Find Your Signature Denim Style

Take four of today's freshest designers with very different signature styles and see how they run with the most ordinary fabric: denim.

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Elise Overland: Rock Chic




"With jeans trends, it's not about loving the look. You first have to ask yourself: Does it work for my body?"


KNOWN FOR:

Her sexy designs—heavy on the leather—which are mainstays in the rock world. Coveted by Irina Lazareanu and the White Stripes.

ON DENIM:

"Once designers did corsets and dresses, the world saw denim's potential. Obviously, it's gone beyond casual."

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DREAM JEANS: " Low-waist and seriously tight Earnest Sewn jeans are my favorites."

WEARS IT WITH:

"Diamonds, chunky silver jewelry, and sexy shoes. I love rocker style, but I'm still a girl!"

HER TAKE: "

I try to soften the dark, downtown look of denim and leather with silky fabrics in feminine colors."

ON WASH:

"Faded blacks or blues that look like you've actually lived in them are always sexier than brand-new."

ON FIT:

"Low-cut works for my slim figure, and I stick to it. High-waists, no way."

ELISE'S STYLE TIPS:

  • Follow your body type rather than the trend. If you're uncomfortable, lose 'em!
  • The older the denim, the more soulful and rock-and-roll it gets.
  • Jeans stretch, so go as tight as possible—but not so you can't breathe.

Jeans, $198, Earnest Sewn; jacket, $3000, top, $750, skirt, $915, belt, $625, Elise Overland; shoes, Christian Louboutin; Overland's own jewelry.

Next page: Doo Ri Chung: Modern


Doo-Ri Chung: Modern




"Wearing denim says you don't take yourself too seriously. And now there's denim to match everyone's style. No excuses."


KNOWN FOR:

Refashioning jersey into drapey, architectural tops, dresses, and skirts; she honed her vision working at Geoffrey Beene.

ON DENIM:

"Everyone I went to college with wore the same bleached boot-cuts—that was before denim was made for female bodies!"

DREAM JEANS:

"Rag & Bone's skinny leg has just enough stretch. They're the designer's ultimate canvas—the darker, the better."

TAMING THE TREND:

"At first, wide-leg jeans seemed extreme, but with a tank top and flats, it's summer's ideal look."

HER TAKE:

"Denim is an art in itself; the ease and feel of it is inspiring. How I wear it is creative, I hope, but not over-complicated."

ON COLOR:

"Dark washes are a great backdrop for any vibrant color. Fabulous for summer brights, as nothing will look too loud."

MODERN SPIN:

"Denim has earned a place at formal events. Why not a shrunken jean jacket over an amazing cocktail dress? Or you can top a tailored pair with a beautiful blouse and then add amazing shoes. Do something that hasn't been done."

DOO-RI'S STYLE TIPS:

  • Invest in top-quality jeans—just make sure they lie flat in front.
  • Colors you might otherwise shy away from look great with deep, dark denim.
  • Wear denim fearlessly—with outrageous belts or boots.

Skirt, $26.50, Old Navy; top, $495, Doo.Ri; Chung's own belt and Pierre Hardy shoes.

Next page: Devi Kroell

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Devi Kroell: Tailored




"If the butt fits, wear them! And once you find your perfect jeans, buy several pairs—in different washes—to last you."


KNOWN FOR:

Her signature python hobo bags, seen on fashionistas' arms (Kate Hudson, Sienna, and Reese are fans).

ON DENIM:

"At 14, I finally rebelled against my parents' no-denim rule and bought myself a light blue, oversize, straight-cut pair. I wouldn't go near them today."

DREAM PAIR:

"Since two years ago, when Rag & Bone made the Devi jean for me, it's all I wear. I have it in 10 washes."

WEARS IT WITH:

"Tailored tops and statement accessories. They take denim to the luxury level."

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HER TAKE:

"When I was creating my very first python hobo, my muse was a classic girl wearing jeans and a T-shirt. I provided the posh accent."

ON RISE:

"My favorite style for work is just under the waist. Nothing too trendy; it just needs to be comfortable when I'm down on the floor with materials strewn everywhere."

CLASSIC SPIN:

"When worn with jeans, even super-high-end accessories and the perfect-cut blazer won't look over-the-top."

DEVI'S STYLE TIPS:

  • Stick to a few straightforward denim mainstays—key for a clean look.
  • If you find a new favorite, buy two: Get one long enough to wear with heels, and tailor the other to go with your best flats.

Jeans, $242, jacket, $495, Rag & Bone; top, $16, American Apparel; bag, $3190, Devi Kroell; Kroell's own ring.

Next Page: Catherine Holstein


Catherine Holstein: Eclectic




"I keep all my old jeans for the daughter I hope to have someday. Whatever's out will come back in style eventually."


KNOWN FOR:

Her first collection of playful luxe pieces, which flew out of Barneys New York.

ON DENIM:

"I was a huge tomboy as a kid, so my first denim memory is OshKosh B'Gosh overalls, which I wore with a striped T-shirt. Not too far from my style now."

DREAM PAIR:

"Skinny jeans with long crotches are perfect because I love them to be a little slouchy. French designer Isabel Marant does them really well."

HER TAKE:

"I've collected maybe 60 or 70 pairs that go in and out of style. I wear or store accordingly."

ECLECTIC SPIN:

"Despite my curves, I lean toward a boyish look, opting for high-waisted pants or shorts. I like to wear them with the painterly Miró-inspired pieces I've designed."

ON WASH:

"A black or dark-indigo wash is not only a basic, but universally slimming."

ON JEANS SHOPPING:

"I know what I like, so I'm in and out of the shop in no time. I don't need—or trust!—salespeople."

CATHERINE'S STYLE TIPS:

  • Get hems tailored; unless you're going for grunge, shredded jeans just look ratty.
  • Jeans should always show off your hips—men will love it.
  • Steer clear of microshorts.
  • Capris are noncommittal; wear jeans long or wear shorts!

Holstein's own 18th Amendment shorts; cardigan, $368, top, $230, Catherine Holstein; shoes, $780, Marni.

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