How to Style Your Denim Like a Fashion Editor

Contributing style editor Ingrie Williams shares her tips for wearing denim that makes a statement.

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1. Back at It

Face it: An attractive rear view is a key component in a great pair of jeans, which makes back pockets an important focus. For a lifting effect, look for ones that are placed high and close together. Jeans with subtle sanding around the pockets (a technique that reveals lighter shades on the fabric) can create dimension for a flat behind. And fuss-free back pockets (no flaps or zippers etc.) are ideal if you wish to downplay your derrière.

Paige jeans, $289, available at Holt Renfrew; Express top, $50; J.Crew bag, $358

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2. In N Out

Have you heard? It’s all about the half-tuck. The styling trick of slipping only the front portion of a shirt into jeans and leaving the rest loose a) is easy to do, b) works on all types of tops, including knits, and c) gives an outfit instant style cred.

RW&Co. shirt, $70; NYDJ jeans, $168; TIMEX watch, $100

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3. Dark Days

When it comes to dressing up denim, darker is better. In the presence of a fancy top, jewellery and heels, jeans with a uniform dark wash are quickly elevated and never questionable. The instant slimming effect of a rich indigo hue is a nice bonus, too.

GAP jeans, $80; J.Crew shirt, $259; Swarovski ring, $145; Coach clutch, $375

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4. Going Up

For the leanest look, all hail the high-waist jean. A waistband that grazes the navel while contouring hips and thighs can be a game-changing denim discovery. Showcase curves with a tucked-in top and use layers, like a knit vest or blazer, to add interest.

Fidelity jeans, $236; Joe Fresh top, $29; Wilfred Free vest, $110; Banana Republic bangle, $62

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5. Wrap Party

To belt or not to belt? That is the question. The answer? Do it! In terms of diversifying jean-based outfits, a belt can be the missing link that shakes up basics and pulls everything together. Look for luxe textures, such as calf hair, suede or pebbled or woven leather, to make a timeless fashion statement.

Levi’s jeans, $108; Brave Leather belt, $75; GAP t-shirt, $27; Swarovski bangle, $145

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6. Slash Dance

Tasteful rips and tears may sound like an oxymoron, but in the world of jeans they really do exist! Distressing continues to be a sought-after detail that can work for all ages – just keep in mind that a little goes a long way. Seek it out in contained doses and strategically placed mostly over the knees for a contemporary yet refined touch.

MICHAEL Michael Kors jeans, $185; Banana Republic sweater, $145, and ring, $50

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