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Fashion Challenge: Colored Denim


colored denim
Photo Credits: 1 – Rachel Bilson, 2 – Dittos, 3 – Isabel Marant Fall 2010 RTW

This week’s Fashion Challenge is all about taking a formerly-trendy item and wearing it again once it’s no longer “in.” Think you can handle it? Read on!

Colored denim is a look that’s been on and off the fashion radar for the past few years now. Bright denim had a big comeback in 2007 (you might still have some in the back of your closet), and celebrities were pulling the pieces out of their closets again last summer. Although Isabel Marant sent orange denim down the Fall 2010 runways (above right), colored denim is not exactly a trend of the moment right now, making it more challenging to wear.

So if you’re bold enough to ignore trends (or just have some colored denim sitting around that you’d like to get use out of), then you are more than ready for this week’s multi-colored Fashion Challenge.

Tips and Tricks for Rocking Colored Denim

  • Ease into it. If you aren’t ready to throw on a bright red pair of jeans just yet, go for something similar to what you already wear: green, shades of blue (see Picture 5, below right), and purple (Picture 4, below left) would do the trick.

alba and marc by marc
Photo Credits: 1 – Jessica Alba, 2 – Marc by Marc Jacobs Resort 2011

  • Consider your body shape. Bright colors draw attention to your lower-half. If you are uncomfortable with that, just try a pair with a boot-cut or flare leg (like the green denim in Picture 2), rather than skinnies.
  • Pair with neutrals. One great way to keep this look on the mature side is to pair it with toned-down basics.
  • Go trendy. If you like to stick with what’s in, go with bleached white denim, or try a red or navy pair to create a nautical-inspired outfit. Both looks are big for summer and spring. You could also add a bit of color with floral denim, as well.

Get The Look

colored denim look

Product Information: Red jeans – The Outnet, Striped flats – Zappos, White blouse – Kohls, Panama hat – J. Crew, Anchor necklace – ModCloth

I went the nautical route for this outfit; it’s an easy way to incorporate a bold item (red jeans) into your wardrobe, and the nautical theme makes 2007’s jeans look very right-now. You could easily transform this into an edgier look by switching out the blouse for a graphic tee and adding a belt (or two). Or make it girly with a floral tunic, heels, and a denim vest.

CF Reader Looks

Here are some looks sent in by CF readers who took the Colored Denim Challenge! If you want to see your own look here, read our instructions for sending in your looks at the bottom of this post!

Laura – William’s College

Williams College fashionista in red denim

“I love to wear bright colors, so I was really excited when I found these pink jeans a couple of years ago. Seeing the fashion challenge today inspired me to dig them out of my closet. I paired the jeans with very neutral pieces (gray flats, DIY bow headband, and white tee), so as to avoid color overload.”

To see more of Laura’s style, make sure to check out her blog, TheWardrobeNotTaken.

Katrina – Hood College

Hood College fashionista

“I really love the monochrome look, so I paired these dark violent pants with a lilac colored grecian inspired tank. I love how the flowing tank offsets against the harsh lines of the jeans. I think this is a modern take on the colored denim look.”

This CF reader has a blog, too! To see more of Katrina’s style, you can check it out here!

So, will you take the Fashion Challenge?

What do you think about colored denim? Did you rock it back in ’07, and are you planning to resurrect it now? What do you think about re-wearing trendy pieces in your closet? Are you brave enough to do it? Let us know with a comment!

Already work this trend? Send us pictures of you in your colored denim looks and we’ll feature you here!* As always, we are open to suggestions for future fashion challenges and we’d love to hear from you!

* Send your outfit pictures to fashionchallenge AT collegefashion DOT net! – be sure to include your name and where you go to school, as well as a description of what you’re wearing in the photo! (See examples here and here!)

Posted on on June 16, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , ,

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30 Responses to “Fashion Challenge: Colored Denim”

  1. 1
    June 16th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    i have a pair of skinny turquoise jeans that i’ve been trying to wear. they’re quite out there, and i think i’ve found the perfect gray sweater to wear them with!
    i love the outift with the red jeans.

  2. 2
    June 16th, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I have a pair of bright pink skinny jeans that I LOVE and I wore just the other day!

    I wear them with usually a white tee, and my black converse so its not overwhelming, but they are definitely the key item of the outfit!

  3. 3
    June 16th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I’ve tried a saturated red for a Bermuda short. It’s a great summer look.

  4. 4
    June 16th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I wore red jeans back in 2007, but I don’t think I’ll be pulling them out again anytime soon – not because I don’t like the trend (it can look cute!), but because my style has evolved so much since then and I rarely wear jeans now.

  5. 5
    June 16th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Love the outfit you have chosen and I would wear colored denim. I shouldn’t have thrown out my red skinny jeans!!

  6. 6
    June 16th, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I’m loving the pastel denim this season. favorites include the light blues and pinks- and they’re surprisingly easy to wear.

