In the fickle world of fashion, few things can be counted on to stick around longer than you can say “Hammer Pants.” The good ol’ denim jacket is a welcome exception to that rule. Here are a tricks to doing these casual coats right:

1. Stiff denim up top looks (and feels) awkward. Go for soft, beat-up, and weathered to get that perfect lived-in look.
2. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Avoid the “Canadian tuxedo.” Pair a cropped jacket with a flowing maxi dress for a nice juxtaposition, or a dark denim blazer cut over a shorter cotton sundress.
3. Watch your proportions. Mid-rib cropped down to the waist says modern and on trend. If your hemline drops to ankle length, you’re bucking for the chance to star in an old Western, while if it creeps up high enough to become a denim shrug, you’ll fit right into a Britney Spears back-up dancer troupe.

Note: Ignoring these simple guidelines means Shop Talk can’t protect you from any potential fashion felonies handed out by the Style Police.

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