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In the jeans

Before I trained in colour analysis I imagined that my most commonly asked question from clients would be a variation on the theme of, “you won’t make me stop wearing black will you?”

OK, so I actually do get asked that a lot, but there have been a couple of surprise common questions, and one of the biggies is, “how do I choose my jeans now?”

Denim can be a tricky one because of the nature of the fabric – traditionally, before weaving, one set of threads (the warp) is dyed while the other (the weft) is left white, giving denim its beautiful natural textured appearance – which makes it hard to accurately judge the type of colour in comparison to a swatch book of flat colours.

So, since I’m here to make your life easier, and since jeans and a tshirt is the ultimate wardrobe classic, a little guidance on choosing your best denim seems in order.



  • Don’t go too dark – the deepest indigo washes will look gloomy and serious on you, and won’t pair well with your clear bright Spring colours
  • Likewise, don’t go too light – getting into the palest blues will pull you into the cooler Summer palette
  • A bright blue denim is always going to look better on you than something too muted. Inevitably, stone washes, aged denim and other rinses go in and out of fashion, but your best denim is always going to be a more solid mid-blue rinse, as it will tone in with your bright spring colours. However, even among the world of distressed jeans (which are everywhere at the moment), it is possible to find brighter blue denims – the jeans in the image above are distressed, but the nature of the wash means they have faded to a warmer aqua rather than cool Summer tones
  • Tan stitching, rather than white or blue, will always add a warm hint that will help your jeans pair with your warm toned wardrobe too.


  • You were designed to wear denim! The cool blue of indigo dye works incredibly well for your season, from palest acid wash up to deep indigo, as long as it doesn’t get too strong and intense and turn into Winter’s dark navy.


  • Two words. Vintage wash. The slightly warmer tones of vintage wash denim work really well with the autumn palette, and make denim work well with the golden undertones of Autumn
  • As with Springs, sticking to tan stitching will help your jeans tone in with your warm colours.
  • If you want to go darker, try charcoal grey jeans rather than deep indigo, which can be harsh against your Autumn colours


  • Although only the deepest and darkest denim really fits in with Winter’s palette, any denim that is clear and bright enough will pair well with Winter’s colours for a modern look.
  • If you do go for paler denim, make sure you add in some contrast with your top (in short, consider something other than royal blue or navy on your top half) to add in the contrast that adds impact to your look as a Winter.
  • Jeans with blue or white stitching will tone in with your colours more than those with tan stitching and rivets.

In short, treat your denim with the same rules as you treat any other purchase – choose a shade of denim that best tones with your palette, while still honouring your own personal style.