How to customise your denim like a fashion expert and discover the top jeans trends


Images: Caroline Leeming

Let's face it, when it comes to looking on trend it's all in the jeans. To celebrate Jeans for Genes day (the charity that has been fundraising for children with genetic disorders for 20 years) Fenwick Bond Street is hosting a special Denim Atelier. From the 14th to 17th September, customers can make their denim purchases their own with an in-house seamstress armed with patches, tassels and lettering - while there is also a chance to pick up this year's limited edition campaign T-Shirt, already a favourite with Kate Moss. To inspire any budding denim designers, we invited some of the industry's key influencers to visit our jean genies, as well as give us the heads-up on autumn's top denim trends and the styles to buy right now.

1. Monica Welburn, founder of The Elgin Avenue blog


  • How did you make your jeans your own? "I chose a simple crochet patch added to one back pocket. A subtle customisation is a creative way of injecting personality into your jeans. I loved the tassels sewn on front pockets I saw on some of the other pairs - I am just not brave enough to wear them myself!"
  • Favourite jeans? "I now own my first pair of Current/Elliott jeans and I completely get the hype! I have a girlfriend style - they're slightly slimmer but just as relaxed as their boyfriend counterpart and are made for women so they're easier to dress up. These have a gently frayed hem at the ankle; they are flattering, a gorgeous everyday wash and are so darn comfortable - I have worn them non-stop. I also love Paige for skinny jeans - they fit so well." 
  • Top denim styling tip?  "Contrary to claims, I've found that flares can be unflattering on a curvy figure if worn in a flat colour, always look out for fading around the thigh which tricks the eye into seeing a slimmer silhouette."
  • Any trend predictions? "I feel that denim is getting less distressed with more subtle rips and imperfections - plus frayed hems are taking over."
  • Denim update? "I will be looking out for a great mid-wash blue in a relaxed style, and a classic black skinny jean. I'll dress both denim styles for day (with trainers and knitwear) and for evening (with killer heels and a silk top)."

2. Anna Vitiello, junior fashion editor Harper’s BAZAAR


  • How did you personalise your  jeans? "I loved the varsity feel of some of the embellishments, so opted for the A and the tiger on my MiH Phoebe jeans. I wanted to do something a little different, so attached the A halfway up the thigh – not somewhere you would usually find customisation – and had my nickname, 'Vits', embroidered just above the cuff. Customised denim is a great way of expressing your personality – everyone wears jeans, but there are days when you don't want to look like 'everyone'. That's why I opted for my nickname on the front – it's such a personal touch."
  • Your denim favourite? "I have many – I'm the girl who has an entire denim wardrobe! MiHAG Jeans and Citizens of Humanity all offer styles for any mood – from super-cool boyfriends (like the Phoebe) to amazing classics that you'll wear forever."
  • Denim predictions? "Denim will be everywhere this season – Marques Almeida has pioneered the frayed denim trend, while coloured denim is another cool way to wear it. Dungarees have been big news for summer, but why not try a shirt dress for winter and add a denim belt for a fashion edge."
  • Any other must-haves? "My denim wardrobe is pretty comprehensive but I'd really like to find the perfect raw edge, slightly cropped pair."

3. Amy Bannerman, fashion editor at In Style magazine

amy bannerman

  • Tell us your customising tips? "I personalised my jeans with rainbow tassels and a embroidered heart on the bum. I love customised denim. I love anything that means no one else has it. It's why I love vintage so much. Also customising your jeans is a way of expressing yourself, kind of like a tattoo but less painful!"
  • Favourite denim brand? "Frame jeans because they're so comfy, the cut is great and the washes are just so - there's not too much fading or whiskering etc."
  • Top tip for autumn? "The 70s is such a huge influence so darker washes are having a moment. There is nothing like a well-fitting pair of dark flares to make your legs look like Elle Macpherson's."
  • Any other updates? "I will be investing in some mid-heel boots and heels so I can wear flares every day!"

4. Laura Weir, fashion features editor at Vogue


  • How did you make your jeans unique? "I added one single, navy tassel to the back left pocket of my MiH Phoebe jeans - honestly the dream jeans - and threaded one single, removable pom pom through the front belt loop. I love the idea of putting your own twist on denim. I don’t like too much, or for them to be too in your face, but a little signature which means mine are unique is a lovely thing."
  • Favourite brand? "After visiting the new Fenwick denim area I have to say my new discovery - MiH Phoebe jeans. They are super generous, with jumbo turn-ups, a low-rise and really laid back. Very cool."
  • Denim trend prediction? "I’m feeling a vintage, cropped kick-flare - google old shots of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and you’ll see what I mean. There are so many trends, there isn’t just one - I think the baggy boyfriend is still having a moment, but there’s something about the black skinny which endures."
  • Any other updates? "I might try a denim dress for a change. MiH have a wonderful one of those too."

5. Sarah Tankel and Philippa Bloom, co-founders of fashion blog


  • How did you customise your jeans? "We kept it simple with just our initials 'W.A.T' embroidered in our favourite cherry red thread on the turn up for Sarah and the bum for Philippa."
  • Do you have any denim favourites? "We both love Frame jeans and the 'le skinny' is one of our favourite fits. We've got them in every wash, with and without rips, for summer and winter! They're super skinny without any bag at the ankle and worn on the waist they aren't too low-rise - basically everything you want in a jean."
  • Jeans predictions please? "There was lots of patchwork on the winter catwalks and we've got a patched-up boyfriend jean high on our winter wish list."
  • How will you update your denim this season? "A fisherman's knit, a snakeskin boot and a Chloe Drew bag!"

6. Elinor Block, online fashion and beauty editor Red magazine


  • How did you make the jeans your own? "I'm not usually a fan of customised denim but I really loved taking part in the workshop. It was a great way to do something different with my jeans that I hadn't thought of before. I opted for tassels on the pockets but I loved the crochet patchworks, the lettering and the embroidered choices too. I chose a pair of J Brand jeans as I'm short and prefer a high waist and skinny look, but I often go to Topshop for their Joni jeans."
  • Denim styling tips? "I'm all in favour of choosing the right type of jean for your body shape. There are so many different styles that are in at the moment; whether that's a flared leg, a cropped culotte or just a pair of boyfriend jeans. If you really want to stick to the trends then opt for a flared jean."
  • Anything else you'll be looking out for? "I honestly haven't decided! To be honest, I'm a 'skinny' woman at heart so I imagine I'll be wearing much of the same."

By Claire Brayford