Photography: Tawni Bannister

The Denim Trends For Fall 2018 Are All About Breaking Rules — And These Looks Are Proof

There are few outfit staples that have gone through as much creative rebirth as the classic blue jean. The idea of a "denim trend" has gone from being a singular style that practically everyone wears (bell bottoms in the '70s; high-waisted, straight-legged styles in the '80s and '90s; low-rise flares in the Britney Spears-era early aughts...) to a more nebulous concept that encompasses everything from relaxed "mom jeans" to completely clear "jeans" made out of polyurethane. And while the internet loves to scoff at the latest ~wacky~ pair of pants, it's all really indicative of a larger trend in the fashion space: eschewing traditional style rules in favor of putting together items that make you excited to get dressed in the morning.

So, for Bustle's Rule Breakers issue, we wanted to celebrate denim and all the ways people wear it, and show off Fall 2018's most exciting "trends" (or lack thereof) when it comes to this particular clothing item. And who better to help us do so than three models who are breaking rules themselves, simply by existing unapologetically in the fashion industry? For the shoot, we tapped MaryV, Sebastian, and Mecca, models with the agency New Pandemics that's "dedicated to increasing LGBTQ+ visibility" through the people they sign. (The agency also gives 10% of profits back to nonprofits that support the LGBTQ+ community, to boot.)

Below, they show off how to rock four looks that use denim in ways outside what you might traditionally expect, proving that the most on-trend way to wear denim right now is to wear it in the way that appeals to you.

SUPER LAYERED DENIM

COAT AND SKIRT: HOUSE OF HOLLAND (Size 2-10). DENIM JACKET UNDERNEATH: Y/PROJECTS COURTESY OF MYTHERESA. JACKET TIED AROUND WAIST: R13 (Size XS-L). JEANS: TRE BY NATALIE RATABESI (Size XS-L). BOOTS: MM6. EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: JACKET, SHIRT, AND BOOTS: SACAI. SWEATER: HILLFLINT. DENIM CORSET: UNRAVEL. JEANS: Y/PROJECT COURTESY OF MYTHERESA. JACKET: MONSE. SHIRT: CALVIN KLEIN JEANS. SKIRT OVER JEANS: UNRAVEL. JEANS: PHLEMUNS. BOOTS: MM6. EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS.

This trend is basically the opposite of Coco Chanel's old accessories rule: Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and put one more item of denim on. This look is meant to be bulky (and warm!), but if you're already sweating just thinking about it, you can try finding pieces that give the illusion of layers.

More Ways To Get The Look:

Miss Stressed Denim Jacket, $44.99, Fashion Nova (Size S - 3X) | Ex‑Boyfriend Trucker Jacket, $49.99, Levis (Size S - XL) | High Waist Slim in Indigo Patches, $249, 7 For All Mankind (Size 23 - 32) | Women's Plus Size Patchwork Kick Boot Crop, $22, Target (Size 0X - 3X)

OVER-THE-TOP EMBELLISHED

TOP: MM6 (Size 0-10). JEANS: DSQUARED2 (Size XXS-XXL). BOOTS: DOLCE & GABBANA. EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS.
JACKET AND SWEATSHIRT: DOLCE & GABBANA (Size 0-10). TIGHTS AND SHOES: TOM FORD. BAG: LOUIS VUITTON.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT- TOP: MM6. JEANS: DSQUARED2. BOOTS: DOLCE & GABBANA. EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS. TOP: TOM FORD (Size XXS-XL). JEANS: JONATHAN SIMKHAI (Size XS-L). BOOTS: FENDI. EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS.

Embellished denim has been around forever, but today's version is less embellished, and more EMBELLISHED. Don't just accent with sequins... go for sequins all over. And instead of just one or two embroidered accents or patches, cover the whole denim jacket with 'em. The glittery option is especially great for upcoming holiday parties, while the other effect offers a more customizable look (Add your own pins! Stitch your name into the pocket!) that can be worn easily year round.

