Time to dig out that scruffy denim jacket again, says JAMES SHERWOOD - it's going be a vintage summer

Sometimes you get the feeling fashion is only for the kind of women who ovulate Faberge eggs. When a pair of faded and ripped jeans costs pounds 1,910 at Gucci, even Style Police starts to come over all Communist. It's verging on immoral to spend that kind of cash on cotton - most of us don't even have an annual holiday as expensive. Trying to compete with fashion's cash cows is like asking Prince Nazeem if he wants to make something of it.

Denim's definitely had a facelift this season. When Chanel introduces a cropped denim jacket into its spring/summer '99 collection, it only means one thing: the Phantom Menace of high fashion is pick-pocketing from the street once again. Street style strikes back by resurrecting a vintage piece of denim and makes it the people's cool choice.

The catwalk is peddling pristine, deep-dye indigo denim for spring. Designers from Daryl K to YSL are reinventing the denim jacket with Velcro panels and - brace yourself - a zip instead of the usual buttons. If it's distressed denim like Gucci's, then you've got to bead it, feather it or spatter it with sequins. Platinum Amex designer denim exists only in the virtual reality world of glossy mags.

The street, meanwhile, has chosen the classic faded Wrangler crop denim jacket. That jacket is living it loud this season and it's looking cool as a frozen Vodkatini. We've got Madonna "our lady of immaculate timing" to thank, for wearing a knackered denim crop while shaking her booty in the Ray of Light video. Her scuffed-up Levi's jacket took the edge of prettiness off her sequin Chloe hipsters. It taught us how to tone down.

The crop jacket is totally on message with proportion this season. It roughs up the chiffon Forties frocks. It has that Fifties preppy feeling when worn with pedals. It works with the rustic Liberty print smocks and balances all that neon. In short, the faded denim crop-cut jacket is the most welcome return since Prohibition was repealed.

How to wear it

You know you are on to a genuine street-style quake when you see scads of people put it together identically. For the seriously loaded, a fashion doppelganger would be as welcome a sight as Banquo's ghost. But on the street, you give your fashion twin the up-down glance and tacitly nod. Style Police did a double take when we saw the faded Wrangler jacket, black satin-finish stretch jeans, a white T, open-toe black sandals and a hip holster bag four times in one day. It felt like marking an entire class of A-grade students. That's the classic summer street uniform.

How do you wear the crop denim jacket with a little more attitude? However you like with whatever you like, as long as it says spring '99. Don't forget the slightly slutty rock chick connotations of faded, rip-torn denim. If you can imagine yourself wiggling your ass to Heart of Glass in the outfit, then you've got the idea. But never wear the denim jacket with denim jeans unless your name is Michelle Fowler.

Where to buy it

That's the beauty of a street trend. You don't really have to buy it at all. Everyone who was a teenager circa Blondie has a crop denim jacket in the wardrobe.

If you're too young to remember Debbie Harry the first time round, then you'd better get yourself down the market and find a vintage Wrangler or Levi's which has seen better days. If it's already ripped, that's cool. If it isn't, don't try and distress it. We'll all know it's a DIY job.

Some people just don't relate to vintage clothing. Style Police would usually say, "Get over it" if there weren't so many fab takes on the denim crop on the high street. Designer-distressed denim is at its best sandblasted by Jigsaw (pounds 75). Ready-made fade is a look at French Connection (pounds 65). Gap will give you a really girly, curvy fit for pounds 34. So will APC for pounds 75. In case we didn't mention it, a denim crop jacket has to hug your figure like George Clooney in your wildest dreams. Finally, if Style Police finds you've spent more than two figures on a denim crop-cut jacket, we'll personally bead and feather you and brand you with a double C for Cash Cow.

Address book

APC: 0171 229 4933.

French Connection: 0171 399 7200.

Gap: 0800 427789.

Jigsaw: 0171 499 2521.

Levi's: 01604 581501.

Wrangler: 0171 836 6666.

sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor