How to dress up jeans and denim for any occasion

Denim tends to be a casual go-to. But it can be great for more dressy outfits too. We show you how to dress up jeans and denim for any occasion.

It’s easy to throw on a pair of jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. But denim can actually be incredibly versatile. You just need to be a bit more creative when it comes to knowing how to dress up jeans and wearing your denim for evening, work or a special event.

We have partnered with Nordstrom and created lots of fabulous dressy jeans outfits for you. Combine high-end with low end and create your complete wardrobe.

Some thoughts on how to dress up jeans

Before moving onto some dressy jeans outfits, let’s first think about how you could dress up your jeans.

1. Opt for darker denim

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but darker denim tends to be a dressier option. The high-waisted, dark blue PAIGE jeans (below) will go with your evening blouses or work options. Paige is a 40+style favorite. They keep their color and shape for a long time!

PAIGE Manhattan High Waist Bootcut Jeans

2. Choose luxurious fabrics

Luxurious fabrics will instantly elevate your jeans outfits. Look out for cashmere, satin, silk and lace.

Vince Cowl Neck Silk Blouse (plus size here)

3. how to dress up jeans – Add some bling

Mixing sequins and embellishments with the casual nature of jeans can be the perfect way to add balance to your outfit.

Badgley Mischka Collection Saga Embellished Slingback Flat

4. Wear with tailored clothes

Continuing the theme of mixing high and low, or elegant and casual, add a blazer or structured top, such as a peplum, to your jeans.

Anne Klein Double Breasted Jacket

5. Wear your jeans with heels

Adding a pair of jeels is an ideal way to instantly get your jeans ready for an evening out.

SARTO by Franco Sarto Diva Pointed Toe Pump

9 outfit ideas on how to dress up jeans

Now let’s look at some specific outfits you could put together, featuring the ideas above.

Jeans and a blazer

Jeans and a blazer is often the perfect outfit combination for work, so long as your workplace isn’t incredibly formal.

For an evening out, you can also consider adding some bling to your blazer.

Cinq à Sept Crystal Ivy Kylie Jacket – Vince Satin Camisole – PAIGE Manhattan High Waist Bootcut Jeans – Pelle Moda Kenny d’Orsay Pump – Aimee Kestenberg So Extra Convertible Clutch – Karine Sultan Hammered Oval Drop Clip-On Earrings

Layered with a crisp white shirt

A white shirt is always stylish. Make your shirt more on-trend by wearing a denim vest over the top or underneath (and leave you shirt open).

7 For All Mankind Denim Crop Top – MANGO Oversize Cotton Shirt – L’AGENCE Jyothi High Waist Split Ankle Skinny Jeans – Calvin Klein Cartina Ankle Strap Sandal – rag & bone Leather Shoulder Bag – Karine Sultan Hammered Oval Drop Clip-On Earrings

how to dress up jeans – with sequins

Sequin pants are definitely a standout item for your wardrobe. You can make sure you don’t look overly dressed up by tucking a denim shirt into your sequin pants. A sequin skirt would work too.

Frank & Eileen Barry Denim Button-Up Shirt – Ramy Brook Gavin Sequin Wide Leg Pants – Pelle Moda Kenny d’Orsay Pump – Aimee Kestenberg So Extra Convertible Clutch – Karine Sultan Hammered Oval Drop Clip-On Earrings

With a silk shirt

A silk shirt is always a good choice with your jeans. You can tuck in your shirt or wear over your jeans, depending on the most flattering look for your figure.

BOSS Izane Shirred Stretch Silk Blouse – PAIGE Manhattan High Waist Bootcut Jeans – Pelle Moda Kenny d’Orsay Pump – Cult Gaia Nika Top Handle Bag – Kendra Scott Elle Filigree Drop Earrings

Choose coated denim for a dressy denim outfit

An easy way to dress up your denim without having to put too much thought into it, is to wear a slightly different type of denim. Opting for coated jeans immediately gives you an evening look.

Ted Baker London Rubio Belted Wool Blend Peacoat – Cinq à Sept Alora Asymmetric Neck Silk Blouse – VERO MODA Coated Flare Jeans – Sam Edelman Livia Patent Bootie – Cult Gaia Nika Top Handle Bag – Christina Greene Strike Bold Drop Earrings

how to dress up jeans – With white

A white blazer is always a high-end, sophisticated look and will make your jeans instantly more dressy. Wear your white blazer over other neutrals.

You can alter the way you tie the laces on the white blazer (below) depending on whether you want a looser or more fitted style.

River Island Side Lace-Up Blazer – Cinq à Sept Rhinestone Marta Cami – PAIGE Manhattan High Waist Bootcut Jeans – Sam Edelman Livia Patent Bootie – Kate Spade New York Medium Anna Leather Envelope Clutch – Ettika Set of 2 Freshwater Pearl and Chain Necklaces

how to dress up jeans With faux fur

Adding texture adds interest to your outfits, and faux fur adds more than a touch of glamour.

Apparis Fiona Faux Fur Jacket – & Other Stories Cashmere Crewneck Sweater – PAIGE Manhattan High Waist Bootcut Jeans – Kate Spade New York Manhattan Houndstooth Chenille Tote – Christina Greene Strike Bold Drop Earrings – Blondo Salome Waterproof Bootie

Designer dressy denim

Another way to dress up your denim is to opt for high-end denim. This will immediately give you a head start with elevating your denim outfit. The contrasting panels on the Akris Punto skirt (below) look very chic and modern.

Theory Etiennette B Good Wool Suit Jacket – Vince Slim Silk Blouse – Akris Punto Bicolor Stretch Denim A-Line Skirt – Kate Spade New York Manhattan Houndstooth Chenille Tote – Sam Edelman Uma Knee High Boot – Christina Greene Strike Bold Drop Earrings

Denim jacket with your evening dress

If you don’t want your evening dress to look too dressy (perhaps you’re heading out for a semi-casual dinner with friends), then an easy way to get a stylish mix of formal and casual is to wear a denim jacket as your cover-up.

The Wit & Wisdom denim jacket (below) has puff sleeves, which gives it just the right amount of elegance to go with your eveningwear.

Wit & Wisdom Puff Sleeve Denim Jacket – & Other Stories Pleated Long Sleeve Mesh Midi Dress – Sam Edelman Uma Knee High Boot – Kate Spade New York Medium Anna Leather Envelope Clutch – SOKO Bone Quill Drop Earrings

Your dressy jeans outfits together in one capsule

Below, you can see all our ideas on how to dress up jeans, with 9 dressy denim outfits together in one capsule. You can mix and match the different dresses, tops, bottoms and coats to create lots of different looks for winter and fall.

You can dress up your denim, or if you really want to get dressed up, you can use the dressier pieces together in one outfit.

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