The Best 3 Denim Trends That Will Last More Than One Season

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the 3 best denim trends that will last more than one season by wardrobe oxygen

Considering we’ve spent a good chunk of the past couple of years at home wearing comfy knits, it’s easy to not know that denim trends are changing. This is a pretty big change, as denim trends seem to stick around well beyond their welcome. What are the best denim trends that will last more than one season (AKA worth actually checking out)?

2021 Denim Trends vs. 2022 Denim Trends

Full disclosure, I wrote this post in 2021. And now, a year later I still feel that the 3 denim trends I featured are still the best denim trends that will last. They lasted through a year where fashion trends were very fast moving, and I believe they will continue to be on trend and help your current wardrobe look modern without appearing like a fashion victim. This post is updated with 2022 denim for sale and examples from current runway shows for 2022.

The biggest difference between 2021 denim trends and 2022 denim trends is 2022 offers more versatility! Not into baggy skater jeans or faded denim and miss your ankle jeans? No problem, this year those looks are still hot, but there is a return to more polished denim, classic styles, and darker rinses.

image sharing the text popular denim trends for 2021

Changing Up Your Denim Silhouette… Or Not

Remember how straight legs switched to bootcut and we were so relieved to have a silhouette that worked better with a curvy frame and a chunky shoe? When skinny jeans came on the scene so many of us swore, we’d never cave into such a trend, we’d never abandon our beloved bootcuts.

I bet the majority of us in 2007 who said one couldn’t catch us dead in a pair of skinny jeans now has at least one pair in our wardrobe. Skinny jeans now seem so… easy. They slip under cozy sweaters, button-front shirts, and blazers. They look good with knee-high boots, trendy sneakers, ankle booties, and flats. If they’re too long you can cuff them without changing the silhouette, ill-fitting you can hike them up when you rise from the couch, and you can get them in any size, any color, at any pricepoint.

Just as we found straight legs and bootcuts and boyfriends to be essential work with everything jeans, we will be able to see life beyond the skinny jean. And while the skinny jean is still a wearable look, I encourage you to see beyond them and at least try a few different new denim trends this season.

Think about when you were 25, what kind of jeans did 50-year-old women wear? There were those who had no f*cks left to give and wore what they liked. They wore well-worn Levi’s or crisp Wranglers or a chambray pant with an elasticized waist that helped them achieve their life goals and with it, achieve badass personal style. There were also those who seemed to be stuck in a past decade, and often with those dated jeans wore dated shoes and a dated hairstyle.

I am not telling you that you need to embrace any of the current denim trends. I am saying you, and me, us fellow grown-ass women, we are at a point in our style journey where we either need to say:

  • I have no f*cks left to give and am going to rock what I own with joy and confidence and that joy and confidence is going to make the jeans that I love wearing look perfect on me.
  • I am not yet at that no f*cks left to give stage, but I surely don’t want to look like I don’t give a sh*t so I may try something new to me (or a new version of something I tried a while ago). However, I am at the point where I know I don’t have to embrace any trend that makes me uncomfortable or changes me, and I know I deserve clothing that works with, not against my body and my lifestyle.
saint laurent spring summer 2022
Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 2022

What Are the Best 3 Denim Trends That Will Last?

Below I share three of the current denim trends that I predicted last year and have seen with this year's offerings that they will stick around beyond a season or two. You may even want to have one or two of these replace your skinny jeans!

Use this as a guide, not gospel. I have filtered out the oh hell naw trends that should be reserved for GenZ and the True Fashionistas and left ones worth checking out. And this list is not exhaustive. I must say, if you are looking to update your denim wardrobe, 2022 is the year to do it. Denim is hot, not just for jeans but most any kind of garment and pretty much every retailer is offering a great variety to meet the demand of this very wearable trend.

Veronica Beard s2022 0011
Veronica Beard Spring 2022 Ready to Wear

Bootcut Jeans and Kick Flares

Many denim trends have tried over the past decade to dethrone the skinny jean. Mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, girlfriend jeans… they all have been worthy adversaries, but none have truly made a dent in the denim trends of the 21st century. It took a leader from history to shake up this monarchy.

