When it comes to trends, none ever prove quite so divisive as jeans. This probably stems from the fact that people are very particular about the jeans they wear—the cut, the length, the colour—so the subject is always going to spark debate. In the past, frayed hems split the fashion industry in two. If you cast your mind back to the early noughties, you'll remember that many of us were aghast at the mere thought of skinny jeans. In this instance, then, we must warn you that we're about to discuss another topical jeans trend which is making a return in 2021: boot-cut jeans.
That's right. The '90s denim look is already gaining momentum this year, and for every nostalgic dresser who'll relish wearing boot-cut jeans, we guarantee there'll be someone who shudders at the thought of slipping into them. Still, if the past has taught us anything, it's that most jeans styles are considered questionable before becoming widely accepted—adored even. So are boot-cut jeans in style for 2021? Are we right to consider adding them to our wardrobes once more? We spoke to jean queen Donna Ida, founder of denim brand Donna Ida, to get her thoughts on the matter.
"There's definitely an appetite for different denim styles this year," says Ida. "We brought back our Martha boot-cut jeans in the middle of 2020 after the success of our Minnie wide-leg—we have always sold wide legs and flares. We then brought back Martha, which we originally launched in 2014, and introduced our Hope style in early 2020. Both flew off the shelves, even amidst everything that was going on. There was an undeniable thirst for a true boot-cut again."
That confirms it; the question is why. Ida has a few thoughts on this also. "I think it comes down to the styling," she explains. "I love a boot-cut with boots or heels and a blazer or with trainers and a great knit. They look polished and more thought-through than skinnies, which are commonplace in our wardrobes."
If you're tentative about whether boot-cut jeans will suit you, let Ida put your mind at ease. "If you have long legs, you will look good in a boot-cut. It's a shape that celebrates the length. That said, they're an inclusive cut. Even for shorter girls like me, boot-cut jeans balance out your silhouette. I like to add a heel to hike up the height a bit."
Perhaps, then, now's the time to banish any preconceived opinions you may have about boot-cut jeans and look at them with fresh eyes. So are boot-cut jeans in style for 2021? According to the runway and experts, it would appear so, but what really matters is how they make you feel. Like all jeans (and any other item of clothing), if they make you feel good when you wear them, that's all that matters.
SHOP BOOT-CUT JEANS: