The Denim Details


Denim is more popular now, with its fresh silhouettes, vintage dyes, new lengths and surface treatment, you can style it in so many ways.  But if you still think of denim as the original Levi's sold to Western laborers and gold miners, keep reading as Nancy explains the fresh take on the tried and true indigo blue.

What makes quality denim? Is it the strength of the fibers, the weave, the shade of the wash, or something else?

Selvedge Japanese denim, known for its premium construction and the skilled, artisanal craft required to make it, is some of the most sought after denim, but sometimes, the best isn’t the most attractive, comfortable or, as in this case, affordable.
Selvedge Denim
With that said, construction, fabric and detail to fit makes for quality denim. Washes, shades and colors of denim all change from season to season, year to year.
Jil Sander Selvedged Denim Jil Sander Denim Skirt

What styles of denim are trending this season/year?

The sport influence is driving fashion, and denim is part of that movement. More relaxed fits, easier legs, even flairs, washes and distressed fabrics are key. By the way, by relaxed I don’t mean sloppy, I mean not fitted to every part of your body. 
Bianca Kini Denim Skirt Bianca Denver Bootcut Jean
Eileen Fisher High-low Tencel Buttondown Eileen Fisher Bateau Neck Box Sweater
Dresses, skirts, shirts, and jackets have also reappeared on the fashion runways, in some ways there is a vintage air about the look, but it must reflect, or be paired with the current trend to not look dated.

When is the best time to wear denim?

Okay you asked, so here it is:
 When it is respectful of where you’re going, what you’re doing and/or who you are with.
 Only wear jeans if they flatter your figure.
I do believe jeans are so often worn as a fashion copout. Why?  So often they are worn with the “that’s what everyone wears” mentality and you know, in your heart of hearts, it’s not the best choice for the occasion, event, or your body. It reminds me of what my mother, who does wear denim now and then, used to say about jumping off a bridge!
And, no, not everything works with a pair of jeans, and, yes, you do need more than one style of jeans.  To look great, you need to spend time putting your looks together for casual and dressy casual looks.  Just to be clear dressy casual is as far as denim is going to take you. Likewise, with other denim silhouette pairings, it’s all about the event or occasion and how your look is making your statement.

Denim is sometimes considered a more casual look or something you throw on when you’re running errands or working in the yard. How do you dress up denim?  

I think what is more to the point is what is appropriate for the occasion/event.  If, in fact, denim is the right thing to wear, then the right pieces to wear with it is determined by the denim style itself. Outfit yourself as you would a dress pant, with attention to weight, texture, style and fit. Stay true to your body type and color preferences.  Again, if denim is appropriate, put it together as you would any other fabric in your closet to make the statement you want to make to your audience. One caution however, the best denim looks are not “outfit” looking.

What are the best summer tops to pair with denim?

Bianca Melbourne Jean Eileen Fisher Denim Cropped Jacket
There is nothing better with denim in the summer than crisp white. A classic or updated white tee. A white long sleeve cotton or linen cut and sewn shirt, sleeves rolled, and unbuttoned to reveal a little more décolletage. Add a white tank if needed and unbutton a little lower.
Natural and linen colors also give denim a light, airy and very chic look. Add a caramel or camel sandals and stacked delicate necklaces, bracelets, or BOTH!
Frieda Rothman Marc Cain Jeans
Color looks great with denim, but keep the silhouette simple and complete with earthy, semiprecious stone or natural leather jewelry to ground it.

How do you wear denim in the spring and summer? Should you opt for a lightweight denim top or dress or stick with jeans?

Any denim piece, as long as the fabric weight permits, can be worn in the spring or summer.  In the case of a lightweight top you just may want to leave a button or two undone, scrunch a sleeve or if they’re jeans try rolling up a leg. Like any other fabric, the season you’re wearing it in determines how you put it together. Wear your denim pieces with lighter weight fabrics and silhouettes. Denim should be your blank canvas, everything you wear with it should be the focus, and those pieces should speak to each other.

When styling with denim, is it best to limit the amount of denim in your look? Do you think head to toe denim is ever ok?

Generally, denim is at its’ best when worn with other fabrics and textures; however, with careful attention to acquiring an effortless look, mixing of denims to create one cohesive statement is achievable.
 
 Nancy’s innate sense of style is reflected in her ability to delve beyond the surface to perfect true style.  With over 30 years in Fort Wayne’s fashion retail landscape, she focuses her artistic tendencies towards cutting edge, high fashion interpretations to deliver distinctive style. Her greatest reward, the glow of understated confidence her clients exude.  You can learn more from Nancy here.
 

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