Jean therapy: The power of denim

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Whether it's stonewashed and skintight or indigo and edgy, denim is the staple ingredient in the modern male wardrobe. This season there are bold new ways to wear it, says Harriet Walker

From film and rock stars to cowboys, there isn't a man alive who doesn't understand the power of denim.

This simple twill weft has made its mark on stage, screen and stallions in a way that other casualwear fibres can only dream of. Whether sturdy stonewash, indie indigo, preppy slacks or edgy acid wash, it's directional and diverse enough to suit every sartorial whim and occasion. But where to start?

"It's up to you how you style it," says Adam Kelly, menswear buyer at Selfridges, of this season's most ubiquitous fabric. "Some like lived-in denim that looks like it has been in their wardrobe for many a season; for others, the tailored straight leg is key. The cheeky roll-up has been fighting its way above the ankle this summer, and the rock 'n' roll skinny just doesn't fade away."

Jeans may not be a new presence on the fashion block, but it has been a long time since it was acceptable to do the "double denim" look. It's tricky to master unless you're a waif-like, adolescent hipster with a pageboy haircut. But in for a penny, in for a pound: there's so much denim around this season that you may as well pile it on. Mismatch shades and washes, and remember that proportion is key: if your jeans are skinny, your shirt should be loose, and vice versa. And don't tuck it in, for fear of looking – in the words of one male pundit in the office – like "a weird, old music teacher".

"Levis 1947 501s are truly iconic," adds Kelly, "and the coolest cut right now is probably the Raf by Raf Simons carrot leg." The carrot – which bags at the hips and tapers down the leg – can look extreme, but try cult Swedish brand Acne's subtler version, and the new denim line 1971 at Reiss, which also offers shapelier skinny styles.

Retro jackets and the new generation of denim pea coats can add verve to an outfit, and Gap's gilet takes denim in a sportier direction. Finally, whatever you choose, don't be fooled by accessories: even Justin Timberlake looked terrible in a denim trilby.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine