8 Summer Denim Staples That Are So Much Better Than Skinny Jeans

All photographs by Jeff Elkins

Off the Shoulder

Denim Days Breezy denim is everywhere this season, such as this Monki top ($48 at; currently out of stock).

Dramatic Flare

Culottes—among summer’s most versatile trends—work at the office or a party. Just make sure the length hits mid-calf, and pair them with heels to elongate your legs. Denim culottes, $89 at; white top, $195 at Saks Fifth Avenue (store in Chevy Chase); Aqua earrings, $28 at Bloomingdale’s; Michael Kors denim sandals, $140 at Bloomingdale’s.

Pencil It In

A high-waisted pencil skirt offers the perfect amount of leg coverage for casual Friday. Denim pencil skirt, $48 at; white shirt, $195 at Paul Stuart (store in CityCenter); Stuart Weitzman dirty-pink ballet shoes, $398 at Bloomingdale’s; Furla dirty-pink purse, $298 at Bloomingdale’s.

Overhauled Overalls

Worn with nothing underneath, fitted overalls are an homage to the ’70s. Alice and Olivia jumpsuit, $350 at; gold watch, $275 at; New Look Tropical Tapestry sandals, $53 at; Aqua gold necklace ($35) and plated-gold leaf earrings ($24) at Bloomingdale’s.

One-Piece Sophistication

This jumpsuit has a cool-girl vibe for running errands or heading to brunch. Gérard Darel denim jumpsuit, $310 at Bloomingdale’s; Haze sunglasses, $294 at; Cos gray leather sandals, $225 at Bloomingdale’s (store in Georgetown).

White-Hot Shorts

Crisp white denim shorts are a warm-weather essential. Dress them up with a printed silk top and gold statement mules. Frame denim shorts, $179 at Saks Fifth Avenue; mixed-print swing cami, $40 at; pink sunglasses, $30 at Topshop; gold bow-detail mules, $60 at

Double the Denim

Top skinny-cut jeans with this statement shirt for a weekend jaunt in the city or a casual night out. Monki bow-back denim top, $48 at; Motto jeans, $70 at Topshop (Springfield mall); Pull & Bear pompom sandals, $48 at

Swinging Trapeze

An oversize denim dress works for weekend strolls or dinner dates. Square-neck dress with split sleeves, $87 at; gold necklace, $59 at Cos (store in Georgetown); “Love” brooch, $19.99 at H&M (in store); silk scarf, $145 at Paul Stuart (store in CityCenter); “Lexington” bag, $165 at; white double-strap sandals, $26 at

Styling by Frederique Stephanie

Hair and Makeup by Melissa Schwartz Jones at ModelLogic

Model is Victoria R. at ModelLogic