Shane Watson: Why you're never too old to dazzle in denim

How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Why you’re never too old to dazzle in denim

  • Shane Watson shares advice for embracing this season’s denim trend 
  • She suggest jeans with wider legs and higher waists or a smart, straight skirt
  • British style expert reveals a selection of High Street stores offering the look 

You may feel like you’ve heard it all when it comes to denim. Blue jeans, denim jackets, jean skirts — they come around again and again and there’s not a lot more you can say.

But there’s always more to be said about denim. It’s constantly changing and shape-shifting, adapting to the mood, determined to stick at the heart of the modern woman’s wardrobe, whatever her age.

This summer your daughters will be drooling over the High Street take on Miu Miu’s collaboration with Levi’s (jewel-encrusted cut-off denim shorts and puff-sleeved embellished jackets).

Shane Watson takes inspiration from Sienna Miller (pictured) for embracing this season’s denim trend at any occasion

Meanwhile, we will be sizing up the latest denim skirts (longer), jeans (wider), denim jumpsuits (lighter and softer) or the new-look denim jacket (a blazer). And if you thought denim was only for jeans, it’s time to think again, for seven good reasons.

1 The fabric technology. It has been said that jeans fell out of favour during the past year because everyone was more comfortable in their stretchy athleisurewear. Don’t believe it. Sure, if you wear old-style ‘rigid’ denim, there are more comfortable options, but most of us have jeans with a bit of stretch that hold you in in all the right places.

Jeans can be as comfortable as exercise leggings, and they give you legs.

The sustainable brand Reformation does a high-rise, wide-leg, cropped black jean with a raw hem in super-stretch denim (£120, thereformation.com) — that’s five 2021 boxes ticked, black being the one you can take or leave. You don’t want your jeans to be so stretchy they cling, but the days of jean burns are over.

Shane said the same denim classics you wore as a teenager, you can wear now because you’re never too old to wear denim. Pictured: Emily Atack 

2 Almost everything looks cooler in denim. Given the choice between a cotton pencil skirt or a denim pencil skirt, a denim blazer over a linen blazer, it’s denim every time.

Denim makes tailoring look less smart and more sharp. Denim says ‘I happen to look crisp and pulled together but I’m denim so we’re all still relaxed and having fun.’

JEANS: THE NEW RULES 

  • Think wider legs and higher waists.
  • Avoid rigid denim, for comfort.
  • Get a raw-hemmed cropped pair in off-white.
  • Try a smart, straight, denim skirt.

For a new-look denim jacket try a fitted blazer (£185, wyse london.co.uk).

3 Denim has maximum round-the-clock wear-ability: Miuccia Prada expects her Miu Miu customers to be wearing those frayed embellished shorts on the red carpet, and I expect to be wearing my denim pencil skirt (£29.99, zara.com) with gold sandals out to dinner.

4 You’re never too old to wear denim. You could say that’s true of many things, but the same denim classics you wore as a teenager, you can wear now, and that’s a great feeling. Try a denim shirt (£37.99, gap.co.uk) or a dark denim jumpsuit (£175, iris fashion.co.uk).

5 It ages well. You can mark it and scuff it and it’ll only improve. Rips are another matter. Distressed jeans are just a bit try-hard, but a raw hem still works and stops baggier jeans looking mumsy.

6 Did we mention that the right denim can give you legs and a bum, so the search for the magic pair goes on for ever? No sooner have you found your perfect fit than styles change and the hunt begins all over again.

Shane said denim doesn’t have to be blue or black, and for now a white pair, or off-white, is useful. Pictured: Reese Witherspoon

Right now, the jeans we want are high-waisted, as in tummy-button-covering — the muffin top is a thing of the past — and looser in the leg. You can wear them snug on your thighs, but the way forward is more relaxed or wide in the leg.

A word of warning, though: don’t buy a pair of jeans just because they make your legs look good — however strange that may sound.

Flares with stretch, for example, can be distractingly flattering, but get them home and you’re faced with the old ‘When, where, with what?’ problem. You never want to have to think about how to wear your jeans. That defeats the whole point of them.

7 Remember, denim doesn’t have to be blue or black, and for now a white pair, or off-white, is useful. Zara does a straight, wide-leg style in off-white (£29.99, zara.com). These are a great way to bounce your summer wardrobe into a more glamorous place. Don’t you love a bumper denim year?

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