Here at Who What Wear headquarters, we always keep a vigilant watch on the fashionable elite's bottom line. Naturally we don't mean that in a budgetary way-perish the thought! Rather than focusing on the fiscals, we monitor the trouser trends and skirt selections made by paparazzi favorites like Rihanna and Taylor Momsen. As of late, our data suggests that voluminous pants and miniskirts still rule for fancier off-duty occasions. However, for dressed-down ventures, the preponderance of young tastemakers reach for an edgy take on that closet workhorse: the ripped skinny jean. Not as form fitting as the questionably named "jeggings," yet sleeker than last season's cuffed boyfriend jeans, these slashed-and-slim styles are a smart base for an easy-going and androgynous ensemble.
Though ripped skinny jeans are not new per se-Christophe Decarnin designed some seriously enviable and much-imitated acid-washed pairs for Balmain's S/S 09 collection-the way our famously fashionable crowd styles them is worth noting. While the runway renditions are always dressed up with embellished jackets and body-con tops, our favorite famous muses wear them in a much more casual way. In fact, we are so fond of the way they riff on the ripped skinny that we decided to highlight a stellar batch in today's installment of How To Wear!
While each of our subjects wear their denim in a slightly different way, there are a few general style guidelines. Whether they opt for black denim or an indigo wash, our fashion plates make sure to pair their shredded jeans with equally edgy and low-key pieces: boyish blazers, leather biker jackets, or simple and slouchy tops. Additionally, they emphasize the devil-may-care attitude of these jeans by matching them with feisty footwear, such as a hefty pair of bondage heels or aggressive ankle boots. In short, if you want to create your own version of the look, just search for pieces that are edgy, androgynous, and tough enough to stand up to these rebelliously ripped jeans!
Blazers for Tomboy Polish
One of the best ways to incorporate this seriously shredded style into your off-duty wardrobe is to mix these bottoms with your favorite borrowed-from-the-boys outerwear option. French style icon Lou Doillon did just that during a friendly stroll in New York City's Soho neighborhood. The French actress and model mixed a graphic tee and menswear-inspired jacket with a terrifically tattered pair-try the Charlotte Skinny Ripped Jeans ($99) by bebe for a similar mid-blue selection. Combined with a worn-in leather boot, her look is insouciant and in style: the perfect match, n'est-ce pas? Meanwhile, Gossip Girl-star and aspiring rocker Taylor Momsen also wore a more fitted top while attending Z100's Zootopia 2009 festivities earlier this summer. By wearing a structured white vintage jacket with her Members Only Ripper Skinny Jeans ($165) in Cornflower Blue, she created an interesting contrast between tailored polish and thrasher style. Be sure to check out her exact pair or try Forever 21's Dascha Torn Skinny Jeans ($30); whichever style you choose, remember rock them with a killer heel, like Momsen's Giuseppe Zanotti's Python Embossed Sandals ($695).
Moto Jacket for Edgy Cool
Of course, a preppy blazer isn't the only outerwear option that can help you achieve an on-trend and unfussy final result. A cropped leather jacket is an equally fashionable choice and it also makes a ripped skinny look sleek and chic. Take handbag designer and Los Angeles fashion plate Nicky Hilton, for example. She deftly mixed a black pair of JET's Thrashed Skinny Jeans ($187) with a Matthew Williamson for H&M faux leather jacket and a heavily studded Balenciaga Arena Giant City Bag ($1695). The overall effect is sophisticated without looking too styled or overdone, which is probably why we've spotted a similar style on European socialite Olympia Scarry. The well-dressed blonde paired her strategically slashed black skinnies with a black leather biker jacket for the annual Summer Party at London's Serpentine Gallery and the results were the epitome of understated cool. We like how Scarry mixed the hard-edged components of her look (try the Pencil Leg Ripped Jeans ($187) from J Brand) with a crisp white blouse and Givenchy's Woven Wedge Sandal ($760) and recommend you follow in her stylish footsteps!
Slouchy Shirt for Casual Chic
Of course, for those of you who want an even lower-maintenance plan of attack for these grungy jeans, just throw on your favorite band tee or oversized sweater and you'll be set! For outfit ideas, just check out the ensemble rock'n'roll progeny Peaches Geldof wore while out on a magazine run in London. The Nylon columnist opted for a customized pair of American Apparel's Slim Slacks ($74)-try Silence & Noise's Ripped Twig Jeans ($68)-accessorized with vintage boots and a baggy David Bowie concert tee for a casually on-trend look. On the other side of the pond, singer and style setter extraordinaire Rihanna craftily mixed her Current/Elliott Skinny Jeans ($178) in Cloud Wash with a deep v-neck white sweater like Bop Basic's Oversized Cashmere Sweater ($205) and Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain Gladiator Sandals (unfortunately sold out). Though the hue of her jeans are the most reminiscent of the iconic Balmain runway piece, we think that J Brand's Acid Wash Ripped Jeans ($218) are unbeatable when it comes to meeting your most pressing tattered-and-tinted denim needs!-KM
Photo of Peaches Geldof and Rihanna, from Splash; Photo of Olympia Scarry, from WireImage; Photo of Lou Doillon, from PCN; Photo of Nicky Hilton, from Wenn; Photo of Taylor Momsen, from Getty.