If there’s one trend or style that defi nes the term “instant classic” the most, denim is defi nitely in the running for that title.

Invented in the 1870s for cowboys and factory workers, jeans began to gain mainstream popularity in the 1950s, when teenagers appropriated the look for themselves, particularly those in the “greaser” subculture. Since then, denim has evolved and moved far beyond the typical pair of classic jeans; you can fi nd denim in any number of fabrications, depending on the trend or season.

The arrival of the skinny jean several years ago updated denim to a new level, giving jeans a more sophisticated look beyond the boot cut or flared leg. The skinny jean quickly became a uniform of sorts, one that could be dressed up or dressed down, but that always looked best when flattering and chic.

For Resort 2013, denim was hot on the run-ways of Chanel, Gucci, Maison Martin Margiela, Givenchy and Derek Lam, to name just a few. From light to dark to striped to dip-dyed and patterned, denim was everywhere. Beyond the current Resort season, though, it’s tough to name a piece of clothing that hasn’t been made in denim; from button-down shirts to blazers to dresses to culottes to stilettos, denim is, and always will be, on trend.

While head-to-toe denim is generally not the best look (this isn’t to say it can’t be done, but beyond the runway or, say, the music award show red carpet and stage, it can be tricky to pull off), adding denim to your wardrobe beyond your favorite pair of go-to jeans is an easy thing to do. Try a structured denim blazer or a denim jacket that moves beyond the classic denim jacket look; think lighter and in a different shape. If you’re really feeling the denim trend, be bold and go for a denim jumpsuit. Another great way to wear denim is in a pant style that’s far from the typical jeans look; try denim trousers or even harem pants (just make sure they’re flattering!) or something high-waisted (for an instant dressed-up look).

However you do it, incorporating denim into your look-beyond your usual jeans-is a great way to get in on this instant classic. Denim will never go out of style; choose wisely and you will fi nd denim pieces that work with your wardrobe for years to come.

TOP TO BOTTOM: PHOTO COURTESY GUCCI, TOP SHOP COURTESY NORDSTORM, SKIRT COURTESY KATE SPADE