DO find the right shade for you. Denim is not the sort of thing where you can just say, 'Oh denim doesn't look good on me.' MAN UP. Denim looks good on everyone if you find the right cut and color for you! Topshop alone offer more than 45 different shades in their MOTO range (I went on the website earlier on and counted them myself... yes, I do have too much time on my hands, but I do it all for you :-)) Darker colors on the bottom will slim you down, whilst too light a color up top runs the risk of washing out a pale complexion. The only way you can find your shade is to try a few out, the blues offer everything from turquoise and teal to azure and midnight hues, and with the amount of variety creating healthy competition between the conventional color and this season's pastels in peaches, yellows and lilacs, there really is something for everyone. So you have no excuse.
DON'T touch prints if you're not used to them. If you are a Denim Amateur and also a Print Amateur, please don't take your first foray into both at the same time. There are too many rules that you will have to follow, too much to be aware of all at once... just trust me.
DON'T sport denim with denim if you aren't sure how it looks. I know this might be a bit of a controversial issue as the SS11 runways and ad campaigns by the like of Guess, Marc Jacobs and naturally, Levi display this double-denim trend, but it is really very difficult to pull the double-D off. My top tip for attempting to work this look is to make sure that the colors are contrasting enough that it doesn't look like you were trying to get the same shade, as unless the items are sold in the same place as part of a set, it is unlikely that you will ace it. Try to keep accessories and shoes as feminine as possible, rolling up the sleeves of shirts in order to expose tiny wrists with pretty bracelets, and long fingers with rings. Minimalist lace camisoles look cute under a stone-wash denim shirt untucked with a dark pair of jeggings, gold gladiator sandals, gold bangles, gold rings, gold... well everything else gold. Again, keep make-up as soft as possible in order to take the harsh edge off this risky fashion, but as I said, if in doubt, just DON'T.
DO pick a good cut for you. If you would never bare your legs in a mini cocktail dress, don't do it in denim either! If you are self-conscious about a voluptuous butt, why buy a pair of denim hot-pants in which you'll be uncomfortable all day *cue 'Does-my-butt look-big-in-this' style questions.* Seriously, I can't emphasize enough the importance of trying the items on before you buy them, and try them on with things you would wear them with. Even take a picture in the changing rooms, leave and return at a later date, because denim can be expensive and the last thing you want is to find yourself regretting the calf-baring culottes which cost a week's wages which you bought just because they are 'in at the moment...' I could sit here and write a list of 'Petites suit high-waisted jeans' type tips, but at the end of the day it's all down to what you are comfortable in, so set aside an afternoon and get to grips with all the cuts denim has to offer!
DO wear the right size. This is one of my ultimate Denim-Related Pet-Hates. Hint: If your ass cheeks begin to escape your short shorts and the blood flow can't be felt below your inner-thighs, the shorts are probably too short. If your skinny drain-pipe jeans begin to slide down your ass no longer sculpting it like it deserves, they are probably too big... Thanks for the offer, but I don't do crack. Muffin-tops, love-handles, flabby thighs, cellulite deriere and a none-existent waist can all be remedied by a well-chosen lower-half good-fit denim item. Why would you ever deprive your hot body of its full potential just for the sake of vanity associated with sizes? Get the right one and no-one will ever guess that you swapped your size 10 hip-squishing denim skirt from last summer for a comfier size 12 alternative which hugs all the RIGHT places and skims over the 'wrong'. Actually, strike that. They will notice. Because you'll look about a million times better!
DON'T just stick to jeans. Spring/Summer 2011 is the first time in ages that we can get away with effectively wearing denim knickers whilst claiming that they are part of the trendy 70's hot-pant revival as seen all over the high street. Denim jackets are (and always will be) cute, especially in the shrunken-look style which River Island in particular has embraced for the warmer months. But don't rule out throwing on a light-weight denim shirt over a pretty summer dress, or rocking a cut-off waistcoat with a floral maxi for a bit of boho-chic as a suitable alternative. Playsuits represent another trend which has carried over since last summer (for which my bank balance is eternally thankful...) Try to mix it up a bit with a pretty top underneath with the buttons undone, or a checked shirt with the collar peeping over the top for a preppy-rockabilly mash-up. Even denim-look wedges, brogues and loafers have been cropping up in the likes of Office and Oasis in the past couple of months, so be daring and give them the 'Ole College Try'; you're sure to catch some eyes and gain points for originality, and who knows you might be the one to lead the trend!
DO keep it simple with effects. Cut-off denim shorts and skirts are one thing, but wearing a slashed-up pair of skinnies exposing more flesh than necessary will have people thinking you belong at a Big Fat event rather than in the pages of a glossy mag. Other cheap-looking extreme effects include the insides of pockets showing due to the length of a mini, glitter on any area and studs, chains, decals etcetera are just not cool, particularly for the relaxed feel which dominated the SS11 runways in preparation for this time of year.
So that's really all I can think of right now, and I really hope this has been helpful for those of you out there who aren't really sure how to work the current denim styles... To be honest I wrote this because just today I tried on about five pairs of denim shorts in Topshop before I found that the pair I least expected to work for me (a pair of turquoise-tinted blue hot-pants, just about waist-high with the bottoms rolled up a tad, firmly clutching my butt yet comfy enough to dance in) actually looked and felt awesome! There really is a lot going on with denim at the moment, which can be quite overwhelming for those who've reserved the idea of this material for jeans and nothing else. However, there is so much to be gained from the different pieces out there right now, it would be a shame not to make the most of them purely because of uncertainty as to where to start...
Let me know about your most recent denim finds and any denim-wearing tips which could help me and my readers to rock the look :-)