A material's world: The new denim collections dazzle with diversity

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Reworked 1980s

Seen at Balmain

Only a few seasons ago distressed denim was an unforgivable style crime, but now designers have gone crazy for stone- and acid-washed jeans. Mango has a great selection of 1980s-style skinnies for spring, including a bleached black pair ( £45, www.mango.com). Likewise, River Island's denim section is coming into its own with its snowy-washes - their snowy-wash dress is a great option to take you through spring to summer (£49.99, www.riverisland.com).Asos' fun floral print style jeans (£28, www.asos.com) are super-sweet and will work for either a 1950s or 1980s vibe, while pre-ripped and ultra-bleached, Earnest Sewn's skinnies are perfect for showing off slim legs (£165, www.selfridges.com).

Relaxed fits

Seen at Danielle Scutt

With so many skintight cuts about, thank heavens there are a few styles that give room to breathe. The slim (as opposed to skinny) jeans from Alexander McQueen's McQ label (£151, www.my-wardrobe.com) are slightly cropped, giving a classic but modern edge. For a daytime look, a dark-denim dress (£45, www.warehouse.co.uk) has a utilitarian feel that's easy to wear. The laid-back vibe of 1970s denim is reborn with a pale-blue shirt (£35, www.marksandspencer.com). And if you are after the ultimate "boyfriend"-style jean, why not just go for the real thing and pick up a men's pair – wear them loose and roll them up (about £50, www.drdenimjeans.com).

Feminine

Seen at Marc by Marc Jacobs

Even if you're not a "jeans person", there are plenty more feminine options in denim on offer this season. A pale-wash T-shirt dress from 3.1 Phillip Lim (£357, www.net-a-porter.com) is laid-back without being scruffy. A similarly smart option for work and play is a vintage-style A-line skirt in dark denim (£38, www.oasis-stores.com). And once the weather has warmed up (and you've lost those extra winter pounds), slip into a cute, 1950s tie-front crop top (£14.99, www.hm.com). For a glam 1980s vibe, a pale-denim pencil skirt will look good worn super-tight with a loose top tucked in (£28, www.asos.com).

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