The amount of denim in the wardrobes of my clients runs the gamut. There are those who wear denim items daily, in casual or smart casual outfits, and have a large denim capsule. They have denim jeans, jackets, skirts, shirts and dresses in a variety of washes and colours. There is another group who also likes denim, but wears it less frequently. They typically wear denim items three to four times a week, but not daily.

Then there are my clients who hardly wear denim at all. I find this interesting, because by conventional wisdom denim is such a staple. It is fashionable, practical, versatile, casually appropriate and easy to launder. But these clients have some good reasons for their decision to have a very “denim light” style.

Work Dress Codes

Clients who have business formal or business casual dress codes cannot wear jeans to work, which means that denim is something to wear over the weekends or in the evenings at best. Occasionally they will get away with wearing trouser jeans, black jeans or white jeans on casual Fridays. 

Ultra Curvy Figures

Some of my very curvy clients — and pear shaped clients in particular — much prefer the way they look in dresses and skirts. No matter how well a curvy pair of jeans will fit (and waistbands can be altered too), they just don’t feel fabulous in jeans. But they will wear a denim jacket with a dress, or sport an A-line denim skirt. 

Uncomfortable Fabrication

Some clients prefer wearing softer fabrications like jersey knits, lightweight cottons, Ponte knits, leggings and knitwear most of the time. Denim, no matter how soft and stretchy, is still too constricting and rigid. And for some clients, denim is simply too warm to wear when it’s not Winter. 

A Non-Denim Style Aesthetic

For a handful of clients, denim simply doesn’t fit into their style aesthetic. It doesn’t drape and looks too pedestrian. Although they look fab in jeans, they don’t feel fab. They prefer creating outfits without denim because to their eye it’s more unique. 

Denim is Too Casual 

There are a few clients who feel that blue denim is too casual no matter how you slice and dice it. They will wear black and white denim, and that’s it. 

My late Mother never ever wore denim until the last few years of her life (she died in her late fifties). And she would only wear white jeans because they look dressier than blue. I suspect she’d eventually have worn black jeans, and perhaps pink jeans, but for the rest she was a trouser and skirt gal through and through. 

As I look back over my 45 years, my love for denim has grown. I never wore denim as a child, and quite seldom as a teen. I definitely had a denim light wardrobe for the first 17 years of my life. I started wearing jeans at university, but the affection dwindled when I become a fashion buyer and denim was forbidden at the the office. 

I rekindled my love for denim when we came to the US twelve years ago, and I now have a denim-heavy wardrobe. I love the way denim feels and looks. But most of all, I love denim’s ability to dress down wardrobe items that would ordinarily be too dressy for my lifestyle. Its magical tempering affect is perfect for my style, and as a result I wear jeans and denim jackets very frequently. Since I bat for Team Dressy, I do have as many pairs of white jeans as blue jeans. White jeans in all sorts of silhouettes are one of my favourite wardrobe items of all time, so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Here are all the denim items in my wardrobe:

Over to you. Is your wardrobe denim light or denim heavy?