Stylish tops to wear with jeans - outfit formulas that work every time

Looking for some stylish tops to wear with jeans? We’ve got every cut and style covered

A composite of street style influencers wearing stylish tops to wear with jeans
(Image credit: Getty)

Nailing a wardrobe full of stylish tops to wear with jeans will ensure you never have to suffer those 'nothing to wear' moments. A speedy route to sartorial style, in our opinion, you can never have too many top-half options.

The classic jeans and a nice top combo is a failsafe formula we reach for time and time again. And when it comes to stylish tops to wear with jeans, whether you love your denim baggy or prefer figure-hugging skinny styles, the best jeans are the backbone of many a capsule wardrobe. From slogan tees to smart shirts and flouncy blouses, a stylish top to wear with jeans has the power to take your everyday jeans to new sartorial heights. Easy to dress up or down, look to luxe-looking fabrics such as silk, velvet and lace if you want to render your look evening-ready style with a cute cami and blazer combo.

The cut of your denim also plays a key role in choosing what stylish top to wear with jeans. High-waisted jeans look great with tucked-in knits and the best t-shirts to help highlight your waist and show off your shape. If you’re a devoted skinny jean-er, you can go oversized with your top half with boyfriend blazers and slouchy tees to offset the slim-fitting bottom half and vice-versa when it comes to baggy jeans - keep your top half more fitted to balance the proportions.

Stylish tops to wear with jeans as chosen by a fashion editor 

With heaps of designs out there, plus an array of different cuts of jeans we’re seriously spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking to invest in some wardrobe essentials or experiment with new spring/summer fashion trends 2023, we’ve scoured the cyber shelves for the most stylish tops to wear with jeans for the easiest weekend looks.

1. Stylish tops to wear with straight jeans

When it comes to skinny jeans vs straight jeans, straight jeans are one of the most universally flattering and easiest styles of jeans to wear. Characterized by their fitted waist and leg shape that drops straight from hip to ankle, this jean is ideal for those who want a streamlined silhouette, without the overly fitted style of a skinny jean. 

When it comes to how to style straight leg jeans and what stylish tops to wear with jeans of this shape, the options are pretty much endless. While you'll want some element of fit on your top half, whether that's at the waist or baring your arms, to help balance your proportions, you can afford to be playful as the slimmer leg shape will stop you looking overwhelmed by fabric.

Thanks to their fitted nature, you can also wear straight leg jeans for when more polish is required. Just make sure to opt for a darker wash to keep things neat. 

2. Stylish tops to wear with skinny jeans

The best skinny jeans are a wardrobe hero and can be a great switch out for straight jeans or even leggings. And, skinny jeans have no age limit, so even if you're putting together an over 50s capsule wardrobe, this denim style can work for you.

Characterized by its bodycon fit, there are of course levels of skinny jean, with some more figure-hugging than others. The most rigid pairs will be made from 100% cotton, with no elastane, although if you're looking for a skinny jean to also be the best slimming jean, elasticated pairs often feature lifting and shaping technology to help sculpt your frame. 

For the most stylish tops to wear with jeans that hug your shape, you can really afford to play with volume here, as the skinny leg helps to show off your shape and stop you from looking overwhelmed with fabric. You can even wear tunic-style tops with skinny jeans, taking advantage of their slender fit. Alternatively, go big and bold and experiment with how to style oversized sweaters, utilizing a French tuck to highlight your waist.

3. Stylish tops to wear with bootcut jeans

Bootcut jeans are one of the many types of jeans for women that go in and out of the denim trends, but this easy, everyday style certainly has earned a spot in your capsule wardrobe. The bootcut can have any type of waistline, mid, low, or high rise, but the leg shape offers a straight style that gently flares at the hem. Because of the slightly more voluminous leg shape around the lower calf, when it comes to stylish tops to wear with jeans with a bootcut, you want to keep your waistline fitted. This can be as simple as tucking or half-tucking tops in, to narrow yourself in the middle and balance the leg shape. You can still however opt for puff or statement shoulders as the volume around your collar area will help to balance the fuller leg shape. 

4. Stylish tops to wear with high-waisted jeans

The best high-waisted jeans are some of our favorites and can come in any leg shape, so as a general rule, your choice of tops to wear with your high-waisted jeans will be dictated by the leg silhouette you choose. 

Having said that, high-waisted jeans are great for sculpting your middle, and many high-waisted jeans offer in-built technology to do this to maximum effect. With high-waisted jeans, you can wear any top, but you'll often want to tuck these styles in to avoid the bulk of your jeans showing underneath your top. You can also try a half tuck if you'd like a little more fabric coverage around your middle. 

5. Stylish tops to wear with flared jeans

Flared jeans are a flattering shape on all body types, and the level of flare you opt for is on a sliding scale, so don't feel you need to go full '70s straight away. When it comes to how to style flared jeans, the extra fabric at the bottom of your jeans will need to be balanced out by your stylish top. This generally means keeping your top half fitted and contoured to your frame so that the eye is drawn down and along your body, elongating your silhouette in the process. For taller silhouettes, you can add a little volume to your top half, through sleeve or shoulder detail, providing you tuck in your top at the waist to create definition.

6. Stylish tops to wear with baggy jeans

In order to work out what stylish tops to wear with baggy jeans, you first need to learn how to style baggy jeans. This casual shape can be intimidating, as the oversized leg and slouchy leg can feel overwhelming and as it hides your natural contour, it can make you feel like you lack definition. This is when stylish tops come in. 

Although your bottom half will have more fabric and be fuller thanks to the baggy leg shape, there are of course levels of bagginess. A Girlfriend or Boyfriend jean is ideal for those that want less volume than a full-on '90s pair of baggy jeans but still want a more relaxed silhouette.

Keep your top half fitted and definitely tuck in the waist of your top to help bring shape back to your silhouette and avoid drowning in fabric. As the baggy jean is pretty casual, you can opt for t-shirt styles to reflect this mood. 

7. Stylish tops to wear with barrel jeans

Barrel jeans are one of the newest kids on the denim block and are notable by their slightly fuller leg shape coupled with a tapered hem, giving, as the name suggests, an almost barrel-like appearance. Because of this, it's really important to balance out the fullness of the shape to help define your proportions and when it comes to stylish tops to wear with jeans, you'll want to make sure your waist is somehow defined. This could be as simple as tucking in, or half-tucking a top, ensuring that your top sits around your middle, rather than a tunic-length hem. A V-neckline will also elongate your frame drawing the eye along and down your frame.  

8. Stylish tops to wear with kick flare jeans

Kick flare jeans are a modern shape that is often given a cropped silhouette, making them ideal for petites. With a mini flared shape, the hem of the jean literally kicks out - hence the name, and is usually ankle-skimming ensuring they work with everything from the best white trainers to a pair of the best loafers.

Due to their relatively slimline footprint, the kick flare can be treated similarly to a straight jean, so when it comes to stylish tops to wear with jeans with a kick flare, you can go for fitted, or slightly more relaxed styles. For the most waist definition, tuck your top in, or use a half tuck to give a glimpse of your curves. You can also choose a more statement shoulder to balance out the kick flare hem. 

Charlie Bell

Charlie is the Deputy Fashion Editor at Future plc across multiple women’s magazines including Woman & Home, Woman and Woman's Own.

She bagged her first magazine job in 2009 and has previously written for titles including Stylist, Closer and Dare. Over the years Charlie has embraced anything that was thrown at her from styling celebrities to testing out the best jeans on the high street to writing about must-have beauty buys.

With a weakness for a printed midi dress, Charlie is on a mission to shop more sustainably and loves finding new ethical brands and second-hand buys.