The stuff that jeans are made of

Bright style: yellow skinny jeans, �16; Matalan (0845 3303330)
Bright style: yellow skinny jeans, �16; Matalan (0845 3303330)
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Be gone the winter blues, the outlook for denim is looking bright.

Fashion’s favourite basic has gone all colourful. Traditional indigo is making way for pastels, prints and eye-popping hues.

Strides: of Lucy red jeans, �45; Monsoon (0203 3723000)

Strides: of Lucy red jeans, �45; Monsoon (0203 3723000)

Dive into the denim rainbow revolution with our guide...


Whereas last winter was all about dark and moody jeans, this season it’s pale and interesting.

Dolly mixture-inspired shades will be difficult to resist.

Pleasant peasant: Milan Nico jeans, �165 and peasant shirt greek stripe, �190, MiH Jeans (0207 3499030).

Pleasant peasant: Milan Nico jeans, �165 and peasant shirt greek stripe, �190, MiH Jeans (0207 3499030).

Denim boutique owner, Donna Ida Thornton ( says: “As seen on the catwalks, pastels are so fresh for spring. From acid colours of sharp lemon to pretty mint shades and soft candy tones, it’s time to embrace a sugar-sweet denim palette.”

HOW TO WEAR THEM: Think vintage chic and team with blouses and pointed courts.


Made for exhibitionists, denims in eye-catching prints will be making their mark.

Patterns will range from floral to tropical and even aquatic.

Says Thornton: “Animal print will appear on jeans, too. Leopard or snake prints will come in faded pastel denim shades of mint, blue or rose.”

HOW TO WEAR THEM: Let these show-stopping jeans do all the work by throwing on a plain white tee and flats for daytime, or black vest and heels in the evening.


Colour-block brights, which dazzled throughout 2011, are going nowhere fast. Red jeans are vying with traditional blues as THE denim staple.

Thornton says: “There’s no escaping the rainbow of shades which will be hitting the denim boutiques.

“Hot pinks, cobalt blues and aquamarine look stunning in skinny jeans shapes.”

HOW TO WEAR THEM: Be brave and complete the colour block look with a top in a similar shade, or contrast with a metallic tee.


Hello instant leg lengtheners! Check out stripy denim.

“Stripes will abound, in contrasting colours, thick stripes or pinstripes,” Thornton suggests.

“Wear them skinny and cropped for a fresh take on nautical.”

HOW TO WEAR THEM: Keep the look fresh and maritime-inspired with washed-out colours like creams, pale blues and faded reds.


If you can’t bear to be parted from your blues, step into summer with a pair of cropped jeans.

They are perfect for shoe addicts, too – as they throw the emphasis on your footwear. Team them with anything from ballet pumps to ankle boots.

Thornton says: “If the new denim hue is colour, colour, colour, then the new shape for spring is the crop.

“The look is mid-rise, straight-legged and ankle-length.”

HOW TO WEAR THEM: Pair with a crisp shirt for a clean and modern look.


A FLATTERING cut is even more important if you’re planning to wear pale, bright or print jeans.

Avoid denim dilemmas with these top tips:

Staple jeans aren’t something to splurge on without a serious test-run. Jean sizes can vary between brands and stores, so hit the changing rooms.

Decide if you want to wear your new jeans with heels or flats (or both) and take your shoes with you to get the length just right.

If you’re buying online, look to a site like, which has an application to find the best brands to suit your shape.

Back pocket placement is all-important. Check out those mirrors; pockets set wide apart can add width to your bottom. Pockets set close can create the illusion of a compact bum and pockets that tilt outward can create curves.

A bootcut hem can balance out big hips and thighs. Pair with towering platforms to create the illusion of supermodel-length pins.

Opt for a Seventies-style crease if you want to draw attention away from your hips and lengthen your legs.

If you have a petite or boyish shape, straight-leg jeans will give you a more defined outline.

Jeans that come mid to high-rise on the body are usually the most flattering cuts for skinny jeans. Steer clear of low-rise if it’s going to mean you’re exposing your underwear every time you bend down.