I consistently surprise myself by believing in and creating tropes that infer you can genuinely discover new ways to wear denim. The truth is, I am an extremely literal person and as far as I have known, there has only ever been one way to actually wear denim, which is on your person. Now, of course, the way in which you decide to festoon your person in the fabric of America is completely at your discretion: wear a shirt, wear jeans, heck, find yourself a handbag! And with the added layer of delightful complexity that is a styling strategy, you might very well look new as day every time you pull on a pair of jeans.
But for the sake of not overwhelming you, or not making you feel like there is another genuinely new way to wear anything — for the sake, instead, of inspiring and exciting and possibly even enchanting you, I bring you three early fall outfits, shot in three early fall locations (see: Central Park), utilizing denim from AG as the centerpiece so that when you awake to find a vague chill creeping through your windowsill sometime next month that definitively terminates summer, you can run to your closet and smirk and say, “I know just what to wear.” (Hopefully out loud while no one is there because you haven’t lived until you’ve spoken to yourself while getting dressed.)
Look 1: For when you want to feel like you’re going back to school, even if you’re not
Translation: Wear this to work and put up a fight if anyone tells you jeans are not appropriate office attire. The truth is, raw denim is very different from any other ilk of denim. It is more formal, it is rigid (like your dress code) and when paired with the right turtleneck, it is extremely sophisticated. It can also be mistaken for a number of other fabrics.
Will September ever signify anything but the real beginning of the year? Whether you’re in school or not, the month comes with a sort of sheen attached to it — a slate that is willing to empty itself for you and that is reason enough to dress the part, which is precisely why you deserve a raw denim jacket and skirt paired with a baseball bat and the shiniest knee high boots you can find. It all smells so new, doesn’t it?
Look 2: For when your life feels like a merry go round but you’re ready to get off
Translation: Take control, sister! Another basic tenet of early fall is doing what you can to get your life in order. Buy a new notebook and fancy ballpoint pen, start writing things down and refuse to stay on the merry go round that dizzied you last year. Make your point with conviction. A simple pair of jeans are the exemplary starting point (and I particularly like these ones because of the length: perfect if you like showing a sliver of ankle when you wear jeans and short boots, and with a long row of buttons at the waistband to test your commitment to greatness). Seeing as you are getting off the merry go round, though, go ham! One striped shirt is not enough, so add another. Include a wool beaded bra, the brightest socks you can find and shearling sandals, which, according to Instagram, Rihanna wore last week. Remember though: none of these parts work as well without the soul — the jeans! — of the look.
Look 3: For when you have a weekend date
Translation: Just because summer is over does not mean you should stop wearing straw hats, nor does it mean that you are exempt from wearing ridiculously small sunglasses. This date can be with anyone: your parents, your best friend, a prospective partner, maybe the man who is helping you open a Roth IRA. I invite you and yours to redefine the Canadian tuxedo with a pair of bootcut jeans and a denim jacket worn as if a blanket were coddling the sequins over your very reliable striped shirt. Now! Who wants to go swimming?
Photos by Edith Young.