In The Mood: The Virtues of Denim - Neiman Marcus

In The Mood: The Virtues of Denim

Ken Downing

April 14, 2016


I’m continually amazed by the staying power of denim. Sturdy, stylish, seasonless — it’s a fashion staple that’s transcended time (and trend) since it burst onto the runways in the ’70s.


Adopted from France yet quintessentially American, this durable cotton twill was originally designed as workwear. Today, it’s fashion’s workhorse — a favorite of designers and a crowd-pleaser in every closet. (Who doesn’t have a pair of jeans that feels like an old friend?)

Denim’s determination is impressive; what other fashion icon has survived over 40 years in a tumultuous industry that changes faster than a stopwatch’s second hand? Its comfortable and unapologetically casual cool attitude has kept it evergreen and relevant from generation to generation.

The only aspect possibly more impressive than its longevity is its diversity. Denim is so much more than a pair of jeans: shirts, shorts, jackets, jumpsuits, boyfriend-cuts, skinnies. . . . And denim possesses an amazing ability to start a dialogue in your wardrobe during the day and continue that conversation into the night. This spring, the catwalks took inspiration from the sidewalks, proving denim is fashion’s greatest equalizer. Interpreted in indigo, fabulously faded, or bleached to bright white, it can be the foundation of every trend you want to wear.


Bare-shoulder tops look terrific with denim. Lace? Of course, that’s a look I love. Teamed-up tailoring and worn with the updated blazer? Brilliant! When it comes to denim, it’s not about editing; it’s about collecting. As I’m always saying, “More is more, less is a bore.” And no one needs to look boring!



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