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 all the fancy dresses we're not wearing right now, aren’t suddenly going to disappear overnight. Sure, we’re having 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 we can expect to see 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 next 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. Much like the autumn/winter 2020 trends, sticking to pieces that last is really the biggest takeaway for jeans, too. Keep scrolling to see what I found out and which three jeans trends we’ll all be wearing come the new year—stretchy waistbands not included.
1. Straight Fit
There was no escaping the ‘90s this year, and that’s set to carry on into 2021, with a big focus on straight-leg styles. Karolina Ekman, collection manager for & Other Stories, said 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.”
But it’s not just the high street which is celebrating this trend in the upcoming collections. Heajun Park, womenswear design director, EMEA, for 7 For All Mankind, said 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.
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 long-lasting jeans. So if you’re looking to future-proof your wardrobe, you know which colour to go for.
3. Loose Fit
While there might not be elasticated waistbands when it comes to jeans trends for 2021, there are slightly looser fits in terms of legs. Wider-leg jeans, with a nod to ‘70s-style silhouettes, are also a more popular choice right now, and that’s only going to increase. “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.