How to Style Denim

Denim is such a versatile fabric, blending well into smart and casual wardrobes. Discover the best ways to style denim into your own looks, with Ariat.

From its origins of durable workwear to today as a staple in everyone’s wardrobe, denim is one of the most versatile fabrics. We all wear jeans for all sorts of occasions and activities, from everyday outfits for day and night, to riding and working, and semi-formal events. Jeans undoubtedly have an unmatched versatility, and there are endless options for how to style denim. For smart/casual occasions, like casual Friday at the office or days out with friends & family, styling denim is an easy, comfortable outfit option. Let’s explore how to style denim for smart/casual wear.

How to Style Jeans for a Smart Casual Outfit

One of the most popular ways to style denim is smart casual. Smart casual may mean different things to different dressers, but it generally refers to dressing neatly and with careful attention, but suitable for informal environments and occasions. It could mean pairing a smart shirt with jeans, or a tailored dress with a casual denim jacket. Denim jeans have been an established smart/casual wardrobe staple for a long time. They can soften the smartness of a freshly ironed shirt or can elevate a more casual outfit with darker denim washes. Here are our top tips for styling your jeans for a smart casual outfit.

Smart Casual Outfits for Straight Leg Jeans

Straight leg jeans strike a great balance between the form-fitting look of slim cut jeans and a more stylised wide-leg, fitting your proportions with integrity without drawing attention to them. Pair straight leg jeans with a large cotton or linen shirt for a light summery look, perfect for a day out or an evening with friends. Straight leg jeans work perfectly for casual outfits, due to their classic design - pair with a plain, patterned, or graphic t-shirt for an effortless, yet well-styled, casual outfit. From the Ariat women’s Denim collection, the R.E.A.L Perfect Rise Abby Straight Jean offers a classic straight cut in smart blue denim, available in a wide range of sizes and lengths. For men, the M1 Vintage Treven Straight Jean lends classic Western styling to a versatile denim staple.

Smart Casual Outfits for Boot Cut Jeans

With a fitted style around the hips flowing elegantly into a slightly flared leg, boot cut jeans are ideal for smart casual styling. Pairing denim with your favourite pair of boots is a simple way to elevate your outfit, blending smart fashion boots for instance with everyday denim. Add a silk blouse or dressy top to your boot cut jeans, and pair the look with western boots, for an on-trend, smart outfit. Ariat’s R.E.A.L High Rise Ballary Boot Cut Jean in a dark wash denim are a perfect choice, with a high rise and sophisticated style accents. For men, boot cut jeans are a flattering fit that elongates the leg and can be styled-up for a smart casual outfit. Pair boot cut jeans like the Ariat M7 Rocker Legacy Stretch Boot Cut Jean with smart, ironed shirts and a pair of Ariat men’s boots for a thoughtfully styled everyday outfit.

Smart Casual Outfits for Flared Jeans

A fashion staple of the 70s, flared jeans are again at the forefront of modern style. Characterised by their fitted hips and thighs that gradually widen into a flare from the knee down, flared jeans offer a chic and flattering silhouette that elongates the legs and adds a touch of retro flair to any outfit. Flared jeans can be slightly or extremely flared, so depending on whether you like to make a statement or simply elevate your silhouette, you have options to suit your style. A great way to style flared jeans, especially in the colder months, is with heavy knits. A chunky cardigan or woolly jumper pairs well with the exaggerated silhouette of the flared jeans, and the duo makes a perfect winter smart casual look. In warmer months, whether paired with a fitted shirt or a vintage-style t-shirt, flared jeans are a versatile and timeless wardrobe essential. Make an impact with Ariat’s Perfect Rise Paulina Flare Jean, designed in a Western style but perfectly suited to all kinds of women’s fashion styles.

Smart Casual Outfits for Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans, with their ultra slim fit to the leg, from the hip down to the ankle, often feature a mid- or high-rise to elongate the leg even further and are generally worn to bring an extra element of height and slimness in an outfit. They can be easily paired with t-shirts and loose shirts for a classic casual look, which offers comfort as well as style. If you’re looking to elevate your outfit and bring a smart/casual aesthetic, why not pair skinny jeans with a shirt and smart blazer, to add a little sophistication to your outfit? Skinny jeans, like Ariat’s Premium High Rise Skinny Jeans, can also be paired with more oversized knitwear for a smart/casual winter outfit; style this up with ankle boots or down with a go-to pair of trainers.