Denim never goes out of style. Although originally said to have derived centuries ago in India, its name comes from Nîmes in France - the full name, 'serge de Nîmes, 'serge' being a silken, weft fabric. What makes it denim is the unique processes it goes through to become the final fabric.
After harvesting the cotton, the fibre is spun to a yarn which is dyed then woven on a loom where it is then treated with water in a process called sanforization to later prevent shrinking. Traditionally crafted in classic indigo blue, it's distinguishable by its cotton twill textile and diagonal rib.
All images by Childrensalon
- FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS -
With the availability of variations on the original indigo blue, it's the different shades and washes that make denim so versatile and the demand for particular blue shades vary every season, depending on trends. To achieve the different colours and to prevent the dye running, denim goes through a rigorous rinsing programme. Garments are rinsed longer to achieve a lighter blue and the introduction of pumice stones into the wash creates patterned effects on the denim, as does the use of bleach (for an 80s style acid wash effect), scraping by hand and grinding techniques (for an intentional washed and worn 'vintage' look) which all help to achieve the overall finish of the textile.
OUR TOP 5
We've put together our top five, must-have pieces to create a denim capsule, with seasonal outfit inspiration
SHORT (S) & SWEET
1. DENIM JACKET
A denim jacket is a staple piece and should feature in every season's capsule collection. They're lightweight and generally unlined which makes them ideal for layering or wearing over a jumper and can be worn right through to spring and summer. Coloured denim has made a comeback this season and we love this daffodil yellow one for spring by Mayoral, this super-cute appliquéd one by Charabia is fresh as a daisy and how amazing is this pink denim jacket with embroidered dogs from Gucci?
2. DENIM SHORTS
No summer wardrobe is complete without a pair of shorts. Great for kids as they are durable and hard wearing, they can be worn over and over and only get better with wear. The beauty of denim is that it's made to go with everything and denim shorts can be worn with a T-shirt, blouse or sweatshirt - anything goes. For milder days, accessorise them with a pair of sporty knee socks and trainers for a retro, sporty look or with tights and boots.
3. DENIM JEANS
Jeans are the first item of clothing ever made from what we call denim, the first being manufactured by Levi Strauss & Co in 1871. Today, they are arguably the most iconic and widely-loved item of clothing ever to exist. Originally named 'blue jeans' black jeans have become just as classic and white jeans regularly make a trend come back and always look clean and fresh.
4. DENIM SHIRT
A denim shirt or top is an essential piece for any wardrobe. A denim shirt can be worn open with a T-Shirt underneath or tied around the waist for a dressed down, casual look. For little girls, this cute little denim top with ruffles by Mayoral is made from chambray - a lightweight version of denim. Wear on its own or under dungaress to show a hint of frill.
The stretch flag logo jacket became an iconic piece when the name was changed from Hilfiger Denim to Tommy Jeans in 2017
JUMP TO IT
5. DENIM JUMPSUIT
A jumpsuit is always a great pick for kids as it's an all in one simple outfit that doesn't require any other items of clothing (and cuts down on the washing!) To add an extra layer, pair with a coloured T-shirt underneath or wear a sweatshirt over the top or tied around the waist to break it up. This long sleeved jumpsuit from Tommy Hilfiger is the perfect blue hue and this cute all-in-one, also by Tommy Hilfiger can be worn like dungarees.
- IT'S IN THE WASH -
One of the two most classic shades after dark wash, the feel is often soft and comfortable due to the amount of times the denim has been pre-washed to achieve the effect. Light denim is dressed down and more casual. For a classic look, wear jackets and jeans with a white T-Shirt and white trainers for a classic All-American look that's clean and fresh.
Dark wash and mid-wash denim has a polished look, more so than light wash or bleached. Dress boys in a blazer and dark ,slim-fit jeans for a smarter than everyday look.
BLACK & GREY WASH
Black and grey denim has a real rock and roll feel - jeans in particular look great accessorised with a black leather jacket. Black jeans however are a smarter alternative to trousers, especially if worn in a skinny-fit. Wash black denim inside out to maintain the depth of colour.
Like black and grey, bleached denim has an edgy look and feel. The process uses specialist bleach and is a complicated process, therefore requires highly-skilled operators. Designs can vary from all white to tie dye and patchy denim.
Intentionally distressed to look worn and 'vintage' the denim is treated with various hand finishes. Vintage wash denim is great for baggier style jeans and loose-fit jackets, particualarly with embroidered accents, for a laid-back, boho look. Wear vntage-wash denim with oversized jumpers and T-Shirts.
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