Ever since the ’70s, denim has been an American icon and a staple for casual wear. Most recently, however, denim has become a fashion-forward essential in the form of little denim dresses and button-up shirts.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, we have at least one denim shirt hanging in our closet right now. Rather than store this item away for fall or winter, denim shirts can be mixed with bright colors and lighter fabrics to create a fun summer outfit. Here’s how:


Here are four different ways to wear your denim shirt, from casual to dressy, daytime to nighttime:


Bright Lace Shorts


CLOSED Jean Shirt: $255 // Aerie Crochet Lace Short: $25 // Forever 21 Beach Day Thong Sandals: $13 // J.Crew Nine-Stone Crystal Necklace: $88

For a bright, casual look mix your denim shirt with a pair of soft lace shorts in a complementary summer color. Tuck the shirt into your shorts and keep it simple with white sandals. Finalize the look with a matching statement necklace and a top knot.


Flower Leggings


CLOSED Jean Shirt: $255 // Miss Selfridge Double Layer Cami Top: $25 // What Goes Around Comes Around Vintage Chanel Enamel Earrings: $605 // Madden Girl Gamer Combat Boot: $60

Create an edgier look by not just bringing out your denim shirt, but your black combat boots too. Bring the look together with a pair of patterned leggings. Tip: Floral patterns are currently on trend. Keep the shirt open and pull it over a flowy white tank top to keep cool.


Little Black Romper


CLOSED Jean Shirt: $255 // Topshop Black Wrap Jersey Playsuit: $45 // Kate Spade New York Amalfi Mosaic Statement Necklace: $243 // Dolce & Gabbana Black & White Silk Polka Dot Bianca Wedges: $945

Dress things up a bit by mixing your favorite romper with your denim essential. If the shirt falls lower than your hips, tie the ends in a knot. Otherwise, leave the shirt open. Have fun with your accessories, such as a colorful statement necklace or a pair of polka-dotted wedges.


Summer Dress


CLOSED Jean Shirt: $255 // Rickety Rack Pretty Lady Dress: $80 // What Goes Around Comes Around Vintage Chanel Enamel Earrings: $605 // Dolce & Gabbana Black & White Silk Polka Dot Bianca Wedges: $945

What better way to ring in the summer than with a pretty summer dress and a trendy denim top. Tie the shirt over the dress, and keep your accessories to a minimum if the dress is on the fancier side. Wedges are another great way to keep with summer trends and complete the outfit.