Take a second to think about what your favorite pair of jeans is like, considering all the various factors that make them so perfect for you. Then, think about what celebrity routinely wears denim that makes you take notice and wonder (maybe even obsess over) what brand they are, where she got them, etc. I firmly believe we’ve all got blue-jean spirit animals: models and actresses who wear denim just the way we’d like to. Once you’ve identified whose style you find particularly stellar, there are so many more lessons to unlock!
H&M, a supplier of pretty fantastic won’t-break-the-bank skinnies and more, is working with celebrity stylist Rachel Wirkus. “They’ve refocused their denim and it’s working,” she told me, admitting that she hasn’t found much difference between her pairs from the brand and other, more expensive styles. “They use a high-tech stretch that allows their shaping denim to keep its fit all day, which some of the more expensive brands don’t.”
When I got the chance to talk denim with her, we broke it down by celebrity inspiration.
If your denim style is more Kate Middleton…
Read: You like classic, simple styles, and that’s good—they’re universally flattering. “A classic jean cropped at the ankle looks good on everyone. The cropped style really elongates the leg,” Rachel told me.
Must-own: A stretch, cropped, midrise in dark denim.
H&M skinny jeans, $40, hm.com
To try: Beyond injecting brights via your top and shoes, consider subtle changes. “A raw-edge hem is a great detail for a cropped jean.”
If your denim style is more Kate Moss…
Your basic should be something with a slight rock ‘n’ roll edge, like black skinnies or something with rips at the knees.
Must-own: A high-waisted black jean.
H&M super-skinny high jeggings, $20, hm.com
To try: Give skinnies a break: “Try a slouchy, slim-cut jean, and pair with a tee and leather jacket.”
If your denim style is more Gwen Stefani…
While jeans can be the most basic item in a wardrobe, they can also be the wildest. Rachel warned me that printed and embellished styles are trendy but can accentuate curves, a negative if you’re self-conscious about the lower-half of your body. “If you don’t want that, try a looser fit and rock it out like Gwen,” Rachel suggested, naming gray or army green as shades to try. “They suddenly don’t feel like jeans and can almost replace a trouser and be worn dressed-up or down.”
Must-own: Something that’s on-trend for the season. This spring, try a floral or a patchwork style.
H&M skinny low ankle jeans, $30, hm.com
To try: The daring side of you means you might love experimenting with overalls and a cropped shirt layered underneath.
If your denim style is more Alessandra Ambrosio…
The California-cool model is routinely spotted wearing ripped skinnies that feel comfortably casual. “Depending on your body type, try a skinny ripped style, a more slouchy, straight-leg, or a ripped and cropped boyfriend.”
Must-own: A slim, slouchy ripped silhouette in a light wash.
H&M girlfriend jeans, $40, hm.com
To try: “If you typically like distressing and rips in your jeans, try a denim skirt paired with a white shirt and nude heels.”
This spring, there are a few key denim trends everyone should play with. “Try denim on denim, but don’t forget to accessorize. You can add a belt to break up the look,” she suggested. “If you like gray jeans, try them monochromatic like Kim Kardashian does.” Her professional advice on taking ripped jeans from day to night? “Pair with a white tee and a pair of sneakers for an easy day look, then add a blazer and lace-up, strappy heels as a quick change for night.”