The bootcut is back, baby. It’s here to soothe your calves, style your lug soles, and give you the confidence to consider tucking in tops again. With just a hint of a flare, the bootcut jean, made to fit over boots, also fits those shoes from the back of your closet that have now become a daily wear thanks to comfort and ease.

That doesn’t mean you can go into your attic and pull out your True Religion jeans from 2002 (though they'll likely bring you a pretty penny on a resale site). Us grown-ass women have learned from experience that when trends come back, they’re not exactly the same as they were the first go-round. And even if they are (because the '90s and 2000's are very on trend this year), we grown-ass women have learned from those before us that we are most stylish when we adapt second-go-round trends to our current lifestyle, figure, and aesthetic.

The new bootcut is actually one you may enjoy better than those late '90s Express jeans you held onto “just in case.” The new bootcut is slim, higher in rise, and just a subtle hint of kick out at the bottom. Many retailers are carrying a jean called a “baby bootcut” or “demi boot” which is the most modern and in my opinion, the easiest to wear with the shoes currently in your closet.

The bootcut jean can be full length, but a cropped ankle length version, often called a kick flare, is also popular this year. The kick flare came out a few years ago but has matured to be as subtle as this year's bootcut, and a great choice for those who have more athletic calves and ankles but love the look of a cropped jean with a sneaker.

best bootcut jeans for women

Top row: Madewell | Good American | Levi's | Banana Republic | Levi's
Bottom row: Warp + Weft
| Old Navy | Good American | Gap | White House Black Market

How to Style Bootcut Jeans in a Current Manner

The modern bootcut is by far the easiest to incorporate into your existing closet. You can wear them with your ankle booties, your lug-sole boots, your sneakers, and even a pair of pumps. The only thing that looks weird with bootcut jeans are flats, especially ballet-style ones. They get lost under the flare; it’s better to use a shoe with some volume and structure.

A bootcut jean, like an ankle jean, can be worn with tops tucked in or left out. I wouldn’t wear a tunic with them because it may create a weird optical illusion, but otherwise, bootcut are pretty easy to wear. I’d encourage you to try the tuck; I know it can feel scary but for inspiration, visit this blog post and read the comments. You may be pleasantly surprised by the result!

rejina pyo ss22
Rejina Pyo, Spring/Summer 2022

Straight Jeans

Remember your beloved Levi’s 501s? Well, they’re back! This is the denim trend that is most possible to wear if you kept your old pairs of straight jeans in the attic. The look is a slim straight jean that hits the waist or even higher, can be a zip or button fly. These should fit well (you’re not cuffing them this year) and are worth being tailored to the right length for your footwear and your shape.

best straight jeans for women

Top row: Universal Standard | J. Crew | Gap | Eloquii | Levi's
Bottom row: Good American | Madewell | Levi's | NYDJ | Abercrombie

What makes the current straight leg jean different is it is full length. Hello warm ankles and the ability to wear any hosiery you desire! Also, you’re going to find that extra inch or two of length is going to modernize your wardrobe. A twinset with ankle jeans is twee, a twinset with straight jeans is cool. A Breton tee with ankle jeans and ballet flats may feel tired, but a Breton tee with straight jeans and a pair of Chucks will feel French Girl Chic.

One change from 2021 to 2022 is the straight leg ankle jean is back. However, if you do like an ankle jean, look for a true straight jean, not a slim or tapered style. The jean should not cling to your shins and ankles. And consider switching out your favorite flats for a sneaker or chunky sandal to switch up the proportions while still making the jeans work with your favorite spring and summer tops.

How to Style Straight Jeans in a Current Manner

Last year, straight denim was faded, distressed/vintage looking, and had proper hems, though often distressed as well. This year, there are many more cut-off hems. I personally don't think this is a style to invest in; I think it's lazy on brands' part and if you're going to get new jeans, get them with a hem so they will be more likely to transcend trends and hold up through multiple wears.

