Keep up at the back, denim is about to move on again. Just as you've found your comfort zone of skinny Baxters and ballerinas, along comes a brace of new cuts to challenge your look. Just how did we get here? One minute jeans were simply workwear for miners and loggers, the next they're the height of glamour and we're not even blinking at the idea of Ј150 jeans. Actually, hang on a minute, jeans have been around since the '1800s so perhaps its not so inconceivable that fashion has moved on. From cowboys and rebellious screen idols, to the laidback '60s, it wasn't until rule-breaker Yves Saint Laurent used denim as part of his luxurious ready-to-wear collections in 1969 and his denim trouser suits became the sexy choice of the androgynous style set that denim became dressy, paving the way for the designer jeans of Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein. These mixed messages underlined the rebellious cool associated with denim.
These days denim is considered acceptable in almost every situation although interestingly some old school institutions use it as a barrier to keep the riff raff out. Nevertheless it's so ingrained in the psyche of every fashion-literate mover and shaker that even dress codes won't put them off.While most of us judge our denim brands by their ability to flatter, there will always be the fashion faithfuls who follow a look because it's new and not necessarily because it looks good. But snigger though we may, they're the ones who help keep fashion afloat - where would the drainpipe jean be if it wasn't for those mavericks who tried it first? In the end there's room for all styles of jeans. Instead of striving for the perfect pair these days it's about aiming for the perfect wardrobe of jeans. So which ones have you got?
Bright and beautiful
Hands up who lived in black and grey Superfines all winter? Guilty? Then this is the season to store them to make way for new summery shades. With white set to be the colour of summer it makes sense to employ white jeans as the mainstay of your warm-weather wardrobe. Bright white denim comes into its own at Lee, Jane Norman and Notify and it also looks fresh against hot summer brights and natural tan tones. Or why not experiment with the influx of new coloured denim? Think Matthew Williamson-style clashes of red skinny jeans with acid-bright Converse and Lacoste's pastel preppy poloshirts. Elsewhere on the high street you'll find Benetton-bright denim at Sass & Bide and Tsubi and soft pastels at TopShop and H&M.
It was only a matter of time before the baggy jean reentered the fold. Ultra-wide trousers are set to be key for next autumn so it's not surprising some people are keen to get a head start on the trend now. A primarily relaxed look, these jeans can be dressed up with a heel but only if the jeans are long enough or worn over tall boots. Clumpy sandals like Chloe's wooden-heeled platforms work well as they can be too heavy with narrower jeans. Labels like Oasis, Diesel, Gap and French Connection are backing baggy jeans. French Connection's jeans have been a bestseller for months while Gap's jeans are a timely antidote to the stretch-skinnies so prevalent elsewhere on the high street.