When Levi Strauss began sewing denim jeans for gold miners in the 19th century, few people probably would have believed that one day women would wear these same pants as a means of getting dressed up. The days of jeans being strictly for casual wear are a thing of the past. With a skilled change of accessories you can transition from work, to running errands, to a night out with friends, all while wearing the same pair of jeans.
Choose the Right Jeans
It is easier to dress up jeans that fit well. If the pants you are attempting to elevate to a dressy level are too baggy, in poor condition, or too light in color (unless they are pure white), adding dressy elements will make your look fragmented. A pair of well-fitting jeans in a dark wash or in solid white work best for creating a chic formal look. The more your jeans resembled trousers, the easier it is to create a dressed-up appearance.
Blazers have a way of instantly seeming more formal. At one time blazers were reserved for workplace wear, but now they can also be extended to a night on the town. The blazer that you choose should have shape and fit rather than be unconstructed, which appears more casual and sometimes even sloppy. Belted jackets are also dressy. Whichever jacket you choose, wearing a silky camisole or lacy top underneath keeps your look feminine.
Topping off your jeans with a top made from a traditionally evening fabric such as chiffon or satin instantly makes your jeans appear less casual. Also take into consideration the shape and cut of your top. Spaghetti straps, halter styling, and lower cut necklines add a pop of fanciness to your denim. Your top does not have to be nightclub ready to be dressy though; dressy can also mean preppy or business-ready. In this case, a ruffled blouse, a business sweater set, or a classic crisp white dress shirt are just as sharp.
The same pair of jeans that looks good with sneakers will move from a casual look to something more formal by slipping into a pair of heels. If you are not comfortable in heels, try a pair of dressy boots or even flats with embellishment. When selecting a shoe to elevate your jeans from casual status, select footwear that you would normally wear with a dress or that you would wear to work.
Bold, colorful, or shiny accessories can catapult your jeans from casual status to elegant. Rhinestones, with their shimmer and shine, make you look instantly dressier. Large earrings, bracelets and necklaces are also dressier than the more conservative jewelry worn during the day. The bag that you chose to carry is also an important part of creating your look. A brightly colored or sequined purse or clutch help create the ensemble you are seeking.