As for color, it's either go pale or go rinse. Faded and distressed/vintage looking denim is still a hot trend and a great one to find secondhand. However, there was a lot of dark denim on the runways for spring and summer. While a classic indigo pair of straight jeans will continue to be stylish, consider straight jeans that may not have the classic yellow stitching and shiny metal hardware. Dark denim with tonal detailing is very on trend and looks a bit more polished than traditional jeans.

The straight jean is a great time to do denim on denim, which is a trend that has gotten even more popular since last year. Forego the denim jacket for a denim shirt, worn buttoned and either tucked in or left out. If you leave it out, roll up the sleeves, add some shine at the neck with a cool link necklace or a silk scarf, and a polished-looking shoe (an ankle bootie or pointed-toe flatin a light-colored neutral like tan leather) so it feels purposeful, not sloppy.

fabiana Filippi 2022 denim
Fabiana Filippi, Spring 2022 Ready to Wear

Wide Leg and Baggy Jeans

Call them relaxed, dad jeans, mom jeans, barrel jeans, or skater jeans but the comfy oversized denim trend is even hotter in 2022 than it was last year. And unlike 2021 when the jeans were only slouchy, this year you have your pick of a slouchy baggy jean, or a more tailored wide leg… actually you have your choice of anything between the two. Denim is really Choose Your Own Adventure this year and you are likely to find a wide leg or baggy style that fits your personal style aesthetic as well as your comfort level.

best baggy jeans for women

Top row: J. Crew | Levi's | Warp + Weft | Citizens of Humanity | Madewell
Bottom row: Gap | Abercrombie | AG | Reformation | Good American

Unlike the last time we rocked wide leg and baggy jeans with our belly rings and lower back tattoos on display and our hemlines dragging in puddles, baggy jeans now are deceptively well fit. With a higher rise than the last time we rocked this look and a length that covers the ankles but isn’t long enough to have much of a “break” at the top of the foot, this is a jean that is loose, but can be styled with relaxed and loose tops without looking like you’re swimming in your ensemble.

Denim is such a hot trend in 2022, you will find plenty of styles that can be polished enough for some workplaces and for nights out. A wide-leg denim trouser is a chic alternative to pants and can look very modern for a night out with a silk shirt or camisole or a printed blouse that hits right at the waist.

botega venetta denim
Bottega Veneta, Fall 2022 Ready to Wear

How to Style Wide Leg and Baggy Jeans in a Current Manner

The baggy jean needs a top tucked in or a shorter/cropped top that hits at the waistband. Also, consider tying a shirt to have it hit at the waistband. Think your merino turtleneck, your cashmere crew, your favorite graphic tee, maybe a fitted tank with a relaxed crop cardigan. Unless your personal style is loose over loose, you likely will feel most confident with some balancing of the volume with a sleeker, or at least tucked in top.

As for shoes, this is the silhouette that begs for your most comfy footwear. Pull out those boots with the arch support, embrace the return of Doc Martens, rock your sneakers, and come warmer weather, wear your baggy jeans with your Birkenstocks and other chunky sandals. If you love to mix tough with soft, a baggy jean looks ultra chic with a heel and a silk blouse or camisole.

coach spring 2022
Coach Spring 2022

How to Make Denim Styles You May Have Worn Before Look Modern and Now

Go High(er) Rise

The biggest change in denim in the past few years is the rise, which is the length from waistband to crotch. While low-rise jeans have made a return with the GenZ set, don’t feel you need to embrace this trend. Instead, I encourage you to try a slightly higher rise for a modern take on denim with an otherwise historic style.

Sure, there are jeans that will touch your bra band, but there are a lot of styles in between boob height and hip bone height. I recommend looking for something that is at or slightly above your belly button. If you haven’t tried a jean that is higher than your belly button, at first it may seem uncomfortable. But try it more than one slip-on in front of your bedroom mirror. You may be pleased to find that a higher rise jean stops muffin tops, won’t fold over if you’re sitting all day, and won’t slide down as easily when you bend over, or when you get up from sitting all day.

