AN old faithful was back on the spring/summer catwalks in a big way... designers can’t get enough of denim again.
But don’t simply reach for your old jeans.
They may be your comfort and joy, but denim is moving up a gear.
It is being worked up into skirts, suits and tailored jackets – and don’t expect just a sea of blue, either...
The canvas has undergone a summer spruce-up and is set to appear as crisp whites and pastel brights.
Dust off your flares - bell-bottoms are the silhouette of the season.
But while the average circumference of a bell-bottom in the Seventies was a whopping 26inches, this year’s hemlines are much easier to manage and won’t have you looking like a Woodstock throwback.
There are lots of different shapes and colurs, too.
“There are so many options depending on how much flare you want to add to your step,” says Wendy Montgomery, founder of Raw Denim Bar (www.therawdenimbar.co.uk).
“You can go super-Seventies with a high waist and true blue wash or opt for a modified low-rise flare, which gives a kick flare but without the commitment to roller skates, feathered hair and incense.”
If the flare isn’t for you, loose-fitting boyfriend jeans have been updated with a slimmer cut and cargo pants are sticking around with well-positioned pockets and zips that give the illusion of smaller thighs.
Fans of the skinny jean need not despair, either. This year’s version is cut shorter at the ankle, which is a great way to show off a glam sandal.
Block brights are one of this season’s breakaway trends and denim hasn’t escaped the colour make-over.
“For spring, we’ll see more coloured denim,” Montgomery reveals.
“There’s still the military-inspired green and red trend we saw for autumn, but there’s also an introduction of softer colours like mushroom, vintage white, pale green and blush pink.”
White is another summer alternative to traditional blue. And wear your coloured jeans chic and neat in skinnies, ankle crops or cute capris.
From playful dresses to smart cuts, you’ll be able to wear denim seven days a week.
“It’s denim everything!” Montgomery says. “Dresses, blazers and tops – everything was showing up in denim on the spring runways.
“Add a denim dress or jacket to your wardrobe. A denim trench-style dress is a versatile mix of both - be bold and wear it open over slim pants and a T-shirt, or wear it buttoned up for work.”
For a softer look, stick to pale blue chambray, which has more fluidity and movement than stiffer denim fabrics.
Last year’s ‘double denim’ trend is still around, but this spring it’s less obvious. Your denim pieces should be in the same wash tones for a smarter top-to-toe look.
FINDING THE PERFECT PAIR
With so many styles to choose from, seeking out your dream jeans can be a minefield.
“But there are perfect jeans for everyone regardless of shape and size so don’t give up,” Montgomery urges. She offers her tips for finding your ideal fit:
Not every style works for everyone, so be honest with yourself and look for the cuts that work on your shape. Once you find them, stick with the shape, but perhaps try new washes.
Women who want to elongate short legs should look for high-waisted or mid-rise jeans. Low rise tends to make short legs appear stumpier.
If you’re pear-shaped, pockets and extra detail on the thighs can draw attention to the wrong areas.
The fit in the waistband is essential for jeans. All other areas - hips, thighs etc - will give and get more comfortable as you wear them.
Try on jeans with different shoes and heel heights to find the best way to wear them. A great skinny is your go-to jean because it can be worn with flats, boots and heels. A bootcut can look great with chunky heels and can be shortened to wear with a kitten heel or flip-flops. Flares will go well with wedges but try them shortened with flat sandals for a summer style update.
Look for the styles that have special technology like Xfit Lycra which gives an amazing fit, but also retains its shape. Say goodbye to saggy knees!