It’s Not All in the Jeans

So the sun is out and oops, it turns out suede is the least practical fabric on the planet when you actually have to move about and eat and do stuff (if you don’t do any of that then it’s fine). And don’t even think about suede and small children because suede stains really easily doesn’t it (greasy little fingers = agghhh!) and the cost of getting it dry cleaned is prohibitive and well, you might as well go and buy the flippin’ suede item all over again rather than pay to dry clean it. Back in the day I had a suede mini skirt bought from TK Maxx for about £15. I loved it but as clean and careful as I was, eventually it had to be washed. I was quoted £25 so I ended up putting it in the washing machine. I know, I know, but I weighed it up and decided it had had a good innings and all that. The suede mini skirt came out resembling a chamois leather kept in the dashboard of a monster truck.

You think the long coat will protect your M&S skirt Alexa, but it won't!

You think the long coat will protect your M&S skirt Alexa, but it won’t

I hope you didn’t fork out two hundred smackers for the infamous M&S suede maxi skirt because quite apart from the washing issue, it’s really rather warm for suede when you get to mid afternoon in London isn’t it? It was a good and extremely stylish idea for about three weeks somewhere around mid March (although again, not if you have toddlers). Don’t worry though because I’m not just going to rain on your suede, that would be churlish, after all I did rave about it not so long ago and just this morning found myself dribbling at a stunning pink suede duster coat in Warehouse.

The answer dear reader, is denim. Before you throw up your hands in despair that I’m going to harp on about flares again (although I AM right about them, aren’t I?) I’m not talking about jeans, it’s the other denim stuff; the dresses, jumpsuits and jackets you can’t move for at the moment. Now, there will be a window for this too because currently in London at least, we are enjoying warm weather but it’s really chilly in the mornings and this is where denim is so perfect.

Look how much happier Alexa Chung is now in her machine washable denim dress!

Look how much happier Alexa Chung is now in her machine washable denim dress!

Unlike jeans, denim dresses, skirts and jumpsuits are more office appropriate as they can be worn with smarter pieces for a groomed look. Equally, you can easily dress down the look for the weekend or after work. It’s easy to clean, ageless, and as long as you get the right fit for you, flattering too. Quick, take your suede back, exchange for denim!

Dresses

There are heaps of these on the high street at the mo and in all sorts of shapes, lengths, colours and weights. Go for belted if you prefer a nipped in waist or the tunic look over the top of trousers or shorts. Tights, no tights, boots, no boots, done up to the neck, worn open with a camisole underneath – the options are endless. Just don’t do the shapeless version unless you are built like a little boy.

Dress £42 at Miss Selfridge

Dress £42 at Miss Selfridge

Skirts

I’ve had my eye on this M&S skirt for months now but it sold out very quickly. However they have replenished and the reviews (should you ever be bored enough to read such a thing) range from young ‘uns to a lady in her seventies who claims to have worn a similar style in her youth and loved it so much she has worn it ever since. I’m getting me one to wear with daft impractical shoes and a skinny top. Imagine the cost per wear if I wore it until I was seventy! Due to the distinctive pockets, probably best to avoid if you’re on the hippy side.

Skirt £35 at M&S

Skirt £35 at M&S

Jackets

This coat style by Zara is really unusual and will dress up a casual daytime outfit. Denim jackets are a staple as far as I’m concerned because they go with absolutely everything. I have always had one as a go-to cover up for the summer months, but this year they are a must-have item for everyone. Word of warning though: my boyfriend and I met up for a date once and were both in our blue denim jackets. I thought it funny (secret desire to be the Beckhams?), he did not. It was just the one drink at the pub that evening.

Coat £89.99 at Zara

Coat £89.99 at Zara

Tops

Not such a commonplace item this, but handy if you can find one. Denim looks great with any colour and any fabric so you’ll always get your money’s worth even if you find it’s not as relevant next year. A lovely cover-up on the beach over a bikini and if you can save yourself the money and steal a denim shirt belonging to a bloke in your family, even better.

Shirt £24.99 at H&M

Shirt £24.99 at H&M

Top £19.99 at Mango

Top £19.99 at Mango

 

 

 

 

 

Trousers

No not jeans, we all know about them. These slouchy yet rather elegant looking trousers are off-puttingly called ‘joggers’ on the high street but they are far from being something you run around the common or visit Homebase in. Wear with heels and a chic little top and you have the perfect office outfit. Obviously, the fabric is not strictly denim as it is much softer and more lightweight but it looks like denim and will be gorgeous to wear even when it gets really hot.

Trousers £55 at Banana Republic

Trousers £55 at Banana Republic

Accessories

If you fear looking like a denim sofa, then punctuate your look with denim instead. I’ve had a good look and it’s not just the shoes, hat and bag I’ve included here that you can invest in. Hair pieces, socks and even cushions come in denim this season.

Converse £45 at Kurt Geiger

Converse £45 at Kurt Geiger

These lovely cheap denim accessories will look fabulous paired with the white eyelet pieces that are all over the high street and are a good way to dress down for daytime.

Tote bag £14 at Forever21

Tote bag £14 at Forever21

If I hadn’t just bought the unbelievably comfortable denimy jumpsuit from Forever 21, I’d get this tote too. The whole lot together might be pushing it I think…

Hat £7.99 at New Look

Hat £7.99 at New Look

This hat is too cute and if I didn’t have such an unfeasibly large head, this would be my answer to bad hair days. I may buy one for my son instead. We’re lazy about our hair in my house so we love a hat. And this is less of a statement than the gold crown the little man is insisting on wearing to school this week. Well, if the boyfriend won’t do his n’ hers denim then maybe my son will.

http://www.missselfridge.com

http://www.marksandspencer.com

http://www.zara.com

http://www.hm.com

http://www.mango.com

http://www.bananarepublic.co.uk

http://www.kurtgeiger.com

http://www.newlook.com

http://www.forever21.com

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About aftercarrie

I help people refine their wardrobe to suit their shape, colouring and lifestyle. I am a style consultant, personal shopper and colour analyst working in London. Be the loveliest possible you. My first book SHOPPED was released on 5th July 2016 (September Publishing). www.emilystott.net
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