If you have no idea where to start with rises, many jean brands offer 9” and 10” rises. This height of rise is higher but not ribcage-skimming. If you are petite, I recommend looking for petite jeans so the rise is not quite as high, but it’s also proportionally cut to work with the natural curves of a torso that is shorter.

Go Faded and Vintage

We have had quite a few years of rinse denim, of darker denim with “whiskering” and strategic fading on the thighs, and colored denim. A quick way to look current is choosing faded denim.

I know, after years of being told that darker colors are more polished, darker colors are more classic, darker colors are more slimming and leg-lengthening, it’s really hard to stomach a pair of faded jeans. It’s possibly harder to stomach than trying a non-skinny jean. But I encourage you to try it because it is going to look the best with current colors and silhouettes.

The thing is, faded jeans can look really dorky if they aren’t a current silhouette. Faded flares will look like a costume, faded skinny jeans and ankle jeans can look really dated.

But the faded trend is really good for thrifters. A pair of old Levi’s in a size or two larger than you usually wear, taken to the tailor to fit right at the waist and be the right length, can be way more stylish than that $350 pair at Shopbop.

valentino spring 2022
Valentino Spring 2022 Ready to Wear

One Perfect Pair versus Ten Okay Pairs

This season’s jean is about fit, length, silhouette, and is of a thicker, more classic denim that better holds up. No, it’s not as comfy, but think about your jeans not as a weekend workhorse but a style item. Use them to glam up t-shirts and sneakers, to add interest to your merino sweater and ankle boots, to modernize your blazer and turtleneck, to add a fresh touch to your wardrobe classics.

To have them be this great, it requires time and effort. They likely will need to be tailored to be the right length and fit. They should be line dried to keep their color and prevent any possible distressing to increase and make them unwearable. They will take multiple wears (unless vintage) to break in and have them perfect for your body.

This is why I say get one perfect pair versus buying a bunch of okay good enough pairs. Because let’s be honest, you don’t need any jeans right now. Skinny jeans may not be the hot trend, but you don’t need to get rid of what you have. And your denim trousers, high-rise wide legs, mom jeans, and straight legs you currently own will be just fine.

chloe spring 2022
Chloe Spring 2022 Ready to Wear

Do I Have to Get Rid of My Skinny Jeans?

Quick answer? No. I don't plan on donating mine. They're easy, they're comfy, and they've already been paid for. However, if there are any jeans in your closet that you don't love, use this as an excuse to finally let them go. We're living in a new time, and unless you need them for your job or hobby, you don't require several pairs of jeans.

There is no need to embrace any trend. Ever. The most stylish people in the world aren’t trendy. They wear what they want and wear it proudly. If your personal style is dark rinse ankle jeans or purple skinny jeans or patchworked flares you go with your bad self, rock them because knowing your personal style is incredibly chic.

And if you aren’t sure of your style but you are happy with the denim currently in your wardrobe, don’t buy any. Remember how slowly bootcut jeans faded out? They faded so slowly, many readers over the years have asked me where to buy bootcut because only once their pairs bit the dust did they realize they were no longer at retailers. The same is going to happen with skinny jeans.

what are the hot denim trends to try? This image suggests this post has ideas

Will I Look Clueless in Skinny Jeans?

GenZ can tease so much about jean and hair styles, we did the same when we were their age. Remember the joke about mom jeans? Now what do you see in every store? The jeans we mocked moms wearing are now being worn by those moms’ grandkids without an iota of irony. My point is, you do you, grown-ass woman, just like the badass women before you. The way to make it stylish, is to own it.

I hope this post either reinforces the fact that you are a badass person right now, with whatever denim is in your closet, or that it is never too late to have fun with fashion and try new trends. You have earned the right to wear whatever you damn well please. Just be sure that what you wear makes you happy.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Hope the variety of jean styles stay wide open for us all to have the choice
    to buy and wear what we like. Though I gladly leave skinnies for others to buy and wear.
    I think the only type of jeans you did not cover were non- blue shades. (Not a criticism, just an observation)
    I miss the colors of the 1980’s. Didn’t Princess Diana wear a red pair?

  2. I can’t tell you how much I love this post. I took a LONG time to buy skinny jeans as they just don’t fit my pear shaped body that well. If they fit my thighs, there is huge waist gap. I finally found some NYDJ jeans I like but even those, although stretchy and comfortable get annoying and I can’t wait to change into lounge pants by the end of the day. I love looser pants and jeans so although from the commenters I may be in the minority, I am so excited to see them back in stores! Thank you for this excellent round up.
    If you were buying one pair of jeans, what would you go for? I have cropped Everlane Super Straight and really like those as well as a pair of mid waist Trouser jeans. Many of those “straight” styles end up looking like skinny jeans on me. I tried the beloved Mother jeans that everyone loves when they were on super sale ($200 is too much for me) and they were horrible on me.

  3. Alison — most of the blazers I’m seeing for spring are big and oversized, VERY 80s. I would jump to wearing them with skinny bottoms; how do you square that with wider denim? I’m already short and stout, so appreciate your insights!!

    1. Here’s an example of me wearing an oversized blazer with looser jeans: https://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/what-to-wear-to-get-the-vaccine/ I think it’s because we’ve been taught for so long that we need to balance the body. But if you look at what’s on the runways, it’s tailored, but there isn’t a focus on creating an hourglass or lengthening, but playing with fabrics and proportions and breaking a lot of rules. But the key is tailoring so things are purposefully baggy and oversized, not sloppy.

  4. Incredible compilation of jeans! I know others love and wear jeans, but I find them to be the most uncomfortable item of clothing ever made for women (with bras a close second). I think it’s a body type thing, but the metal button that digs into your waist — the harsh metal zipper — the rivets and belt loops and nonstretch fabric — the cutting off of circulation after sitting for a while — the need to try 50 to find 1 that fits — etc. I’m posting my negative thoughts about jeans in case others feel the same way and think they’re alone — they’re not. But, to each her own! (PS. If anyone knows of a side-zip trouser jean in a tall length, I’m in!)

  5. In my southern suburbia, I haven’t seen any grown woman in all of 2021, & 2022 so far, wearing anything other than skinny ankle jeans – no bootcut, no flares, (also no lug sole shoes), no wide leg or baggy jeans. Maybe trends get to us late (although we have all the major retailers) or maybe it’s the heat – it’s sandal weather here already. I might try a straight ankle jean for spring/summer but I’m an 80s girl at heart – not giving up my skinny jeans (maybe I need to stock up).

  6. Thanks for revealing your ideas. I’d also like to mention that video games have been ever evolving. Modern technology and inventions have made it simpler to create realistic and enjoyable games. These entertainment games were not actually sensible when the actual concept was first being used. Just like other kinds of technological know-how, video games too have had to advance through many many years. This itself is testimony to the fast growth and development of video games.

  7. I love you so much for writing this. I’m 42, a single mom of two boys, and wondering if I’m too old for trends. I have been rocking skinny jeans for years, and feel like I’m finally at a point where I can throw together any outfit without thinking too hard.

    I’ve been terrified of the new jeans because I’m not great at pulling things together til I get real practiced and I’m surprised by how much I relied on feedback from a partner or friends to know whether I got it right, and neither have been around for years (thanks to Covid, I think)! I am grateful for your advice in this article. I feel confident that I can tackle the straight leg faded wash and distressed stylings and stay on-trend thanks to you. And happy to not deal with low rise! And super excited for structure because that whole “adjust every time I stand up or move around” issue is real. .

    But I guess I also just needed permission to rock what I like so THANK YOU so much for that message. You are everything.

  8. Live.. Laugh…and be you! It doesn’t matter what jean you wear,
    only that you are confident in the jeans that you do wear
    Present yourself as the Queen that you are!

