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Image / Fashion

If you hate this season’s 1980s-inspired denim, then this is the trend for you


by Marie Kelly
23rd Apr 2019
If you hate this season’s 1980s-inspired denim, then this is the trend for you

There are two sides to every catwalk story, and while there was a strong denim narrative throughout the SS19 collections, it could be divided neatly into two very separate tales. You’ve probably heard far more about stonewashed, 1980s-inspired jeans this season than you have about the trend for darkly rich denim in refined silhouettes. Designers’ retro vision of denim caught everyone’s imagination; who doesn’t enjoy a bolt of nostalgia now and again? But it’s a tough look to pull off. Acid-washed denim can so easily look cheap, while the rocket man shoulders and voluminous sleeves typical of the 1980s that appeared at Balmain and Lemaire can be a tricky sartorial tightrope to tread. Dark tailored denim, however, will do you nothing but favours – it slims, it elongates and it’s suitable for the office as much as for an evening out. It won’t look dated next year when designers decide that 1980s retro is out and something else equally challenging is in. Apart from all that, Victoria Beckham wears it. That’s all I need to know.

Alexa Chung SS19

Toga SS19

Toga and Alexa Chung served up deliciously deep tones of indigo denim this season, Chung adding crisp white visible stitching for a smart point of difference. In terms of designer brands, I’ve always loved the indigo washes from J Brand and have found they’ve washed beautifully over several years, only fading evenly and gently over time. Do remember that tailored doesn’t – and more often than not, shouldn’t – mean tight. Although Beckham chose a super fitted denim two-piece, I like to feel I can breathe in my jeans, so I’m leaning towards an inky hued pair of denims with a loosely fitted silhouette (such as the pair below). The slightly more louche fit looks chic and feels a little more contemporary. I’ll pair them with white boots for now.

In April, I wear more jeans than at any other time of the year; it’s the obvious choice for these in-between months, as jeans always look seasonal but feel warm. So I try to think of different ways in which I can incorporate them into my wardrobe. A boiler suit is top of my wish list right now, and I love Yasmin Sewell’s denim waistcoat (below), especially with its slightly peplum structure – feminine but utilitarian at the same time. I’m also in the market for a button-front A-line denim skirt, a little bit 1970s, but in a midnight blue hue – fresh and modern too.

Five of the best boilersuits

Petite utility jumpsuit, €65 at River Island

Zip detail boilersuit, €59.95 at Zara

Joan black boilersuit, €70 at weekday.com

Studded denim boilersuit, Current/Elliott, €650 at net-a-porter.com

Overall jumpsuit, €99 at & Other Stories

 

 

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