Shopping for jeans can be a fashion minefield. Every season (every month, even!) brings with it new shapes, finishes and colours. We’re constantly being told what styles are in and out—bootcuts are out, cropped flares are in—then along comes the “girlfriend” jeans to confuse us even more. Peg, shrunken, slouchy… The list of silhouettes goes on—and that’s before we’ve even started to tackle the new hemline details and rules.
Seeing as denim is a huge part of our style uniform and it isn’t something we want to stop experimenting with just because we aren’t in our 20s anymore, we thought we’d talk about how you can approach the latest jean trends with confidence. It’s difficult to decide what to go for and what to let pass by. We try to stay on trend when updating our jeans every season but are old enough and wise enough to know that not all styles are designed for us.
We investigated the must-have jeans this season in order to find the best fits and work out how to style them when you’re past the desire to wear everything with a crop top…
We’ve been lusting over Vetements’s two-tone patchwork jeans for a while, but—we have to be honest—we were put off by the extravagant price tag. Now high-street brands have taken inspiration from the infamous designer pair. We both snapped up Topshop Boutique’s Stepped Hem Jeans (£80), pictured on Lou here. A slight stepped hem? Tick. Two-tone denim? Tick. A better fit than a lot of designer pairs we tried thanks to the slightly cropped leg? Tick, tick, tick!
If the double denim effect scares you, opt for a pair that just features a step-hem without the extra seam-work. As for styling, just keep things simple in order to not look like a fashion try-hard—when your jeans are the focal point, pull out a navy sweater.
The trend for embroidered everything has now filtered down to our favourite high-street stores. This specific detailing adds a little extra something to the kind of jeans you already love, so opt for the kind of cut you’d usually rely upon. Of all the embroidered pairs we tried, we adored Topshop’s Moto Blue Embroidered Straight Leg Jeans (£45). These look more polished because of the muted tonal colour palettes. These blue hues just so happen to work well mixed into our existing wardrobes, too!
Consider this trend not with fear, but as an updated version of your usual skinny jeans–and-heels combo! Again, as with all the more directional style we talk about, it’s all about how you style them. Be sure to check out the cult versions from 3x1 and combine with simple shoes and plain tops so you let the tassels do the talking.
Cropped kick flares are actually a universally flattering shape— trust us! Go for an exaggerated kick like Em in Rag & Bone’s Cropped Flared Jeans (£151) or a slight flare like Lou in J Brand’s Selena Jeans (£225). This shape looks great with a boot tucked in under the jeans, making them a practical style for the winter months, but they’re also the style we turn to for nights out.
The darker the shade, the more slimming you’ll find this particular cut to be. A smart wash, with no rips or distressing, will become your wardrobe staple. It’s doubtless the easiest of all of the new denim trends we trialled.
High-waisted, straight-leg mom jeans are all still going strong. Being shorter in the body, it’s a shape Lou tends to shy away from because it cuts her off in the wrong places. Em loves the style and wears it casually or in a smart ensemble, and always with a shirt-tuck for ultimate cool-girl points.
To keep age-appropriate, we steer clear of acid washes or excessive rips and detailing. We’ve nothing against ripped jeans but feel they look better on a less directional denim shape, like the boyfriend or skinny. Mom jeans when you are a mum (and we both are) could feel like stepping into dangerous territory—so keep things crisp and clean-cut.
A new take on the traditional boyfriend (of which we will never split up with!), drop-crotch, or harem, jeans can be incredibly flattering. Worn low on the hip, these are a great style to dress up, giving the perfect high-low vibe for your days off duty. R13’s Drop Ankle Jeans (£268) are Lou’s absolute favourites, a perfect relaxed style that will take you from day to night.
See more of Lou and Em’s fashion adventures on their website, A Style Album.