Friends, I don’t know about you, but for my money, dark denim and hot summer nights just don’t seem to mix. Also, I’m getting increasingly weary (and wary) of my skinny jeans (which may or may not have something to do with a seasonal diet that consists largely of ice cream). best summer denim
Whatever the reason, when the weather turns warm, I want denim in lighter washes and looser fits – just the thing for those weekends at the beach, long scenic bike rides…oh, who am I kidding? Afternoons reading magazines on my deck.
The Boyfriend: The Emma from Mavi is still, hands down, my all-time favorite boyfriend jean. This cut can be a tricky business – too tight, and they miss the point. Too slouchy, and they sag in unflattering ways (hello, diaper butt). Too distressed, and you look like you’re trying to channel your inner teen. Mavi does sometimes skew a little young, but their Gold line keeps things streamlined (and adds an extra dose of stretch). This year, I’m particularly enamored with the distressed white, which feels fashion-y and yet so much easier than most white jeans (the Mid-Vintage is also pretty wonderful, though). If you’re looking for a runner-up, the Catherine from Kut is another excellent choice (and a bargain to boot!) – just remember to size down.
The Straight: Flares and skinnies come and go, but a straight leg jean is a classic that never goes out of style in my book. Hem them for flats – they look fantastic with ballets, or you can cuff and pair with espadrilles, sneakers or most any ankle boot. And because they create a nice, straight line, they don’t make your thighs look big. Mavi makes another winner here – the Kerry has a mid-rise and enough distressing to get me out of my dark denim rut. If you’re a fan of a higher rise, like me, my latest obsession is the Stretch Matchstick from J.Crew. Unlike the regular Matchstick, this one has not just stretch, but a perfect high-rise cut that suits my muffin top just fine.
The Short: Am I the only person who never, ever manages to look good in shorts? They’re quite possibly the least confidence-instilling article of clothing in existence – frankly, I’d even rather wear a bathing suit. But I do make one notable exception for denim shorts – they just seem to break all of the rules. The trick is not to go too short, or too tight – the baggier the better. Diaper butt is definitely a risk, so look for a pair with spandex and a high-enough rise to support a belt. I have it on good authority that the Dropout from Mother Denim is a truly splurge-worthy option, and I do love the details on this pair. On the more affordable end, Madewell’s Campground shorts do an excellent job of balancing that long/baggy thing without going overboard. And when all else fails, this is one time I’ll actually head to Goodwill (or shred an old pair I’m sick of looking at) and DIY a little something.
What about you, friends? Do you have a favorite pair of jeans you look forward to unpacking every summer?