HOW TO BREAK OUT
OF A DENIM RUT

We challenged four M&S staffers to swap their favourite jeans for a fresh new
style. Here’s how they got on

Kate Fitzpatrick, Sparks
and personalisation editor

I’ve worn skinny-leg, mid-rise jeans religiously since about 2001 – talk about a style rut! I even wore skinny maternity jeans when I was pregnant. I dress in denim regularly because I can wear it to work, so I keep things fresh by changing up the colour, mixing in grey and black styles with my go-to dark blue.

I was worried a distressed denim style might not be polished enough for me. But my fears were unfounded – the jeans looked sharp when paired with the blazer and a box-fresh white tee. The high waist did a super job of flattering my tummy area, which isn’t quite what it once was since having a baby. Apart from the odd special occasion, my closet strikes a smart casual tone so I’d get great mileage from this outfit: work, weekend outings or even a low-key date night.

Sophie Hines, womenswear
and lingerie editor

My go-to style of denim is wide leg. I’m a size bigger on my bottom half, so I prefer looser styles, such as culottes, to avoid highlighting this. I loved these on-trend two-tone jeans straight away. I haven’t seen anything like them in Marks & Spencer before – it’s quite a directional look. They’re really flattering; I think the side stripe has a slimming effect.

I love the fact that M&S does lots of its jeans in a long length. I’m 5ft 9 – if you’re tall like me, it can be a nightmare to find fashion-forward pants or jeans that actually fit. This would be a great weekend outfit for me, and my friends would definitely want to know where the jeans are from. If I wanted a more casual look, I’d wear them with simple white trainers and a T-shirt.

Carmen Ip,
marketing assistant

I live in my black high-waisted skinny jeans because they are so easy to style: you can just throw on with any top – dressy or casual – and then add trainers or heels to make an instant outfit. In fact, a breezy cotton top, skinny black jeans and open-toe sandals is my current go-to look.

I initially had qualms about swapping my usual black jeans for white as I’m super clumsy, so I rarely wear anything white. But I love the silhouette of these jeans: they have a high waist and wide legs so they create a really lovely shape. The plaited belt nips in the waist, too. I can see myself taking this outfit from the office to the bar – they’re definitely worth the extra washing!

Vaishali Nathwani,
marketing assistant

My go-to style of denim is usually a straight-leg pair of jeans. I find them comfortable to be in all day at work and easy to move around in. I also think it’s the safest shape of jean – skinny or straight jeans look good on everyone and suit all shapes and sizes.

I can honestly say I’ve never worn a high-rise ‘girlfriend’ style of jean before. I was a bit sceptical at first as I thought my legs might get lost in them, but it turns out they were even more comfortable than the straight jeans I’m used to. The high-rise style was flattering as it showed off my waist and made my legs look longer. I’d wear these jeans for after-work drinks or even on a date night. They’re very easy to dress up by pairing with heels.

Editor: Dulcie Emerson / Creative director: Nicola Rose /
Photographer: Jonty Davies / Stylist: Louise Carmel Hall / Hair stylist: Ben Cooke