Over the past few seasons, the button-up has certainly been a major staple in all the most fashionable closets. Whether it has turned up as an oversized boyfriend shirt or a sleek, ladylike piece, we've seen a slew of styles come into vogue. But these days, the top option is neither overly masculine or super girly, but manages to walk the fine line in between. The piece in question, the denim shirt, is not a revolutionary item, but the way it's being worn is certainly inspirational. Though its associations traditionally fall on the more utilitarian sideÂ--think: rugged Hollywood icons (like Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood) or even spring's recent denim-on-denim trendÂ--today's approach to the jean top is decidedly different. Whether it's styled as a part of an uptown-chic look or roughed up for hipster appeal, the denim shirt works in a variety of ways, hence today's Trend Report! Read on for all the information you need to incorporate this key piece in your wardrobe or give your old favorite shirt a new-for-fall feeling.
Of all the F/W 10 runways you can look to for inspiration, we suggest starting with one of the most elegant examples: Chloe. The storied fashion house's designer Hannah MacGibbonÂ--who also launched the denim-on-denim craze with her spring collectionÂ--removed jeans from the equation, pairing a classic Denim Shirt ($535) with luxurious camel pieces, like high-waisted trousers and the oversized Double Face Angora Coat ($2684), for a very seventies sort of chic. Of course, if this sort of polished look isn't your bag, you can always check out our favorite edgier example: the Diesel Black Gold F/W 10 show. The debut collection from the brand's new creative director, Sophia Kokosalaki, featured a faded denim shirt teamed with black leather pants for a very downtown MOD-approved ensemble.
Now that you're familiar with how designers are working the denim shirt into their fall collections, it's time we turn to our fabulous foursomeÂ--Lily Donaldson, Sienna Miller, Anne Vyalitsyna, and Rachel BilsonÂ--for some killer runway-to-real-way inspiration. Following our uptown/downtown runway discussion, first let's look at the more refined styling choices of Sienna Miller and Rachel Bilson. Both ladies know that the denim shirt adds a little effortlessness to an otherwise turned-out look and used this key piece accordingly. Miller was spotted in Los Angeles last month trying the trend; she paired Twenty8Twelve's Matt Shirt ($180) over an Ann Demeulemeester cardigan, and then finished her ensemble with a few more Twenty8Twelves piecesÂ--the Sienna jeans and Rhys beltÂ--and a pair of Nicholas Kirkwood's Suede and Patent Oxfords ($604). Her chambray shirt offers the perfect alternative to a heavier jean jacket and adds some casual coolness to her look. Another example of chic styling comes to us via Rachel Bilson, who was snapped running errands in Beverly Hills back in May wearing her blue button-up. Bilson tactfully teamed her light-wash denim shirt with two dressier piecesÂ--a black skirt and gray wedgesÂ--for a marvelously modern ensemble.
Of course prim-and-proper is not the only way to address the denim shirt; it looks just as stylish worn in a more rock'n'roll way. For example, Lily Donaldson channeled the MOD spirit seen at Diesel Black Gold when she attended the Isabel Marant store opening dinner in New York City back in April. The British beauty wore her denim shirt unbuttoned to reveal a semi-sheer tank and a pair of black jeans. Additionally, you could always opt for the aforementioned denim-on-denim look; though it was huge this spring you can still rock it for fall. We are partial to Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna's interpretation of said trend, which she demonstrated at the Staples Center in Los Angeles that same month. She quite literally borrowed from the boys when she wore her boyfriend's denim shirt with a pair of flared vintage Levi's. Instead of tucking it in or leaving it out, Vyalitsyna tied the bottom of her shirt to achieve a cropped style (another hot trend this summer), and finished off her outfit with an Alexander Wang's Brenda Zip Chain Bag ($725) and black boots.
By now you probably have a few denim shirts hanging in your closet, but just in case you are looking to add to your collection, we've got you covered with some cool picks. Gap's Chambray Pocket Shirt ($60) and Topshop's Bleached Denim Shirt ($60) are two great options that share the same desirable price tag. If you have a slightly larger budget to play with, we are fans of J. Crew's Selvege Chambray Shirt ($98), Levi's Chambray Shirt ($118), and Equipment's Western Top ($178) in Super Worn Blue Denim.
Now that you have plenty of shirts to choose from, it's time to address how you can work them into your own fashion playlist. Looking to style your button-up in an elegant way Ă la Chloe? Try a polished pant like J. Crew's 1035 Herringbone Trousers ($135) and layer on a luxe camel coat like DKNY's Sidney Reefer Coat ($395). You can also team your denim shirt with Gap's Classic Mini Skirt ($45) if you're looking to emulate Bilson's chic styling. Of course it's also easy to achieve Donaldson, Miller, and Vyalitsyna's more casual attire. Simply wear your shirt over a tank or sweater like Juicy Couture's Âľ Sleeve Cardigan ($178) for an additional layer, or tie it up for a cropped look. However you decide to wear it, the denim shirt is a sure way to keep you looking current all season long.Â--Jessica Baker
Photo of Sienna Miller, courtesy of WENN; Photo of Anne V, courtesy of X17; Photo of Rachel Bilson, courtesy of INF