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Always in vogue

On the ramp or in a boardroom, this season denim is the look for every occasion.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2010 02:05 IST

Denim never goes out of style, but there are seasons when old, reliable five-pocket jeans simply are not enough. This is one of those seasons. The jeans legging, aka jegging, still is going strong, and denim designers also are talking up the chambray shirt, asymmetrical motocross jackets, cutoff shorts and, still, the boyfriend pant. There are trouser styles and waistcoats for work, and, “rip-and-repair” jeans are a must for weekends. Ralph Lauren had overalls on the runway and showed jeans under an evening gown.

A denim-on-denim outfit, sometimes considered a fashion faux-pas in the past, is a bona fide trend. “The denim look is everywhere — it is in the air, it’s all over the world,” says Patrick Robinson, creative director at Gap. “The workwear feel is hot, especially for guys.” Denim is proving a strong springtime seller in stores, says Stephanie Solomon of Bloomingdale’s department store in the US.

“It probably has never had a larger impact on what we wear every day,” says Durand Guion, men’s fashion director for Macy’s department store. “We had gotten just about as casual as we can get without getting in our pajamas, so we’re looking to incorporate denim into our lives at least five days a week, but not just Saturdays. We’re looking to step it up. You can wear a button-down denim shirt with a tie.”

Helmut Lang, co-creative director Nicole Colovos, thinks people like that they can put their own spin on denim. And no pair of jeans looks the same on two different people. “It’s so individual, from how you wear it in, how you style it. The fit is molded to your shape,” Colovos says. “You don’t want someone else wearing your jeans.”

Denim leggings are not saggy and baggy, and that flattering, lasting shape is part of their appeal, says You Nguyen of Levi’s. He says he cannot overemphasise the importance of the legging right now. “Our leggings business is on fire, at all price points and at all retailers,” Nguyen says.

On the flip side, the boyfriend skinny jean — with a looser waist and hip but a narrower leg — remains popular. Look for lighter shades of denim as the weather warms, and a lot of distressed finishes, too, sometimes with purposeful patches. Going forward into fall, though, trend analyst Tom Julian expects to see coloured denim as well as patchwork.