Disclaimer: Although Gap products are mentioned and featured in this post I have not been paid by Gap to write this article and will not be receiving any payment for the publishing of this article. I was not given any of the clothing for free to write about and neither were any of my colleagues. I am a current trained Personal Stylist and employee of Gap UK and rather than selling the brand to you I am offering you an alternative look at the current trends as well as offering some of my hints and tricks picked up through styling training. Please do not feel I am pushing any form of marketing upon you - the reader - but explaining through the ideas for Spring/Summer 2010. Everything you read in this article are my own words from experience and are not in any way affiliated with the brand of Gap UK.
So a huge part of the Spring/Summer 2010 collection is focused on clashing denim with denim - I know, how 80s, right? (Although don't rush for the perm just yet, ladies) We've already seen the runway preview of Dolce and Gabbana's denim on denim look for SS10 and it's an eclectic mix of denim shirts/denim jeans or denim dresses with lace all romantically paired together with suede or leather boots. Not only are D&G showing us all that the 80s is very much well and truly alive as are Stella McCartney, Chloe and Ralph Lauren just to name a few. I spent some time last weekend in Topshop Oxford Street familarizing myself with the Topshop trends for SS10 and their take on denim for LFW and seriously, get embracing your denim because it is so on trend right now!
l-r chloe, d&g, twenty8twelve (picture from elle.com)
l-r stella mccartney, d&g, house of holland (photo from elle.com)
Now you're probably having the same reaction as me. Well this is all well and good on a 5 foot 9, 6 stone hottie on a catwalk, but how am I, really, going to make this awful decision of decking myself out in denim head to toe work on a walk to ASDA on a Monday afternoon? In fact I just dismissed the idea completely, thinking it was truly not for me, having horrible nightmares of that Britney and Justin fiasco from around 10 years ago. So you can imagine my annoyance around three weeks ago when well over 150 boxes of brand new shipment came into our store, and what was it filled with? Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, denim. Even my manager couldn't come around to the idea. But, honestly, try this stuff on and oh yes, there is a look for everyone and believe it or not, everyone in my store is now absolutely smitten with the look. Even you lovely men out there can rock this trend!
So here is The London Lipglosses' foolproof guide to making denim on denim work on everybody:
Pick a style of jean that suits you. Okay I know that's fairly self explanatory, but choosing denim is hard! It's sometimes easier in your mind to go along with the latest trend but there are always a pair of denim jeans out there that will suit you (I promise!), and regardless of what's "in" fashion you want a pair that are comfortable and seriously long lasting because denim is expensive. Save your money and pick the best pair for you. So here are a few of my tips and tricks:
If you have larger hips pick a pair with a great flare, this will even you out and give you a gorgeous shape.
If you are curvy pick a pair with a bit of stretch in or softer denim, this will show off your curves exactly how you want them to (and be much more comfortable!).
If you are conscious about a larger bum always pick a pair with back pockets. This minimizes the attention drawn to your bum and gives your bum the justice it deserves!
If you are thin with narrow hips but a full rounded bum pick a pair of low rise denims - these are going to sit on the widest part of your hips and bring more shape to your legs as well as showing off your bum - not too low though otherwise your pants may be visible when you sit down!
If you are thin with narrow hips and a flatter bum pick a pair that are shaped higher at the back and lower at the front - this is dead easy to spot, just hold the denim up and look at the waist cut. If you pick a particularly low rise denim this will only make your bum look washed out and flatter.
There's a reason that the old school Levi's three-pocket look is still around-it looks good. If you're conscious about a thicker thigh midsection, pockets do a great job of concealing any worries and creating the illusion of a longer leg as well as detailing right at the top of the denim.
A couple of other tips to remember are that dark denim looks good on everybody. If you're looking for a longer leg illusion - dark denim. If you're looking for a slimmer look - dark denim. Not only that but 9 times out of 10 it goes with whats in your wardrobe. Versatility!
Ideally denim should contain 2% spandex so as not to over stretch. This is why if you stick your denim in the wash and put them on afterwards they feel a tiny bit smaller - it's simply the spandex content doing it's job, expanding and shrinking with temperature. One walk up your stairs or out with the dog and they'll be back the same as they were pre-wash.
Remember not all denim companies cut their denim the same, what you are in one store you will be different in another. Because of the dye content in darker denim you may need to go up a size. Look in the label in the store - if the denim has more than 2% spandex you will need to go down a size, they are stretchy!
One last tip : always wash your jeans inside out to retain the colour. :)
Don't go all out. So the key to making denim on denim work is picking the right mix of denims. A jacket, shirt and jeans is not going to work on everybody or be something everybody feels comfortable in. If you're wearing a denim shirt, pick a similar matching colour jeans for a jumpsuit look or pick a different colour jeans for a more wearable look. If you are wearing a denim dress team with a leather jacket - a denim dress and jacket will be all too much.
It's all about the clothing. Ditch denim accessories: Whatever you do do not pick a denim bag with this denim on denim look. The trendiest look for younger fashionistas is the black studded leather look. If you are older team your denims with brown leather bags and belts. This is much classier and honestly...i'm not sure about denim bags anyway!
So here is my take on the denim on denim look and some of my colleagues hot picks!
Glasses on, it's work time! (They were trying to make me pose so i've got a silly look on my face!)
I've teamed dark denim with ripped embellishments with a plain white tee and a statement diagonally zipped denim jacket. For that fresh young biker look i've worn my studded leather boots (from Office) and a thin studded black leather belt. I'd finish this off with an oversized black bag and a long necklace.
I love this outfit my colleague Farida chose. The dark denims are very flattering on her and I love the thin leather belt she has placed round her waist. The prominence of this belt not only draws her in at her (tiny!) waistline but gives the shirt some much needed shape. Believe it or not this is a men's shirt and she's worked it with some feminine charm with a big statement necklace.
I think Serife here has hugely taken the denim on denim trend, made it all her own and doesn't she carry it off well? The wide leg flare jeans are bold yet smart. This whole look has girly written all over it and is very reminiscent of the current catwalk looks. I love how she's taken the scarf and used it as a headband - so boho. Again she's worked with a plain long sleeve tee and a statement piece - the waistcoat. Complete this look with an oversized brown leather bag.
Robyn has taken the concept and made it completely wearable. She's picked a long sleeve white tee with button detailing which is lightweight and feminine with some dark denim, a denim shirt and brought it all together beautifully with a thin brown leather belt. A scarf slung over the top will add another dimension to the colours visually as well as accessorizing perfectly!
(That is definitely the cleaner in the background!)
So you think skinny jeans are only for wafer thin stick girls? I think as Olivia is proving, that statement is bang wrong! She's got such a gorgeous set of hips and the detailing on these skinnies is drawing attention to all the right places. She's wearing the same jacket I'm wearing but she's teamed it with a slouchy washed out shirt and finished with some statement bangles. Not only that but she's rocking one of this seasons hottest hairdos!
I am loving Nyemeck's boyish feel to her look. She's taken the denim jacket and put a hoodie underneath it. Layering at it's best - not only practical in this freeeezing weather but looks great too! She's working this look with a plain black long sleeved tee, which I think works well - a complete contrast to the light looks of the concept. Again she's made it her own trend. She's finished the look with a grungy boho men's scarf.
Doesn't Johannies look great? This look he's picked (although i'm convinced not entirely by himself ;) is completely bang on trend for men and not only that but he's proving it works in the real world. The straight jeans and slouchy shirt not only say he's a man about town but a man who knows what looks good on him. The low rise straight denims look great on any male - honestly - and the inclusion of the grungy scarf gives him a bold, yet masculine look - it should be in every man's little black book of style. Work it down in the daytime with ripped, worn in trainers or sneakers and for that real indie rocker feel wear this with brown brogues at night with a worn in brown leather belt.
Raymond is working on the same look as Johannies but taking his layering a little further. Proof that if you do mix it right, jacket, shirt and jeans can work together. He's wearing a pair of high top Converse which help make this whole look more wearable and dressed down. His straight jeans are baggier through the leg and help to even out his body shape. The jacket and the shirt really work because of how similar they are in colour. This is much more of a younger, funkier street look, something not too dissimilar to the style of Pharrell Williams.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen - a (huge) guide to the world of denim on denim. I know after fashion week this is going to be popping up in high street stores and magazines everywhere and I know it just looks so daunting. I really hope this article has helped you look at denim on denim in a more wearable way - i'm sorry it's a bit Gap-tastic, if I had unlimited access to other stores i'd have worked with them too! Just using the tools I got...
So was this post really too long? Should I persuade (although it didn't take much) my colleagues to create their hot picks for more season trends? Was this whole article pointless? Are you sick of denim? Please let me know in the comment form below and of course I love to chat fashion so fire away with any queries!
Big love, Z xo