Yesterday’s post introduced the four key denim items which you can work into your wardrobe for endless outfit options that don’t involve jeans. We looked at lifting your denim shirt to new, feminine levels by teaming with a full midi skirt, and rocking a boxy tunic for everyday, easy style.
I eased you in yesterday with the most wearable pieces and today I bring you two potentially tricky trends which, with a little thought (don’t worry, I’ve done that for you!) can help you try something a bit different if you’re feeling stuck in a style rut.
You may recognise some of the extras from the previous post. This is to show that you don’t need a whole new wardrobe to work these key denim shapes into your wardrobe, instead you can mix and match with bits you may already have. See these posts as a starting point to give you an image in your head when you’re next putting an outfit together (a.k.a. rushing to get some clothes on while children screech!) and see if you can take these colour, print, shape and texture principles to create something just fab yourself.
You won’t be too hard-pushed to find a denim, structured t-shirt on the high street and they can make a welcome changes from your usual jersey tees. You’ll find a variety of prints and finishes in the same straight cut with leopard, floral or panel details in Warehouse, Dorothy Perkins and Topshop to name a few.
For this post however, I’m focusing on one of the shapes which may make you run a mile just hearing the words ‘cropped’ and ‘top’ in the same breath pre- or post-children; the cropped denim tee. Now before you shut this down in horror, bear with me because you can wear a crop top without being a skinny-minnie under 25 and you don’t necessarily have to bare any skin.
The silhouette du jour features high waists and cropped tops so if you think about it logically, you’re just shifting your waistband-meets-hem-of-top line up a few inches, which to be honest is a welcome move if, like me, you enjoy a muffin or two (how long will the ‘I’m breastfeeding, therefore I need cake’ line hold out?!) and you can skim those hips rather than cut across them (or into them!) with a waistband.
And if I really haven’t convinced you that a cropped cut is wearable by the time you finish reading this post then these outfits would still look good with a regular length denim tee – if you insist!
Look 1. Take the classic white shirt and black skinny trouser outfit and bring it up-to-date by layering the structured denim tee over the top. The longer length shirt will flow perfectly under the denim and over the trousers for a contemporary and chic look for any age. Take it up a notch with bright flats and a contrasting necklace.
White shirt, £24.99, H&M | Red necklace, £20, Phase Eight | Black cigarette pants, £35, River Island | Blue suede two-part pointed flats, £65, Dune
Look 2. A high-waisted pencil skirt is great for showing off hourglass shapes and will add a bit of wiggle to your step if you’re more straight up and down. As this is jersey fabric and therefore not great at holding-in, you may need some spanx to streamline tum and hips if you’re curvier. This would also work well with the white shirt from Look 1 to skim a tum.
Scarf, £7.99, H&M | Striped jersey pencil skirt, £22, Oasis | Blue shopper, £15.99, New Look | Pointed leopard print flats, £89, Boden
Look 3. Take your print trousers from summer and bring them into the new season with a bit of layering up top. As with Look 1, the denim tee adds a new dimension with structure and texture to what would have been a softer, draped outfit before. Again, the two part pointed flats are a key update to your ballet flats collection for A/W.
Printed trousers, ££23.20, Mary Portas @ House of Fraser (sale) | Two-part pointed flats, £22, ASOS | White shirt, £25, River Island | Slinky bar necklace, £12, River Island
Look 4. OK, so you may get a flash of rib cage with this one, depending on your height and how the skirt sits on you but this may well be the slimmest point of your torso in which case it’s flattering and feminine and perfect for date night or a dressier occasion.
Skirt, £25, Monki | Orange satchel bag, £35, M&S | Pointed leather t-bar heels, £65, Office
The midi skirt
The skirt you can bend down in to pick up baby paraphernalia without worrying you’re flashing your pants. OK so maybe not for playdates and playgroup but if you’re a working mama and need something durable (hello, denim!) yet smart, then this full denim midi skirt could be just the ticket. It’s versatile enough to take you through to evening and will add a swishy edge (I challenge you not to want to swish in this skirt!) to your weekend wardrobe for a family meal out.
Look 1. Keep it simple with a plain tee, loosely tucked in and plain flats for the school run.
Yellow long-sleeved tee, £39, Toast | Two-part pointed flats, £22, ASOS | Slinky bar necklace, £12, River Island
Look 2. Take inspiration from yesterday’s denim shirt + full skirt looks and do double denim teamed with leopard and floral prints. Tuck your shirt in to show off your waist.
Red necklace, £20, Phase Eight | Denim shirt, £24, Mango | Floral skinny belt, £6, Oliver Bonas (SALE) | Pointed leopard print flats, £89, Boden
Look 3. Wear with the co-ordinating top (co-ords are everywhere this year) and layer up with a striped top tucked in underneath. Nod to this season’s retro vibe with 70’s inspired heels.
Cropped denim top, £20, Monki | Striped sweater, £55, Jigsaw | Hat, £14.99, H&M | Heeled loafers, £69.99, Clarks | Yellow skinny waist belt, £22, Boden
Look 4. Throw on a simple slouchy sweater (V-neck if you’re busty, crew neck if you’re smaller up top) and trainers and you’re ready to go.
Great v-neck slouchy sweater, £14.99, H&M | Blue shopper, £15.99, New Look | Grey leather trainers, £39.99, Zara