim, for this season and beyond.

EMBRACE NOVELTY  

After seasons of subtlety, denim is getting a welcomed update with standout washes and playful appliques. “I’m excited by the novelty treatments, colors, and embellishments I’m seeing in the market,” says Kim. Garcia-Rivera agrees and encourages experimentation. “I’ve been noticing a lot of pale blue denim, which I love,” she says.   

GRLFRND thedrop@barneys: Karolina Embellished Skinny Jeans / MARC JACOBS Sequin-Embellished Wool Sweater / BARNEYS NEW YORK Lula Leather Ankle Boots

 

GO FOR FIT  

Both women agree that the key to finding the right denim look is focusing on fit. Consider style and cut when thinking about which silhouettes will work for you. “It’s all about finding the right fit for your body, which is different for everyone. The key is going for what is flattering for you personally,” says Garcia-Rivera. Referencing the season’s new silhouettes, Kim adds, “Fit is key but it doesn’t mean what it used to. Keep in mind that fit doesn’t have to mean fitted.”   

Denim Lookbook

Denim Lookbook
3X1 Higher Ground Jesse Straight Jeans / BARNEYS NEW YORK V’d Leather Mules

 

ADOPT AN UPDATED SILHOUETTE  

The quickest way to refresh a look is with a new silhouette. While skinny and wide-leg styles are recent staples, straight-legs jeans are no longer stale. “We are definitely seeing our customer move away from the skinny stretch jean and into a rougher selvedge style,” says Kim. “Designers such as Y-Project are being experimental creating a lot of new silhouettes to play with.” Kim adds, “I’ve been seeing downtown cool girls in a straight bootcut. There’s a confidence and ease to it when paired with a beautiful blouse.” 

Denim Lookbook
RAG & BONE Bella Flared Jeans / ACNE STUDIOS Myrtle Shearling Moto Jacket / PROENZA SCHOULER Layered-Leather Ankle Boots

 

THE NAMES TO KNOW  

There’s no harm in brand loyalty, but taking some risks when it comes to trying new denim labels can pay off in the long run. According to Kim, KsubiMoussyAdaptationGRLFRND, and Forte Couture are the names to know now, while Garcia-Rivera favors Y-Project‘s experimental approach.   

Denim Lookbook
ADAPTATION Distressed Wide-Leg Crop Jeans / DRIES VAN NOTEN Charle Floral Cotton Poplin Shirt / SIES MARJAN Ripley Faux-Fur Long Coat

 

MODERN CLASSICS  

When in doubt, Garcia-Rivera embraces the classics. “Denim always looks chic with tailored pieces, like a great blazer or turtleneck and boots — it’s simple and modern.”

Denim Lookbook
R13 Boy Skinny Jeans / THOM BROWNE Cotton Oxford Cloth Shirt / Helmut Lang Plaid Wool-Blend Twill Coat / CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC Ellie Leather Western Boots

 

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