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Save or Stash: The Denim Guide

How many pairs of jeans do you own? That's the beautiful thing about denim, they never really go out of style (for long). Here, a sneak peek of what denim trends to save for this season and which ones to stash for the time being.

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Bryan McCay
Jennifer Aniston wearing loose cut jeans
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Anna Wolf
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Anna Wolf
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Lisa Loftus
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Save: Skinny Jeans

Skinny cuts aren't going anywhere, so keep several pairs in your closet. Dress up dark wash denim with heels and a blazer for a night out, cuff them to pair with ballet flats and a button down, or wear them with riding boots and a chunky scarf as the temperature starts to fall.

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Stash: Boyfriend Jeans

Swap in: Loose-Cut Jeans

You can still get away with your favorite baggy boyfriend jean, but to update the trend opt for a loose-cut fit. Slimmer through the thigh and a bit more feminine, you can still belt these low on the waist and roll them up above the ankle. Top off the look with embellished flats or a heeled bootie to make this stolen-from-the-boys style even more girl-friendly.

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Save: Distressed Jeans

Paint-splattered, ripped, worn, bleached, or all of the above, distressed jeans are typically the most comfortable, so get excited to cozy-up again this season. Think about contrasts when donning destroyed denim. Consider an assortment of sparkly baubles, girlie polka dots, bright tops, and thick, chunky heels. And when in doubt, you can't go wrong with a white t-shirt and a motorcycle jacket.

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Stash: Boot Cut

Swap in: Trouser Jeans

This season, trousers are taking over. Fitted through the hips and thighs with a major flare from the knee down, this trend can easily step in for your beloved boot cut. Tall shoes are a must, and have the added bonus of lengthening your legs. Wear a blazer for a classy take or a cropped sweater for a more casual look.

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Save: Cropped and Cuffed

A big hit for spring and summer, these styles hit just above the ankle and will be just as popular for fall wear. (Bonus: It just got a whole lot easier to show off your shoes!) Instead of a colored tank and sandals, trade up with your best short boots, boldest and brightest heels, or staple flats for daily wear. Try a printed round-neck sweater on top or a utility coat to add a little edge.

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Stash: Overalls

Swap in: Denim Dresses

Perfect for layering, the long-sleeve style goes great with a striped shirt peeking out from underneath, along with a pair of riding boots. Go simple and keep the accessories minimal, or try a more detailed bib necklace. With this low-key look, you've got tons of options.

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Save: Wide-Leg

These jeans are fitted in the hips and hang loose from thigh to the floor. Just make sure to handle with care: With all the volume on the bottom you'll want to keep things fitted on top. Try belting a cardigan or tuck in a printed blouse. You can take dark washes to the office, but save the lighter tints for weekends.

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Stash: Pastels

Swap in: Jewel tones

Soft pastels are too springy, so put away you lighter-colored denim for warmer weather. To give your look that pop of color, choose hues like ruby, sapphire, or emerald. Let the denim do the talking and keep it simple with a white or black tee. To go a little bolder, try color blocking with another rich solid shade. Skinny cuts are great for everyday wear and trousers make a professional, polished statement at the office.

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Save: White Jeans

Forget the rules: White denim after Labor Day is definitely a do this season. And you should! Go for a skinny cut, which are easier to transition from flats to boots as the seasons change. Layer with a trench or double up with a darker denim shirt on top. The blank canvas of the pants give you wiggle room to sport standout shoes and accessories, or go the minimalist route.

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Stash: Denim Vests

Swap in: A denim jacket

Denim vests can be easily worn over sundresses and sweaters, so keep yours in your closet for future wear. Then shake things up and invest in a jean jacket, a key layering piece for fall. A few things to keep in mind: Make sure it hits the waist and is fitted, not too loose or snug. Roll the sleeves and let a few layers of colorful shirts peek out. For cropped cuts, match with a maxi skirt or chunky accessories.

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Save: Printed Jeans

No need to donate your animal prints or funky floral jeans. As the skies turn gray they'll help brighten up dreary weather while still staying seasonally appropriate. For animal prints, make sure to pick a muted color like gray, navy, nude, or maroon for more wearability. A white blouse with black extras is a fail-safe outfit, or go for small pops of color to punch up this wild style.

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2012.

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