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Clothes for specific weather

How to wear denim right now

How to wear denim right now

Denim is one of the hardest working fabrics in your wardrobe. It’s also one of the most adaptable. That’s because it’s a fabric for the everyman, equal parts strong and stylish. It’s clothed miners, rebels without a cause and style obsessives. Which means that wherever you sit on that spectrum, there’s a version of denim that’s just right.

All of which makes denim the go-to when you’re navigating those tricky times between seasons. Its structure lends itself to countless colour and weight variations, making it ideal for the mix-and-match temperatures we’re currently experiencing. “It's the fabric I always suggest when the weather can’t make up its mind,” says Thread stylist, Alice Watt. “You can go for something lightweight, like 9oz denim, in warmer weather. Then switch to a winter-appropriate 12oz pair later.” It’s all about finding the variation that works for you.

Lose the legs

Photographed: Lee Rider Kick It denim shorts (£55)French Connection military jacket (£70)A.P.C khaki ‘Jimmy’ tee (£85); River Island sunglasses (£14)Novesta Star Master trainers (£49)

In the last gasps of summer, denim shorts are ideal. Half the material means half the heat, but because the fabric’s thicker, you’ve got some warmth when the evening comes. “As with all shorts, length and fit are key,” says Alice. “It's about going for a top-of-the-knee-grazing length and a slim or regular fit. Colour-wise, while light blue and stone washes obviously look lighter, in fact, every shade of blue works well.” If you'd rather not invest when autumn's around the corner, take a pair of scissors to your tiredest jeans. Just try not to use a pair with holes anywhere indecent.

Try denim above the belt

Photographed: Levi’s trucker jacket (£85)Reell chinos (£60)River Island short-sleeved shirt (£25)River Island tote bag (£35)Grenson sneakers (£90)

If you prefer your denim dark, then know that your legs aren’t the only place to wear it. “Denim jackets are the perfect blend of weight and fabric,” says Alice. “You can layer them over a t-shirt when it’s warm then add a jumper, or even a coat, if the weather takes a turn." And unlike with jeans, you can adapt your outfit if things suddenly hot up. “Shove the jacket in your bag,” says Alice, “Denim’s ideal because it doesn’t crease in the same way as a cotton Harrington or blazer.”

Lighten up

Photographed: Pier One jacket (£34.99)MVP Cavell jeans (£55)Paul Smith polo shirt (£175)Monokel Barstol sunglasses (£89)Vans Authentic trainers £55

Dark denim absorbs heat. Light denim reflects it. Which is why paler shades and washes should be your go-to if the sun could make an appearance. You then need to balance lightness with weight. “Denim isn’t very breathable,” says Alice, “so even lightweight versions can start to feel pretty hot.” The trick is to use layering to encourage airflow. “Style them with lighter pieces in breathable fabrics so you're keep comfortable.”


Words: Danielle de Wolfe