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Icons of summer: BBQ, beer and... blue jeans?!?

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; and Betsey Johnson (Sailor Jumper, $295;, many more basic blues can help you with a stylish, laid-back look:

Baby bluesWhile 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; Celebrity favorite MiH’s Melody and Pond washes offer a retro feel ($139-$219;, while reliable resources the Gap and Lucky Brand are stocking favorite cuts in a variety of super-distressed fades.  

Denim dressesThough 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;, Lauren Jeans Company’s “Dominique” Halter Dress ($149; Nordstrom) and Tommy Hilfiger’s Classic Denim Dress ($89.50; feature feminine full skirts, and ABS’ Ruffle-Neck Denim Dress ($185; is polished enough to even be put to work!