How to Do Without Your Denim

Let your jeans keep your closet warm this summer, while you opt for breezier choices below the waist, with breathe-easy fabrics

Published: 20th May 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

It’s near impossible to find someone who doesn’t own a pair of jeans. They’re sturdy, they’re versatile and when you find a great fit — well, that’s happiness zipped up for a long, long time... However, in summer, even cotton denims are often not cool enough to handle Chennai’s kathiri ambush. And stocking up of alternative pieces that go below the waist, could save you from several not-so-fashionable moments of peeling off your skinnies stuck on by sweat, salt and that deliciously foul odour denim gives off when soaked in a cocktail of the two. We asked some of the city’s fashion designers what their go-to alternatives to denim are this season, and here’s what they came up with.

Comfy Corduroys

Corduroy first became popular in France and England in the 1700s, where it was named corde du roi, or “cord of the king.” Though it was first woven of silk and used to make clothing for royal servants, many think that the name corde du roi was actually made up by a British manufacturer who wished to glamorise his fabric with celebrity appeal. Durable, yet inexpensive — this super comfortable fabric has been in and out of fashion for a long time, but is likely never to go out of style.

denim1.jpgHarem Pant Happy

Going back almost 2,000 years, this garment, believe it or not, is known to have originated, courtesy the dhoti. The early styles of harem pants made their way into Western culture in the mid 1800’s by a women’s rights activist named Amelia Bloomer. Yes, as her surname suggests, she was indeed the lady we can thank for what would become the infamous “Bloomers”. She took harem pants and used them as a uniform for feminists who wanted to fight for their rights; these trousers would represent freedom and liberation with their higher hemlines and masculine connotations.

Palazzo Please?

denim.jpgPalazzo pants for women first became a popular trend in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style was reminiscent of the wide-legged cuffed trousers worn by some women fond of avant-garde fashions in the 1930s and 1940s, particularly actresses such as Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich

Maxi Moment

This may come as a shock to some, but the mini skirt is actually a lot younger (1920s) than its more prevalent counterpart, the maxi. The flowy, ankle length piece although making appearances through history in various forms and structures because of it’s conservative length, really shot into its prime during the Bohemian era of the 1970s, and has been a frequent designer favourite ever since.

denim2.jpgSlouchy or Sexy?

Tapered at the hems and loose everywhere else, this design is said to have been 80’s-inspired, although it only made it to the runway in 2008, say fashion experts. While not many like the name ‘slouchy pant’ or know it for that matter, it’s called everything from the ‘new harem pant’ to ‘dressy jogging pants’ and is so comfortable, you may never want to take them off!


Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp