Four Ways to Do the Denim Shirt

Philip Lim A/W '13
   Now we're into September, I'm seriously looking forward to the benefits that come with cooler weather- as well as it being an acceptable time to drink hot choccy, sweaters, scarves, parkas (my new obsession) and long-sleeved shirts too come into action. And the fabric on everyone's lips should be...denim. The denim shirt is more versatile than most may realise; it can cater to 'indie-rock goddess' or 'polished city babe' (Miranda Kerr makes one look positively refined), it doubles up as a 'cheat piece' of outerwear and simplest of all, it does make a welcome change from plaid. Philip Lim led the way for the classic material on the fall catwalk, where indigo and sky coloured denim collars peeked out from light-weight camel knits and leather bombers.

The high-street version of Lim's patchwork denim:
Mango Color-Block Denim Shirt £39.99
Lim combines denim accents with lashings of (en vogue) leather
    Frankly, I used to have a real thing against denim- double denim I would never, ever have considered. I used to bully my boyfriend for even considering putting two similar shades of the fabric together- at which he used to back down and place one piece back on the shelf of Topman with a very sad face. It was only recently that I realised I had definitely had a change of heart, as I began to look at his denim shirts/jacket/variant of jeans with envy. I am now thankful to have discovered the subtle allure of a slightly unbuttoned denim shirt over a pair of skinny black jeans and black boots (I'll be donning my Chelsea's). Mary Kate Olsen nails city cool in her light blue and black denim attire, complete with a must-have pair of dark shades and gladiator style sandals (still okay for early-mid September, as long as the rain keeps off!) Add an artistically battered backpack to complete this 'just mooching about town' look- I love this black The Row imitation by Pieces at ASOS, though I did see basically an exact copy in a local charity shop this week which I am totally going to go back and nab. Don't ever forget the promise of thrift and charity stores!

Pieces Eline Flapover Backpack £38
     Gillian Zinser is Queen of adding a spot of edginess to her chilled Californian-rooted closet. I love how she has put her fashion-forward foot first here and teamed a stand-out print (leopard print will never date, if worn with panache) with the renowned-for-casual, open denim shirt. Leopard palazzo pants or a maxi skirt like Gillian's will keep a balance between two top and bottom halves and two textures and prints. Though her denim shirt looks literally and effortlessly thrown on, it's doing a lot of talking for her outfit and maintains (along with her fab laidback topknot) that her low-neck and sheer skirt appear audacious and adventurous rather than tasteless.
    If there's one major thing Diane Kruger teaches us with her take on the denim shirt, it's that they can make contact with the femininity in our wardrobes. Diane always puts a fresh spin on street style, and I adore her conventionally odd pairing here; ditsy print trews with a two-tone boyish shirt? It indefinitely works. I think these Zara floral print trousers will work a treat as a nice mix-up to everyday black jeans or a bolder evening experimentation a la Gillian. Add a neutral or even slightly manish tote and some pumps and voila- a comfortable yet stylish shopping outfit sorted.

Zara Floral Print Trousers £29.99
      Finally, and likewise, Kate Bosworth added a dab of womanliness to her J W Anderson denim get-up, styling her long-line shirt with a blooming beautiful mini skirt. Her black ankle boots and tied-back hair keep the look half-androgynous but the clutch and red lippy emphasise her girly tendencies. To mirror Kate's clever 'girl meets boy' contrast, try combining this Topshop shirt dress with cable knit tights, tomboyish brogues and a diverging pearl embellished or flower embroidered cardigan.
Topshop MOTO Vintage Denim Shirt Dress £42
   However you decide to style your denim, take note of these little catwalk-influenced tips: navy is this season's chief colour, as emphasised by Celine, and is worth holding up against different denim hues to achieve the best effect. Burgundy and forest green remain signature colours for autumn and winter, and will compliment your denim on darker days. Lastly, jean material looks good under a khaki or coffee-coloured parka (Coachella has taught the world that) and could also look pretty 'Freja Beha Erichsen meets Audrey Hepburn' under a ginormous winter coat. One thing's for sure- denim shirts are no longer reserved for guys.


  1. I love the look of denim shirts and recently bought myself one, xoxo.


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