How To Do Double Denim

This is how NOT to do DD
Love it or hate it, double denim is officially back in business. Or, shall we say, it never went out of style? Because, despite our thoughts veering towards one infamous Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake look from the early noughties, Canadian tuxedos existed long before then, and continued to prevail thereafter.

Is Wearing Double Denim On Trend In 2024?

If we are to believe the direction pointed at by the street style pack (and also, what retailers have to offer), fashion has firmly shifted its onus back to the double-whammy true blues – and it’s as versatile as ever. One only has to look to the Spring/Summer ’24 runways for proof: at Alexander McQueen sculpted denim jackets were styled with micro shorts. Over at Balenciaga, signature oversized co-ords still reigned supreme, while Chanel presented holiday-ready tunic tops rendered in the sturdy fabric. And elsewhere at Dries Van Noten, blazers and Bermuda shorts made a compelling point for the sophistication of denim.

To neaten everything up, tuck your denim shirt into slouchy denim jeans and finish off with a smart leather belt,” she continues. Thanks to fashion’s ever-evolving whims, the jeans-shirt-combo is no longer the only styling option to dip into denim. Why not embrace a denim maxi skirt, worn with the matching top and a fun kitten heel? Or, alternatively, if you feel like flashing some flesh, take your double denim look on a night out and settle for a denim miniskirt instead.

And if the double layering feels ever so slightly OTT, consider white denim pieces as your gateway to this world. In other words, styling options come aplenty.

Here, we round up the best (and easiest) options to dabble in double denim, according to the style set.

The Boyfriend Fit: Baggy Jeans + Oversized Shirt

To avoid gargantuan proportions, wear the denim shirt unbuttoned and layer it a skintight vest.

 

H&M, Baggy Jeans & Denim Shirt

Price: £32.99

www2.hm.com

Thanks to fashion’s current musings, baggy jeans semaphore trend-awareness. Plus, they’re super comfortable.

& Other Stories, Mesh Ballet Flats

Price: £110

www.stories.com

& Other Stories’ mesh ballet flats will be the ultimate wardrobe workhorse once temperatures creep up again.

Keep It Classic: Straight Leg Jeans + Denim Jacket

Nothing beats a classic double denim situation and if you like to keep things simple, this one is for you. Opt. forstraight-leg jeans and pair them with the matching denim jacket. Dial the look up with a pair of heels or subscribe to comfort with your favourite trainers.

The Evening Look: Denim Mini Skirt + Denim Shirt + Heels

Yes, double denim can work for a night on the dancefloor, too. Swap jeans for a denim mini and trainers for a slick pair of evening shoes. A pair of statement earrings will complete the outfit.

The Grown-Up Tuxedo: Denim Midi Skirt + Oversized Shirt + Long Boots

True blue times two can be as serious and grown-up as a tailored two-piece. Elongated proportions and elegant accessories are ultimately flattering and don’t scream Y2K. Instead, they whisper quiet luxury.

The All-White Alternative: White Jeans + White Denim Shirt

And if double blues feels too Britney ca. 2001, do consider double denim in different shades as an alternative to the western-inspired look, such as ecru. But beware, this certinaly isn’t red wine-friendly.

Reformation, Eugenia Denim Midi Dress

We can always rely on Reformation to deliver the goods when it comes to great dresses. This indigo version, in stretch denim, is one you can wear for day with trainers and for after-dark with a sparkly bag and heels.

BUY NOW

£220

www.thereformation.com

Topshop, Bustier Denim Dress In Indigo

If a mini is more your vibe, Topshop’s style is the one to go for. We’re imagining it with an oversized bomber jacket and chunky sandals.

BUY NOW

£40

www.asos.com

Bershka, Comfort Denim Bandeau

For a night out, try this mini with a leather jacket, platform heels and a shoulder bag. You could also layer it over a mesh top to make it more daytime-ready.