  9. I feel like its too damn soon to give up skinny jeans? And sh*t i still wear jeggings! I do however like mom jeans and the baggy cut as ling as there are rips in the baggy jeans but I cant give up skinny jeans! This makes me so sad smh

    1. Me too! Lol Long Live Skinny Jeansbut I will try some modern bootcut after reading this article. Thanks

  10. I want so badly to get into bootcut again, but trying them on at 34 I feel shorter than ever before and I hate how they draw attention to my hips. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind my hips, just that I’m not into the silhouette created with the flared-out leg. I don’t want to wear heels every day but I also am not into those big sneakers. I was an early adopter of skinny jeans, back in 2005 before they were even called skinny jeans. Everyone thought I was nuts but I loved them, and soon everyone I knew joined the dark side too. I was also 19, so, things were different then. I love balloon jeans and straight-legged jeans, I love a very high-waisted wide-leg, a la Jesse Kamm, but bootcut? Sigh, I put them on and I’m instantly transported back to high school and I feel stubby and awkward. I guess I just haven’t found my pair yet.

    1. I’m 52 and I’m wearing skinny Jean’s because I can, but I have my straight legs which are my fav from years ago.. wear whatever you want. We are not the runway models who by the way are over 6ft tall and 110lbs!!! Anything and everything looks good on them. Lmao. Pick what you like in the colors and styles u like and prance around like a princess! I do and even my hubby calls me that. Haha. After 34 years, I’ve earned it

      1. I love how you think. I will be 50 in July. I love my skinny/ jeggins. I feel pretty stinking good then. My husband loves me in them. Like you said I wear them because I can. For my birthday I want to wear a nice pair of jeans with a fancy pair of heels that I have only worn twice. lol our 27 yr wedding anniversary is in a few weeks. Might wear the heels then. Lol

  11. Awesome & informative article Ms. BA:) & is a keeper. I love that you broke down each type of jean available and tips on how to style. Keep up!

  12. I really loved your article. I’m thinking I may be the most f*ca trends person? Can’t stand fabric touching my bellybutton. Frustration beyond belief that I can’t buy low rise jeans. Please tell me they will make a come back. The best out there right now is the rare straight leg mid rise. 53 & set in my ways.

  13. Ha, in the early aughts my sister and I wore nothing but bootcut jeans (or the Express Editor pants) with ballet-type flats (sometimes with a 1/2″ heel). We just tried to make sure the hems weren’t dragging like they often were on so many pairs. But it was always a delicate line to walk — where could you hem to without them looking too short too.
    I think I just gave away a pair of almost unworn Old Navy bootcut jeans, sob.
    I’d read a commenter on a style blog (maybe this one) say that she teaches fashion in a college class and the students had agreed that skinny jeans are actually here to stay — they’re really classic jeans now — not in or out, just evergreen. I think I agree — at least, the straighter-cut jeans in a medium or dark wash without any of the annoying trends — rips, overdone whiskering, contouring lightening/bleaching front thigh areas, and not the overly tight jeggings. They’re actually too comfortable and versatile. Many a woman with wide hips, a bigger butt or thighs appreciated a skinny jean with some stretch. I just saw this great Refinery29 article on what skinny jeans have meant to a lot of women: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/02/10319915/skinny-jeans-plus-size-women

    1. I know that flattering isn’t necessarily the most important priority to every jeans consumer, but for me, the baggy or balloon jeans definitely won’t work, unless I want to stumpify my short, thick legs even more and lose what little waist I’ve got. The baggiest jeans I’ve tried usually are the boyfriend jeans style, but I finally admitted defeat with the 3rd pair that they do NOT flatter — they make my butt look flat and waist non-existent. All the other styles listed here have potential.

  14. Hi Alison,
    I just put away all my bootcut that had been hanging out in my closet for eons, but will pull them back out and see what looks current. I have trouble with almost every style of jean slipping down after wear, even if I’ve taken up the waist. I’ve tried NYDJ (the tummy seems to be emphasised on me with NYDJ styles), Wit & Wisdom, Talbots Curvy petite (I’m 5’3″, 195 lbs). I hope to try some of these newer styles. Any suggestions for styles/brands that might not slip down? Also looking for fashionable sneakers that act more like athletic shoes. Flat sneakers just don’t work well for me unless I’m walking very short distances in them! Thanks for all the great info you share!

