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7:00am Saturday 23rd February 2013 in NewsXtra
Dive into the latest denim trends. Lisa Haynes gets the springtime blues.....and prints and pastels and brights.
Jeans. Everyone has them in their wardrobe but finding 'the' perfect pair is the Holy Grail of shopping.
The task is even trickier with the deluge of brand new denims on the block. The full spectrum of traditional blue isn't going away anytime soon but a rainbow of new hues has widened the search.
"Have fun with your denim. The traditional five pocket jeans now come in a myriad of colours, patterns and fabrics. Just wear them with a simple white tee," advises queen of denim Donna Ida Thornton (www.donnaida.com).
More than three quarters (76%) of women "love wearing denim" and the average woman owns 7.2 pairs of jeans, according to a recent survey by Yahoo Shine!
If you have space for one more pair in your denim drawer, spring is the time to be a little more experimental. So jump-start the new season in super-fresh jeans.
Shipwrecked chic Don't panic if you've worn your favourite jeans to death - you're already one step ahead of the trend for lived-in, distressed denim.
The worn-out look is just the thing for a nonchalant take on denim that doesn't look too try-hard.
"Cropped boyfriend styles have worn vintage abrasions, oversized rips and turn-ups for a relaxed and casual feel," Thornton says. "If you look like you've worn them forever, you've nailed the trend."
Go one step further with embroidered patches for a bespoke vintage, homespun feel.
Linear elegance Skinny jeans have received a welcome update with the added feature of flattering lines. Hallelujah!
The contrast side panelled look is all about drawing the eye down the leg to create the illusion of supermodel pins.
"Add edge to your outfit with strong and confident lines that frame skinny jeans," suggests Thornton.
"Pay tribute to Mondrian and work a monochrome look, or add bright shots for bold colour blocking."
Two-tone blue jeans that feature a lighter front and a darker back also benefit from the same eye-tricking effects.
Sugary sweet Inspired by the gastronomic feasts on The Great British Bake Off, pastels have taken pretty and pale to a whole new level.
"Candy-coloured cupcake shades of lemon, strawberry and peach are decorated with delicious sprinkles and marble patterns," explains Thornton.
Keep the look super-calorific by layering your pastel denim with similar pastel shades, or go the opposite direction and pare down the prettiness with a contrasting rebellious black top.
Avoid flared, bootcut or baggy jeans and keep things prim 'n' proper with skinny or straight-legged jeans.
Abstract expressionism Prints are no longer confined to dresses, tops and skirts. Colour-soaked creations have found their way onto denim too.
"Enter the studio, make like Jackson Pollock and get creative," Thornton enthuses. "Experiment with jeans featuring bright paint splatters, ink blots and vibrant multi-colour stripes."
If you're more of a trouser fan, intricate geometrics, spot prints and laser-etched denim designs will be right up your street.
Ensure your keep your top half plain to let your loud jeans do all the shouting.
True blue So you're a traditionalist when it comes to denim? That's nothing to be ashamed about - just lighten the tone for the spring/summer months and go easy on the grungy black and dark grey denim.
Thornton says: "There's a return to traditional blue denim, from distressed light washes to the perfect mid-way blue all the way to delicious deep sea shades.
"Waves of watercolour range from turquoise to ocean-surf blue, deepened by hints of marine navy and accentuated by fresh pastel hues."
The fit is down to you: high-waisted, skinny, straight or bootcut. As blue is the most versatile of denim hues, anything goes.
Fit tips "All jeans are essentially the same - two legs, five pockets, but the magic is in the individual fit," Thornton says.
She shares her top 10 steps to guaranteed figure flattery: :: If jeans go on easily, go down a size. Kicking your way into the legs isn't unusual.
:: When buying jeans with super stretch, look for good quality denim that has great memory. The 'memory' is how quickly the denim springs back after wear.
:: When buying super stretchy jeans, buy them firm but not overly tight. If you have 'seam strain' down the legs, they are possibly too tight and this could damage the stretch.
:: The waistband should be snug - if you can fit two fingers down the back that's good, a whole hand is not.
:: A curved, or pieced waistband, is ideal. This will be slightly higher at the back than the front and will curve into your waist rather than sit straight up.
:: Apple-shaped girls should look for plenty of stretch in a straight leg and dark wash as they are the most flattering.
:: Pear-shaped or curvy ladies who like skinny jeans should look at high-waisted styles - it elongates the leg and slims down the hips.
:: Boyish shapes can wear most styles. Add some shape and interest with zips and details on back pockets.
:: Long legs look best in a mid to low rise to keep the waist at the right height, whereas petite girls look great in a high rise that accentuates the waist and elongates the legs.
:: Alterations can give you the perfect jeans. Think about adjusting the waistband or slimming the legs - small adjustments are not unusual.
Get the look Look out Angelina, Jennifer Lopez has gone even higher with the red carpet leg split. Flaunt your thigh (and shoulder) in AX Paris's black asymmetric wrap front dress, £30 (www.axparis.co.uk).
Buy it now Red alert! Lulu Guinness and Sainsbury's are having bags of designer fun for Red Nose Day. Three limited edition stylish shoppers have been created to raise money for Comic Relief. The bags are exclusively available in Sainsbury's stores nationwide and online now, priced £5 each, with minimum £1.50 going to charity.
Fashion flash :: Fake fashion Call the fashion police: more than one in five UK adults openly admit to buying counterfeit style. More than one fifth (22%) of people have knowingly bought counterfeit fashion items, with a further 10% saying they may have bought a fake item but can't be sure, a survey by luxury fashion resale site VestiaireCollective.com reveals. 'Designer' handbags are the most popular counterfeit item purchased with 31% of respondents who had bought fake items saying they had picked up replica designer arm candy. Sunglasses and watches followed in the faux designer shopping list.
:: Peroni pop-up Bridging the gap between London and Milan Fashion Week, Peroni Nastro Azzurro have launched an online hub of Italian style. Exclusive retailer of the 'Bellagio by Antonio Berardi' capsule collection, the site goes live during London Fashion Week, where Peroni is also supporting Antonio Berardi's autumn/winter 2013 show. Visit the digital pop-up shop at www.emporioperoni.com from Friday, February 15.