BUY NOW

£29.99

www.bershka.com

Stradivarius, Denim Halter Neck Dress

If you don’t want to go strapless, this halter-neck midi from Stradivarius still gives that throwback look.

BUY NOW

£45.99

www.stradivarius.com

Return Of The Ballet Pump

All Anyone Wants Right Now Is A Great Pair Of Ballet Pumps

Ballet pumps might not have the swagger of cowboy boots or the sex appeal of stilettos, but somehow they’ve still managed to edge out the competition as the coolest shoe of 2024 (already). 

Naturally, celebrities have slipped on styles with designer pedigree, like The buckled fishnet take from Alaïa  – lots of love has been shown for these. And Alexa Chung loves the satin Miu Miu pump. 

 Yes, heels are being eschewed in favour of ballerinas. Most recently, at the Golden Globes, Billie Eilish wore a pair of Mary Janes (with a small block heel) that she’d found in a thrift shop. And it’s not just the celebs. If you are desperately seeking the perfect pair of pumps, you’re not alone, as illustrated by the fact that Google searches for ballet pumps have increased by a mighty 400% in the past few days, 

Most of the designer versions listed above are either sold-out or have low levels of stock left. Happily, there are so many other options, you’ll be spoilt for choice. And clearly, this is not a fashion item restricted to high price tags – there is a ballet pump for all budgets.

If you want a no-frills classic with ‘forever buy’ credentials, River Island or Zara. For styling tips follow Gigi Hadid, who recently wore hers with a simple uniform of a white shirt and black trousers in New York. Because their personality is pretty (and just a little prissy), ballet pumps need a bit of toughening up. So instead of wearing them with something soft, send mixed messages with retro tracksuit bottoms and sporty sunglasses or a lived-in leather jacket and low-slung baggy jeans.

1. 

Valentino Rockstud Ballet Pumps

Price: £780

www.mytheresa.com

You may remember when these became a sensation some years ago but now, they’re being revived by a host of street stylers.

2. 

M&S Bow Flat Ballet Pumps

Price: £22.50

www.marksandspencer.com

An easy way to inject some colour into your wardrobe, these flats have a classic shape and Insolia Flex technology to ensure maximum comfort.

3. 

COS Pointed Heel Pumps

Price: £135

www.cos.com

If you’re in need of pumps that feel a bit more polished, COS’ super-pointy pair is just right. Try with oversized tailoring.

4. 

Miu Miu Logo Ballet Pumps

Price: £700

www.mytheresa.com

Despite hitting peak popularity a couple of seasons ago, Miu Miu’s logo pumps are still in high demand. With low stock across all sizes, you’ll need to be quick if you want a pair for yourself.

5. 

Boden Ballet Pumps

Price: £90

www.boden.co.uk

The slightly squared toe on Boden’s ballet flats give them a chic edge. The classic black will go with everything but they do also come in patent, red, pink and even leopard print.

6. 

Everlane The Day Ballet Flat

Price: £137

www.everlane.com

With their almond-shaped toe, buttery soft leather and cushioned soles, these are some of the best ballet shoes on offer. It’s no surprise, then, that they have celebrity fans like Angelina Jolie

7. 

Alaïa Perforated Leather Ballet Flats

Price: £750

www.net-a-porter.com

Alaïa’s crystal-embellished ballet flats sold out in no time last season, so expect a similar reaction to the latest iteration. These are just a sheer delight and will make jeans and a jumper feel

8. 

Mango Satin Ballerina with Studs

Clearly inspired by Valentino’s signature Rockstuds, Mango’s flats are available in bright red or black and will look excellent now with tights and floaty dresses.

9. 

Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Satin Flats

Price: £895

www.luisaviaroma.com

Crafted in the most beautiful array of colours, this pretty pink pair of Manolo Blahnik’s famous Hangisi shoe would offset wide-leg denim and an oversized shirt perfectly.

10. 

ASOS Leather Mary Jane Ballet in Tan

Price: £56 (was £70)

www.asos.com

Super chic, these shoes look far more expensive than they actually are. They’re even currently on sale, so are now less than £60.

11

Mint Velvet Neutral Ballet Pumps

Price: £99

mintvelvet.com

With their Chanel vibes, these shoes will quickly become a staple part of your everyday wardrobe. You can dress them up or down, too – they’re nothing if not versatile.

12. 

& Other Stories, Leather Ballet Flats

Price: £95

www.stories.com

Jelly Fashion Is Back!

Jelly Fashion Is the Playful Style Trend We’re Loving Right Now

Who remembers the jelly shoes and bags of the late 80’s? I do, and as much as they appeal to the younger generation with their poppy colouring, one thing’s for sure – they’re not practical in the slightest.

Fashion is a pendulum, which means that what fades out of favour will eventually swing back into the good graces of style purveyors. Though some may have doubted the second coming jelly fashion, this colourful and kiddish aesthetic is officially back – in all its squishy glory.

Jelly fashion consists of plastic or rubber pieces—mainly shoes and bags—that look kind of like candy. It’s playful, and it’s a statement. (But it’s non-edible!)

Feeling this Y2K era trend? I’ve got the lowdown on its return and tips on adding jelly pieces to your wardrobe.

With the momentum of the Y2K resurgence that we’re seeing in fashion, jellies made their comeback as they are reminiscent of the late 80s. Seen on the runway at Coach’s Spring 2024 show in its traditional, flat, cage silhouette, along with a platform variation made popular by Prada, jellies have made their comeback in both their classic form and with a modern twist.

Telfar also recently came out with handbags featuring a structured silhouette in vibrant colours, and Gucci dropped some jelly sandals that were affordable and flew off the shelves. Clearly, the people want jelly.

Tips for Adding Jelly to Your Fits

I recommend keeping it as inexpensive and cheerful as possible, since the trend may be a flash in the pan. If you’re opting for shoes, it’s smart to pair them with socks for more of that Y2K-era vibe and also to keep blisters at bay.

I also suggest trying a handbag in a colour that you own a good bit of, as this is a great way to integrate it into what you already own.

Shoes

  • Juju Jelly Heeled Shoe  ASOS

Handbags

  • Kurt Geiger Vinyl Kensington Bag
  • Coach Jelly Bag

Jewellery

Luxury Easter Eggs

The giving and receiving of Easter eggs may well be one of the world’s quirkiest religious traditions. But it is also our favourite excuse to gorge on sugar. 

While Xmas, Birthdays and Valentine’s Day require the full shabang of inventiveness and consideration, selecting a luxury chocolate Easter egg is decidedly easier… and who doesn’t love thinking about chocolate? But in 2024 it’s all about the LUXURY egg.

Standard Easter Eggs are easy enough to pick up in your local supermarket — Mini Egg, Crunchie, Dairy Milk. However, there is a world of luxury Easter eggs out there, far better suited to earning brownie points with your loved ones. Demonstrating that you’ve browsed further than the petrol station.

 Below, I give you my favourite chocolatey picks from shops and chocolatiers as diverse as Hotel Chocolat, Fortnum & Mason, Charbonnel et Walker, Venchi and Chococo. Whichever you pick, delight is guaranteed.

Cocoba Giant 4kg Easter Egg

No Easter egg quite big enough? Buckle up for the Cocoba solution, one which involves 51cm and 4 kilograms of Belgian milk chocolate. Ideal for overachievers, hosts with the most and those who prefer the work of bonafide chocolatiers. £99.95. At notonthehighstreet.com

Fortnum & Mason Golden Milk Chocolate Praline Eggs

You’d be forgiven for thinking Fortnum’s traditional egg carton packaging houses anything other than ordinary hen’s fare and that’s because, well, you wouldn’t be wrong. Six real hen’s eggs have been carefully hollowed of their contents and filled with praline milk chocolate before being painted gold. As such, resist the urge to bite right in, crack in half with a knife and serve on your best silver egg cup. £30. fortnumandmason.com