  7. 7
    June 16th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I have been wearing a pair of dark purple skinny jeans that I adore since fall 2007, and I definitely took them into this spring by rolling them up a little to form a modified boyfriend look, like boyfriend-without-the-baggy-saggy. I paired them with pastels for the feminine and floral spring vibe. Of course, I live in central Texas, so it’s far too hot to wear jeans during the summer, but they’ll be back out this fall, maybe with black-and-white, which they set off to advantage.

  8. 8
    June 16th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    That is such a cute outfit you put together!
    I have a pair of red and blue colored skinny jeans, but I haven’t worn them in a while.
    I would definitely take this fashion challenge, except it is waaaaay to hot to be wearing jeans where I live. Maybe in the fall, though.

  9. 9
    June 16th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    i’m a huge fan of colored cords!

  10. 10
    June 16th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Fabulous! I love my skinny colored purple, yellow, pink jeans Perfect for the Summer!

  11. 11
    June 16th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I own a pair of purple and red skinnies. I was planning to wear the red similarly to yours with a striped blue and white off the the shoulder top and gold gladiators for something nautical. The purple looks good with the black items I have in my closet.

  12. 12
    June 16th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I really want to try on colored pants, but the only cut they seem to come in is skinny. Does anyone know any places?

  13. 13
    June 16th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    i have so many coloured jeans (and I have no idea why I bought them)!

    I have a neon green one, a red one, a light blue one and a dark purple one… any ideas as to how I could wear those? :)

  14. 14
    June 16th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I just bought a pair of light yellow skinnies! They’re adorable, and I think they’re perfect for summer :)

  15. 15
    June 16th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I have purple jeans (bootleg cut handed down to me by one of my cousins). I love them a lot (even if they’re a little big on me). I like to pair them with gray t-shirts and sneakers or neutral colored flats (they don’t look good with heels). I want some purple skinnies and why not, pink jeans sound awesome! White? Mmm, no, I’m too messy for white jeans.

  16. 16
    June 16th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    i bought so many pairs during that trend, they accentuate my long legs really well! i still have red, blue, yellow, dark purple, coral, plus more! i’m glad you wrote this article because i was sad that they’re not as in right now. but now i have ideas for how to wear them and still fit this season

  17. 17
    June 16th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Awesome! I guess back in ’07 i didn’t really have the confidence to wear skinnies, but this is a cute trend. I actually bought a pair of dark blue jeans last winter, and I love them! Dressy, subtle, and colorful. And you put together a cute outfit too!

  18. 18
    June 16th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    OMG Laura and I go to school together ^.^

    I have some purple jeans that I lovelovelove to bits and pieces. I wear them more than any of my others, and I’m always looking for interesting colored tops to pair them with.

    <3 thedressdarling.

  19. 19
    June 17th, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Thanks so much for this! Back in ’07 I bought a pair of skin tight, bright red Tripp jeans. I got my use out of them at the time, but I haven’t worn them – or even pulled them out of the depths of my closet – in years! Now I see how I can wear them in a nautical way, so they don’t look too dated or immature. I also am seeing how I could potentially wear them in fall or winter. Thanks!

  20. 20
    June 17th, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I like the idea. Dittos’ green jeans looks very nice:)

  21. 21
    June 17th, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I recently read in Elle Magazine that colored jeans were out this season???

  22. 22
    June 17th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    there is a HUGE difference between colored denim (TACKY) and colored twill or linen (classy, like isabel marant).

    they are totally different fabrics. please learn the difference…or just call it “colored bottoms.” seriously.

  23. 23
    June 17th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I dearly wish to have colored jeans. However, I can only ever find skinny cuts, and I don;t like the way skinnies look on me.

  24. 24
    June 18th, 2010 at 12:22 am

    I love this yellow See by Chloe pair (and they are SUPER on sale). Also these pinkish ones…although they are a bit more pricey.

    Sorry if the use of the Isabel Marant trousers bothered you. I chose to feature them because they are, as you said, colored bottoms–and even though they aren’t denim, the look could be imitated with colored denim for readers who are interested in the trend (from your comment, I would guess this isn’t you).

    If you don’t like the look of colored denim, I suggest sticking to twill or linen (although I’m not sure I agree that certain fabrics can make you classy—especially if you don’t have the manners to give your opinion politely). I appreciate your input though.

  25. 25
    June 18th, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Talk about hard to match…

  26. 26
    June 22nd, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    i love the pair of lavender jeans…so chic and feminine. i’m not sure how i would look in those though my legs aren’t that thin and long so i dont want my legs to look shorter than they are. and second problem…the colored jeans i have seen are ultra low cut…not a fan of that at all because my bootylicious booty will show its face every time i bend over or sit down. i dont wanna show my crack to the world.

  27. 27
    June 24th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    i have like 4 different colored jeans and i have no problem wearing them, you might think i’m a bit flashy, but I just wear whatever I feel, yesterday I painted my toe nails grass green just because it was raining and i wanted to boost my mood

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