Denim on bottom, sure. But denim on top? Not as simple!
Denim shirts look like a piece of cake to wear, like you’re about to spend a carefree day with your friends in the warm summer sunshine. But figuring out how to style a denim shirt may be a bit of a challenge. What do you wear with a denim shirt, and how can you style it to keep its laid-back casual vibe at the forefront, especially if you don’t want to wear it “doubled down” with jeans? Let’s start with some denim shirt basics and work our way to building the outfit of your dreams!
What are your denim shirt options?
Denim shirts are not a “one style fits all” situation. You’ll find many colors, cuts, and styles, each one tailor-made to fit the look you want. Consider these five factors when selecting a plus size denim shirt:
Pick a color
Classic blue and black shades are a go-to for denim shirts, but there’s such an impressive range within those colors. You can find light, medium, and dark washes, sandblasted designs that look perfectly worn in, and shades of black that range from deep ink black to so faded they’re almost gray. You can also find chambray shirts in multiple intensities, patterned plus size denim shirts, white denim shirts, and dyed colors atypical for denim clothing.
Select a style
When you think of a denim shirt, you may picture a collar with buttons from neck to waist, not unlike a regular button-down shirt. However, there is tremendous variety within the denim shirt category: You can find half button denim shirts, styles with zipper closures, and tops with no closures at all. There are also several unique designs closely associated with denim shirts, such as western-style denim shirts.
Pick a material
Just because it’s called “denim” doesn’t mean it’s actually denim. You’ll find many denim shirt options that are made of other materials and just look like denim. Lyocell denim shirts are one common option, while you can also find shirts spun with elastane for added stretch that shows off your curves. Peek at the label or product description before buying.
Choose a sleeve length
Pick a silhouette
6 ways to wear a denim shirt
Denim shirts are versatile and can be twisted and transformed to each style and occasion. Here are six ways to wear your denim shirt:
1. Buttoned up
2. Styled open over basics
3. Tied at the bottom
A denim shirt simply can’t get cuter when you tie up the ends! To achieve this look, select a roomier denim shirt that buttons all the way down, so you have plenty of fabric to tie on each side. Let your bare midriff peek out just a bit for an effortless beach look, or layer over a tank top if you want the look while staying modest. Protip: If the knot struggles to stay in place, use a spare hair tie to hold it.
4. Rolled sleeves
5. Tucked in
6. Left loose
5 denim shirt outfit ideas
Now that you have an idea of how to wear a denim shirt, you can begin building your outfit. Take a look in your closet for some of these staples to explore ways to rock your denim shirt.
1. Pair it with the right pants
2. Go denim on denim
3. Wear it with a tulle skirt
Tough on top, delicate on bottom: These two juxtapositions are perfectly balanced when you wear a denim shirt with a tulle skirt. Try styling a plus size tulle skirt with a denim shirt in two ways: You can tuck it in, or you can tie the waist.
4. Balance out an animal or floral pattern
5. Layer with a maxi dress
Shop Ulla Popken for your new favorite denim shirt
Whether you’re totally leaning into the casual vibe or searching for new ways to dress up this look, a denim shirt is a long-lasting and surprisingly versatile addition to your closet staples. Tie it up, let it loose, button it up, leave it open — there are so many ways to mix and match denim shirts. Get creative with one of our suggestions here, or don’t be scared to get creative and find something new that works for you. With an Ulla Popken plus size denim shirt, the sky’s the limit!