    1. Wear some suspenders underneath. I borrowed some from my Dad (who just died of Covid-19, BEWARE). I am older now and have a figure like he did. And he did lose his pants in public! Bigger waist and top, skinny legs. Skinny Suspenders. Saves total em- bare-ass-ment.

  15. I don’t follow trends, never have and never will. I wear whats comfortable, looks good and works well with my body shape.

  16. Thanks for the sum-up. I recently got sick of the sloppiness of yoga pants and joggers after 10 months and bought two new pairs of straight leg jeans to wear around the house and feel like I was “getting a grip” on myself again. Who knew I was being fashion forward?

  17. Great article, I love how you break it down with such a down-to-earth voice! I guess the NYDJ very subtle bootcut that I got last year because I just plain like them will be looking up to date this year. I was very slow to switch over to tunic length shirts to wear with ponte leggings and narrow pants and I imagine it will take me as long to switch back, though I do still have some tops that end at waist tucked away. I turned 49 this week and enjoy that I feel much more interested in my style vs. fashion, though of course fashion impacts what is available in stores.

  18. Thanks so much for the post. I’ve been watching in horror as wide leg jeans and pants have come back into fashion. But I’m turning 60 this year, and I’m quickly approach the no-more-f*@ks-to-give stage. I am going back to the jeans I had 15 years ago, from Chicos, that are boot-cut and still in fabulous shape. Even if I’m not what I was at approaching-45, I think they’re still wearable. I’m more worried about fitting my 5-0 height and Noom-worthy weight into baggy pants. I used to wear flares in my professional life, and often they made me look shorter and stockier than I already am. I have my professional pants from way back, I tried them on last weekend, and I think I’ll be OK on that front. I just bought so much into the boyfriend jeans (LOVE THEM) and the ankle pants (LOVE THEM) and in summer, I’m all about being comfy. Maybe I’ll revisit in the fall, but seriously, I’m so glad I’m of a certain age that makes me increasingly immune to this new trend. Until I change my mind, of course. In the meantime, LOVE your posts!!!

  19. Thanks so much for the post. I’ve been watching in horror as wide leg jeans and pants have come back into fashion. But I’m turning 60 this year, and I’m quickly approach the no-more-f*@ks-to-give stage. I am going back to the jeans I had 15 years ago, from Chicos, that are boot-cut and still in fabulous shape. Even if I’m not what I was at approaching-45, I think they’re still wearable. I’m more worried about fitting my 5-0 height and Noom-worthy weight into baggy pants. I used to wear flares in my professional life, and often they made me look shorter and stockier than I already am. I have my professional pants from way back, I tried them on last weekend, and I think I’ll be OK on that front. I just bought so much into the boyfriend jeans (LOVE THEM) and the ankle pants (LOVE THEM) and in summer, I’m all about being comfy. Maybe I’ll revisit in the fall, but seriously, I’m so glad I’m of a certain age that makes me increasingly immune to this new trend. Until I change my mind, of course.

  20. Amazing amount of information here, but what I love most is your attitude. You rock, girl. I love being told, “Here are the trends but you go ahead and do you.” Now I can make some informed choices about a new pair of jeans.

  21. SUCH A FANTASTIC ARTICLE! Thank you so much! I loved it so much I posted it to my FB news feed! Thank you from this 52 year old, who still wants to look stylish without looks stupid or like a Gen-Z.

  22. Great read as usual! I love all the details that you share and especially how you sum it up. You do you, or dare to try something outside of the box. Whatever makes you happy. Thanks, Alison!

