Get the blues by diving into denim

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Tuesday trends with Jo Davison

Finding ‘the’ perfect pair of jeans is the Holy Grail of shopping.

But the task is going to get even trickier this spring. There’s about to be a deluge of new denims on the block. The full spectrum of traditional blue isn’t going away, but expect a rainbow of new hues too.

A host of prints, pastels and brights means you’ll have to widen your search... You’ll need several perfectly-fitting styles.

“Have fun with denim. The traditional five pocket jeans now come in a myriad of colours, patterns and fabrics,” says queen of denim Donna Ida Thornton Donna Aida

More than three quarters (76 per cent) of women “love wearing denim”. We own 7.2 pairs of jeans each, according to a recent survey by Yahoo Shine!

But make a little extra space in your wardrobe for a few more pairs – and jump-start the new season.


Don’t panic if you’ve worn your favourite jeans to death – you’re already one step ahead of the new trend for lived-in, distressed denim.

“Cropped boyfriend styles have worn vintage abrasions, oversized rips and turn-ups for a relaxed and casual feel,” Thornton says.

“If you look like you’ve worn them forever, you’ve nailed the trend.”

Go one step further with embroidered patches for a bespoke vintage feel.


Skinny jeans have just got more flattering... The added feature of flattering, contrasting side panels is a welcome update.

It’s all about drawing the eye down the leg to create the illusion of slimmer pins.

Two-tone blue jeans that feature a lighter front and a darker back will also benefit from the same eye-tricking effects.

What you wear on the top-half can also add the illusion of slimness.

“Add edge to your outfit with strong and confident lines that frame skinny jeans,” suggests Thornton. “Work a monochrome look, or add bright shots for bold colour blocking.”


Inspired by the gastronomic feasts on The Great British Bake Off, pastels have taken pretty and pale to a whole new level.

“Cupcake shades of lemon, strawberry and peach jeans are decorated with sprinkles and marble patterns,” explains Thornton.

Layer your pastel denim with similar pastel shades, or go in the opposite direction and pare down the prettiness with a contrasting, rebellious black top.

Avoid flared, bootcut or baggy jeans and stick to skinny or straight-legged jeans.


Prints are no longer confined to dresses, tops and skirts – they have found their way onto denim, too.

Thornton enthuses: “Experiment with jeans featuring paint splatters, ink blots and multi-colour stripes.”

If you’re looking for a smarter effect, intricate geometrics, spot prints and laser-etched denim designs will be right up your street.

Ensure your keep your top half plain to let your loud jeans do all the shouting.


So you’re a traditionalist when it comes to denim? That’s nothing to be ashamed about – just go easy on the grungy black and dark grey denim and lighten the tone for spring.

Thornton says: “There’s a return to traditional blue denim, from distressed light washes to deep sea-blue shades that range from turquoise to ocean-surf blue.”

The fit is down to you: high-waisted, skinny, straight or bootcut. As blue is the most versatile of denim hues, anything goes.


“All jeans are essentially the same – two legs, five pockets, but the magic is in the individual fit,” Thornton says. She shares her top 10 steps to guaranteed figure flattery:

* If jeans go on easily, go down a size. Kicking into the legs isn’t unusual.

* When buying jeans with super stretch, look for good quality denim that has great memory. The ‘memory’ is how quickly the denim springs back after wear.

* When buying super stretchy jeans, buy them firm but not overly tight. If you have ‘seam strain’ down the legs, they are possibly too tight and this could damage the stretch.

* The waistband should be snug – if you can fit two fingers down the back that’s good, a whole hand is not.

* A curved, or pieced waistband, is ideal. This will be slightly higher at the back than the front and will curve into your waist rather than sit straight up.

* Apple-shaped girls should look for plenty of stretch in a straight leg and dark wash as they are the most flattering.

* Pear-shaped or curvy ladies who like skinny jeans should look at high-waisted styles – it elongates the leg and slims down the hips.

* Boyish shapes can wear most styles. Add some shape and interest with zips and details on back pockets.

* Long legs look best in a mid to low rise to keep the waist at the right height, whereas petite girls look great in a high rise that accentuates the waist and elongates the legs.

* Alterations can give you the perfect jeans. Think about adjusting the waistband or slimming the legs – small adjustments are not unusual.