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6 Ways to Make Your Jeans Look Designer, Stylists Say

These fun tips and tricks can instantly give your jeans a luxe upgrade.

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Along with white T-shirts, little black dresses, and tailored blazers, jeans are a staple in anyone's closet—no matter their personal style. However, not everyone has the budget for designer jeans. Fortunately, stylists say there are lots of different ways to make your denim look more expensive. The key? Thoughtfully and strategically pairing them with other luxe pieces that automatically upgrade your look.

"Denim is such a reliable wardrobe workhorse that, oftentimes, it gets overworked," says Elizabeth Kosich, a fashion expert and full-time stylist. "All too often we fall into a denim rut—but elevating your daily denim is easier than it seems. All it takes is adding one element of luxury."

Heed the following tips from pro stylists and no one will guess that your jeans didn't come with a triple-digit price tag.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Dress Trendy Over 60, Stylists Say.

Pair jeans with a silk blouse.

outfit with jeans and pearl hair clips
Jelena990 / Shutterstock

Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a fashion expert, stylist, and contributor to Margo Paige, says one of the easiest ways to make your jeans look high-end is to pair them with luxury fabrics—think silk, satin, crepe, charmeuse, and cashmere. "This tactile contrast…creates a beautiful juxtaposition that's so pleasing to the eye."

More specifically, NYC-based image and style coach Carol Davidson recommends pairing jeans with a solid silk blouse in a rich jewel tone like emerald or eggplant for an unexpected yet chic juxtaposition.

And Kosich adds that nothing says luxury like cashmere. "Try a cashmere crewneck sweater with ballerina flats and pearls, a cashmere v-neck with pointy-toed black pumps and a sparkly choker, or a cashmere turtleneck with metallic loafers and shoulder-grazing chandelier earrings," she suggests.

RELATED: 7 Clothing Chains That Sell the Best Quality Denim.

Add a leather belt.

woman in high-waisted jeans
Elena Boltunova / Shutterstock

You may be surprised by how much a belt can transform denim, says Melony Huber, a stylist and co-founder of the La Peony collection. But of course, not all belts are created equal. She recommends choosing one that's made of a high-quality material like genuine leather, suede, or snakeskin.

GraceVan Cleave, a personal stylist and founder of Amazing Grace Styling, also notes that eye-catching hardware can go a long way. Look for a brown or black belt with a bold or ornate buckle, and make sure to tuck your top in not only to highlight your accessory but also to achieve a more polished look.

Take them to the tailor.

Laborant / Shutterstock

"Just like with everything else in your wardrobe, the way your jeans fit and hug your body is very important," says Fonseca. "So, you might want to consider taking your jeans to your local tailor."

A tailor can make all kinds of adjustments to your jeans, from tapering a baggy leg for a more streamlined look to shortening the hem or nipping the waistband to avoid any unsightly gapping.

"When jeans are tailored specifically for your body, they take on a custom and high-end look," adds Davidson. "Your jeans should always comfortably fit two fingers inside the waistband, and you also want to make sure that there is no buckling between the knee and your ankle—an indicator that the pant leg is too long."

RELATED: 6 Tips for Wearing Sweaters Over 60, According to Style Experts.

Go for a colorblock effect.

Closeup of red small bag in hand of woman. Fall spring fashion outfit red coat and trendy blue jeans

Colorblocking is a popular technique that entails pairing two or three complementary colors for a bold, high-contrast look.

Sunica Du, a designer and owner of Sunica Design, loves using this approach with jeans for a fashion-forward, high-end look. "This technique creates a visually appealing outfit without over-complicating things."

Red is a fabulous color to incorporate because it creates a lot of contrast with blue jeans. Try pairing your jeans with a rich burgundy sweater and matching booties, or a crimson belted coat and matching handbag.

Add some custom embroidery.

Embroidered jeans with red heels and sunglasses
inchic / Shutterstock

One of Du's favorite tricks for elevating jeans is to have them custom embroidered with a small, timeless motif.

"It's a little detail that adds a whole lot of personality," she tells Best Life. "Your jeans become a canvas for creativity, and the result will be entirely unique."

For instance, at, you can opt to have your initials embroidered on the pockets for a personalized touch.

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Layer on some luxe outerwear.

Young fashionable woman wearing beige trench coat, blue jeans and beige suede shoes. She is holding trendy brown leather handbag in hands. Street style.

The right outerwear can make any pair of jeans look effortlessly chic.

"Denim and leather go hand in hand," says Kosich, who recommends a timeless, well-fitting black or camel moto jacket. "Fur also makes everything look expensive, which includes guilt-free, budget-friendly faux fur."

When wearing jeans during the colder months, Kosich suggests layering a fur vest or oversized fur jacket over a neutral solid top for a glam twist on a casual look.

"A classic trench coat is another ideal outerwear piece to elevate your jeans and make them look more expensive," adds Desurmont. "Choose a belted trench in a versatile neutral shade like beige or khaki, and ensure it fits well on the shoulders."

Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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