There are few wardrobe staples as intimate to one's personal style as denim. I've been wearing jeans since I can remember, my first pair being overalls from OshKosh B'gosh, naturally. Throughout my teen years, I participated in the dangerously low-slung styles spotted on the early aught stars of the day, like Christina Aguilera and Lindsay Lohan. While I was in college, super-distressed boyfriend jeans were all the rage, so I followed suit. In other words, my jeans have punctuated the different fashion moments of my life and vice versa.
Now that I'm in my 30s, denim has taken on a new form. For starters, I've bid farewell to anything distressed. Ripped jeans and I don't jive well anymore. I have also chosen to favor comfort and what I think looks good, even if it might be considered "man-repelling."
Additionally, through my years of experience with denim, I've come to learn which brands work most harmoniously with my body. All this is to say when Levi's tapped me to come to check out its newly opened pop-up in Miami, I practically left skidmarks heading to the airport. The iconic brand has long been my go-to for affordable, classic denim and many of their signature silhouettes fall into the umbrella of what I consider my 30s-friendly styles. The Haus is located in Miami's Wynwood Arts District and is open through February 29 (the launch day was December 5 to coincide with Art Basel). If you happen to be in the area, it's a beautiful two-level retail and customization shop that's a denim-lovers paradise (address here).
Ahead, see which styles from the pop-up are the jeans I wear all of the time and shop your favorites—whether you're 32, 20-something, or 60 and beyond.
The Style: 1990s Mom
If I had to describe my favorite jeans style, it would be a mom from the 1990s with a pinch of Japanese influence. These Balloon Jeans hit on all of those major talking points: they have a flattering high-rise, the leg silhouette is architectural, and they feel like the perfect balance between modern and retro. They're the kind of jeans you can wear with a sweater and slingback heels for a date but can also style with a T-shirt and sandals on the weekend and look effortlessly chic in. Oh so versatile, oh so cool.
Winter Styling Tip: Tuck a turtleneck into your Balloon Jeans and layer a V-neck sweater on top. To finish, add a camel coat and python-print ankle boots.
The Style: Wide-Leg
I've grown increasingly enamored with wide-leg jeans over the last few years. While the excess fabric initially felt cumbersome, I've realized this often makes way for a more statement-making outfit. Plus, the high rise does wonders for my bum.
Obviously, these Ribcage Wide-Leg Jeans were no match for my flat sandals, but I'll be wearing them this winter with everything from cowboy boots to sneakers. If you're new to wide-leg jeans, then start with this easy combination: Slip into your favorite bodysuit (preferably a turtleneck version for warmth) and finish with a blazer, the jeans, and a pair of heeled boots.
Winter Styling Tip: Think out of the box and layer a tunic shirt over your wide-leg jeans for interesting proportions. To finish, add a boxy blazer and platform boots.
The Style: Straight-Leg
You don't need to be in your 30s to know just how amazing straight-leg jeans are, but for some reason, this sentiment seemed to really ring true once I started this new decade of life. The silhouette is similar to trousers, so it's not too tight and it also pairs well with everything from loafers to heels to boots. This pair, in particular, is my dream shade of indigo, and the lack of whiskering and distressing feels polished and effortless.
Winter Styling Tip: Wear with a Fair Isle sweater, sheer socks, and block-heel loafers for a holiday dinner outfit that's equal parts cute and casual.
The Style: Skinny
Okay, so this one is sort of a lie. I don't actually wear skinny jeans constantly. In fact, I've become rather averse to the denim silhouette in the recent past. Chalk it up to not wanting my legs to feel like they're being choked all day or the fact that I don't need every curve of my legs and bum to be visible, but I just don't love them. However, I begrudgingly tried these on and once snapping a photo of myself realized one very important fact: You're never too old to wear skinny jeans.
That being said, if you're like me and worry about looking a tad too young in your skinnies, think like a French girl and layer your most polished separates on top for an unstudied finish.
Winter Styling Tip: Pair your skinny jeans with a plaid blazer and cashmere sweater for a French-girl combination. To finish, add white ribbed socks and Penny loafers.
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