More Ways To Get The Look:

ASOS DESIGN Sequin Boyfriend Jeans, $43, ASOS (Size 24 - 36) | Embroidered Pom-Pom Denim Jacket, $68, Forever 21 (Size S - L) | Plus Size Embroidered Cherry Denim Jacket, $39.90, Forever 21 (Size 0X - 3X)

NEXT-LEVEL DENIM SUITING

CORSET AND JEANS: JEAN ATELIER (Size 0-14). SHIRT: KSENIA SCHNAIDER (Size XS-XL). BOOTS: PRABAL GURUNG.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT- JACKET AND PANTS: JONATHAN SIMKHAI. SHOES: MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION. JACKET: MATTHEW ADAMS DOLAN COURTESY OF MYTHERESA (Size XS-L). TURTLENECK: CALVIN KLEIN JEANS. SKIRT: ADEAM (Size 2-12). SHOES: MONSE.

Until now, a Canadian Tuxedo has been the closest thing we had to formal jeans — and that look wasn't widely embraced in business situations. As proof that denim is truly acceptable anywhere these days, peep these office-appropriate takes on the classic jean. Look for pieces that follow traditional suiting silhouettes, and know that you may have to get these items tailored to ensure they look sleek, not costume-y.

More Ways To Get The Look:

Gangster Of Love Pin Stripe Flare Jeans, $34.99, Fashion Nova (Size 1 - 15) | Wrangler x MC Wide-Leg Whim Jeans in Dark Wash, $89, Modcloth (Size 2 - 18W) | Denim Gold Button Blazer, $100, Love & Labels (Size S - XXL) | Petite Denim Button-Front Pencil Skirt, $78, Banana Republic (Size 00 - 10) | Denim Pencil Skirt with Side Stripe, $74.90, Eloquii (Size 16 - 28)

'80S-INSPIRED MIXED PRINTS

TOP: ADAM SELMAN (Size XS-L). JEANS: LOUIS VUITTON (Size 0-14). SOCKS: STANCE. SHOES: NIKE. EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT- SWEATER: ULLA JOHNSON (Size XXS-XL). JEANS: GRLFRND (Size 23- 32). JACKET: GOLDEN GOOSE (Size XS-L). SWEATER: GANNI (Size XS-XL). JEANS: KSENIA SCHNAIDER. EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS.
JACKET: UNRAVEL. PANTS, HEADBAND, SHOES, AND EARRINGS: TOM FORD.

Yep, we're still having a nostalgia moment, this time for the good ol' 1980s. This vibe is all about mixing colors and patterns you don't typically see paired, using denim as a neutral to tie it all together. High-waisted jeans, acid washes, and brightly colored prints were basically made for each other, so don't be afraid to wear them all at once.

More Ways To Get The Look:

New Look Hallie Leopard Print Jeans, $45, ASOS (Size 0 - 14) | That Look Wide Leg Jeans, $34.99, Fashion Nova (Size XS - XL) | The Relaxed Boyfriend Jean, $78, Everlane (Size 23 - 33) | La Vie Acid Wash Denim Moto Jacket, $150, Rebecca Taylor (Size S - L) | ASOS DESIGN Carpenter Boyfriend Jeans In Pink Acid Wash, $60, ASOS | Women's Plus Size Acid Wash Denim Trucker Jacket, $35, Target (Size 1X - 4X)

Photographer: Tawni Bannister | Senior Fashion Market Editor + Stylist: Gabrielle Prescod | Makeup: Mariko for MAC @ The Wall Group | Hair: Amy Farid at Honey Artists | Manicure: Elizabeth Garcia using CND | Art Director: Becky Brown | Bookings Manager: Guillermo Perez | Photo Editor: Clare Thigpen | Director of Features and Brand Initiatives: Margaret Wheeler Johnson

TOP PHOTO: FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: JACKET, SHIRT, AND BOOTS: SACAI (Size XS-L). SWEATER: HILLFLINT (Size XS-XXL). DENIM CORSET: UNRAVEL (Size XXS-L). JEANS: Y/PROJECT COURTESY OF MYTHERESA (Size XXS-M). JACKET: MONSE (Size XXS-XL). SHIRT: CALVIN KLEIN JEANS (Size 0-24). SKIRT OVER JEANS: UNRAVEL. JEANS: PHLEMUNS (Size XS-XL). EARRINGS: ADINA’S JEWELS.