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Dressed up Denim

Dressed up Denim

What’s better than denim on a Saturday afternoon? Add a comfy pair of sneakers, a classic white shirt, some subtle sparkle and you have the perfect recipe for dressed up sporty. Casual lifestyles call for easy care fabrics and nothing says that better for me than denim.

Weekends are all about relaxing and often mean running around town. Slip-on sneakers, a crisp white shirt, and my favorite black jeans topped with a denim duster fit the bill without looking overdressed…although I have nothing against overdressing. Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing perfect white shirt from Talbots

I have several pairs of black jeans but these Parker Smiths from Artful Home are the most flattering and comfortable. To keep these basics from looking pedestrian, I added a touch of crystal, some sparkle and a bold braceletJennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing Venus Flytrap necklace from J Crew

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing jeans from Artful Home

Accessories take center stage in this outfit. Swap out the sneakers, omit the jewelry and you have a very different look. I opted for a navy handbag to keep everything casual. I haven’t used this navy handbag for many years and am so glad I kept it. It’s true that navy’s seldom match but neither do blacks so don’t let it bother you. Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing double denim

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing perfect white shirt from Talbots

This duster is a denim dress that I simply left unsnapped. I like the length and shirttail hem for an outer layer but I’d never wear it as a dress. It’s on sale this weekend with the code PRES.

Double or triple pieces of denim in the same outfit often look best when they’re different colors or noticeably different tones. This duster would look great with white jeans and a simple tee or dark denim jeans and a colorful tee.

Do you dress up denim or reserve it for super casual?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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52 Comments

  1. Janet
    February 18, 2018 / 3:51 am

    Yes, I dress up denim but would never have thought of wearing a dress this way! I’m not far enough out of the box of my thinking yet I guess! Any ideas how to reimagine my inner rules? I’m sure some of it is just not devoting the time to it but it seems I need a set of questions I’m not asking myself.

    • Valorie
      February 18, 2018 / 9:05 am

      Same here!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:08 pm

      That is a great observation, Janet. How could I help make this easier for you??

      • Janet
        February 19, 2018 / 11:48 am

        I’m not sure Jennifer. Is there a fresh approach, maybe with an actual set of questions I need to ask myself whether shopping for new items or just inside my closet? I still have my inner record of “This goes with this.” running through my head as I pull items. That doesn’t always give me a current look. I also struggle with the fact my age (58) does not always match what I want to wear. ????

        • Jennifer
          Author
          February 19, 2018 / 5:32 pm

          I’ll give it some thought and see what I can come up with. Maybe I can help.

  2. MonicaR
    February 18, 2018 / 4:13 am

    Another great look. I could live in denim. Just ordered the sneakers in the champagne color. They look so fun to wear!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:09 pm

      Super easy to wear! The champagne color is awesome.

  3. February 18, 2018 / 4:49 am

    I’m so glad I tripped on to your blog. I really like your style. I just don’t have the time or patience to shop. I was desperate and decided to give Stich Fix a go. Well, after 4 attempts at trying to tell my stylist about my style and what I need it was an abysmal failure. I kept saying I’m in Florida for a few months and I need bright colored tops. I get winter things and the dowdiest looking tops I’d ever seen. Well, you give me a heck of a lot more hints and places to go. Thank you.

    • Phyllis
      February 18, 2018 / 5:57 am

      Marisa, I feel the same way. I freeze when I shop – especially when it’s a larger store, it’s overwhelming. This blog really helps. I should upgrade my phone – take pictures, then shop.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      I’m so glad I can help Marisa! Stitch Fix is an interesting concept but impersonal. The company has just gone public on the stock exchange but personal styling needs to be well, personal. I need to understand a woman before I can help her dress to express her personal style.

  4. February 18, 2018 / 4:52 am

    Love the look and with so many of these items on sale…it is a huge score! I have some similar sneakers and love them!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks Pam…I love them

  5. Laurel
    February 18, 2018 / 5:17 am

    The denim shirtdress as duster is all over now. It’s a cute look and I may have to try it. This outfit is perfect.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:21 pm

      They are! This one is really reasonable and on sale on top of that!

  6. Kathe
    February 18, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Loving the look of longer denim jackets! It seems to be everywhere for an early Spring. I just purchased one from J.Jill and can’t wait to wear it. It’s a little too early here in Minnesota though. Snow storm arriving later today. . .
    I’ll have to settle for wearing it as a sweater-blazer-jacket (?) under my Winter coat for now . . .

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:30 pm

      Hang in there Kathe! Spring will arrive for you. Stay warm

  7. Joan
    February 18, 2018 / 6:44 am

    That denim duster looks great on you. For some reason, a blue denim jacket, shirt, or duster doesn’t look good on me at all. They make me look sloppy – not well put together – boyish. Perhaps it’s a difference in our hair coloring (I’m a brunette) or our body shape (I’m pear-shaped and overweight) or maybe because I have thin hair which basically looks flat most of the time. How is it possible that blue denim can look so great on most people and so bad on others?

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Proportion is hugely important Joan. If it makes you feel sloppy don’t go anywhere near it!! We are all so unique it’s important to wear what flatters you.