Waitrose The Cracking Pistachio Egg

The egg; the myth; the legend. Waitrose’s ‘Cracking Pistachio’ egg is one of several green nut themed centrepieces going viral on TikTok. A Russian doll of eggs, this two-for-one features a caramelised sugar white chocolate outer shell and an inner pistachio-flavoured layer complete with pistachio nibs. Easter feasting for grown-ups. £14.waitrose.com

Patisserie Valerie Ultimate Chocolate Easter Egg Cake

Once again we find ourselves trying to shoehorn what is demonstrably a cake into the narrow identifier of ‘Easter egg’. Thankfully, there are eggs included in this chocolate construction by Patisserie Valerie, as well as rosettes, curls and vermicelli, all in chocolate, of course. £39.95. patisserie-valerie.co.uk

Harrods Tuck Shop Hamper

Another hamper for sharing the joy out (or, let’s face it, guaranteeing more for yourself), this little compilation features a miniature Easter egg, two food hall chocolate bars, a chocolate coin and a bag of carrot-shaped gummies for good luck. Yeah, it’s aimed at children, but when has that ever stopped you? £50. harrods.com

Can’t pick from between Cutter & Squidge’s hyper-popular filled half eggs? You don’t have to. Cop all three — ‘Billionaire’, ‘Strawberry Eat-On Mess’ and ‘Vegan Cookie’ — in one indecently saccharine package. £69.99.cutterandsquidge.com

Cake Or Death Easter Eggstravaganza Vegan Brownies

No, it’s not an egg! But there are eggs involved in this Cake or Death tray bake featuring a deep layer of the bakery’s signature vegan brownie. Topped with vegan marshmallows, KitKats pieces, white chocolate and Doisy & Dam dairy-free mini eggs. £21.50. cakeordeath.co.uk

Lindt 1kg Bunny

You know her; you love her, the Lindt bunny has been the poster rabbit for Easter for as long as Santa’s been in a red suit, and it’s now customary for many to pick one up for a family member. If you want to go big, behold the final boss of animal-shaped choc: a 1kg Swiss chocolate Lindt bunny. £65.lindt.co.uk

Harvey Nichols Easter Greetings Hamper

There’s a smorgasbord of eggs included in this Harvey Nichols hamper, made especially to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus (or, you know, the feasting associated with it). The larger egg comes in blonde chocolate (caramel-infused and studded with honeycomb to you), while you’ll also get a bunch of praline and giandjuja mini eggs, biscuits, honey and white-choc covered strawberries too. £100. harveynichols.com

Hotel Chocolat Ostrich Easter Egg

Want to make a grand gesture to someone special this Easter? The most luxurious (and largest) of Hotel Chocolat’s Easter eggs is its classic Ostrich Egg. One half is crafted from 40 per cent milk chocolate packed with crunchy cookies and the other from 50 per cent milk chocolate with feuilletine flakes. But that’s not all… This egg also comes with a box of treats, including pralines, caramel truffles and more – plus golden eggs. In fact, all in all, this exuberant egg adds up to more than one kilogram of chocolate, all wrapped up neatly in a ribbon-tied box. £85.hotelchocolat.com

Welcome to Amanda Zips It Up

Now, if you’re the type who has ever indulged in “party favours of the chemical kind” help you dance from dusk until dawn, spare a thought for ravers over in India, who are going to crazy extremes to get that special all-night high.

Snake Venom.  Yes, really. AKA an night on the reptiles.

Dissatisfied that even the most potent ‘high’ wears off after a few hours, Indian youths are turning to snake venom, as its effects can last for several days. Local police say that they are increasingly encountering this phenomenon. On a raid at a party in India, officers found cobras and a plastic bottle containing 20ml of snake venom. They arrested Elvish Yadav, a minor celebrity and social media influencer who won the Indian equivalent of Big Brother, and have charged him with providing snake venom.

