The Best Summer Denim Gear Your Closet Needs Now

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The spring cleanup is in full swing, and most of us have started transitioning our closets in preparation for the upcoming summer months. And while, yes, rising temperatures dictate some major changes to clothing, one thing that never leaves the fashion conversation is denim. When updating your jeans cut for warmer weather, there may of course be a shift to a softer material or a lighter wash. Maybe silhouettes that show off your legs, like skirts and shorts, will start making their way onto your playlist. One thing to remember? Trends that stand out don’t always have to be your guide when it comes to shopping for the best summer denim.

“I don’t think it has to be about a trend that’s going on with denim, it’s a brand that’s becoming popular,” Rajni Jacques, Snapchat’s global head of fashion and beauty and fashion creative, told TZR. “I’m wearing R13 denim now. They make great denim in different cuts.” Jacques style choice? “I love good loose boyfriend jeans. Even if they weren’t boyfriend jeans, I’d buy Levi’s in sizes that were too big, so they could be loose on me.” Indeed, Jacques’ favorite style embraces one of summer’s primary needs: comfort.

“Our customers gravitate towards casual and oversized looks, with baggy jeans as our top spring silhouette,” says Caroline Huang Maguire, Shopbop fashion director. Overalls are at the top of Maguire’s list of must-haves for an effortless, worn-out feel. “I’m a big fan of overalls,” he said. “I always have been, always will be. This streetwear staple comes from ’90s fashion, and I love the statement one-piece idea.”

Olympia Gayot, J.Crew’s female design director, also loves familiar classics. “I believe every wardrobe needs at least one denim skirt,” she says. “This is an iconic piece that I can easily mix and match with my other summer staples.” The Gayot wash of choice is fresh ecru. “I like to wear dark, medium and light colors including ecru and white all year round,” she comments. “The head-to-toe denim trend goes great with any wash, but I especially love the all-white denim look for summer.”

Another important summer denim purchase for Gayot are mid-length shorts. “Mid-length denim shorts are sure to have another moment,” Gadot told TZR. “They give off a comfortable, stylish 70s vibe. They look chic and quite flattering.” Again, style and comfort are the main components that should be on a shopping list, but Gayot proves there is nothing to sacrifice when incorporating these items into your wardrobe.

The industry experts unanimously agree summer denim is all about getting back to basics. Look for classics that can be worn and styled in many ways, that you’ll return to outfit after outfit, season after season. Fast fashion trends don’t need to be your driving force, but fitting and comfortable clothing should be at the forefront. After all, this is a completely sustainable shopping approach.

Keep scrolling for these personal style tips from industry authorities on how to wear their favorite summer denim cut.

We at TZR only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of the sale if you purchase the product via the link in this article.

Loose jeans

“I like baggy jeans with a bodysuit or something bodycon over it,” Jacques told TZR. “During the summer, I wear a lot of my denim with a one-piece swimsuit,” she says. “When it comes to shoes, Birkenstock or Crocs have become my new habit. I kept it very simple and didn’t think much of it.”

Mini Skirt Ecru

“The denim mini skirt is so versatile,” Gayot told TZR. “You can dress it up or down and wear it day or night. For a day at the office, I pair it with classics like a casual crisp cotton poplin shirt and Colette slingback pumps.” She also encourages adding splashes of color, such as hot pink, to the mix. “Summer is the perfect season for a pop of color complemented by a neutral denim wash.”

Overall 90s Inspired

“Designed for a casual fit, you can dress up your overalls with jewelry and high heels or stay casual with a simple white tee and your favorite slides,” Maguire told TZR. And when it comes to summer denim styles? “I’ve always been casual and like to mix lots of bright colors and bold prints,” says Maguire. And to finish off the look, he keeps his footwear unobtrusive. “I usually pair my jeans with fun flatform sandals or classic old-school sneakers from Reebok or New Balance.”

Shorts

“Half-length shorts are cool because they are cooler than shorts,” Gayot told TZR. “You can pair it with flats but also small lace-up heels and a cotton blouse.” For the final touch to complete the outfit, Gayot suggests gold plated accents. “I always layer my gold jewelry like cufflinks and rings to add some dimension to my classic style.”

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