Denim’s latest trends: 13 Style Panel tips to wearing prints, wax, neon and more

Denim Trends Style Panel
Denim Trends Style Panel

If we haven’t made it clear, we love denim. Aside from its epic wearability, the material keeps revamping itself each season, fueling our obsession with new prints, washes and construction. On the Spring 2013 runways, we saw denim take on especially creative forms—from the pearl trimmed denim tube dress at Chanel to the denim jumpsuit worn open over a crop top at Rebecca Taylor. In stores we’ve spotted new patterns, waxing on jeans and the closet staple: denim cutoffs. No matter how you feel about jean, it’s about time to embrace the look. It’s a forever thing.

We’ve previously asked our Style Panel to show us how to dress up our jeans and how to refresh a tired piece that is hanging in our closet, but now they are back again to tell us how to make denim new again for Spring.

Playing with the on-going trend of coloured denim is Jacquelyn Son from Style Worthwhile, who paired a pale pair of lavender jeans with a mint top creating a perfectly pastel look for the warmer months. Floral patterns continue to be a fan favourite, illustrated by Dainty Girl’s Nicole opting for a blue tone-on-tone print to keep the look subtle and on trend. As for the infamous Canadian tuxedo, Iva Grbesic, showed that wearing a light jean button up with a pair of green polka dotted pants redefines denim-on-denim’s appeal.

Whether it’s blue, bright or printed, denim is sticking around so see how to update your looks for spring with help from our beloved Style Panel.

Question 45: What is your take on the new denim trends for Spring 2013? Read the answers now! »


Denim Trends Style Panel Stephanie Sterjovski

Stephanie Sterjovski, 22
Toronto | Stephanie Sterjovski

The coloured jean trend has remained strong over the years. My favourite way of styling them is by bringing other colours in the mix and breaking it up with neutrals in between. A nude pump and neutral cami compliment the Kelly green jeans and the yellow peacoat plays off these shades as well. It’s one of my favourite tricks for incorporating more colour during the transition from winter to spring.

Stephanie’s wearing: Coat & Cami, Forever 21. Jeans, TopShop. Pumps, Steve Madden. Clutch, Kate Spade. Necklace, Emerson Fry.

Denim Trends Style Panel Nicole Wilson

Nicole Wilson, 29
Toronto | Dainty Girl

Floral fashion is a springtime rite of passage. Most of us have donned a floral sundress or blouse, but for the past two seasons, floral denim has been having its moment in the sun. Our favourite skinny jeans are blooming in all varieties—subtle tone on tone prints, pretty pastels and bold brights.

Floral denim can be dressed up with heels or down with cute sneakers or sandals. When it comes to styling the rest of the outfit, I usually choose a solid blouse so that my look isn’t too busy. If you’re not sure which colour to wear on top, try picking one of the colours in the floral print to pull the look together. I chose a pale pink blouse to go with my blue floral skinnies because there’s a soft pink in the print in-between shades of blue. If all else fails, go with a neutral top in black, white or grey.

Printed jeans aren’t as slimming as solids and they have a tendency to emphasize curves. You can offset this effect with high heels and a loose blouse—hi-low hemlines (like the one I’m wearing) create the illusion of longer legs. I finished off my pastel floral look with metallic pointed-toe pumps, silver jewellery and a complimentary blue bag – soft and pretty for spring.

Nicole’s wearing: Jeans, BCBG. Blouse & Handbag, French Connection. Shoes, Aldo. Watch, Michael Kors. Bracelets, Vintage.

Denim Trends Style Panel Jacquelyn Son

Jacquelyn Son, 20
Vancouver | Style Worthwhile

Throughout fall and winter, I tend to resort to darker coloured denim. However, as spring is coming around, I decided to play around with some pastel colour-blocking. There are a few ways that I style coloured jeans; if I’m feeling bold, I’ll wear a contrasting colour on top or if I want the jeans to really pop out, then I’ll wear more of a neutral colour to balance out the look. Here, I was feeling bright and went with the mint and lavender combination to stand out.

Jacquelyn’s wearing: Shirt, Sheinside. Jeans, Insight. Leather jacket, Zara.

Denim Trends Style Panel Iva Grbesic

Iva Grbesic, 37
Toronto | One Chic Mom

I am really enjoying all the new features with denim – patterns, colour blocking and coating to name just a few. However, being six feet tall, I am limited in what I can purchase. I was recently shopping online for my children and noticed that Old Navy offered Tall for women. That’s where I discovered the polka dot green Rock Star denim jeans. The subtle polka dot pattern is an easy wear. I just paired it with a chambray shirt and a statement necklace and was ready to hit the streets hauling the kids around on a Saturday afternoon.

Denim Trends Style Panel Cee Fardoe

Cee Fardoe, 27
Paris via Vancouver | Coco and Vera

I had a pair of bright pink-on-pink floral print skinnies from Guess in high school. I was shocked and thrilled to find them on the final clearance rack but looking back, I can see clearly why no one else wanted them. The fact that I had experimented, so unsuccessfully, with patterned denim before made me very nervous when I saw the trend come around again. All that changed when I stumbled upon these watercolour-patterned Paige jeans at a small boutique in Brussels, Belgium. They were the last pair and not the size I normally wear, but the boutique owner encouraged me to try them on. As soon as I buttoned them up, I knew that they were meant to be mine.

The best tip I can offer for wearing patterned denim is to find a pattern you really love. Floral is not my thing, but I’ve loved watercolour since my parents bought me a Crayola paint set for Easter when I was four. The pattern fits into my wardrobe naturally, and I pair it with neutral pieces that allow it to stand out, like my favourite basic navy blazer from Zara and a crisp white blouse.