Police commented that the snakes are injected with chemicals to increase the venom with which they immobilise their prey. Snake charmers are usually needed to coax the snakes into performing the dangerous procedure. The snakes are either made to spit out venom, which is saved and ingested, or induced to bite the person on the tongue or foot.

Once in the bloodstream, the venom releases substances, including serotonin and peptides, which sedate the recipient. Later, the venom generates a sense of wellbeing and intense euphoria usually associated with powerful opioids. It is not known when Indians first began experimenting with snake venom but some people became so addicted for its “ultimate and prolonged high” that they get bitten by a snake on their tongues regularly.

Snakes are held near the head then a sharp slap on the snake’s head with a blunt item causes it to bite.

Snake venom has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, including for treating smallpox and leprosy, and healing wounds. 

Don’t know about you but I’d rather stick to a glass of vino on my nights out.

Anyway, in this week’s instalment we check out the new Rita Ora Collection at Primark, Blokecore Fashion, The Airbag and M&S launch new padded knickers for that bigger butt.

Rita Ora New Primark Collection

Rita Ora has released yet another gorgeous clothing collection with Primark for Spring/Summer, her third range, this time a ‘fun and floral’ collection.

One piece from the range, a blue printed midi dress costing £21, is nearly an exact replica for Missoni’s zigzag designer garment, which costs £850.

The singer, 33, modelled the plunging neckline, slim-fit chevron dress with a pair of towering blue platform heels, teamed with a £23 matching cardigan.

Similarly, the dress from Missoni details a scoop neck and a stunning white and blue detailing.

Elsewhere in her collection, Rita slipped into a £16 satin floral mini dress and covered her shoulders with a chic pink blazer, costing £34.

Another item she modelled was an elegant yellow and orange satin slip dress, for £25, with a gorgeous semi-sheer lace material.

Keeping it casual, Rita rocked a trendy frayed denim skirt, stylish sunglasses and blue head scarf – with the entire ensemble costing only £32.

Also in the collection, Rita x Primark released multiple ballet pumps, for around £12, and affordable high-heels with rosette motif, costing £16.

I like the pastel suits and tea dresses but that’s about all. The DOUBLE DENIM isn’t doing anything for me.  Rita can rock the look. Most of us can’t.

The ONLY double denim I like…

Blokecore Fashion

Blokecore: The men’s fashion trend throwing it back to Britpop’s heyday

Blokecore is essentially ‘dress like you’re a football thug from 1997’, but call it fashion.

The term BLOKE doesn’t have an exact definition, but it conjures images of a “man’s man”; the type who loves football, spends his time at the pub, and oozes testosterone.

Whilst blokey behaviour has been associated with misogyny and hooliganism, over the years a new generation of fashion-forward males are endeavouring to bring the aesthetic back to the fore.

Blokecore is a style that’s become popular recently with Gen Z and Millennial TikTokers, mirroring the womenswear trend cycle with a distinctive 90s/00s feel.

The aesthetic is set to be big this year, with inspiration coming from Britpop icons like Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher, as well as middle-aged geezers who haven’t changed their style since before Gazza.

To get a feel for what blokecore is all about, think back to a time when wearing a Union Jack was a nod to The Spice Girls rather than Brexit.

Baddiel and Skinner’s Three Lions is on near-constant repeat on the radio, while the TV guide is packed with sitcoms like Men Behaving Badly. You don’t have a mobile phone, so you put on your best replica football top and head to your local in the hope your mates are there.

Blokecore is non-craft lager, t-shirts and well-worn jeans, Adidas Samba trainers, Calvin Klein cologne, and mugs of sugary builder’s tea with The Jam on in the background. It’s a simple aesthetic, with comfort and wearability at its heart.

Brands to look out for to work the trend include Pretty Green and Fred Perry, and sportswear labels like Adidas and Nike are always great for staples.

Try charity shops and vintage retailers, too. As a general rule, if you can imagine it being worn by Gav Shipman in Gavin and Stacey, it’s blokecore.

