I’m a sucker for a good denim outfit. Make me pick between slim-leg jeans or [insert literally anything else here], and 99.9% of the time I’ll pick the jeans. The tried-and-true fabric has always been my secret weapon to looking sleek and put together, even on days when I really just want to be in sweats. Not that I’m the only one who feels this way: “Denim has a big spot in my heart and my closet,” says style-setter Jelena Cikoja, a native of Hamburg, Germany, who now calls New York City home.
Her hair? Pure perfection. Her style? Even more on point. I’ve lost track of how many compelling denim looks I’ve saved from her IG feed, especially in the lead-up to the new season, and I appreciate her wisdom on the differences between American and German style. “New York is so fashionable and international; most people here like to experiment with their looks and wear outfits that turn heads,” she shares. “In Germany, people dress more minimalistic and chic.”
Cikoja’s style straddles the line between these two, so I knew she’d be the perfect person to turn to for advice on freshening up our denim rotations for fall, and I have to say… The three looks she assembled using pieces from AG’s killer fall collection definitely did not disappoint.
Be honest: When was the last time you said no to a look comprised of skinny jeans, a leather jacket, and ankle boots? Probably hasn’t happened, right? The outfit formula is a favorite for off-duty models, It girls, and we mere mortals alike, and for good reason. However, if you’re thinking to yourself, How can I possibly freshen up my skinny-jean looks?, I can understand that. Thankfully, Cikoja assures me that it’s all in the details. “I love the simplicity of a leather jacket, a tank top, and jeans,” she says. “To freshen it up for fall, I styled it with a pair of cowboy-inspired ankle boots.”
And if you were wondering the best way to transition from summer to fall, well, this is it. Cikoja calls this her “not quite ready to let go of summer but also looking forward to cooler days” ’fit. Adding a denim jacket to that silky summer dress you’ve been living in the past few months extends the life of your wardrobe while prepping you for the season ahead. The denim jacket is another classic that can be styled with a plethora of trends all year round. Try it with fall’s dark-floral trend before the temps dip too low.
Another classic denim style? Wide-leg jeans. Cikoja is styling this dark-wash, high-waist pair with a statement-making sweater and chunky white sneakers. I’ve never been the sneaker type (I prefer to wear jeans with white pumps or cool flats), but Cikoja is making me reconsider.
“This outfit is the most casual of the three,” she says. “This is what I’d wear on a day when I have to run a lot of errands; it has a touch of trendiness I always look for when updating my classics.”
Think it’s too trendy for you? Cikoja encourages you to give it a shot anyway: “Sometimes we think we can only wear one style of jeans, but I think it’s important to experiment with shapes and sizes.” (BRB, running to get a pair of wide-leg jeans and try on chunky sneakers.)