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How to Wear: Straight Leg Jeans

In 2004, skinny jeans were ALL I wanted to wear; they felt fresh and badass, like 2012's bomber jackets and wedge sneakers. Now it's 2013 and skinny jeans (while still good, still necessary) seem a little overplayed.

But more than that, they're not always the best style for whatever shoe/top/outfit combination I have in mind. Instead, I'm finding straight-legged styles prove the most versatile picks from my denim shelf. Nine years ago, I ditched them during my pretending-to-be-Kate-Moss phase, but now I'm excited about them again. They look great, and they're often just a better pick than a crop or a flare. Click through to see my favorite ways to wear them.

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Flared legs tend to cover most of a shoe and skinny jeans get lumpy when tucked into boots, but straight legs avoid both those traps. Just cuff them a little if necessary, or even if not: it'll highlight great shoes even more.
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Choose a super-faded or distressed wash and straight legs don't have to be safe and classic. Pairs like these mix well with grittier things like a smoky eye and studded moccasins. Go a size up and wear them slightly slouchy for added swagger.


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Straight legs look especially awesome when they're high-waisted; they make legs look so, so long. And with the right additions, they can spin an outfit into French gamine territory, which is never a bad thing. We could totally see Inès de la Fressange or Carla Bruni wearing this ensemble.
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Skintight cropped denim isn't friendly to all leg shapes, and cropped flares look best with super-chunky heels. But cropped straight legs are much more versatile. The breathing room between the denim and the leg is slimming, especially around the ankle. Pair it with pointy-toed heels and add a pretty blouse on top for a polished look.


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