  23. Great article; fun to read! My 2 favorites from the past ( I’m older than you): 1975 Landlubbers and 1983 baggies ( not sure what to call them- they hugged your butt but had baggie legs-yet somehow sexy)

  24. Love this “book” on denim and how to feel current & fresh, and also suit a grown-ass women’s lifestyle – especially one who may or may not have any f*cks to give! I for one am not giving up all my skinny jeans but I am embracing the comfy fit of a wider leg and relaxed fit. Thanks Alison! 🙂

  25. I’m perfectly fine trying out a slimmer straight leg/cigarette jean to complement my existing collection of skinnies, but as far as the rest of it…

    I’m only 33 and I’ve lived through all these denim trends before. I wore midrise flares and bootcuts in the early ’00s in middle and high school and into my first year or so of college before switching to skinnies. It was hard to find jeans that weren’t “distressed” or “destroyed” back then. Wide leg denim was the thing when I was in grade school in the late ’90s, and mom jeans were just that- jeans worn by our moms that we wouldn’t be caught dead in because they were for the most part an ’80s holdover. Stiff, uncomfortable, prone to causing an unflattering “pouch” effect in the lower stomach, with either elastic waists or a super high rise or both. Suddenly we’re supposed to pretend this is cool and flattering? Eesh. While I’m delighted to see full length jeans coming back- I live in the upper Midwest and have completely sat out the cropped trend because I like socks and warm ankles- I’m going to give pretty much all of this a miss.

  26. I so appreciate this post, its tone, and the realization that it gave me: I still have some fucks to give, tho not many!

    I honestly love these trends and was so late to the skinny jeans thing, but my hips are WIDE, and I am SHORT, and I don’t know if I can pull any of this off without looking like a toddler or an 8th grader in jncos (hello 90s!), but thank you for giving me a place to start from!

  27. Thank you, Alison, for putting all this information into a great article! I love how you are always reinforcing women to continue to be their badass selves along with permission to try or not try what is trending. I’m a dark wash kinda woman, but I’m going to try some bootcut faded denim per your recommendations. Thanks 🙂

  28. Hi – I was disappointed not to see the Chico’s jeans from yesterday’s post featured. I made myself a note to go try a pair on – they were fabulous on you!

    1. Those are great jeans, and I’ll wear them again, but I hadn’t tried them when I began crafting this post and didn’t know how they fit. Also, they are a dark rinse wash. But thank you, I love them too!

  29. Thanks… I was just thinking this morning that it would be great for you to try on a few of the newer styles, so I can see how they will look on my similarly shaped legs. I am ready for a looser fit on my large calves. I think straight leg jeans always have a funky bulge or gap at the side of my knee since they fit too close at my calves. Maybe the modern flare/bootleg would be good…?
    I’d love to see a try on!

  30. This is a great post! So helpful. I just got those Torrid jeans you have featured. And had them tailored to the correct length. I love them with a fun t-short and my Birkenstock’s or Chacos (basically the only shoes I wear, pandemic or not). This. It’s nice to know I’m trendy even though I just wanted to cover my ankles.

  31. Super informative post. I guess I still have a f*ck left to give (LOL) in that I read it and tried to imagine which of the styles I might look good in. At the same time, I cannot stand the metal button on jean waistbands that cuts into my stomach, no matter how lose I buy them — and it’s pretty much impossible to remove the button or tailor the jeans to change it. If you run across options, please let us know, thank you!

    1. A lot of brands have pull-on styles that with an untucked top, look just like traditional jeans! They even work with a loose French tuck. A few I’ve seen that are cute:
      Chico’s: https://shopstyle.it/l/br2cj (they have other styles too and don’t be afraid of their jeggings, it’s more the stretchy denim than being skinny like leggings)
      NYDJ: https://shopstyle.it/l/br2ec
      Liverpool: https://shopstyle.it/l/br2ef
      Wit +Wisdom (I think I shared these above but they’re worth sharing again): https://shopstyle.it/l/br2ek

      If you search “pull-on jeans” at any online department store (Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, etc.) you’ll find several brands, many featured above, but then you can see a variety of brands and silhouettes in one place!

      1. Thank you, Alison. My dream pair of jeans is high-waisted, side zip, wide-legged, and loose. In a Tall length! Fraying, yes! Probably an impossible combination, but I’m still looking…

  32. This is the most useful post about denim trends that I have seen on any of the fashion blogs/sites. Thank you so much!

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