Our Best Tips For Wearing Colorful Denim (Without Looking Like You Stepped Out Of 2008)

Colorful denim is back with a vengeance! The notorious 2008 trend has been slowly creeping back into our lives since colorful jeans took over the runways in 2022, and now it's spread well beyond pants to make everything from colored denim jumpsuits to midi skirts all the rage once again. One of the reasons we're ready to be bold and again bring some vibrancy back into our lives? All that time we spent indoors in sweatpants.

"We are seeking to make a maximal statement, after the muted, suppressed, and minimal lives we have been forced to live in over the past two years," fashion designer Jesse Kamm explained to TZR. "People [are] looking for more accessible, fun, and comfortable ways to incorporate color into their wardrobes," artist Kat Rose added.

But how exactly are we supposed to wear colored denim without looking like we've wandered back into 2008 when it seemed like we just couldn't escape bright jeans? Well, Women.com is here to spell it out with all the tips and tricks you need to create your own modern version of the striking returning trend that's really caught our eye.

Step into Barbiecore

Don't fight it. It's going to be a Barbiecore summer – dramatic bright pink hair included! But if you're not down for the pink locks, that's totally fine, because you can instead bring your pretty in pink side to life with a midi-denim skirt. We already told you that longer denim skirts were ready for a comeback, and this just proves it. Because the bottom half of this look is so bold, we'd recommend keeping it a little simpler on your top half, which is why a plain white tank is the perfect simple yet chic addition.

Colored denim can be office appropriate too!

We know what you're thinking. There's no way you could ever wear colored denim in the office — but hear us out. By putting your color on your bottom half and keeping your top half more muted and modest, you most certainly can. As this outfit proves, pairing colored jeans with a demure blazer and white top is totally workplace friendly. Just like TikToker @amjesenia did, we'd recommend pairing something this colorful with nude shoes to really tie everything together without adding any clashing colors.

Do denim in a dress

Denim dresses aren't just limited to blue anymore if you wanna be on trend. Oh, no. One of the easiest ways to the colored denim trend is to keep it simple in a dress. By choosing a one-piece outfit over multiple, you're letting that single garment do all the work to keep you on trend without the stress that can come from having to pair something else with colored denim. A baby pink is easy to pull off because of its light color (which is perfect for the impending Barbie summer!) and all you have to think about is your shoes. For a chic day look, opt for flats or sandals, or you could even don heels to dress it up a little.

Ravish in a romper

Much like a denim dress, a denim romper is easier to style than you might think, and it's a super fun way to bring some color into your look without the pressures of matching super bright colors to something else. This vibrant red is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for those looking to get in on the trend without having to think about styling too much. The puff sleeves give us a bit of throwback vibe (but in a good way!) and this is another look that could easily be transitioned from day to night. During the day, we'd recommend a nude flat, but the evening could bring out a glam black heel.

It's all white with denim

One of the ways to effortlessly create a look from colored jeans is to pair the denim, no matter what color it is, with a plain white t-shirt. This staple top really does go with everything, so it really doesn't matter what color you go for in your pants, it's going to match. For a more chic evening look, opt for a more fitted t-shirt with fitted pants and strappy sandals, or, if you're sporting it during the day, casual sneakers would go great with this ensemble. And, just like here, you can even tie your top at the waist to beat the summer heat.

Boots, baby!

If there's one thing denim seems to go oh so perfectly with, no matter what its color, it's boots! Of course, denim itself has a certain country-Americana vibe, which makes it a staple with cowboy boots. But if you want to glam that up a little bit more, you could instead opt for heeled boots and create a monochrome look to dress up your denim. Here, Instagram influencer @oguishvarsha opted for floral denim (which gives it a more modern twist compared to the 2008 trend) and slightly changed up the purple shade on the boots to bring monochrome to life without being too matchy-matchy.

Pair denim with denim

If you're not quite ready to go fully back there when it comes to colored denim (don't worry, we understand) you may want to try going for a more muted color over a rainbow bright and pair it with some darker denim. Yeah, we know double denim has a bad reputation, but because you're going for two totally different colors, it's easier than you might think in this case to pull it off. By putting all the color in your outerwear, here it's a green twist on the classic, that puts you right on trend but without it all being too overwhelming, and opting for classic denim shorts shows just a little skin to break the colors up.

Get grungy

If short shorts just aren't for you, or you're not lucky enough to live somewhere where you can wear them all the time, you may want to opt for long pants and a grungy top. We can't get enough of this ensemble from TikToker @seirracannon, which proves baggier red jeans with an oversized band t-shirt tucked in at one side are a great alternative to going super cutesy with your colored denim look.

Don't be afraid to go monochrome

One of the most fun ways to wear colored denim is to drip yourself from head to toe in the color of your choice. In this case, it's the luck of the Irish with an all-green ensemble. If you're looking to douse yourself in one shade, one of the best ways to go is to rock it via shorts so that you're still showing just a little skin to break up the total greenwash. To avoid going all 2008 on us (though that's absolutely fine if that's the style you like), the modern way to rock the short shorts is to wear them with a matching bodysuit to give yourself a sleek silhouette.

Bring some tie-dye to your denim

We know, tie-dye doesn't necessarily have the best reputation in the fashion world, but there are most definitely some cute ways to wear it. And this is one of them. As Instagram influencer @brendakhj proved, there's even a way to pull off orange tie-dye. One of the best ways to put a modern spin on this one is to keep your color on your bottom half and go more mature on your top half to balance it out. Here, a leather-look jacket ages the look up just a little, while a plain white top is a cute and easy neutral to tie the two halves together.

Shirt up

This one's for all those just looking for a hint of color in their denim wardrobe. Get on trend with a colored denim shirt (which can be worn buttoned up as a shirt or unbuttoned as a jacket, by the way), and then keep the rest of your outfit muted. In this example, it's obvious how well-colored denim outerwear goes with a plain black top and pants underneath, and this is another look that can oh so easily transition from day to night.