From The Straits Times    |

make denim dressy 640.jpg

Image: @songofstyle Instagram

Distressed denim is a fun, wearable trend that has been around for a long time. It may not appear on the runways, but it is a fashion staple that pops up again and again particularly on the street-style scene.

When it comes to dressing up these kinds of jeans, Aimee Song, a Los Angeles-based interior designer and the founder of popular fashion blog Song Of Style, is an expert at the polished yet distressed denim look. A quick glance at her Instagram feed shows various ways to work the trend.

The key, as indicated by a selection of her looks, is to pair the jeans with classy separates.

distressed denim examples.jpg

Image: @songofstyle Instagram

A camel coat, boxy bag and pointy boots elevate the denim-on-denim look (photo 1). Strong outerwear – such as a belted menswear-style blazer (photo 2) or moto jacket (photo 3) – pull together the second and third outfits.

While she tends to opt for heels to dress up the outfit, flats can work too, provided they are streamlined. In photo 4, her pointy loafers work well with a simple black button-down and red crossbody.

A smart trick that flatters the blogger, and a lot of petite Asians, is to stick to skinny jeans. It produces a sleek silhouette that makes the overall look less casual than if baggy jeans were worn. In photo 5, for example, Song wears a puffer jacket and flat boots. But the skinny jean silhouette keeps her looking cool and put together.

When going a bit more baggy with distressed denim (photo 6), she goes the cosy route with an oversized sweater.

The attention to detail, though, keeps the outfit sharp. The pale blue sweater and pale blue jeans create a tone-on-tone look like a monochromatic suit, broken up only by touches of black in the form of a boxy bag and sculptural heels.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on January 16, 2015. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.