At Who What Wear headquarters, one of our top priorities is to give you, dear readers, all of the fashion facts about the latest looks and must-have pieces. (The second priority on our list--getting our hands on a pair of Celine sunglasses--is not nearly so noble.) The reason we care about this info is simple: we want to ensure that when you're creating and experimenting with outfits at home, the results are always excellent. And while we tend to focus our coverage on how to translate runway trends and stylish-celeb ensembles for your everyday wardrobe, sometimes it's just as important and helpful to concentrate on a single essential. Bearing this in mind, today we're very pleased to introduce our newest story--How To Wear--which will address one key piece and showcase different ways to wear it. Whether it's a hard-working staple or an of-the-moment trend, we'll demonstrate its versatility and give you tips on how to make it work for your personal style--always a good thing in our book!
For our very first installment of How to Wear, we selected something that should be on everyone's must-have list: black denim! These all-purpose jeans are everything you want in an article of clothing: flattering, forever fashionable, and they can go from casual to chic in seconds. Dressier than basic blue, more timeless than gray, and less trendy than colorful iterations, black denim is adaptable to just about anything, which is why you always need fresh ideas about how to wear it. While these jeans come in lots of different styles, we decided to spotlight one of our favorite versions for this story: Gap's Legging Jeans ($70) in True Black. These slim, cropped pants are perfect for any occasion and can go from office-appropriate to weekend casual to night-out fare without skipping a beat!
On The Job
While most jeans are considered too casual for the office, black denim is definitely a dressier option and therefore a practical alternative to traditional slacks. The key to making these jeans acceptable workwear is to elevate them with dressier fabrics and tailored pieces. With this idea in mind, we took inspiration from the runways--specifically the recent trend of monochromatic, minimalist ensembles--and paired these slim jeans with similarly sleek pieces in an all-black palette. When worn in combination with Equipment's Signature Blouse ($178), a crisp blazer from Burberry Prorsum's Resort 11 collection, and Yves Saint Laurent Palais Pumps ($720), skinny jeans look sophisticated and professional, which is just what you want for work!
On The Weekend
As we mentioned earlier, black denim can be styled to fit a variety of occasions, and that includes casual weekend outings. Whether you're running errands or enjoying an afternoon lunch with friends, it's important to be both comfortable and stylish. To achieve this look, go for a few lightweight layers, like Sparkle & Fade's Knit Top ($39, 800.282.2200) and Club Monaco's Max Cotton Flannel ($79,310.657.1818) and Heath Cardigan ($179, 310.657.1818) to be exact. The key is to pick a combination of textures (a thin t-shirt, a heavier cotton button-up, and a chunky-knit cardi) so that your outfit looks interesting. As for footwear, this is the perfect time to pull on a pair of lace-up booties; go for a hiking-style ankle boot or a more polished wedge oxford, like Steve Madden's Marriano Boots ($170) in Grey Nu. The juxtaposition of the slim jeans and the relaxed layers is effortlessly neat and ideal for your off-duty hours!
On The Town
Sultry dresses are an obvious choice for an evening out, but why not create an even cooler after-hours look with a pair of black jeans and a couple of black leather accents? It's a smart dressing idea for anyone who likes to mix a little rebellious attitude into their ensembles or show off their favorite statement shoes (or both!). Simplicity is always chic, so a basic top like L'Agence's Dolmain T-Shirt ($140, 866. 654.4577) is always a welcome base for this type of outfit. Then all you need to do is add a little toughness via your favorite little leather jacket and a great pair of shoes; try Twenty8Twelve's Beronia Leather Jacket ($670) and Steve Madden's Fortres Wedges ($90) to achieve this exact look. Just show a little restraint--you're not going to a Hells Angels bar, after all--and skip the heavy chains, studded accessories, and other biker accoutrements. The idea is to have a hint of edge in your outfit, not to look antagonistic!--Jessica Baker
Fashion Editor: Neelo Noory Photographer: Justin Coit