Denim Update: 3 Styles I’m Wearing On Repeat

denim styled two ways


Above, I’ve styled jeans and an easy white blouse two ways: on the left for a casual Saturday farmers’ market run, and on the right for Sunday brunch with friends.

Thanks to Nordstrom for their sponsorship of this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

I may occasionally step out in other types of pants but I ultimately keep coming back home to my jeans. I know that some don’t get the attraction, but if there’s a clothing version of a “soulmate,” jeans would be mine.

Why? They’re versatile, and never feel fussy or overdone. They’re at home with a pair of heels or sneakers. There’s a wash or style that suits any mood. They’re iconic and modern at the same time. Jeans and a simple top can be a fabulous “blank slate” for using accessories to create a look.

Updated Denim

While denim is a fashion perennial, shapes, cuts and washes will shift over time. I don’t chase every trend, but as with the rest of my wardrobe, I want jeans that look modern and current. Sometimes it takes my eye a while to adjust; it was that way with both skinnies and boyfriend styles. This season I’m rotating between three different styles: slim leg, boyfriend and released hems.

Slim Leg

Sometimes referred to as “cigarette” or “stovepipe” legs, this style is not quite as form-fitting as a true skinny jean, nor as narrow or tapered at the ankle. I find this cut is often the most flattering and easy to style. They work particularly well with tunics or higher-volume tops. I prefer the length just at the top of the ankle bone, but some may prefer longer or shorter. A few slim leg options:


Some boyfriend styles are cropped and/or cuffed, some are ankle length. I prefer styles that are cut a little slimmer and have the option to cuff or not. Boyfriend jeans will generally have a more worn-in look, and may or may not be distressed. I love the look of pairing mildly distressed jeans with more refined pieces. Fuller styles will look more balanced with fitted tops, but you can also try a half-tuck with looser tops.

Raw Hem/Released Hem

This seems to be “the” denim trend of 2017. It’s a subtler way to incorporate some distressing, and there are options in just about every leg shape from slim to bootcut. As with distressed styles, I like to mix up with more refined pieces like heels and a softly structured jacket.

Nordstrom is my first stop when shopping for denim. They carry a wide range of brands and sizes. Their website allows you to search by brand, leg style, rise, wash and size, plus a few other criteria. They always include the inseam measurements which I find particularly helpful. Shipping and returns are always free.

What styles of denim do you wear most often?

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  1. Mary Ellen Klock
    May 25, 2017 / 3:30 am

    I love your blog…jeans are my favorite too! I’m most “myself” when wearing them….you have great combinations – thanks for sharing!

  2. May 25, 2017 / 3:41 am

    I have a pair of cropped white jeans that have a little flare at the bottom. For some reason, the silhouette works for me.
    When the heat sets in I give up on jeans in favor of looser cuts with lighter-weight fabric.
    That colorful tote you show is so pretty!

  3. Roseg
    May 25, 2017 / 4:15 am

    I like a trouser cut. It’s good for work or church, professional with the color and comfort of denim.

  4. Linda
    May 25, 2017 / 6:59 am

    I love jeans! My favorite style would have to be slim leg. I have 2 pairs of NYDJ Alina jeans, one in a dark wash and another in the blue you feature here.

    I also like Boyfriend jeans, especially in white. Somehow the roomier cut with white looks a little bit more refined to me.

    I don’t own any distressed jeans because I thought that, at my age, they looked sloppy. Then a friend of mine shows me some photos of her very fashionable and stylish older friend wearing them with a Channel type tweed jacket and I changed my mind instantly.

  5. Dru Mattimoe
    May 25, 2017 / 9:25 am

    I think we have the same soulmate. Seriously, jeans are my go to. I don’t wear dresses very well.

  6. May 25, 2017 / 11:47 am

    Were we supposed to see pics of your in two takes on jeans? Oh well… I’m 67 and plan to be a jeans gal to the end! Dressed up or casual, they are such a comfy neutral base for a myriad of days’ events–slim, straight, distressed or dark-washed. I’ve a dozen pairs! Oddly, none of my friends wear jeans, and I’m often unsure if they are looking at me askance or with envy, but who cares!

    • Susan B
      May 25, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Hi Missi, not in this post, but I’ll have some fresh outfit posts with jeans over the next few days. Keep rocking those jeans!

  7. Nicole K
    May 25, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    The last 8 years or so, my work has been with companies that are definitely on the dressy casual side and jeans are the foundation of everyone’s wardrobe. One day, wearing a jacket and low heels with my jeans, someone asked why I was so “dressed up.” So, your posts have always been right on track for my life style. I bought the Current/Elliot Straight Crop released hem about 2 years ago and they are so comfortable and versatile.

    Thanks again for another great post and keeping my Nordstrom card working. 😉

  8. Ali
    May 25, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    Just like Neil Diamond said…Forever In Blue Jeans….or Black…
    No matter what my age is.


  9. Jeanne
    May 26, 2017 / 7:53 am

    My vote is for the Anthropologie jeans you wore at Lake Como. With those black boots you looked about 6 feet tall.

    • Susan B
      May 26, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Thanks! Those are in both the Slim and Released Hem categories and are my current fave! 🙂 You’ll see them in some more outfit posts soon.

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