How to Give Your Denim a Makeover Without Spending a Dime

Jeans are pretty much the only universal uniform we can think of. They take you from brunch to baseball games, the office if you're lucky, and, heck yes, even holiday parties. They're no trend; they're the one look we know will never go out of style. Obviously, as the years go by, modern cuts and shapes hit the runway and are stocked in stores. But if you want a few ideas for how to avoid shopping new pairs at all costs, at least for the time being, you can refresh your old slacks in these 31 ways without a single worry that your outfit will look outdated.

01
Very Low Slung
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Very Low Slung

Pull your baggy jeans down as low as they go and strap on a belt to show where they sit on your waist. The look is coolest with a graphic tee, a structured blazer, and some sort of heel.

02
Tucked In
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Tucked In

Keep things relaxed up top, but make your legs appear prim and polished when you tuck your skinnies into pointy boots.

03
To Make Them Watch You Go
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To Make Them Watch You Go

Don't have any jeans with a graphic print or patches? Iron on something yourself, but make your look more unique by choosing your calves or the back pockets for placement. Forget embroidery at the sides and front.

04
Colorblocked
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Colorblocked

Just make sure your jeans are long enough and your dress is short enough to break up the shapes in your look.

05
Inside Out
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Inside Out

Don't knock it till you try it. Affected denim is everywhere, so why not make them do a double take by turning one of your lighter-wash pairs inside out?

06
To Cover a Shoe That's Made to Be Shown
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To Cover a Shoe That's Made to Be Shown

Don't give it all away. Your look will appear so much more effortless and laid-back when you "hide" a statement shoe, then draw attention back to it with a subtle fold at the hem.

07
Blinged Out
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Blinged Out

If you don't have a chunky jewelry belt to strap on, consider your long necklaces and pendants. Make it fashionable, and make it gold.

08
As an Added, Easy-to-Miss Layer
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As an Added, Easy-to-Miss Layer

Denim doesn't always have to be the focal point of your look. But when someone notices your jeans breaking up a few special separates, they'll know you considered every last detail.

09
As a Track Suit Substitution
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As a Track Suit Substitution

Think of how you throw on your track zip-up and sweats. Now substitute your denim and go forth!

10
To Mix 2 Different Themes
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To Mix 2 Different Themes

Work with your fringed, bohemian separates and complete with a sporty pair of jeans that have a stripe or a baggy fit.

11
To Show Off Your Femininity
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To Show Off Your Femininity

If you have paper-bag pants that accentuate your waist, wear them with pink accessories and heels. And if you have pink denim, now's the time to wear it proudly and show off your girlie side.

12
Belted With a String
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Belted With a String

This helps you pull off the sporty look. Think of it as a makeshift tracksuit.

13
Asymmetrical
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Asymmetrical

Forget symmetry. Clasp a loose pair of jeans in the wrong place to make your look appear kind of, well, "off."

15
In Place of a Power Suit
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In Place of a Power Suit

The utilitarian jumpsuit is a major trend you're about to see everywhere. So if you retired your denim jumper with long sleeves, it's time to take it back out.

16
Slitted at the Front
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Slitted at the Front

Forget side slits; install a zipper into your favorite jeans, or just gash them with scissors.

17
To Achieve a "Fake" Jumpsuit
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To Achieve a "Fake" Jumpsuit

Match your jeans to your denim shirt perfectly, tucking in your top so that your whole look flows.

18
With Punk Rock Flair
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With Punk Rock Flair

Affix a loose chain to the front of your jeans and loop it around to the back. With the addition of a printed wrap top, your look will be transformed and eccentric.

19
Ultracuffed
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Ultracuffed

Have a pair of superlong jeans you never got around to tailoring or attacking with scissors? Just cuff 'em! Make the look as exaggerated as possible.

20
Baggier Than You Ever Imagined You'd Wear Them
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Baggier Than You Ever Imagined You'd Wear Them

Think the look of the super slouch is really cool? Us too. Just grab a pair of your dad's jeans, cinch them at the top, and wear a top layer that covers the waist.

21
To Reveal What Lies Underneath
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To Reveal What Lies Underneath

Is it tights? Funky socks? Perhaps a pair of knitted sock boots? Make them all want to know.

22
To Layer Under Other Pants
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To Layer Under Other Pants

OK, the deconstructed denim trend means that "layered effect" trousers like these are for sale. But if you have a pair of supertight stretch skinnies, you can achieve the look yourself with pieces you already own.

23
All White, All the Time
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All White, All the Time

We've been saying this for ages, but in 2018, you better remember that your white jeans are season-less.

24
With Lots of Hardware
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With Lots of Hardware

Even if your own jeans don't come equipped with buttons on buttons, affix metal keychains to the belt loops or DIY it and glue on some jewels.

25
Strapped With a Fanny Pack
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Strapped With a Fanny Pack

Forgo a belt and weave a functional bag through the loops.

26
Deconstructed With a Floor-Sweeping Belt
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Deconstructed With a Floor-Sweeping Belt

Whether you strap a superthin scarf around your waist or invest in a buckle belt is no matter. Just make sure your accessory's long enough to draw attention to your jeans, which should be as deconstructed, distressed, or upturned as they've ever been.

27
With a Turtleneck and Sport Sneakers
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With a Turtleneck and Sport Sneakers

This look veers on the "'90s mom" side of the trends. Work one of her old tweed blazers into your outfit to really drive home the point.

28
With Your Fancy, Shmancy Clothes
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With Your Fancy, Shmancy Clothes

Denim becomes eveningwear instantly when you're rocking it with a feminine blouse and strappy stilettos.

29
To Make Them Ask, "Is It Jeans or a Skirt?"
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To Make Them Ask, "Is It Jeans or a Skirt?"

Coordinate your widest leg with a long, flowing tunic and oversize jacket.

30
As a Second Thought
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As a Second Thought

Don't put on your jeans. Put on a complete outfit — like a dress, a handbag, and adorable booties — then throw on your live-in denim underneath as a final surprise for passersby to muse over.

31
Like a Mom in the '80s — but With '90s Dad Shoes
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Like a Mom in the '80s — but With '90s Dad Shoes

Roll up your high-waisted jeans, strap on a belt that looks like it could've come off the Versace runway, and pull out your dad sneakers.