THE BIG DENIM EDIT

Jeans are probably the thing I get asked about most. Other than ‘Are the Grenson Nanette boots true to size?’  Yes, yes they are, and yes they do stretch a bit so don’t panic if they feel tight across the top at first. Now that the shops are shut it makes it even trickier to find the perfect pair of jeans. but everyone’s perfect pair is different, some might swear by their faithfull skinnies, some prefer a baggier fit, some people are living in the past and still think those twisted seam Levis are acceptable attire and refuse to get rid of them, This is just my husband, but we’ve already established he’s got many many fashion foibles and should not be called upon for any opinions regarding how to dress.

I’m not here to tell you which style will suit you best, by process of elimination you probably know that already. I’ll just give you an overview of what’s around now and my personal favourites. One thing I will say is unless you’re super skinny and have not a hint of fat around your belly, steer clear of anything low rise. Thank god the low rise trend is pretty much over, but word to the wise, a low waistband will cause a muffin top. If you go for medium or, ideally, high rise jeans, they will reduce the chance of an unsightly overhang without having to go on any kind of diet.

As this is a denim edit and not just jeans, I have added a section on Denim Shirts and Jumpsuits. If you’re looking for Dungarees check back on that post from a few weeks back.

STRAIGHT LEG JEANS

Left to right, 3 of my favourite pairs of jeans, Whistles Hollie, River Island Blair (although they don’t sell this exact pair anymore), Top Shop Editor

Let’s kick proceedings off with my favourite style of jeans. The Straight leg. My ideal pair would be 100% cotton, no stretch, high waisted (to tuck the stomach into, believe me, it works. bit like a modern day corset ,which is why you need to go for non-stretch denim), slightly cropped and with a an exposed button front. Don’t know why i like the button front look, I just do. I gravitate towards it all the time. But I am a creature of habit and I do the repeat buying the same thing, but slightly different, all the time.

Case in point is these Whistles Hollie jeans. I have them in blue denim and washed black and if they were to bring them out in White or Dark denim, I’d buy them too as I know they fit well and the style suits me. No shame in sticking with what you know. So long as it’s not that Princess Di feathered hairstyle you got complimented on once when you were 11 and never let go, see also Twilight teaser lipstick and Body Shop Dewberry perfume. Time to move on people. My other two favourite Straight Leg Jeans on the High Street are the River Island ‘Blair’ Jeans and the TopShop Editor Jeans.

1. Mango Zip Up Stripe Sweater
2. APC Betty Smooth Leather Handbag
3. White Stuff Oversized Colour Block Trench Coat
4. Whistles Hollie Straight Leg Cropped Jeans
5. Sezane Jack Eyelet Sneakers 

MOM/BOYFRIEND JEANS

I used to live in Boyfriend jeans in the 90’s. Not actually my boyfriends jeans, just jeans bought from the men’s department and worn with a belt. I liked them loose and baggy. It was a thing. I also liked boys with lots of  tattoos and drinking Hooch down at the Camden Underworld on a Friday night. Back then I didn’t have a muffin top to tuck into my high rise jeans, oh no, back then I wore crop tops and sometimes even just a sports bra. I blame Gwen Stefani.

Those days are gone, but I do still like a looser fit jean now and again. Luckily fashion caught up with women wanting this style and now makes Boyfriend jeans made to actually fit ladies. The ‘Mom’ jean is a similar style but they tend to be higher of waist and more tapered. The name sounds awful but they are actually quite flattering. Particularly good if you have hips but a smaller waist. I find that H&M do the best of this style on the High Street. Really good denim for the price.

1. Whistles Cord Single Breasted Blazer
2. & Other Stories Check Frill Collar Shirt (I have this and it’s lovely and soft)
3. Hush Orisa Boyfriend Jeans
4. Topshop Stone Knitted Jumper
5. Mint Velvet Greta Chelsea Boots 

BLACK SKINNY JEANS

There was a time when skinny jeans were a groundbreaking new fad, probably pioneered by La Moss, who always looks amazing in skinny black jeans. I’m going back to around 1999 when TopShop started selling their Baxter Jeans. Sidebar, I hope that TopShop does get bought out by someone and that they can get back to being a leader of the UK High Street like they were before. Minus their very dubious leader. It did sadden me when I heard of the closing of the Flagship Oxford Street Store.

That place holds so many memories for me as I’m sure it does for many of you. It was always the meeting point for Saturday shopping expeditions when I was still living at home. Later,  when I went to London College Of Fashion, which was right next door, I spent pretty much all of my student loan on clothes from there. Even later still, It would always be the place I went for a wee before having meetings at the BBC. Also, where will bored boyfriends sit now if not for the bench at the front?

Having said all that, and I do usually advocate High Street Denim, It’s worth spending a bit more on your skinny jeans. You really only need one black pair so I would advise going the extra mile to get the best denim. Cheap stretchy jeans have a tendency to bag at the knee and the bum, and no-one wants a saggy wrinkly bum. Check out The Outnet for good designer denim bargains.

1. New Look Dog Tooth Overshirt
2. John Lewis Leather Camera Bag
3. Christopher Kane More Joy Sweatshirt
4. 7 For All Mankind Slim High Waist Jeans
5. Saint and Sofia Noho Black Leather Lace Up Boots 

WIDE LEG JEANS

Now, if you’re planning on getting into the 70’s trend you will need a good pair of wide leg jeans. Yes, the 70s are back again. See last weeks Tank Top blog for case in point. They say you shouldn’t go back to styles from era’s you’ve already lived through. I think is true for those god awful 90’s denim trends, but I was but a small child in the 70s so I’m happy to try these styles out. Word on the street is that a good high waisted wide leg pair of jeans can be slimming as they balance out your top half and make your legs look longer, especially if you are brave enough to go with a block heel sandal. I’m aware not many of us are wearing heels right now, but they just looked so good with this outfit I had to throw them in there.

1. Paloma Wool Tycho Wave Puffer Jacket
2. & Other Stories Croc Embossed Small Leather Bag
3. Retro Stevie Nicks T Shirt
4. Sandro Wide Leg Jeans
5. Esska Valerie Copper BLock Heel Sandals 

DENIM SHIRTS

Pretty sure I’ve done at least one post if the usefulness of a good denim shirt, they go with all trousers and I don’t have any issues with double denim either. All I would say is, try and mix up your denim hues if you’re going go for the full Canadian Tuxedo look and don’t, whatever you do add a denim jacket on top of your double denim. That’s just taking things to whole other level. In fact, if you want to play it safe, wear you denim shirt with your black jeans.

1. & Other Stories Ruffled Denim Shirt
2. H&M Soft Cotton Denim Shirt
3. M&S Peter Pan Frill Collar Shirt
4. Isabel Marant Ruffle Trim Denim Blouse
5. & Other Stories Large Collar Denim Shirt
6. Monki Puff Sleeve Denim Shirt 

DENIM JUMPSUITS

Just ending on the denim boilersuit, because I’m on an eternal quest to find THE perfect one. One that’s both flattering without being clingy anywhere. One that works as well with boots and poloneck in the winter as it does with sleeves rolled up and trainers in the summer. A few years back I thought I had hit paydirt with one from Next, but there’s now no give in the belly department and the bottom popper popped off. My only advice with jumpsuits is to go up one size. better to be too loose than too tight.

1. Hush Joanie Denim Boiler Suit
2. Monki Soft Long Sleeve Stripe Top
3. Cos Oversized Parka Coat
4. Nike Blazer Mid 77 Trainers 

It’s February tomorrow! Praise be! That’s one month closer to perhaps being able to wear your denim out of the house…

Kate x