HOW TO DRESS LIKE A GROWN UP Shane Wat­son

Now’s the time to dig out that old denim jacket

Daily Mail - - Inspire -

A DENIM jacket is now a sum­mer es­sen­tial. Mainly thanks to cat­walk col­lec­tions by Ba­len­ci­aga and Saint Lau­rent, it is on a par with es­padrille wedges, tulip-sleeved blouses, or midi dresses — just 99.9 per cent eas­ier to wear.

That’s the thing about clas­sic, Western- style denim jack­ets: you know where you are with them. They’re old friends who’ve been around the block with us — and never let us down. Who doesn’t have happy mem­o­ries of wear­ing a denim jacket?

Who didn’t want to look like Blondie but­toned up tight in hers circa 1974, or Madonna with col­lar turned up and pearl choker in the early Eight­ies? Or — just the other day — Jenna Lyons, the woman be­hind J. Crew, who al­ways wears hers shrunk tight, with lash­ings of paste neck­laces and a long skirt.

Denim jack­ets have four big things go­ing for them in sum­mer 2017 — the same as they al­ways have:

1: THERE is a rough chic about a denim jacket that makes it per­fect for dress­ing down some­thing smart, or tough­en­ing up a pretty skirt or dress.

It’s a bit like a mo­tor­cy­cle jacket. It adds edge to what­ever you’re wear­ing — only it’s softer, lighter, more ver­sa­tile, and a lot more for­giv­ing on grown-ups. I don’t know any­one who doesn’t look good in some shade of indigo, but many peo­ple look drained up close in black leather.

2: AT THIS time of year it’s the per­fect ‘just in case’ jacket to grab. Sling over the back of a chair if it turns out nice.

3: YOU can’t crease or mess up a denim jacket, but you can use it to cover a wet gar­den chair or roll it up in a bag. I never travel in any­thing else.

4: IT’S the ul­ti­mate wardrobe bridger — you can wear it like you would your old­est jeans or a navy cash­mere cardi­gan. What doesn’t it go with?

So how to find one that will work for sum­mer 2017.

Start­ing at the sharp end, the hot new style, courtesy of Ba­len­ci­aga, is over­size, boxy and worn shrugged off the shoul­ders. That re­ally only works if you want to flash a lot of flesh — so per­fect for ri­hanna and other mil­len­ni­als who look good in crop vests.

There’s also a big trend for em­bel­lished jack­ets — over­size or fit­ted — em­broi­dered with flow­ers, snakes, studs and leop­ard print (all ap­peared in one go on Gucci’s cat­walk).

Mean­while, Saint Lau­rent has vin­tage- style jack­ets, em­broi­dered on the back with ‘Love’, clouds and stars.

You may have one in your at­tic which you bought in Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket circa 1974, in which case get it out . . . and give it to your god-daugh­ter.

There’s no rea­son not to go for em­broi­dery, if it’s the pretty flo­ral sort, but you’re bet­ter leav­ing it to the kids, mainly be­cause it lim­its your op­tions. That denim jacket you want to sling over your silky wrap dress for the party doesn’t work quite so well if it’s cov­ered in skulls and roses.

There are so many vari­a­tions on the clas­sic jean jacket: you could go for a modern twist with two-tone denim (£29.99,

mango.com); you might want raw, frayed hems ( Moto, Top­shop, £ 46), but there doesn’t seem much point when a clas­sic Western short jacket will take you al­most ev­ery­where you need to go.

My favourite, be­cause of the fit and ‘New­ton’ wash, is £130 from J. Crew. On the sub­ject of washes, dark indigo is smart, but a mid-wash is fresher.

That said, with a denim jacket you can’t go wrong. Sim­ply shrug it over your shoul­ders and you’re good to go for sum­mer 2017.

Chic: Reese Wither­spoon

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