Cee’s wearing: blazer, Zara. Blouse, Gap. Jeans, Paige. Booties, Aldo. Purse, Artessorio. Bracelet, La Vie Parisienne.

Denim Trends Style Panel Stephanie Koch

Stephanie Koch, 27
Kelowna | Inherited Jeans

Denim in all colors and patterns continue to be a huge trend this spring and while I usually consider denim an investment, there are many budget friendly options in store now to allow you to play with these bold bottoms. I prefer a solid color on the bottom, and because I chose a very bright pink I balanced the ultra-feminine silhouette with other trends: a boxy varsity jacket in black and white. As the weather warms up, pair your coloured jeans with a wedge sandal to lengthen your legs, or get a little crafty and DIY them into shorts (a favourite trick of mine to extend the seasonal wear of an inexpensive piece)!

Stephanie’s wearing: sunglasses, Michael Kors. Necklace, Ell & Emm. Jacket, Vero Moda. Jeans, Joe Fresh. Boots, H&M.

Denim Trends Style Panel Amber Desilets

Amber Desilets, 30
London | Canadian Fashionista

One of the hottest trends in denim this season is patterned jeans, just be careful to find the correct shape, style and size for your body type. If you’re heavier on the lower half of your body, like your hips and thighs you might want to opt for a dark wash and a smaller pattern. Let the pattern of the pant be the focal point by pairing it with a natural top and you could always pair it with a denim jacket for a more casual look. If you’re on the petite side of thing try vertical stripes on your pants to create the illusion of height and you can also bump up the look by paring it with a cute pair of heels to elongate you even more. If you’re looking for a more trendy way to wear pattern jeans don’t be afraid to mix prints, go for a head-to-toe textured look—just make sure the top has similar colours to the print on your jeans and one of the prints must be larger in size than the other for a more balanced look.

Denim Trends Style Panel Christina Cravero

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

Jean is something that no wardrobe can be without! For Spring 2013 the hottest trends in the denim department are waxed, patterned, and colour-blocked (whether it is different shades of denim or just colour-block in general). Although I adore waxed/coated jeans, I feel that for Spring/Summer patterned denim is my favourite. Whether you pair with heels or with statement flats, these jeans are a favourite pant in my wardrobe for the upcoming season!

Christina’s Wearing: Jeans, H&M. Chambray Shirt, Bershka. Necklace, Cathryn Ann Designs. Shoes, ShoeDazzle. Bracelets, Live, Love, Shop. Sunglasses, Pucci.

Denim Trends Style Panel Krystin Lee

Krystin Lee, 26
Toronto | Suburban Faux-Pas

Patterned jeans (particularly spotted jeans) have been on my wish list for a while. However, trying to find a style that has the perfect wash, pattern size and fit can often be complicated. I snagged this pair and fell in love. The subtle hint of polka dots creates a fun statement but isn’t so overpowering. I also love that the dots are in a fun cream colour, which will work perfect with all of the white eyelet and lace tops I’ve been scooping up for spring and summer!

Krystin’s wearing: Cardigan, Jacob. Shirt, Joe Fresh. Jeans, Else by Macy’s. Boots, Target. Bag, Coach. Necklace, Ily Couture. Watch, MK. Bracelets, Luxe Craving, J.Crew. Rings, Tryst Jewelery

Denim Trends Style Panel Zoe Smythe

Zoe Smythe, 30
New York City | Zoe’s Fashion Feed

I’m jumping on the ombré trend here with my high-rise skinny Levi’s jeans.These jeans are the perfect fit for my hourglass shape, so I was excited to find this new-coated version for spring. The sandblasted top with coated bottom gives and interesting dipped ombré effect.

Denim Trends Style Panel Kassandra Camponi

Kassandra Camponi, 26
Edmonton | Kastles

I am a prints kinda gal so naturally I was drawn toward these denim floral pants. The nice thing about the pattern on these pants is that they are neutral. If you are a little hesitant to try out the patterned denim trend, I would pick a pair similar to these ones. Since the pattern consists of a neutral colour palette they will go with more pieces in your closet.

Here are a couple of different ways you could wear these pants:
-try a bright coloured top, maybe in an emerald green or fuchsia
-go for a more classic look with a crisp white button up blouse
-a Breton striped top always works with a floral print
-step outside of the box and try a patterned top like I did here (make sure to pick a print with the same neutrals as your pants)

Most of all make sure to have some fun with this trend!

Denim Trends Style Panel Barbara Ann Solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin 

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

For the last few seasons I’ve barely worn my jeans because of the wide selection of extreme trousers available, but with denim making a huge comeback this season I can’t wait to rock all the crazy pattern and printed pants available. These butterfly printed Versace jeans are right on trend and were an amazing vintage find for $10. I paired these insane pants with a small floral print, I think this creates a strange contrast look while telling a season appropriate story. When wearing patterned denim, don’t be afraid to mix it with another pattern, it’s all about creating contrast in size and colours.

Barbara’s wearing: Blouse, Joe Fresh. Pants, Versace. Shoes, Topshop.

Denim Trends Style Panel Cara McLeay

Cara McLeay, 28
Vancouver | A Fashion Love Affair

I love jeans—patterned, straight leg, boyfriend, coloured—they are all on regular rotation for me. When the days start getting warmer, however, I can’t get enough of my boyfriend shorts. I would live in them if I could! Easy to dress up or down while remaining comfortable gives them check marks across the board for me.

Cara’s wearing: Jean shorts and T-shirt, American Eagle. Jacket, ASOS. Necklace, Jennifer Zeuner. Heels, Pour La Victoire Heels. Bag, Coach.

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