Jeans Trends Part 4
Wrap Up: More Shapes & Some Jeans tips
We are finally at the last post in the four-part Jeans Trends series. Boy, have I learned a lot. I hope you have also become more familiar with the trends that we’ve been hearing about and seeing over the course of the past several months. As we move into fall and winter and jeans become more of a wardrobe staple, it’s my prediction (although I’m not a trend predictor) that we’ll be seeing more variety in the jeans styles women wear. We expect it in younger women who are often the first adopters of new fashion trends. But I won’t be surprised to see more mature women branching out from skinnies and trying some of the re-emerging styles. I say re-emerging because, really, nothing is new here. If you’ve been adult age for more than 20 years, these trends aren’t really new.
I didn’t originally intend to go this deep into jeans trends when I embarked on the subject several weeks ago, but then it became kind of a game to see how many styles I could feature in my posts. I began with a plan to feature only the styles that I could see myself wearing – and I’m guessing that if you’re a regular reader of the Dez & Dot blog, your tastes are similar. But as I ventured out into the styles that I swore I’d never wear, and even laughed at, I realized that (1) I shouldn’t be so closed minded, and (2) it’s all in the styling – almost anything can look great if it’s styled right. I did find that I actually liked some of those “NEVER” styles! I hope by featuring some of these jeans trends in this post that you might try styles that you had never considered previously.
This post is l–o–n–g. And it’s packed with pictures (I hope not too many).
The prep for this post included modeling 10 pairs of jeans, 14 pairs of shoes, 9 different tops, two jackets, plus earrings-necklaces-bracelets, and 115 photos. I turned our guest bedroom into a photography studio (see the behind-the-scenes reveal at the end of the post). It’s has been lots of fun, and despite my 100% intention to return every single pair of jeans pictured in this post, now I’m not so sure (a detriment to writing a fashion blog)!
Sorry for the wordy intro, I’ll get right to the good stuff now. I hope my eye-opening try-ons will inspire you to be open minded to the new jeans trends and that the style ideas in the photos give you inspiration to try something you may not have thought of. Here we go . . .
Mom jeans take us back. They made and appearance way back in the late 1980s. They were cool for a bit and then styles changed and those who hung on to the mom jeans style had a reputation for being a bit old and unstylish. But, as we know, styles come and go in cycles, and mom jeans are in again. Mom jeans have a high, fitted waist and a loose fit around the hips and thighs, tapering to a narrow leg opening. When I heard they were trending, I vowed that I wasn’t going there . . . again. Been there, done that. But, paired with a feminine shoe like pointed toe pumps and a feminine blouse, the mom jeans silhouette, with a flattering waist definition and a narrow leg opening at the ankle, has a cool vibe (may be a bit hard to see the details in this photo since the jeans are dark). I could actually see myself wearing them, but not in the shleppy “Oh, mom jeans” kind of way. Both of the mom jeans styles below are from Old Navy (also called O.G. Straight).
The light gray mom jeans below with a more casual vibe straddle an almost not-cool vibe. The raw edge at the bottom of the legs help to keep it out of the 80’s. Adding a graphic t-shirt and leather moto jacket and pairing that with point toe flats (Rothy’s, of course!), also move the look into this decade.
Boyfriend jeans aren’t technically new. They’ve been around for at least a few years (or more) and have been popular with a variety of ages. Boyfriend jeans have a mid or low rise, a loose fit, and straight leg. The style is inspired by the idea of borrowing your boyfriend’s jeans. They would have a relaxed, possibly baggy fit, and you may need to roll the bottom so they aren’t too long (as in, if you were borrowing your boyfriend’s jeans). It’s a casual look, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be dressed up by accessorizing.
Below there are two looks accomplished by (1) pairing the jeans with sneakers and (2) cuffing the jeans and add booties. Adding heels would be a fun look too. Both pairs of boyfriend jeans pictured are from Gap Factory.
A darker wash gives a casual pair of jeans a dressier look. And a black top dresses up pretty much anything you wear below the waist. I’m happy to be pulling out some of the belts that have been hibernating for a long time; they seem to be back in vogue. This style is slim boyfriend jeans – a little closer fitting than regular boyfriend jeans (above).
Dad Jeans (Slouchy)
So what they heck are dad jeans?! Dad jeans are defined by a straight cut with a slouchy, slightly oversized fit. The name of the style is a nod to the denim that men – yes, usually dads – wore throughout the 80s and 90s. The style isn’t my favorite, but my theory that anything can look good if it’s styled right rings true with dad jeans. I don’t think I’ll add a pair to my wardrobe, but I’m glad I was able to experiment with them. I will say, I kind of like the chunky crewneck sweater and chunky boots with the slouchy jeans style. I don’t love the distressing (rips). More about distressed jeans below.
Both pairs that I’m modeling, the light wash denim and the black, are from Old Navy. At the store they are named Slouchy Straight and are included in the shopping widget below.
The black slouchy dad jeans below are paired with a vintage cashmere v-neck sweater than I inherited from my husband about 30 years ago. It’s a favorite, especially around the holidays. This is a simple look paired with black western-inspired booties (add some cozy Bombas wool low cut socks for the cold days ahead).
