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How to make jeans look smart enough for any occasion, even Christmas Day

by Marie Kelly
27th Nov 2018

If your Christmas Day involves hanging out at home and lounging around in a onesie or a pair of pyjamas (which sounds gorgeous!), then you’ll probably want to apply this post to New Year’s Eve instead. For me, the day itself has always involved dressing up, probably because we traditionally went visiting in the morning time. As a child it was one of the few times of year that I was bought a brand-new, head-to-toe outfit – my favourite doll always received one too.

These days, everything I buy has to have longevity, to be versatile enough to work hard well beyond the event or occasion it was bought for. So a smart pair of jeans is a great option for Christmas Day, as long as you choose an elevated style and pair them with something elegant and sophisticated.

The two most important considerations when buying jeans are wash and cut. These elements are what give each pair of denims their particular personality, so if you want to look like Ali McGraw, choose a light wash, high-waisted flare. If Gwen Stefani is your icon, opt for distressed skinnies (I’d suggest not for Christmas Day though).

This festive season, I’m thinking of a flare in a darkish or indigo wash, or a slick pair of black jeans. Here are a few ideas on how I’d style them.

This is such a sophisticated look. J Brand is probably my favourite denim label; the jeans have a great fit and stretch, plus they wash really well and the colour stays true for years after. Navy and black, far from being a fashion faux pas, is a chic colour combination. What I like most about this look is the mix of textures; denim paired with silk and accented with patent.

High-rise skinny jeans, J Brand, €225 at

The combination of indigo jeans, a shearling coat and a matte red lip looks so modern and glamorous. The only thing I’d add to this look is a pair of statement earrings.

Wide-leg jeans, €75 at

A paperbag waist adds a sophistication to denim reminiscent of 1950s tailoring. This waistline also gives an added opportunity to showcase a glamorous belt and add a bit of bling to your overall look. I love this entire head-to-toe look.

Paper-bag waist jeans, €39.95 at Zara


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