Jane Birkin-inspired denim

Is it me, or are baggy jeans totally underrated? Sure, grunge-inspired boyfriend jeans made a major comeback during the recent 1990s revival, but what about Jane Birkin-esque, 1960s-style denim?

Birkin has been a style icon of mine from the moment I discovered who she is; throughout the 60s and 70s, she set the standard for today’s Parisian style, now known as bobo (a shorthand combination of the French words bourgeois and bohème). Modern-day muses like Jeanne Damas and Camille Rowe molded their signature styles with a ton of influence from Birkin, while luxury retailer Hermès named its iconic handbag after her.

Birkin, Damas and Rowe, in addition to my own mother, all older and wiser than I am, definitely taught me a thing or two about quality denim and how to style it. Denim is a huge part of my everyday wardrobe, and I base countless outfits on it.

Quality vintage denim’s shape and texture is second to none, so it has the power to bring that je ne sais quoi to the simplest of t-shirts and slip-on shoes. Somehow, an outfit comprised of these three elements never fails to look insanely put-together–and it is no coincidence that the right pair of jeans is the cornerstone of all of them.

Last week I thrifted a pair of baggy, light-wash Levi’s from an estate sale. After cutting about 5 inches off each leg and letting the ends fray at about ankle-length, I took these vintage beauties for a spin on one of the first warm days of spring.

To keep up with the Parisian vibe of the denim trousers, I opted for an off-white off-the-shoulder t-shirt; its tight fit brings a little sex appeal to the tomboyish jeans. Not to mention, off-the-shoulder tops are having a major moment right now, so it gave the entire look a updated twist. The light color palette, which I tend to prefer over darker tones, is perfect for springtime.

Given the relaxed fit of the denim, a belt was in order, so I added a worn-in leather one in black with gold hardware that amped up the look’s vintage appeal. I polished it off with my go-to brown booties, as well as a rose gold nameplate necklace, and I sported straight hair with a 60s-inspired center part.

I cannot get enough of these jeans! They are so incredibly soft and comfortable, yet they maintain a flattering shape and their original rugged texture. And, in my opinion they are so much more tasteful than skintight jeans, so I definitely see this style making a huge comeback within the next few months.

Jane Birkin [source: Mercantile Portland]

Off-the-shoulder top, $38, Free People

Belt, $38, Free People

Jeans, thrifted

Booties, Free People, no longer available 


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