Barrel Leg Jeans
The barrel leg jeans style (also called balloon leg jeans) is one I laughed at the first time I saw it. There was NO WAY I would even consider it. But when writing about jeans trends, how could I leave this trend out? I found a couple of pairs at Banana Republic Factory that weren’t too exaggerated. And, y’know, the style is kind of fun. Again, how the jeans are styled makes all the difference. The silhouette of the barrel leg style is narrow at the waist and ankle and roomy in the hips and legs. The narrow ankle creates a tailored look, and the shape is actually flattering. This shape was popular in the early 90s in soft fabric pants, and I remember liking the look.
Shown below are four looks (went a little crazy!). The first one, in the black barrel leg jeans, is a dressier look – the jeans are paired with an animal print blouse, point toe black pumps, and a wide belt. I really liked the look!
The medium wash denim barrel leg jeans present a more casual look. But, again, it’s the accessorizing and styling that makes or breaks a look.
With jeans like these that have a lot of volume through the hips and legs, adding a belt gives the eye a place to rest at the narrow part of the jeans, and the belt helps to define the waist. Of course, a higher heel is always elongating to the leg, and with a looser style, heels can add sophistication and well as slimming length. A pretty scarf is another accessory the pulls the eye up and adds another dimension of interest (scarf season is coming!).
This look is playful. Animal print slip-on oxfords and a casual, lightweight jacket give a masculine vibe to the feminine jeans shape. I’m not wearing a statement necklace in these photos, but adding one can also elevate the look.
And then there’s the classic white t-shirt – always a perfect pairing with any jeans style. This super casual look with Rothy’s slip-on sneakers, still has a girlie feeling, and kind of a throwback to the 50’s mood. Fun!
Wide Leg Jeans
We’ve made it – the last jeans trend style in this post series! Wide leg jeans are making a comeback, and “wide” runs the gamut from wide the entire length of the legs to narrow at the top and wide wide wide at the bottom. The two looks below are on different ends of the wide leg jeans style spectrum.
The first pair is what I consider an extreme wide leg. I kept it simple with a white tee, white studded loafers to add a little flair to the look, a simple necklace, and a white leather statement bracelet.
This first pair of wide leg jeans are from the Banana Republic Factory Store.
The next wide leg style is really something between a wide leg and wide flare. I like the denim tie belt that comes with this pair. This silhouette reminds me of the 1960s, hence the 60s inspired print top (and corny peace sign!). I like bell at the bottom of the leg. It’s just the right amount of flare. I paired the jeans with a platform sandal, but they would look great with heels or booties as well. These are from Gap Factory Store.
Note – You may notice tags and sticker on the jeans in this post as I purchased them specifically for purposes of the post and intend to return them – well, most of them.
Here are some things to keep in mind about jeans:
- Sizing – Sizes vary greatly from brand to brand and even for different styles within a brand. The sizes I’ve worn for the jeans in the four posts ranged from size 4 to size 8. Keep an open mind and try on a range of styles when you’re shopping.
- Stretch – Jeans have stretch. Make sure that there’s not too much of the stretchy ingredient as you could end up with jeans that stretch out too much and look and feel too baggy. 1%-3% of the stretch ingredient is usually about right. Elastane, a stretchy, synthetic fiber, also known as Spandex, or Lycra, is typically what is in jeans.
- Pockets – Back pocket placement and pocket size can be important to how jeans look on you. Generally, large and deep pockets make the rear look smaller and flat. Smaller pockets make it look bigger. Pockets that are placed slightly lower on your cheeks give the impression that your bum is perkier. Here’s a short article from the Denimology blog for the best back pockets for different figure types.
- Distressing – How do you feel about ripped jeans? Some of the rips I’ve been seeing lately leave little denim in the front of the let. Sorry, not for me. I don’t mind a little distressing, but only when it’s strategically placed and not exposing much skin. I like distressing that has a fabric backing so it looks distressed but you can’t actually see through to skin. Some manufacturers add this backing, but if you buy a pair of distressed jeans and don’t want to show skin, you can easily use an iron-on patch to back the shreds.
- Laundering Jeans – I’m obsessively careful when I launder my jeans. Here’s my formula for long lasting jeans: wash jeans inside out in cold water on the gentle washing machine cycle; toss them in the dryer on low heat for 5-10 minutes to take the stiffness out that can result when air drying; hang the jeans to air dry using a pants/skirt clip hanger. Never dry your jeans in the dryer – there’s nothing that ages them more. Some jeans “experts” recommended infrequent laundering to preserve the jeans, but I usually don’t wear mine for more than two or three wearings because they do stretch a bit, and I prefer how my jeans fit when they are freshly laundered.
Behind the Scenes
I typically photograph for the blog outdoors. I love finding interesting settings that add dimension and interest to the photos. However, with all the clothing changes that went with this post, staying someplace where I could easily change was critical. So I decided to make my own amateur studio! I was pretty proud of myself. I created the backdrop from a couple of curtain panels that have been living in the linen closet and tacked them up in front of the closet in the guest bedroom. Studio lighting was pulled-back curtains and two ring lights. I staged the various jeans styles by laying them on the bed. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked! This particular room is a multi-tasker – it’s my workout room and my vacation clothing staging room (looking forward to a vacation on Maui at the end of the month – I like to starting planning early when it comes to vacation!).
Browse Jeans Styles from This Post
I’ve curated some jeans styles that are featured in this post. There’s a range of prices from retailers I like to shop. Purchases made through the links in this post will generate a tiny commission to me – this is one way blogger generate income. I always appreciate your shopping through Dez & Dot links.