Denim: No Sweat Edition

It's a year-round staple, but wearing it when temperatures rise is not without its challenges. Here, we enlist denim expert Scott Morrison for some much-needed summer style advice.

Most Popular

"I think all denim is summer appropriate," says Scott Morrison, the New York City-based designer behind 3x1's coveted WM3 crop fringe jeans. Given all the infinite possibilities in the denim world, it's not a surprising statement from someone with more than 15 years in the business. Having launched Paper Denim, Earnest Sewn, and most recently, 3x1 in 2011, Morrison knows that people are most drawn to denim with character and craftsmanship.

Scott Morrison knows his denim. Photographed by Bryan Banducci
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

"Basic denim is down," continues Morrison, whose own 3x1 is a hit with premium denim enthusiasts. "Girls are looking for more of a fashion statement with their jeans, and guys are looking to find an amazing product," he says. Morrison believes it's a sign of the times. Denim is undergoing a renaissance, so there's no shortage of summer options right now.

Give new meaning to the Canadian tuxedo with different color finishes. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images
Most Popular

Before you choose yours, read on for Morrison's expert-level tips on how to approach one of summer's biggest style dilemmas.

One timeless fabric, endless possibilities. Photographed by Bryan Banducci

Lose the Weight

"Lightweight denim is a really simple solution. Any good denim store is going to have lots of it," says Morrison. "To start, look for denim that's 10 oz.—it's terrific for summer." If you want to go up in ounces, Morrison says that's OK, too. He adds that most people buy between 10-12oz. denim, which is a mid- to all-year round weight.

Vintage high-rise jeans are where it's at this season. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Lighten Up

"It's more obvious that a lighter wash is more appropriate for summer, says Morrison. "But it also goes hand-in-hand with the vintage denim trend, which has a well-worn feel."

As for dark denim, it might be better to reserve that for special occasions. "A dark wash has a tendency to be dressier," explains Morrison. "But I'm not saying you can't wear dark denim in the summer!"

Do denim right by keeping it light. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Crop It Out

"Right now, anything above the ankle is in," says Morrison. "That's going to continue into fall and next spring." In other words, now is the time to invest in an ankle-baring pair of jeans, if you haven't already. And guys, the same applies to you, too. Morrison notes that cut-off hems are just as popular with men as with women.

Do yourself a favor and avoid heavyweight denim on hot summer days. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Keep It Professional

"There's always a limit, right?" says Morrison. "I wouldn't suggest wearing ripped and repaired jeans to work. And you probably don't need to wear a pair of crisp raw denim either." Instead, pick a simple jean that "looks appropriate for the environment you're going into," suggests Morrison.

Not just for summer, the jean jacket is a year-round essential. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Think Bigger Picture

"Jean jackets, cut-off shorts—these can be worn during the day and can be added on at night," says Morrison. Versatility will save you in the long run. He also points out: "It makes a lot of sense."

Below, see our favorite summer denim styles for men and women available right now.

From: Seventeen
More from sweet: