Fashion

5 ways to wear denim this season

Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and denim.

Though trends change, some things are timeless – like denim. But how to style denim? As one of the most versatile and enduring fabrics in fashion, denim has had many iterations over the years.

Birthed in Nîmes, France, by serge de Nîmes, what is now a wardrobe staple began as a cotton twill cloth made of wool and silk. As for denim’s magnum opus – jeans – the moniker dates back to 1567 when merchant sailors from Genoa, Italy, described the tough twill trousers as “genoese” or “genes”.

In the 20th century, denim evolved from utilitarian workwear to a symbol of youth’s rebellion against authority. When pop culture icons like Marlon Brando and James Dean embraced blue jeans in the 1950s, they popularised denim for the mainstream. Around the same time, double denim was sported by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. And so it was solidified, denim was cool.

Denim evolved over the years, as is customary for fashion trends. The 1990s and 2000s were awash with low-rise skinny jeans and skirts. But double denim wasn’t going anywhere for the time being, especially when Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears arrived to the 2001 American Music Awards positively drenched in the stuff.

But so timeless is denim that it has never truly escaped the fashion zeitgeist, it has merely transformed. Now, for instance, wide-legged jeans and long denim skirts are in vogue. And while high-waisted jeans monopolised the 2010s, the cyclical nature of fashion means that low- and mid-rise have made a comeback.

So, how to style denim for 2023? Here are five different ideas on making sure your denim look is on-trend – from a fashion expert.

01

The jeans

Neuw, Mica straight jeans, $189.95

“Whether your jean style is baggy, straight leg, etc, there is no getting around the fact you must try many pairs on in all shapes and sizes to find your perfect pair,” says fashion stylist producer and editor, Emma Riermersma. “This can be an arduous task, but it’s worth the work. Remember, even the firmest denim has a little room to relax, so a little tighter is better but you must be comfortable!”

02

The skirt

Boho Bird, Dusty Footprints skirt, $139.95

“The never fail option if you don’t like wearing pants or like to mix it up is the denim skirt,” says Emma. “From the mini to the trending midi/maxi denim skirt, there are many styles and lengths available. I especially love a denim skirt for a casual, comfortable, effortless style with a tank and trainers. Pair it with a jacket such as a chic blazer, or try an athleisure-style spray jacket.”

03

The denim shirt

H&M, Oversized denim shirt, $119

“Oversized everything is a current style trend that I am happy to adhere to, as it’s also a classic look,” says the fashion stylist. An oversized denim shirt is a great wardrobe staple, which you can style for comfort. Wear it over slim or straight leg pants for the most flattering proportions. Or pair it with any style pant, by wearing a slim fitting tank underneath and leave the denim shirt open as a lightweight jacket. Throw it over bathers at the beach or belt it up and put on some heels for a sassy mini dress.”

04

The dress

Basque, denim midi shirt dress, $169.95 $89

“For one of the easiest throw on looks, you can’t go past the denim dress,” says the producer. “There are so many of our favourite brands this season delivering next level comfort and style in one. Style it up for a night out or throw on a casual sandal for the kid’s weekend sport!”

01

The denim jacket

AERE, denim jacket, $160

“Your must-have wardrobe fundamental is the jean jacket which can be worn time after time over a slip dress, to daring double denim,” says the editor. I am a very big fan of the denim duo, but if you are not outgoing with your style it can be daunting. A successful formula is mixing 2 coloured denims (blue denim jean / white denim jacket) or going for similar denim tones for the most fashionable outcome. Try breaking it up with a coloured top or a striped shirt and remember, fashion is all about having fun and expressing your creative-side, so try something new!”

Related stories