I’m not buying it. Despite however many memes I see on Instagram about never wearing jeans again, I know fashion better, and I know that jeans, like the fancy dresses we have ready to go in our wardrobes, aren’t suddenly going to disappear overnight. Sure, we’ve had quite the flirtation with cosy joggers and any other trousers that are stretchy in the waist department, but there are certain parts of our wardrobes that unite us, and denim is one of them. I reached out to two of my favourite places that do denim—7 for All Mankind and & Other Stories—to tell me what jeans trends are big in 2021.
While the former is a luxury denim brand and the latter a high-street store that does more than jeans, I wanted to get a good overview of what the customer is going to want this year and how we’ll be shopping denim. Well, spoiler alert: There were no surprises. Sure, I do love it when the fashion crystal ball throws us something unexpected, but when it comes to jeans, I’m quite the traditionalist. And it would seem this is the theme for the coming year. Keep scrolling to see what I found out and which three jeans trends we're all wearing in 2021—stretchy waistbands not included.
1. Straight Fit
There was no escaping the ’90s in 2020, and that’s set to carry on in 2021 with a big focus on straight-leg styles. Karolina Ekman, collection manager for & Other Stories, says that the straight cut continues to be a favourite. “We love the timeless appeal of this iconic garment, and our core jeans collection of five new cuts celebrates that,” Ekman says.
But it’s not just the high street that is celebrating this trend in the upcoming collections. Heajun Park, womenswear design director, EMEA, for 7 for All Mankind, says similar. “For 2021, we believe that straight fits will be our strongest performers, so we’ve focused our attention on the Alexa and Modern Straight and expanded our selection of colours and washes,” Park says.
Another really classic pair of jeans to always have handy in your wardrobe? Blue, of course. And when I say blue, I mean a denim blue that’s slightly faded, not indigo. The good news is there are plenty of washes to choose from to get the right shade you’re after. Ekman says the same about blue jeans, telling me they’re “laid-back yet chic” and that it’s the “classic styles with clean washes in light and mid-blue” that are the most timeless and longest-lasting jeans. So if you’re looking to future-proof your wardrobe, you know which colour to go for.
While there might not be elasticated waistbands when it comes to jeans trends for 2021, there are slightly looser fits in terms of legs (which we also confirmed in our spring 2021 trend report). Wider-leg jeans with a nod to ’70s-style silhouettes are also a more popular choice right now. “The popularity of relaxed fits will continue, as they are just so versatile and flattering,” says Park. As for the high street, Ekman also says its customers were after looser-fitting jeans and believes this trend will continue.