Just because we dubbed 2023 the year of good denim, that doesn’t mean 2024 will be devoid of top-notch blue jeans as soon as the clock strikes January. Denim doesn’t go out of style — rather, it’s the degree of the fabric’s popularity that fluctuates from year to year, never falling below zero but always capable of rising to extreme levels depending on the fashion climate. (2001 was, of course, a record-breaking year for the material thanks to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.) So where do denim trends stand in 2024?
Rather than the full-on denim-on-denim look, which made a big return in 2023 on the back of all things Y2K, jean suiting — which works as a set or as separates — promises to enter our closets and workplaces alike. Expect to see spillover from the top 2024 trends (and yes, that means going pantless) as well as fresh takes on last season’s greatest hits, including cargo pants and maxi skirts. If you’re waiting for the comeback of the skinny jean though, don’t hold your breath. According to Kate Bellman, editorial and content director at Nordstrom, wide-leg cuts are here to stay.
“As we’re seeing the pendulum swing away from decades of the skinny jean, naturally wide legs emerge as a key silhouette,” Bellman says. “There’s also much versatility with wide-leg style across wash, rise and length, so they work for a variety of occasions and styling needs.”
For all these insights and more, scroll on to shop the top 2024 denim trends you’re about to see everywhere.
Denim Trend 2024: Barrel-Leg Jeans
The barrel-leg silhouette straddles the line between structure and wearability, making it a compelling jean shape because of the way it holds a distinct form despite its loose fit. Faiza Bouguessa, founder of the contemporary womenswear label of the same name known for its sharp tailoring, says, “I am confident that the barrel leg style will continue to make waves in 2024 since this silhouette embraces a sense of ease and comfort without compromising on style. As the fashion landscape evolves, there is a growing appreciation for diversity in silhouettes.”
Denim Trend 2024: Office-Approved Jeans
According to Mathilde Mader, chief creative officer at Everlane, a shift is on the horizon in terms of how we think about workwear. Polished denim, she believes, is poised to become a go-to office essential: “We’re seeing less of a desire for pronounced distressing and more of a draw toward tailored, refined, and modern shapes.” This prediction is supported by a range of looks straight from the spring/summer 2024 collections including denim suits at Self-Portrait, Staud, Valentino, Coperni, and Dries Van Noten, along with a tailored denim ensemble complete with a matching coat at Kenzo.
Denim Trend 2024: Utilitarian Jeans
The enthusiastic embrace of the utilitarian aesthetic since the spring of 2023 will continue in 2024 with an emphasis on denim cargo pants. Other craftsperson-inspired styles that will be getting the jean treatment, according to designers like Kenzo and Etro, are jumpsuits, oversized vests, and overcoats. “Utility influences will continue relevance throughout 2024 and are a natural fit within an inherently casual denim wardrobe,” Bellman explains. “Exaggerated cargo pockets and carpenter styles add a stylistic reference to create statement-making impact. Pair [these details with a] more dressed-up top and fancy flats to provide styling juxtaposition.”
Denim Trend 2024: Extremely Flared Jeans
Denim experts at brands like Frame and Good American are already offering an alternative to the ubiquitous wide-leg silhouette for those who want to step away from skinny jeans in an even more dramatic fashion. Enter: the extreme flare, featuring a tight fit until about mid-way down the calf at which point the fabric splays far out from the ankle to create an eye-catching, opposite-of-skinny shape.
Denim Trend 2024: Jeans As Occasionwear
Shortly after designers like Brunello Cucinelli, Altuzarra, Cinq à Sept, Moschino, and Marques Almeida showed denim dresses and skirts ranging from fun ruffled numbers to actual gowns, Anne Hathaway (donning Ralph Lauren at the CFDA Fashion Awards) made it official: Despite what you’ve been told, jeans are officially acceptable as eveningwear, as long as they take on the form of more elevated attire. Think floor-grazing silhouettes, mermaid skirts, and high-low hems. In some cases, you can even wear your best pair of Levi’s to a special occasion according to style guru Jenna Lyons, who rocked hers to the RHONY reunion back in September.
Denim Trend 2024: Jean (Short) Shorts
Love it or loathe it, fashion is forgoing bottoms in 2024. The no-pants look has made its way from the Hollywood set to mainstream style, and jeans are no exception. LaQuan Smith, Alexander McQueen, and Dion Lee are backing the trend with a denim twist, showing barely-there bottoms made from the durable fabric that are Daisy Duke-levels of short.
Denim Trend 2024: Baggy Jeans
Furthering fashion’s mission to delay the inevitable return of the skinny jean, industry heavyweights are doubling down on ultra-loose fits. More is more, it appears, as far as jeans are concerned, with ample fabric flowing from the waists of runway models at Gucci and Schiaparelli. At Tibi, oversized denim was paired with oversized button-downs, while Prabal Gurung’s take on the trend was styled with embroidered blouses and bra tops.
Denim Trend 2024: Jean Embellishments
If there’s one trend that we’re happy to see maintaining its influence in recent seasons, it’s the touch of fun that’s popped up on handbags, shoes, tops, and beyond. Embellishments both big and small never hurt anybody, and Stella McCartney, Versace, Isabel Marant, and more are adding them to their denim. Whether it’s floral embroidery, mirrored eyelet accents, studs, or sparkles, let your jeans bring the party to wherever you’re headed in 2024.
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