Lad culture dressing embraces ‘working class masculinity in a tongue-in-cheek way’ while pushing back against the ‘increasing gender fluidity of modern menswear’.

In a world where soccer and fashion are becoming gentrified at an equal pace, that’s something we can get behind.

M&S Padded Knickers

They’re the nation’s favourite bra retailer, selling 45 bras every minute, but this season Marks & Spencer is having a go at lifting another part of the female anatomy. The store is launching knickers with built-in padding to give our backsides a bit of oomph.

‘We’re doing for bums what we’ve done for boobs for years’ they say.

M&S hails its new £15 knickers with built-in padding to give backsides oomph and create an ample-bottomed curvy silhouette

They will be available from May in 35 stores and online, at £15 a pair. They are designed with two removable convex pads that sit atop the wearer’s buttocks to create a curvy silhouette.

“We’ve had requests from both UK and international customers”, says M&S’s Ms Jenkinson, who calls the pants the ‘BBS’ – bum-boosting shorts.

The popularity of bigger rears is, in part, a result of the Kim Kardashian effect.

The ample-bottomed US reality TV star has helped shift the female body ideal away from the petite posteriors of the nineties and noughties towards an hourglass look. And plenty of women are willing to go to extreme lengths to get it.

In 2021, nearly 400,000 women worldwide had Brazilian Butt Lift surgery, which takes fat from elsewhere in the body and pumps it into the bottom. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery this is a 20 per cent rise on 2017, despite it costing more than £7,500 and having the highest mortality rate of any cosmetic surgery.

While your average M&S customer might not go to the lengths of having surgery, they may still want a more curvaceous behind. 

However, the store can’t claim to be the first to stock this ingenious pant solution. Ms Kardashian’s underwear label Skims currently offers padded pants, as does the shapewear brand Spanx.

The Air Swipe Bag

Futuristic bag made out of ‘99% air’ debuts at Paris Fashion Week

A futuristic handbag that’s almost lighter than air – made from a unique nanomaterial that’s the lightest solid on planet Earth – hit the runway at PFW.

The Coperni Air Swipe bag is fashioned from aerogel. This substance, created by NASA and used by the space agency to collect stardust, comprises ‘99% air and 1% glass’ but is a thousand times less dense than glass.

Although it’s delicate to look at – resembling a cloud – silica aerogel is surprisingly robust. Not only can it withstand temperatures of up to 1200°F, it’s able to bear a pressure of 4,000 times its own weight; an extremely portable 33 grams.

Essentially, while the Air Swipe might look like a flimsy puff of smoke, it won’t fall apart when carrying your lipstick, phone and keys on a night out.

Unfortunately, however, it’s unlikely to become available for purchase any time soon – at least not for us mere mortals. You can purchase one of the label’s original Swipe bags (made from leather) for around £600.

Welcome to AZIP & this season’s Charm Trend

Welcome to this week’s instalment of Amanda Zips It Up and the hottest trend week is this:
WOMEN’S RODEO LARGE HANDBAG USED EFFECT WITH CHARMS IN BLACK
£ 8,500
Bag Charms Are Back: this Noughties Accessory Has Returned – And they are mentally expensive!

First of all, just look at the price of the new Balenciaga Rodeo Large Handbag in black! They have used smooth calfskin with charms with aged-silver hardware is in several looks of Balenciaga Summer 24 Collection.

But even crazier is the price of the charms!

The accessories for your bag will set you back anything from £100 to £500! No surprise that this has taken centre stage on TikTok pages and on the catwalk

If you can’t afford the real thing then the Birkin tote (or anything similar) is acceptable and the Anya Hindmarch polo charm is still expensive at £150, but will become a cult classic.

Plus – what seems to be the MUST-HAVE garment for this Spring – as seen on everyone from Victoria Beckham to Snoop Dog? Even I’m wearing them… it’s the Red Flared 70s Adidas tracksuit bottoms teamed with a black blazer or simple black polo-neck. Get yours at ASOS – Green are also coming in a close second.