  8. Wendy
    February 18, 2018 / 6:58 am

    My daughter found me a long duster type of denim jacket saying that when she saw it, it looked like something I would wear. Wasn’t sure at first but didn’t say anything (she was so happy) it hung in the closet for awhile before I started to wear it. But boy, do I get compliments when I wear it and it has become a favourite to wear. I am still in the work force so when we have casual denim days, it is perfect. It dresses up my look and still makes me feel professional. (Covers certain back areas which is always a good look in my book). Up in Canada, we are far from spring. More snow than I can remember and very cold temperatures.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      Dusters are the best for back-end coverage in a graceful shape. Way to go for your daughter. It sounds like she’s got your back and knows you pretty well. Getting compliments feels so good and is very affirming.

  9. Arlene
    February 18, 2018 / 8:02 am

    Love this look !

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      Thanks Arlene!

  10. Mary Fisher
    February 18, 2018 / 8:28 am

    I love this look! I’m finding the website pics a bit contradictory. The length of the dress/duster seems to vary from photo to photo. I don’t see petite sizing offered for this item. Wonder if you would mind sharing what size you purchased.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 10:19 am

      I’m wearing a large. It runs small. The model is obviously very tall. I’m 5’4”.

  11. Cathy Hawryluk
    February 18, 2018 / 11:25 am

    As you are the same build as myself, could you tell me what size you purchased the denim shirt dress in to wear as a layering piece? Thanks

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      I’m wearing this in a large. I think it runs snug. Of course I’m never going to close it as a dress so it’s ok to be a bit slim.

  12. Suz
    February 18, 2018 / 12:35 pm

    You look great in this look and it is a very wearable outfit which is wonderful!
    Suz from Vancouver

  13. Julie,Melbourne,Australia
    February 18, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    You look ready for spring and very relaxed.Lovely outfit!

  14. L H Carter
    February 18, 2018 / 1:43 pm

    You had me at denim and duster. Excellent item to bring to us.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      LOL…I love it too.

  15. February 18, 2018 / 1:46 pm

    Yes, I definitely dress up denim. In fact, I may have to add a denim dress to my wish list. This is the second time I’ve seen one worn as a duster recently and I love the idea.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      It’s an easy way to add polish to denim.

  16. February 18, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    Why did I give away a short sleeved denim dress? I didn’t think about wearing it open over top and pants! Hopefully someone else is enjoying it????

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:42 pm

      Oh Gloria…I feel your pain. Donating classics is always a risk. Knowing what is a returning classic is even harder.

  17. February 18, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Yep, love denim. Love shirts, pants, dresses, anything denim. I love the way you accessorised this today. Great look.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks Sandra. I hope you are feeling better. xox

  18. February 18, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    I LOATH BLACK DENIUM in ANYTHING!
    Don’t know why it just LOOKS CHEAP TO ME!
    YOU RADIATE……………in your general LOOK.
    DOn’t TAKE ACTION AGAINST ME just am being ME and being HONEST!

      • Jennifer
        Author
        February 19, 2018 / 5:27 pm

        I do too Elaine. I wash mine inside out on cold and dry on cool.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 5:29 pm

      Thanks for visiting Elizabeth! I love black denim and always have. It looks elegant to me, not cheap. We’re fortunate to live at a time when women are celebrated for dressing to express their personal style. We don’t have to justify what we like or dress to please others. I see that as a good thing and I know you do too my friend.

    • Julie Flavin
      February 19, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      Goodness me, I haven’t heard anyone refer to something as “looking cheap” since the 1950’ when women were less supportive of each other and ready to offer a quick putdown????

  19. February 18, 2018 / 9:55 pm

    Love the denim duster with the white shirt, they are both on my shopping list. You look smashing in this outfit, hope I will also.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 18, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      Thanks Shirley. Denim dusters have been on my radar for some time. They’re a great piece

  20. February 19, 2018 / 6:42 am

    Love black denim…I also find it very classy and love the way it wears and always looks fresh and new. I wear it often and highly recommend it as a staple in every woman’s closet!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 9:03 am

      I agree! It’s the most formal denim so I love it’s elegance.

  21. Yvonne
    February 19, 2018 / 12:22 pm

    What a great casual look. I love the shoes!! I’ve been eyeing a similar pair that have just gone on sale, so I may have to purchase 🙂 The only downside is we probably have another 6 weeks of winter weather before I can wear them. sigh.

  22. Téa
    February 19, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    Love the denim “duster”…I am ordering now…looks like it will be a “workhorse”…thanks for the tip…

  23. February 20, 2018 / 9:32 am

    Love how you’ve styled this, Jennifer! Those sparkly sneakers are fab!!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 10:24 am

      Thanks Susan!

  24. Rose
    February 23, 2018 / 6:43 am

    Hi Jennifer—just wondering about the denim duster and the fit. I’m 5’1” and usually a 6 petite. Looking at the reviews on the Macy’s website, many people stated it was tight across the shoulders and back and even the hip area. You have stated before that you’re broader on the top and was wondering if you sized up?

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 23, 2018 / 7:52 am

      I did size up. I’m wearing the large and usually wear a medium. It’s too snug to button but I never would anyway so it’s ok to wear open.

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