Lose those winter blues

First published in Fashion

BEGONE January blues, the outlook for spring denim is looking bright, with traditional indigos, navies and stonewash jean hues making way for pastels, prints and eye-popping colour.

The big denim makeover comes at a time when it's revealed 75% of British women wear less than a quarter of the jeans in their wardrobe regularly. The findings, by fashion advice site Miss High Street (www.misshighstreet.com) indicate an average ownership of 10 pairs of jeans, leaving at least seven pairs lying neglected in the denim drawer.

Time for a new trend-led spree? Hannah Buckley, founder of Miss High Street, recommends a frugal fashion approach: "Don't splurge on trend jeans because their appeal might be short-lived.

"Coloured skinnies are huge this season but opt for some of the cheaper versions on the high street."

Dive into the denim rainbow revolution with our jean-ius guide.

Fanatical About The Fit

Whether you're crazy about this season's new shades or a denim traditionalist, it's the fit that will stand the test of time. A flattering cut is even more important if you're planning to work pale, bright or print jeans.

Avoid denim dilemmas with these top tips:

* Staple jeans aren't something to splurge on without a serious test run. Jean sizes can vary between brands and stores, so hit the changing rooms.

* Decide if you want to wear your new jeans with heels or flats (or both) and take them with you to get the length just right.

* If you're buying online, look to a site like www.sojeans.co.uk, which has a SoSelect application to find the best brands to suit your shape.

* Back pocket placement is all-important for flattering your behind, so check out those mirrors. Pockets set wide apart can add width. Pockets set close can create the illusion of a compact bum and pockets that tilt outward can create curves.

* A bootcut hem can balance out big hips and thighs. Pair with towering platforms to create the illusion of supermodel pins.

* Opt for a Seventies-style crease if you want to draw attention away from your hips and lengthen your legs.

* If you have a petite or boyish shape, straight-leg jeans will give you a more defined outline.

*Mid to high-rise (measurement from waist to crotch) are usually the most flattering cuts for skinny jeans. Steer clear of low-rise where you can end up exposing your underwear.

Get The Look

Make those January blues a distant memory with a sunny dress like Britain's Got Talent new judge, Alesha Dixon. Steal her yellow style - with a more demure split - in Next's crepe maxi, £48 (www.next.co.uk).

Buy It Now

Diana Vickers proves she's still got the rock 'n' roll X Factor with her latest shoot for Very. "My inspiration came from the 1950s and early 1960s retro style," she says. "I love all those old-fashioned vintage shapes - lots of quirky prints and bright colours." Her latest spring/summer collection is available online at www.very.co.uk, priced from £29.

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