The denim skirt is ultra nostalgic for me. In the 2000s, it was a status symbol among the girls at my school, especially micro-minis from Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister, styled with colorful (and often layered!) polo shirts with upturned collars. Looking back, it’s incredibly goofy, but a fashion moment that I savored nonetheless. As my style has matured, I’ve never really approached denim skirts with the same zeal, that is, until their recent resurgence. The fashion industry’s fixation on all things 90s and 2000s is one of the reasons I found myself thinking about how to style denim skirts again. Still, the nostalgic style elements don’t fit my classic, minimal aesthetic. It wasn’t until I spotted them on the Spring/Summer 2020 and later Fall/Winter 2020/21 catwalks that I rightfully felt like I was reconsidering the staple of my years as a school.
After witnessing a handful of cool denim skirt outfits on the runways of Alexander Wang, Givenchy, Stella McCartney and APC for spring and summer, it became clear that mini, midi and maxi were all key players for warm weather dressing in 2020. The trick was to go against my college leanings (i.e. bright colors and not-so-subtle accessories). Instead, tempering denim skirts with minimalist pieces like boxy blazers, tailored tops and sleek shoes and bags, all in neutral tones, was the ticket. Then, the Fall/Winter 2020 collections convinced me that denim midi and maxi skirts would remain staples in my wardrobe throughout the transitional season, and well into fall. Instead of sandals and tank tops, I’ll take inspiration from the runways of Celine, Balenciaga and Tom Ford, and opt for pointed tops, tailored pieces and sleek boots.
Since summer fashion is always in vogue, a mini denim is a perfect foray into the trend. Shopbop fashion director Caroline Maguire suggests one with modern details like an asymmetrical hemline or deconstructed silhouette, but with simple extras for elevated style. “I love how designers reimagine a classic. Alexander Wang, R13 and AGOLDE came up with fresh takes on the style,” she told TZR. “Let the skirt be the key piece! I like to wear mine with a white t-shirt and a blazer for a modern touch. For an outfit that works day or night, I would wear a mini with a balloon sleeve top and flat sandals.”
Another denim skirt suggestion you can rock before the summer rolls away is one that tends to be more relaxed and casual, which you can try with an above-the-knee cut or a more long. “Go for a ribbed tank top, an open button and your favorite sunglasses,” says Maguire. “Don’t forget to layer your accessories – this look pairs perfectly with a great ankle and arm party!”
If, like me, you’ve wholeheartedly re-engaged with the denim skirt trend, keep scrolling for more stylish Instagram-inspired outfit ideas. Plus, shop the selection if you’re on the hunt for a new skirt or style piece, and keep them rotating through the transitional and fall season.
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How to Wear a Denim Skirt: With a T-shirt and a Button Down Shirt
Take inspiration from Maguire’s playful, polished take on a denim miniskirt by pairing yours with a white tee and brightly colored blazer. Add a chord bracelet and anklet as fun accents.
How to wear a denim skirt: with a tie-dye t-shirt + sneakers
While it’s still warm, get on trend with a sporty twist by pairing a denim mini skirt with a tie-dye tee, sneakers and a gold pendant necklace. When the cold sets in, swap your t-shirt for an oversized hoodie.
How to wear a denim skirt: with a t-shirt + a blazer + sandals
As Maguire explained, a denim skirt looks effortlessly chic when paired with wardrobe staples like a white tee, blazer, and sleek sandals. For added shine, finish with a leather belt and layered necklaces.
How to wear a denim skirt: denim jacket + knit top + sneakers
Double denim is always casual and cool, especially with a skirt in the mix. Wear it now and through trans-season with sneakers, a knit tank top and a delicate gold necklace. Come and fall, swap your mini for a midi or maxi silhouette.
How to wear a denim skirt: with a white jacket + a t-shirt + mules
Another double denim outfit to try before summer ends is head-to-toe white. An oversized jacket gives a fresh twist to a classic pencil skirt with a relaxed tee while a pair of black mules elevate the lightweight look. If you’re the type to keep wearing white after Labor Day, swap your sandals for mules, sneakers or closed-toe boots, and your t-shirt for a heartier knit.
How to wear a denim skirt: with a cropped t-shirt + high boots + gold jewelry
A denim maxi skirt is the perfect between-season outfit with a cropped t-shirt and high leather boots. For a contemporary finish, stack gold jewelry.
How to wear a denim skirt: a bodysuit + high boots
Bodysuits are the perfect piece to achieve a minimalist look, and denim skirts are all but exceptions. While it’s hot, pair a seamless white style with a dark wash denim midi and sandals for a chic contrast. When the weather cools, swap out high leather boots and finish with a golden ball or two.
How to Wear a Denim Skirt: With a White Blouse + Vest
Western vibe, but make it ultra-modern with a long denim skirt, a voluminous white blouse and a sleek black waistcoat. For the finishing touch, a chain link bag and pointed sunglasses are unexpected.
How to Wear a Denim Skirt: Graphic Tee + Chunky Boots
Give head-to-toe black the denim skirt treatment with a faded gray maxi, black graphic tee and chunky boots. A pair of modern pearl earrings and a sleek mini bag will steer this look in a refined direction.