En Brogue In Full: dressed up denim

The casual girl’s ideal formalwear.

I’ve always been into denim. I mean, who isn’t? I remember being about 14 and obsessed with Levi’s, but in the early Nineties on the Isle of Wight, they weren’t very easy to get hold of in my size, so I got my Mum to use the back pockets off an old pair of my Dad’s and stitch them to a skirt I already had, before dying the whole lot black in the bath. We even went to the trouble of hemming it with yellow cotton. Inventive or what?! And it was at that moment that I realised the joy not of bootleg Levi’s, but black denim. That skirt was my go-to teenage dressed up look, and it served me well for years.

Hannah Rochell Photographed by Zac Frackelton


Fast forward 25 years (GAH!), and I’m still using black denim when I need to look smart. If it’s not a pair of skinny black jeans instead of trousers, it’s my latest discovery: the black denim dress. This one from Finery London is a genius Japanese-style design, which strips away the casual nature of denim and elevates it to a much smarter status.

Hannah Rochell Photographed by Zac Frackelton

Of course, the easy thing to do to dress up your denim would be to sling on a pair of heels, so if you’re opting for flats you need to be a little more inventive. My gorgeous Rogue Matilda mules have sold out, but look for something similar that’s sleek and elegant if you’re wearing your dressed up denim to a formal event. Of course, this dress would look fantastic with white sneakers (what doesn’t?!) or Birkenstocks if you’re going for a more casual vibe.

Hannah Rochell Photographed by Zac Frackelton


  1. Love it, what a fantastic dress. I just bought a very plain Toast deep indigo pinafore in the sales. The great thing about going vack to being a luvvie and not having to dress corporate any more is that I can wear denim a lot of the time! Hooray

  2. Just ordered this and the similar skirt. Thanks for recommendation. Hoping they fit well, very much my style and wouldn’t have spotted them without you.

  3. I love it. I have a blue denim dress that comes out when I want to look smarter but still casual. Will definitely be looking for a black denim dress now, looks great on you.

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