Frock advisor: How can I weave denim into my spring/summer look?
Your fashion questions answered - This week: hard-working denim and cool sportswear
I have a soft spot for denim, but am not in the mood for jeans. How can I weave that most durable fabric into my spring/summer look?
Denim is a wonderful fabric, so evolved now from its original function for use in utility garments. It has been transformed, through innovation and consumer demand, into a caressing, suede-like skin, particularly noted for how it hugs and defines the buttocks. It seems a long way from James Dean in The Wild One to the famously seductive Guess advertising campaigns of the nineties and noughties – or is it? In fashion terms, denim has always been a statement of the alternative, and rebellion is sexy.
In the 1950s it pitted itself against the uptight formality of starched serge wool suiting. Today, it squares up against textiles of perceived luxury and technological advancement. Of course anyone can wear jeans, it just doesn’t mean they should. And when the alternative becomes the norm, some frisson is obviously lost.
However, when denim turns up in unexpected guises, it claws back some of its shock factor. It might be that it is the material of choice for a Louis Vuitton handbag or it could be that it transforms itself into sunglasses like these by Heidi London, €200 from super stylish UK Boutique Wolf & Badger. Look at the delightful anomaly of Chanel and Louis Vuitton handbags fashioned into luxury from this most basic of cloths.
In fashion terms, few houses can compete with Acne for denim clothing in a fresh direction. The Swedish brand is so cool that merely browsing its website requires a vetting process. It has presented dresses and reefer jackets that play with our expectations of denim in the most alluring way.
Denim is no longer a statement of rebellion, but it is, when judiciously used, a novel way to subvert luxury. For shock value, a dip into double denim will always raise an eyebrow, and looks wonderfully fresh as presented by Massimo Dutti (above)
Is it possible to be sporty and stylish, and does it depend on the sport? Should I pick accordingly?
If you’re serious about how you look, it is imperative that you select your sport of choice carefully. The sports that require the most beautifully attire are, unsurprisingly, the most elite. Take polo, fencing and skiing, for instance. The capacity for elegance is bountiful. Although in the case of skiing, the risk of sartorial disaster is also high.
The interesting thing about these elite pursuits is that they are all executed without any body parts visible. In other words, if this is the beginning of your love affair with fitness, they are a really good place to start. No, frockadvisor is not suggesting that you weave weekly skiing into your regime, although that would be nice. Just be clever about which sport you choose and how you can present yourself.
We feel that the pitch sports, while populist, offer the greatest challenges to looking good, and let’s face it, who wants to wear a uniform.
Instead, think laterally about your options. Take dance, for example. Ballet is beautiful, but there’s really nowhere to hide in a tutu. Hip-hop, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to play out your mid-life crisis in a private and fun environment in baggy track pants and layered jersey.
Despite the fact that the city is teaming with half naked runners, the same style can be applied. Start baggy and as your confidence grows, introduce lycra elements.
You really know you’ve landed when you start ogling Stella McCartney for Adidas (above), the style maven’s choice for fitness attire.
The point is this: be clever and start your journey fully clothed, emerging at the other side strong, confident and hard bodied enough to stride into that Bikram class wearing merely a bra top and micro shorts, knowing that the clothes are no longer the point.