Kate Bosworth CroppedThink outside the jeans box. If you think jeans are they only denim, it is time to expand your mind. Consider shorts, jackets, jeggings, trendy overalls, vests, tops and skirts. Plus, think of all the different styling possibilities. Denim can be grungy, preppy and even classy. And don’t forget about colored denim. I’m talking red, green, yellow–not just 50 shades of blue. If you’re feeling creative, you can even DIY customize a pair of denim shorts. The possibilities of how to wear denim are endless.

Here are a few ideas to get you out of the skinny jeans and white t-shirt rut:

1. Denim Shirt With Leather Shorts

Forever 21 Denim Shirt

Denim and leather go together as well as ice cream and apple pie. Plus check out the pretty embroidered collar on this Forever 21 denim shirt.

2. Double Denim

Kim Kardashian, who is reportedly due to marry Kanye West this week, has lunch with Serena Williams in Paris

I thought I had sworn off double denim for good after Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears‘s matching denim atrocities, but Kim Kardashian‘s chic denim separates have made me reconsider.

3. Preppy Denim

Zara Preppy Denim

Think denim can’t be preppy? Throw on a striped skirt and tie a cashmere sweater over this Zara denim blouse and the only way you could get preppier is if you monogrammed your initials onto the chest pocket.

4. Dressed Up Jorts


Denim shorts are not just for Coachella. Dakota Fanning proves that you can even make a baggy pair look appropriate outside of the festival grounds when paired with a prim white blouse and quilted Chanel bag. If your Chanel purse is at your summer house, any structured bag will do.

5. Triple DenimMango Flower Denim Top

If you can handle double denim, why not try triple denim? This version doesn’t involve wearing a denim jacket over a denim shirt. This Mango blouse has two different colors of denim in the pattern. You might say it’s cheating but it’s better than wearing three layers of heavyweight denim.

6. Colored ShortsAlessandra Ambrosio wearing jean shorts at Coachella 2013

If you don’t want to be part of the 99.9% of people who wear blue Daisy Duke cut-offs to Coachella, try a neon pink pair like Alessandra Ambrosio. If you want to wear the scarf around you head, by all means go for it. If not, you can wrap it around your neck.

7. Colorless Denim

American Apparel Long Denim Skirt

If you’re more into neutrals rather than neons, try an all-white denim look. Choose a thick denim skirt like this American Apparel one, so you don’t have to worry about having your black undies show through it.

8. Mix and Match

Kate Bosworth Topshop Opening

Though (boring) work dress codes often tell us that denim is a casual fabric, don’t be afraid to pair it with dressier pieces. Styling aficionado Kate Bosworth paired her dark denim top with a brocade floral skirt and clutch for a dressed up but still casual look.

9. Printed Denim

Hilfiger Star Dress

Remember what I said about trying new patterns? This Tommy Hilfiger dress allows you to try something other than plain ol’ blue. Plus, you can swap that coral belt out for a red one for the perfect Independence Day outfit.

10. Overalls And Crop Top

Urban Outfitter Crop Top

You couldn’t get more of an on trend combination than a crop top with these Urban Outfitters denim overalls, unless you added fancy sneakers and dyed your hair purple.

11. Keep It Classic

Kristen Stewart leaving her hotel

Forget about all the embellisments and uncessary layers and keep it classic like Kristen Stewart with just an old t-shirt, leather jacket and sneakers.

12. Layer Your Dress

H&M Trenchcoat

This actually isn’t a dress, it is  an awesome H&M trench coat, but it has given me plenty of style inspiration on how to make a denim dress look less like something a Kindergarten teacher would only wear.

13. Smart Denim

Forever 21 Black Jeans

Choose a pair of black skinny jeans, throw on a blazer and a printed shoe and see if anyone notices that you are wearing denim at the office. Your secret is safe with me.

14. Go Nautical

Zoe Saldana Dark Overalls Walking With Husband

If Popeye was a very stylish woman like Zoe Saldana, he would probably wear a Breton stripe top and dark overalls. I think he would still draw the line at red shoes–though I suggest you try them.

(Photos: Wenn, Pacific Coast News)