How to Wear It: Denim Shirt

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What to Wear With a Denim Shirt

Models Pooja Mor and Isabella Emmack enter the Givenchy show
A denim shirt is a modern wardrobe essential. Melodie Jeng/ Getty Images North America/ Getty Images

The denim shirt — also called a chambray shirt, for the fabric it's made from — is a fashionable wardrobe staple that belongs in every modern woman's wardrobe. Just like you can wear a pair of jeans to look dressed up or more casual, a chambray denim shirt is just as versatile for creating plenty of different outfits that work for different occasions. In this style tutorial, I'll show you how you can match a denim shirt with other separates to create a casual chic look, or use one to dress down fancier pieces — such as pretty skirts and dresses — for daytime wear. You can even wear a denim shirt with a polished outfit for work or dressier events, depending on how you style it. Take a look at these fashionable outfit ideas for what to wear with a denim shirt now. Plus, I'll share buying information on my favorite denim shirts.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With Coated Jeans

Levi's denim shirt and coated jeans
Levi's denim shirt and coated jeans. Levi Strauss & Co.

A denim shirt is a perfect way to dress down high-waisted faux leather leggings, when you want to wear them for more casual occasions. I personally love this outfit idea for work, as a stylish way to show up to the office on "casual" Fridays. Instead of wearing the same jeans as all your cubicle mates, keep the denim up top, with a chambray shirt layered over sophisticated coated black jeans. Bring in a sophisticated vibe with simple earrings, classic black pumps and a ladylike leather bag. You can easily wear this fashion combination for weekends too - just layer on an infinity scarf and you're all set for brunch or shopping with friends.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With Jeans - The Casual Way

Jeans outfit with a denim shirt
Vary the fabric washes when you create a head-to-toe denim outfit. Current/Elliott

I'm a big fan of the double denim style, which is always a celebrity favorite — but some women find it challenging to know how to wear jeans with a denim shirt and look stylish. There are a couple of tricks to doing so. The key things to get right are knowing how to vary different shades of denim in your outfit, and keeping your accessories classic, which instantly upgrades a head-to-toe denim look. Here, you can see how I've paired a lighter wash denim shirt with sleek, dark wash skinny jeans, to create variation in this casual outfit. Wearing a lighter shade of denim on top also draws attention to your top half, balancing your overall silhouette and making your bottom half look slimmer — which looks great on every body shape.
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Denim Shirt With Jeans - Dress It Up

Jeans outfit with denim shirt and blazer
A blazer pulls together a double denim outfit for added polish. Current/Elliott

Here's how you can dress up a double denim outfit to wear to work and other times when you want to look more polished. Start with the easy combination of a lighter wash denim shirt with slim-fitting, dark indigo jeans, then layer on a structured black blazer that nips in at your waist to help define your shape. Add a patterned scarf to draw attention to your face and add color to this fairly neutral outfit. You could wear this look with heels to dress it up more, or choose fashionable, menswear-inspired accessories as pictured.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With a Skirt

Denim shirt and skirt outfit
Wear a chambray shirt to bring a flowery skirt down to Earth. H&M

A chambray shirt is a great wear to anchor an outfit that features a lot of pattern. I love the casually chic look of a chambray shirt tucked into a floral pencil skirt. You could easily wear this outfit to the office, shopping or to brunch with friends.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With a Skirt

AG Adriano Goldschmied jean shirt and skirt
AG Adriano Goldschmied denim shirt and sequin skirt. AG Adriano Goldschmied

Do you have a fancy skirt in your closet that you'd love to get more wear out of? Wear your evening skirts for daytime — or create a fresh evening look — by dressing them down with a casual chambray button-down.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With a Skirt

Denim shirt and lace skirt outfit
A denim shirt makes a sweet statement over ladylike lace. H&M

Ladylike lace makes a great fashion partner for a casual denim skirt. Tuck in the shirt to show off your waist.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With White Jeans

Levi's jean shirt and white jeans
Levi's jean shirt and white jeans. Levi Strauss & Co.

For spring and summer, dress up your jeans outfits by wearing a denim shirt with white jeans. This is a modern, classic outfit that can be easily worn to look polished from the office to running errands and your other casual activities. Dress up this effortlessly chic outfit with gold and turquoise jewelry, for a fresh and rich look in white denim.

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Wear a Denim Shirt in Sweater Weather

Denim shirt and jeans with a sweater outfit
Sweater weather inspiration for wearing a chambray shirt. Mango

When the temperature cools, layer an easy grey sweater over a chambray shirt and jeans for a chic, casual daytime outfit. Add some bling with a trendy statement necklace layered over the sweater, which also draws attention upward on your body for a flattering effect. Easy sneakers ground this look and make it look cool.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With Colored Jeans

Outfit with red leather jeans
Wear a denim shirt over fiery red leather-look coated jeans. Citizens of Humanity

This is one of my favorite ways to style a double denim outfit. Pair a chambray shirt with colored jeans in a rich, saturated shade, for an easy and fashionable outfit. If you're curvy on the bottom, shop for a higher-waisted pair of jeans, which provide coverage for your rear end, while lengthening legs and balancing wider hips. When your jeans are this attention-grabbing, it's classy to keep your accessories neutral — gold and brown shades, as pictured here, won't compete with your outfit.

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Wear a Denim Shirt With a Maxi Dress

Denim shirt and long maxi dress outfit
Layer a denim shirt over a summery maxi dress. Zara

A striped maxi dress is perennially cool for summer wear. Instead of topping yours with the expected jean jacket, layer on a chambray shirt as a top layer when the temperature dips (or the air conditioning is cranked). 

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Wear a Denim Shirt With Jean Shorts

Denim shirt and jean shorts outfit
Layer a denim shirt over boyfriend denim shorts. Current/Elliott

Here's an easy, fashionable summer outfit you can wear on weekend days, dress up for poolside cocktails and beyond. For a stylish look you can pull together in minutes, simply pair a distresseddenim shirt with easy, boyfriend jean shorts. To look modern, choose denim pieces in a slightly different fabric wash, which creates interest in this casual daytime outfit. Wear it with basic sneakers for kicking around by day, then dress it up with aviator sunglasses, gold jewelry and nude colored high heel shoes when you're going from pool to bar.

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Shop the Look: AG Adriano Goldschmied Easton Shirt

AG Adriano Goldschmied Easton Shirt
AG Adriano Goldschmied Easton Shirt. AG Adriano Goldschmied

This soft, chambray denim shirt is a go-to style to have in your closet. Made of lightweight denim. this clean-cut denim shirt style is available in a light-blue wash or the medium wash pictured here. Featuring a single left front pocket, this is a classic piece that can be styled easily for work or casual wear. Tuck it in and wear it with whatever you'd match a button-down with, for days at the office. Or leave it untucked and wear with sneakers and a slim pant, for a more casual look.

Price: About $198.00

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Shop the Look: Levi's Tailored Denim Shirt

Levi's Tailored Denim Shirt
Levi's Tailored Denim Shirt. Levi Strauss & Co

This classic denim shirt from Levi's Jeans is crafted from super-soft chambray denim and tailored to fit close to the body, for a polished effect. Also available in a relaxed boyfriend silhouette from the brand.

Price: About $68.00

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Asos Dark Denim Shirt

Asos dark denim shirt
Asos dark denim shirt. Asos

Asos is a UK-based fashion retailer that ships worldwide and always has the latest trends in stock. Their go-to dark denim shirt is a steal at the price. Crafted from soft cotton denim, this shirt has a pointed collar and features a patch front pocket. With a curved hemline for a flattering fit when you wear it untucked.

Price: $38.00

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