Master the art of wearing denim for any occasion

There are so many options available in different shapes and tones of denim at every price point - Andrew Crowley
There are so many options available in different shapes and tones of denim at every price point - Andrew Crowley

My love for a denim dress started only a few years ago when I fell in love with an Emilia Wickstead style that was cut so beautifully it looked like a couture piece. I suddenly realised that denim could look smart and it challenged me to try this with the ones I already owned. I had kept them for weekends and casual days, wearing them instead of jeans with Birkenstocks in the summer and trainers in the winter. I discovered by adding a blazer, a dash of lipstick, a good boot or heel that denim really is smart enough to wear to the office or for an occasion.

I have since become a guilty collector of these dresses as they are just so useful. I love the feel of the denim, the fabric has that little bit of structure but it is also supremely comfortable and doesn’t crease easily (perfect for work). I have long lusted over a friend’s denim dress from designer brand Co, with statement balloon sleeves, and she has worn it on repeat to parties and work events; it always looks appropriate but also fresh and modern. It is the one that got away for me and I still have an eBay alert for that style.

There are so many options available in different shapes and tones of denim at every price point. I find the darker hues are more forgiving and also look smarter and I skip black as it can look cheap. I’m always looking for a detail, whether it is a scallop trim or a yoke ruffle like the beautiful Daydress style I am wearing above.

You can wear literally any colour with denim; think of it as a neutral base as you do with your jeans. I believe they are real investment pieces as they transcend any trend and will be part of your wardrobe forever. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for that eBay notification.

Top image: Isabel wears: Denim dress, £395, Daydress Dress down: Jessie boots, £235, Camilla Elphick

Denim style tips

  • Don’t be scared by a shoulder ruffle, it makes a great impact

  • Fastening the collar of your dress to the top can make you look more pulled together

  • Rolling your sleeves up instantly relaxes your look

  • Try to stick with bare legs for as long as possible. Keep moisturising!

  • A white boot is the perfect transitional footwear for autumn

Dress up

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From left to right: Maxi City coat, £365, Jigsaw; Stylist bag, £295, Strathberry; Panama Soho diary, £180, Smythson

Dress down

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From left to right: Garment dyed organic workwear jacket, £185, Toast; Turtle Bags striped tote, £25, Arket; crinkle patent leather courts, £259, LK Bennett

Best of the rest

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From left to right: Cadie organic dress, £159, Baukjen; Kristen embroidered denim dress, £150, Rixo; Diane denim shirt dress, £150, Rae Feather

How do you style denim? Join the conversation in the comments section below