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Victoria's Secret
Relaxed boyfriend jean in destructed wash
TODAY contributor
updated 5/28/2009 4:36:31 PM ET 2009-05-28T20:36:31

While warm weather often invites fabrics like silk, seersucker and cotton to take center stage, this season denim is in demand. From country-casual dresses to ’80s-style jackets, you’ll find a variety of influences behind these blue-based basics. Even jeans are getting an update, thanks to softer shades that range from retro to preppy. Bobbie Thomas, TODAY style editor and author of the Buzz for In Touch Weekly, highlights the best style for any “blue jean baby!”

No matter what kind of frock you choose to frolic in, one thing’s for sure — this season, you can’t go wrong with a denim design. Whiletrendsetters are jumping into one-piece playsuits from Heartloom (Lexi Romper, $155; singer22.com) and Betsey Johnson (Sailor Jumper, $295; betseyjohnson.com), many more basic blues can help you with a stylish, laid-back look:

Baby blues
While the fashion-forward set is tearing up the denim trend with scissors and bleach, brighter and lighter shades of blue are offering a refreshing change from traditional dark denim. Victoria’s Secret’s Low Five Bootcut Jean in Hobo and Relaxed Boyfriend Jean in Sandblast are sweet styles perfect for some fun in the sun ($39.50-$49.99; victoriassecret.com). Celebrity favorite MiH’s Melody and Pond washes offer a retro feel ($139-$219; mih-jeans.com), while reliable resources the Gap and Lucky Brand are stocking favorite cuts in a variety of super-distressed fades.  

Nolita denim jacket

Jean jackets
When a summer-night breeze calls for long sleeves, a jean jacket is the must-have layer you’ll want to reach for. Perfect for work or weekend, day or night, this versatile piece is back in a big way. It’s the ideal extra to add a casual, effortless appeal, and offers an easy, less-serious layer to polished pants or feminine frills. If you don't already own one, this is a great time to invest, considering the plentiful supply available. Here are a few that should stand the test of time: Women’s Denim Jacket in Dark Worn, Medium Wash or Vancouver Wash ($29.50; oldnavy.com), Nolita Denim Jacket ($98; JCrew.com), Levi’s Eco Trucker Jacket ($78; Levis.com), Dusted Blue Denim Jacket ($69.50; express.com).

Denim dresses
Though head-to-toe denim has been thought of as a no-no, it’s time to think again. While trendsetters are mixing and matching washes, wearing both jackets and jeans together, a denim dress is a sophisticated spin on the trend. Jeanology offers a sharp sheath cut ($49; Newport-News.com), Lauren Jeans Company’s “Dominique” Halter Dress ($149; Nordstrom) and Tommy Hilfiger’s Classic Denim Dress ($89.50; macys.com) feature feminine full skirts, and ABS’ Ruffle-Neck Denim Dress ($185; saks.com) is polished enough to even be put to work!

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