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8 Must-have summer denim trends that aren’t jeans

Victoria Messina is a journalism student at the University of Florida and a lover of coffee ice cream, world travel and patterned socks. She enjoys meeting new people and writing about street-style fashion trends or human interest storie...

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

Step aside, silk and chiffon, because denim is having a major moment this summer. From pale hues to richly dark blues, denim is popping up just about everywhere. But this season, it’s all about repurposing the timeless fabric for clothing items besides the usual pair of jeans.

With the hot and sticky summer temperatures lingering, who really wants to do that awkward little dance we all secretly do to get into our jeans anyway? You can still get across the same hip All-American vibe by wearing this fabric in pieces other than jeans.

1. Overalls

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

The overalls trend will never be over in my book. Denim overalls are an awesome way to channel your inner 5-year-old for the day, and what’s not to love about that? Throw on a bathing suit underneath at the beach or wear them with a patterned T-shirt and sneakers for a casual outfit. Most popular stores in the mall are flooded with overalls this summer, so it should be a breeze to find a style that suits your personal fashion sense.

Shop this trend: Check out this long pair from ASOS ($81) or this short pair from American Eagle ($40).

2. Romper

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

If you don’t have a romper or jumpsuit in your closet by now, I’m afraid you’re doing summer wrong. They give off the same vibe as a sundress but provide a special added bonus: You never have to worry about pulling a Marilyn Monroe as you walk over subway grates. Denim rompers are somewhat similar to overalls except that they can be styled in a more dressy way by adding fun accessories and gladiator sandals.

Shop this trend: Take a look at this belted chambray number from Forever 21 ($33) or this wide-leg jumpsuit from ASOS ($81).

More: 4 Celeb-inspired chic denim outfits

3. Button-down shirt

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

Button-down shirts are the perfect way to add a polished and put-together touch to your summer wardrobe. When left open and unbuttoned, they’re an unexpected extra dimension to complete any outfit. Throw one of these on to spice up a plain skirt and shirt combo, or button it up and wear it with white jeans and statement-making accessories. The key with this trend is to go for chambray — a denim look-alike that’s a whole lot breezier and lightweight for those steamy summer afternoons.

Shop this trend: Try this long-sleeved chambray shirt from J.Crew ($78) or this short-sleeved option from Forever 21 ($20).

4. Shorts

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

A classic option that will never go out of style, denim shorts are a worthy investment. Wear your high-waisted pair with a loose crop top and sneakers for a day spent exploring a new town on vacation this summer.

Shop this trend: Go for these high-rise shorts from American Eagle ($30) or these cutoff denim shorts from Nordstrom ($35).

5. Crop top

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

Kill two birds (or should I say “trends”) with one stone by trying out a denim crop top while the temperatures are still hot. Wear this option with a white skater skirt or fun patterned shorts at a barbecue or casual dinner date. Add a swipe of bright coral lipstick to accent the blue hues of the denim, and you’re golden.

Shop this trend: Check out this simple option from American Apparel ($42) or this zip-back crop from Nordstrom ($45).

More: 16 Casual denim looks you’ll want to wear all summer long

6. Skirt

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

Jean skirts probably cue up flashbacks to the days of wearing Abercrombie jean skirts to awkward middle school dances. But before you dismiss this trend, think again because denim skirts are back with a more fashionable bang. Whether you go for a dark wash midi skirt or a loose-fitting skater skirt, these look best when paired with a simple tank top and block heel sandals.

Shop this trend: Try this button-up miniskirt from Zara ($50) or this more loose-fitting one from American Apparel ($58).

7. Dress

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

Most denim dresses this season are loose and comfy, making them the perfect outfit candidate for hot summer days. The styles range from long-sleeved to sleeveless, making it easy to find one that suits your personal taste. Denim dresses look super chic when worn with a floppy felt hat and matching strappy sandals, but the styling options are endless if you get creative.

Shop this trend: Check out this long-sleeved button-down dress from Levi’s ($98) or this swing dress from Nordstrom ($60).

8. Vest

Jeans are not the only way to wear denim — all the ways you can rock it in summer

Last but definitely not least is the more summer-friendly adaptation of a jean jacket — the versatile jean vest. Want to add a little edge to that flowy floral dress? Throw on a denim vest and you’re good to go. Vests give off the same classically cool vibe as a denim jacket without the pools of sweat. You’re welcome.

Shop this trend: Look for something like this light wash vest from Macy’s ($40) or this slightly cheaper one from Target ($30).

More: Denim with denim: How to pair denim washes together

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