Trend Report: Coloured Denim

Jenessa Williams

Inspired by the playfulness of the late 80s and early 90s, overdyed denim has been creeping its way into our wardrobes over the last decade

Where did the trend come from?

(From left to right: Christian Dior, Paul & Joe, Stella McCartney)

Where previously the domain of skinny-jeaned rock and rollers, coloured denim has become a fun way to inject a more varied palette into a summer wardrobe, without losing the functionality of your old faithful blue bottoms.

As seen in recent catwalks shows by the likes of Stella McCartney, Christian Dior and Paul & Joe, coloured denim has been used both as smart and casual wear and worn as everything from dresses and boiler suits right through to shoes, handbags and headwear.

There truly is something for everyone, making it one of the most versatile trends of the year so far.

 

What should I be looking out for?

(From left to right, top row first: Bliss & Mischief Jumpsuit £139, Weekday Jacket £55, New Look Skirt £19.99, Castaner Espadrilles £90, Weekday Jacket £55, Elv Denim Stripe Jeans £290, Weekday Jeans £40, Monki Dress £40)

This is not a style that should be done by halves—whatever hue you prefer, you want it in a high pigment. Look for denims that are sturdy, well-made and will stand up to the occasional wash—many overdyed denims lose their pigment easily in a hot cycle, fading to a tone that undermines the trend.

If you’re not sure where to start, a denim jacket or pair of coloured jeans should blend into your existing wardrobe easily. These are two items that deserve some financial investment—shop wisely and they’ll last for many seasons to come.

Just as you would with regular denim, choose a shape that most flatters your body type. High-waisted styles look great to balance out those who are long in the torso, whereas a bootcut can add shape to a more athletic figure.

 

How should I style this trend?

High colour contrast denim is youthful by nature—give in to your childish side by constrasting it with simple, cartoonish patterns such as block black and white stripes, polka dots or checks, perfect for bright summer days.

If you’re truly looking for something more sophisticated, keep to the warmer end of the denim palette such as ochres, rusts and reds. These can be played with in more of a seventies, boho inspiration. Pair with espadrilles, floaty peasant tops and linens, plus the must-have accessory of the season—the wicker basket bag.

 

Where can I get this look?

(From left to right, top row first: Monki Jumpsuit £30, Zara Jeans £29.99, Alexa Chung Boilersuit £380, Zara Jacket £29.99, Zara Skirt £19.99, Topshop Dress £34, Ancient Greek Pink Sandals £135, Primark Blue Sandals £6, H&M Skirt £34.99, Topshop Dress £34)

Although the usual suspects of Topshop, Zara and New Look are dabbling with denim, nobody is doing fun colour quite like the Scandinavians.

New kid on the block Weekday is owned by the same company behind H&M and Monki but boasts a more utilitarian, capsule wardrobe feel.

With that in mind, this season they are selling many of their classic shapes and styles in an array of strong coloured denims—we particularly love the rich pistachio of their cropped denim jacket and the highly pigmented rose of their flared jeans. Even better, prices are highly affordable, with many items coming in at around the £45 mark.