I'm not afraid to admit that until recently, I was a card-carrying dress devotee. After all, shopping for jeans can be one of those tasks that needs time and patience, and after relying on the same pairs from Topshop for over a decade, nothing has felt the like right fit since. That is until I found The Pair. An upcycled, two-tone pair of E.L.V. jeans, tailored to my body and in an ultra-flattering cut that changed my entire perspective on denim and gave me a hankering for more.
And, as it turns out, jeans shopping doesn't have to be laborious, and the right pair can do a so much for your wardrobe. But after developing an appreciation for all things denim, I've been looking for new ways to style jeans that don't feel too "samey". As the seasons change and comfortable jeans are back in our daily rotation, I turned to street style to find out how fashionable women are wearing denim now, and no one does it quite like the Italians.
Jeans might not be the first thing you think of when you imagine an Italian woman's wardrobe, but believe me, in amongst the sharp tailoring, miniskirts and head-turning accessories, they own just as many pairs as we do; they just style them differently. Don't believe me? Think Anna Della Russo's embellished collaboration with 7 For All Mankind. Or the return of Diesel—the premium Italian denim brand that took over Milan Fashion Week with its A/W 23 show. Sure, we love denim for its casual ease, but the Italians know all too well that there are many ways to dress up simple jeans.
Typically, you're most likely to find an Italian in form-fitting cuts that pair well with heels, but this season there are wide-legs, different washes and unexpected pairings aplenty; a celebration of the variety and playfulness we've come to expect from Milanese style. So, whether you're tall or petite, prefer skinny or loose-leg, or are simply looking for your own version of The Pair to change your wardrobe for the better, keep scrolling.
Here are five ways Italians wear jeans that are well worth replicating, and the best jeans to get the look.
1. DRESS UP DARK DENIM
Style Notes: Everyone owns a pair of black trousers, and in the same vein, there's nothing that dark denim can't do. It's smart and casual, polished and effortless, and just by adding a long coat and a patent shoes, you've got an ultra-chic look that shows you mean business.
2. DOUBLE UP
Style Notes: That's right: Double denim has reached fashionable new heights, and Italians even have a knack for triple denim. Just to get you started, try pairing denim shirts and jackets with drastically clashing washes to create a look that stands out from the crowd. Just add pointy heels for a little extra luxe.
3. PAIR WITH TAILORING
Style Notes: It might not be a brand new tip, but if it ain't broke, why fix it? Casual jeans paired with formal tailoring is the very definition of business-casual, and this combo ticks boxes for just about every occasion. Work? Check. Dinner? Check. Weekend errands? Check. The foolproof combination works on every level, but especially for the colder seasonal shift.
4. PLAY WITH PROPORTIONS
Photo:Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Style Notes: You know what they say: Bigger often does mean better, but especially when it comes to jeans. Italians have also been caught up in the baggy jeans trend, but unlike the low-slung styles favoured by Brits and Americans, high-waisted, flared-leg pairs reign supreme. Good news for those of us who weren't so keen on revisiting the noughties trend.
5. LOOK FOR UNEXPECTED DETAILS
Style Notes: It just wouldn't be Milanese street style without the extra detailing that turns simple outfits into a statement. Whether its raw hems, bleaching, embellishment, extra pockets, zips or bows, jeans that are out of the ordinary score the most points. Wear them for evening with a blazer and heels, or keep them casual with a white tee and flats. However you style them, keep the rest of your look simple to let the jeans do the talking.