We wear jeans constantly and know you do, too. That's why we're serving you a status update on all things denim ahead of fall's impending arrival so you can head into the new season with the freshest jean selection possible. Curious which formerly popular jean styles you should ditch to upgrade your wardrobe? I asked Who What Wear editors to name the outdated jean styles they're breaking up with before fall arrives (and which trends you can find them wearing instead). We're putting the debate over trends like frayed-hem jeans and the trend everyone loves to hate, low-rise jeans, to rest once and for all. Ahead, see which denim trends we're naming as in and out, and shop each one we're here for.
Breaking up with: Frayed-hem jeans
Wearing instead: Pleated jeans
"I have a lot of frayed-hem jeans I love and will keep wearing, but I don't plan on buying any this season. I've been gravitating toward more tailored styles with finished hems and even some pleated jeans."
Breaking up with: Cropped denim
Wearing instead: Trouser-like jeans
"Cropped denim is a trend I skipping this fall. Instead, I'm advocating for trouser-like jeans with cuts that have a high rise, nipped-in waist, and wide-leg silhouette. The below pair—designed by model Elsa Hosk for her collaboration with J Brand—checks each of those boxes."
Breaking up with: Cuffed jeans
Wearing instead: Deep indigo washes
"This season, I'll be retiring my cuffed jeans in favor of smartly hemmed denim in dark-wash indigo hues (a huge jean color trend we saw on the fall 2019 runways)."
Breaking up with: Low-rise jeans
Wearing instead: High-rise jeans
"While I got rid of all my low-rise jeans a while ago, I still had a few mid-rise pairs floating around my closet that I'm definitely ready to get rid of now, too. Instead, my new motto is the higher the better. My go-to jeans of the moment have an over-12-inch rise and they just feel so right."
Breaking up with: Re-worked and step-hem jeans
Wearing instead: Looser fits, straight-leg jeans, and longer hemlines
"Reworked jeans and step-hem jeans are two trends that have been decreasing for me in relevance for a while. Both of those trends have a certain effort to them, and in contrast, I'm currently all about jeans that look just a bit more relaxed. That translates to jeans with a baggier fit for fall. Remember that iconic (at least to me) Mary-Kate Olsen denim look from probably at least a decade ago? That's the fit I'm going for, minus the rips. I'm also here for a super-classic pair of straight jeans in sleek black. I agree with our Managing Editor Kristen that longer-hemmed jeans are where it's at, so I plan to save myself a trip to the tailor and wear these affordable jeans untouched with a kitten heel."
Breaking up with: Colored jeans
Wearing instead: Blue, black, and white jeans
"Yes, I owned a pair of bright red jeans in high school, but I'm definitely not into colored jeans right now. Unless the jeans are blue, black, gray, or white, I'm probably not interested. (Although I'm willing to consider army green!) As for shape, I'm buying way fewer skinnies and making a bee-line for classic straight-leg versions."
Breaking up with: Denim Bermuda shorts
Wearing instead: Ecru jeans
"Okay, fine, I'll say it—I hated the long jorts trend that everyone participated in this summer. Not that I personally owned a pair, but I'm ready to see the trend go away. A denim trend I have loved this summer and plan on wearing well into fall is ecru jeans. I own the below pair and can assure you they are flattering, comfortable, and look great with nearly every color in your wardrobe."
Breaking up with: Distressed jeans
Wearing instead: Tailored jeans
"I'm a fan of dressing up jeans. I want all my denim outfits to look as elevated as possible, so I'm saying sayonara to any pairs with heavy rips or frayed hems in favor of tailored jeans that contribute to an overall sleeker look."