Denim. Aside from jeans, anything made in this hardwearing fabric was pretty much the definition of passé until very recently. At the spring/summer 2015 shows, designers delved head-first into redefining the fabric, keen to reposition it as on point and stylish, rather than simply something hardy enough to hold together through years of toil.
From light to dark washes, trim to oversize fits, the 1990s distressed to sophisticated selvage, denim isn’t just a byword for jeans this season – read on for a full breakdown of the trend and the key pieces you should be looking to introduce to your wardrobe.
The Denim Jacket, Re-Imagined
Invented in the early 20th century and developing into a casual wardrobe staple just a few decades later, the denim jacket is well and truly back for spring/summer 2015 – not that it ever really went away, if we’re honest.
Yet there’s something altogether smarter about the denim jacket this season, with designers like Christopher Bailey at British luxury label Burberry Prorsum plucking the age-old classic from its humble origins and repositioning it as a more sophisticated piece.
Bailey used to trim, lightweight denim jackets as a substitute to button-down shirts – layering blazers, statement scarves and an even a denim trench coat over them:
Taking the denim jacket ever so slightly further back to its roots (the 1970s, to be precise) was Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent.
Titled ‘Psych Rock’s New Rising’, Slimane’s spring/summer 2015 offering was chock-full of references to the 20th century’s most psychedelic decade, with denim cut-offs used as key layering pieces and blue denim jackets teamed with half-open shirts, ultra-skinny jeans, and Chelsea boots:
Modern Lookbook Inspiration
From now through to the start of summer, your trusty denim jacket will make an excellent layering piece. However, think about how you can utilize it in slightly unconventional ways (under a blazer or mac, for example), rather than as a traditional top layer.
Likewise, consider alternatives to the classic trucker jacket this season – denim bombers, varsity jackets, blazers, overshirts, and gilets are all available on the current market and will help bring a contemporary workwear twist to any of your looks:
The Denim Shirt
While chambray shirts have worked their way into many of our wardrobes over the past few years, 1990s-esque styles have been about the furthest thing from fashionable. Until now, that is.
Tom Ford – he of seductively luxurious suiting and evening wear – suggested denim as the new fabric for formal engagements. OK, it’s not exactly wedding-appropriate, but Ford made a convincing case – showing a suede jacket layered over a faded denim shirt, which was tucked into a pair of washed straight-leg jeans and accented with a patterned, neatly positioned neck scarf.
Not quite a suit, but we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t elegant in its own right:
Although the denim shirt makes a solid wardrobe addition year-round, look to get even more wear out of yours this spring/summer 2015 by dressing it both up, with a knitted tie and blazer, and down, worn open over a tee with a pair of chino shorts:
While traditional tailoring and luxe leisurewear are two dominant forces in menswear currently, designers are gradually making room for fabrics that don’t sit firmly on the suiting or sportswear end of the spectrum.
Tough as nails and extremely versatile (as some of these more eye-catching looks have proved), it’s little wonder that this season, menswear’s tastemakers are redefining denim.