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  • Back to basics

    Denim Dressing

    It’s impossible to discuss sartorial staples without celebrating the ultimate basic and one of the hardest-working elements of our wardrobes – denim.

    Words by Frankie Graddon
    Photographs by Eva K Salvi

    Though perfect-fit skinnies are a closet go-to, the versatility of denim means it’s well worth expanding your collection. Reach for classic silhouettes such as midi skirts, tailored jackets and flared trousers, realised in timeless indigo, camel or white. Limitless styling options mean these pieces will be on heavy rotation for years to come, taking you from weekend to work to evening. Laura, Petro and Deborah show you how. 

    THE DENIM SKIRT

     

    “I love the fluidity of this skirt, which lends itself beautifully to the full, midi silhouette. The wide belt is also a considered touch, cinching in at the waist to flattering effect. An all-season appeal means I’ll be reaching for this piece year round, layering it with knits and knee-high boots in cold weather, and switching to blouses and sandals in summer.”

    THE BOYFRIEND JEAN

     

    “A boyfriend cut has long been my go-to jean style, so I like the idea of freshening it up with a crisp, white hue. This pair is made from soft, lightweight denim, which hangs well and doesn’t add bulk. I’ll be playing on the slouchy, masculine aesthetic by pairing these with oversized white shirting and a tux blazer. How to master relaxed elegance.” 

    THE DENIM DRESS

     

    “I consider the denim dress a true staple in my wardrobe because it can be dressed up or down effortlessly. When looking for one, stick to classic indigo and steer away from excessive detailing, which will quickly date. I love the belt on this iteration, which is flattering and adds a polished edge. Leather boots and a suede jacket make for a grown-up look.”

    THE DENIM BOILER SUIT

     

    “A one-step dressing solution, the denim jumpsuit is well worth including in your collection. Look for styles made by denim-wear brands, as proportions and detailing tend to be more considered. The success of this one lies in the statement sleeves, versatile carrot-shaped leg and perfect indigo shade. Layer with a fine merino roll neck, or slip a classic white T-shirt underneath, and unbutton the collar.”

    THE DENIM JACKET

     

    “For me, the perfect cover-up is a denim jacket; my well-loved, well-worn collection harks back to when I was 16! A kimono is a fresh spin on the classic silhouette, and I love how deep-indigo denim renders the feminine Japanese shape architectural. I’ll be wearing it with elegant tailored trousers or using it as a foil against romantic ruffles and printed skirts.” 

    THE ’70s FLARE

     

    “Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era because I love the ’70s look, especially the denim flare. Universally flattering, the key to finding the right pair is to look for styles that are cut snug over the thigh, gently flaring from the knee down. Embrace the retro spirit and team with a ribbed roll neck or silky blouse and platform heels – an easy in-between-seasons outfit.” 

    THE DENIM TROUSER

     

    “On occasions where jeans won’t cut it, I like to reach for denim that has been given a sophisticated tailored spin, and Trave Denim is my go-to brand. These high-waisted trousers come in a classic camel hue, with a front pleat and chic button detailing, making them the ultimate smart-casual piece. Team with elevated shirting and sleek leather accessories.” 

     

    DOUBLE DENIM 

     

    “Double denim used to be a fashion faux pas, but I love the idea of mixing and matching different tones and washes for a head-to-toe look. I’ve kept the silhouette elongated with a slim skirt and fitted denim shirt, adding an ’80s twist with an oversized houndstooth blazer and stacked heel boots. Think modern-day Annie Hall.”  

    THE DENIM SHIRT

     

    “The denim shirt is a true hero in my wardrobe and something I reach for every season. I always opt for styles in lightweight denim, which are easier to layer, and love looking for iterations with a twist, such as this pussy-bow number. I’ll wear this underneath a cashmere crew neck with the tie peaking out, and add hints of leather to give it an edge.” 

    THE DENIM CARE GUIDE

     

    Over-washing denim will cause it to lose shape. Spot-clean stains and use refreshing fabric spray instead of throwing it in the machine. 

     

    If you do need to machine wash, fasten buttons and zips, turn your denim inside out and wash on a cool temperature to preserve the colour. 

     

    Eschew the tumble dryer and instead air-dry denim to help avoid shrinkage and maintain good fit. Keep out of direct sunlight, which can fade colour. 

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