Denim: The Ultimate Style Guide
“Denim is a love that never fades” – Elo Fiorucci
Confession: I’m a little bit obsessed with denim.
It’s my version of the little black dress – except better. Because denim’s beauty lies in its versatility: heading out to lunch? I pop on jeans and a tshirt. Wanting to add a bit of edge to my outfit? Throw on my denim jacket. No idea what to wear? Well hello there denim jumpsuit. The options are endless…
As effortless, easy and comfortable as denim is to wear, finding the right pieces can be anything but. Denim is ubiquitous to the point of overwhelming. And don’t even get me started on the emotional rollercoaster of trying on jeans…
But don’t let that put you off. Because when you do find those perfect pieces, your wardrobe will be eternally thanking you. And at The Bias Cut, we’ve done all the searching for you and put together this handy guide so you can reap all the rewards of denim without enduring any of the pain in the process.
Jeans come with a whole dictionary of their own: high rise, low rise, skinny, mom, boyfriend, girlfriend… So where to start?
First the rise.
All jeans are either high waisted/rise, medium waisted/rise or low waisted/rise, and which are best for you will depend on your shape.
High Rise / Waist: This highly flattering jean sits at or just above the navel and is ideal if you’re looking to accentuate your waist whilst tucking in your tummy and hips. It offers shape, structure and support, and doesn’t result in any rolls. There was a scramble over our High Waisted Milo Jean at our photoshoot – true story.
Medium Rise/ Waist This rise is considered the most universally flattering. It sits just around the navel and, if you carry a little more weight around you middle, this is a great jean for you. It will give you shape and a smooth line around your waist without accentuating your tummy. Try our Nelly Skinny Jean for this cut.
Low Rise / Waist: The low rise is probably the trickiest jean to wear. It sits a few inches below the navel and are ideal if you’re on the slender side, looking to create more feminine curves around hour hips.
Next the cut.
There are a myriad of cuts out there, but the key ones are skinny, straight, bootcut, flared, boyfriend, girlfriend and mom.
Skinny – according to Gen Z, skinny jeans are out. Well I beg to differ. The skinny jean has a permanent place in my wardrobe – they show off your legs, go with everything, and can be particularly slimming when in a medium to dark blue, or black wash.
To keep it fresh, simply switch up your styling by trying a more voluminous top to play with proportions. And when looking for a skinny jean, opt for one that includes small % of elastane as it will add comfort, such as our Nelly Skinny Jean.
Bootcut vs Flared – The bootcut jean flares out slightly at the ankle, whereas the flared jean widens out just below the knee. The flare definitely makes more of a statement, and looks particularly good on those who carry more weight around their hips as they balance out your proportions. Conversely the bootcut is more subtle, but it’s more universally flattering and lengthening.
Straight – straight cut jeans are becoming increasingly popular at the moment, and it’s easy to see why. They’re super flattering as they skim straight over the waist and hips, and also ooze a more relaxed, effortless vibe compared to the skinny. I’m adore our High Waisted Milo Jean – it’s slighting cropped which makes it extra lengthening (or if you’re short like me, it comes up full length saving, money on getting it turned up!)
Boyfriend, girlfriend & mom: The boyfriend jean is the most loose and baggy jean– essentially it’s supposed to look like you’ve put on your partner’s own jeans. If you prefer a slightly more feminine take, opt for the girlfriend jean which is a slightly slimmer version; its tighter and higher on the hip with a tapered straight leg. And finally the mom jean - a high waisted jean with a baggy fit around the bottom and thighs. A staple of the 80s and early 90s, they’re a bit of a love or hate style. But if you fancy channelling a more retro look, give them a go!
Top Tip: Jeans should be tight when you first try them on because they will stretch. So if they’re too comfortable when you first put them on, go down a size.
The Denim Jacket
If you’re looking for a cover up that adds attitude, then the denim jacket is the perfect choice. It goes with pretty much everything, and has a casual nonchalance that will never go out of style.
In the 90s, the oversized denim jacket was all the range, so opt for a more fitted style for a more modern take. Personally I love a denim jacket with a print too as it sets you apart from the crowd. I love our polka dot Cyprus Jacket as it clashes quirk with cool.
Alternatively, make a real fashion-forward statement with a denim trench. Our Denim Trench – as seen in The Independent’s “4 Fresh Ways To Wear A Denim Jacket This Season” is just the ticket.
Denim Top To Toe
Double denim is cool. I know, you probably think I’ve lost the plot but trust me. This isn’t about channelling the 80s or an (iconic) Britney look. This is about pulling together contrasting cuts, tones and textures to create a thoroughly modern outfit.
Try pairing crisp cut jeans with a floaty denim blouse, or mixing together different shades. This will break up your outfit and create shape so you don’t just look like a walking block of denim.
Another option is to try a denim jumpsuit. I have two in my wardrobe and I wear them so often. They’re comfortable, cool and best of all I just put on one and I’m ready to go. No extra effort needed. I particularly love our Stretch Denim Princess Jumpsuit – the dark blue wash is very flattering, and the puffed shoulders add femininity, taking it from utilitarian to sophisticated chic.
If you see me out and about, I'll probably be wearing our Stretch Denim Princess Jumpsuit!
Looking after your denim
The most important thing to remember with denim is to limit how much you wash it. If the garment is freshly dyed, you may want to wash it first to remove any excess residue that can stain. But after that, experts recommend only washing denim once every 10 wears; any more often and you risk it losing its fit and fading.
If there’s a stain, try to spot clean it, rather than put in the washing machine. And if you simply want to remove odours, freeze your denim rather than wash it to kill the odour producing germs.
When you do wash your denim, turn your denim inside out and set the temperature to cold. This prevents the denim from fading and shrinking. Then leave it to air dry in the shade.
By following these steps, you’ll get the most out of your denim, whilst simultaneously reducing your energy consumption and environmental impact. It’s a win win.