Maybe slightly late to the game, I first noticed that change was brewing in the denim world last summer. I went out with my husband for a much-needed night away from our 6 month-old, and noticed that the skinny jeans that I carefully selected for my big night out were sorely out of place. Everywhere I looked, a 20-something had on high-waisted, light-washed jeans that were baggy from the hip down. Were these the bell-bottoms from my high school days or something totally new and unfamiliar?
As the CMO of a fashion company, you’d think I’d be able to keep up with the styles of such a staple as denim. Yet it seemed that the “cool” style of jeans had changed in an instant, completely behind my back. Rather than send you down the wieldy and complicated path that I next embarked on, I’m writing this to save you some time and panic. The bottom-line: no, you don’t need to throw out all your skinny jeans, but it may be time to explore some new jean styles, especially when you’re aiming to look your trendiest.
Here are the jean styles that are in right now, and how and when to wear them.
Wide leg jeans (the culprit of my denim epiphany)
These have a relaxed and roomy fit, with a wide-leg opening that starts at the waist and flares out to the hem. If you want to create a statement and prove to the 20-year-olds at the bar that you know style, give these a try. Offset the baggy bottom with a more form-fitting top. If you aren’t into the crop top trend (don’t get me started on this one!), opt for a tight-fitting turtle neck. Since this style exudes a more casual feel, choose these for more casual weekend outings.
High-waisted straight leg jeans
This style sits at the waist and has a straight leg fit, making it a classic and versatile option. These can be dressed up or down, are suitable for most body types, and can be paired with almost any top. Great for the office, especially in a dark-wash to create a polished and put-together look.
Similar to the straight leg, this style has probably been around the longest in recent fashion history. It features intentional rips, tears, and frayed details, and typically attracts at least one snarky comment, likely from an older male, of “did you pay extra for those rips?” These offer a relaxed and casual style, along with a little bit of edge. Pair them with a moto jacket to increase the edginess or with a blouse for a more feminine feel.
Cropped flare jeans
With a high-waisted fit and a flare that starts at the knee and widens towards the hem, this style provides a modern twist on the classic flare. They work especially well for petite and hourglass body shapes. (Don’t know your body shape? We can help.) Similar to a high-waisted straight leg jean, these are appropriate for most occasions depending on how you style your top half and your feet. Choose sneakers for a casual look and ankle boots or mules for a more sophisticated style. An oversized blazer, comfy sweater, or button down all work great with these jeans.
With lots of styles to choose from, don’t feel like you need to go straight into the deep-end of wide leg jeans. And at the end of the day, if you feel best in those skinny jeans, you keep on rockin’ them, girl. Try out a clothing rental service like Armoire so you can experiment with lots of different styles and find the one that works best for you.