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Outfit Formula: Slim Straight Leg Jean

Earlier this week, I shared 20 Spring Wardrobe Basics for 2024. These closet staples will make getting dressed this spring a breeze.

And many readers asked if I plan to show how to wear them.

Of course, I am!

Not only will these staples show up in our content throughout the season, but today, I am reviving our Outfit Formula Series and showing you three ways to style medium-wash, slim-straight jeans.

My mission has always been to help you wear what you already have, so if you buy something via our site, you’ll see it in our outfit-inspiration content throughout the season.

About 80% of what I feature below will look familiar from either our feature on 20 Spring Wardrobe Basics or The 2024 Fashion Trends that Are Wearable.

You might have just bought some of these!. The other items are new recommendations you can use to layer into your wardrobe for even more outfit-making opportunities

As always, ladies, my recommendations are well-thought-out. I have readers with various needs, wearing all sizes and with vastly different budgets. These are my suggestions; you can shop this post directly or use it as inspiration.

Outfit Formula: Three Ways to Wear Your Medium Wash Slim Leg Jean

First, let’s talk about the jean.

I am featuring the J.Crew 9″ Vintage Slim-Straight Jean in Lakeshore Wash. Currently priced at $95 and available in regular, petite and tall sizes 23 – 37.

It’s important to note the length, you can see them on the model here. This is were you want them to hit. The hem should either just cover your ankle or can cut through the middle.

This length opens up a ton of opportunity to wear different shoe styles. You’ll see below I’m using a flat, a kitten heel sling-back and low profile sneakers.

And a medium wash will feel more modern and updated than a dark wash jean – you can still wear them, but this “lived-in” look adds a contrast to your more polished pieces.

Cool and Casual

Let’s start by mixing neutrals.

Grab a tailored gray sweater, this one (featured in our 20 Spring Wardrobe Basics post) is The Cashmere Crew from Everlane priced at a reasonable $158 for lightweight cashmere.

Available in XXS – XXXL, this is a slim cut so I sized up one for a looser, more comfortable fit.

If you don’t like gray, consider navy, or a pop of red. J.Crew has a sea of colors available in the Classic Cashmere Crew, similarly priced at $128 with sizes up to a 3X.

Next, mix in a rich tan.

Here I’m using a shoulder bag I found on Mango. I just bought it and it’s GORGEOUS. For $70 it looks like a low-key quiet luxury find, without the extra zero on the price tag. Also available in black.

Then, for texture and interest, I found these woven flats from Evereve for $128 (sizes are starting to be limited, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell out).

To pull it together, I can’t say enough good things about this slim belt I found on Amazon for $20, I have it in brown and black.

And because the belt has gold-tone hardware, I added the Molten Metal Post Earring from Anthropologie, $35.

Pop of Color

Of course, I want you to play with color; just be intentional about it. Find one that lights up your face and makes you feel good.

We’re seeing a lot of greens, which makes me happy. Like in the Eyelet Puff Sleeve Split Neck Top from Ann Taylor, a true green is flattering on everyone.

You’ll hear me advise to pick texture over pattern. The texture will almost always look more sophisticated than a pattern.

Our featured blouse from Ann Taylor is available in regular and petite sizes in XXS – XXL for $67. 

I wanted this to be a “going out” look, so I added the black sling-back kitten heels from Sam Edelman ($140) and this adorable Coach bag($220), both featured in our 20 Spring Wardrobe Basics post.

To tie it all together, I found these small huggie hoops from gorjana for $55 in malachite marble, and they work so well with the look. You can wear these alone or include them in an earring stack.

Chic and Layered

Finally, a classic layered look that incorporates a lot of current trends.

Grab your favorite white tee. Above, I’m using the COS Regular Fit for $35. It’s worth the online buzz. The white is not see-through. I also picked it up in black.

Another white tee option is the Eileen Fisher Organic Pima Cotton tee in sizes XXS – 3X on sale for $44.

Then, I layered it under the Banana Republic Factory’s Captin’s Blazer, on sale for $180 in navy (above), black or camel, in regular, petite, or tall in sizes 0 – 20. 

And to round it out, you’ll wear these three accessories repeatedly all season.

These gold hoop earrings from Pavoi are my latest, wear-all-the-time hoops. I LOVE them, and they are $14.

They are available in white gold, too, if that is your metal of choice.

Remember that you will create a more cohesive look if you coordinate your metals. In this case, the hardware on the jacket and bag are gold, so I’m using a gold hoop.

The bag is from J.Crew, made of Italian leather, and is just a gorgeous color and excellent quality for $200. (Honestly, I’ve seen similar bags made of faux leather cost more.)

And finally, metallics are all the rage, and the natural place to sprinkle them on is with your shoes.

I found these pale gold sneakers at Banana Republic Factory for only $48 plus an extra 20 off.


Related Posts

 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Carolyn McMahon

Saturday 24th of February 2024

Megan, this is terrific information! You’re making getting dressed as easy as paint by numbers, lol. Thank you so much for your time and effort!


Saturday 24th of February 2024

I second Mary’s question here about how and when to use a belt- it’s something I’ve avoided for years now, but I do think it makes the outfit look more polished, I’m just not sure how to incorporate it with shirt length.


Friday 23rd of February 2024

Love today's article! A quick question about when should you wear a belt and when shouldn't you? Also, are you intending for the sweater to be tucked in? How do you deal with the excess fabric at the tuck? Thank you. - Mary


Friday 23rd of February 2024

I love this post. The Outfit formula posts are my favorites!


Friday 23rd of February 2024

I know everyone has a different length of torso (mine is actually pretty long), but where do you want your jeans to hit your waist? I’ve read that the higher waisted “Mom” jeans are out which is fine because they gave me pancake butt anyway. 😂 Thanks so much for this content!