The Spring 2016 Denim Report: Your Guide to the Season’s Must-Have Styles

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The Spring 2016 Denim Report: Your Guide to the Season’s Must-Have Styles
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We all have certain denim stalwarts that we’re loyal to—some of us have been stockpiling black skinny jeans for the past decade, while others were rocking overalls long before they were cool. Still, that doesn’t mean we don’t get the urge to branch out every once and a while and try on the fresh styles that designers are cooking up for the season.

Recently, the denim world has seemed especially exciting, with new players like Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh and Vetements taking the repurposed vintage movement to new heights (and convincing consumers to shell out $1,000-plus in the process) and indie favorites like Rachel Comey and Rodebjer raising the bar with new and unexpected silhouettes on the regular.

According to Lyst, the e-commerce platform with troves of data about shoppers’ browsing and spending habits, the terms users are searching most right now are Culotte, Kick Flare, Flare, Embellished, and Fringe—meaning denim fans are branching out beyond their comfort zones. (They also noted that conversion rates for these styles are lower than for traditional silhouettes, suggesting that so far, it’s been mostly curiosity).

Keep reading to explore every kind of denim you’ll want for spring—from sleek mules in subtle indigo to blue jeans covered in look-at-me embellishments.

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Embroidered

Few things are more fun than kitschy patches, pins, and embroidery, and this spring you have full license to embrace your inner kid.

GCDS Patch Skinny Jeans, $315; at VFILES

Embroidered

Skinny Regular Queens Jeans, $59.99; at Mango

Embroidered

Highrise Stovetop Denim Pants, $500; at Marc Jacobs

Embroidered

"I Am Denim" Collection Mom Fit Jeans, $59.90; at Zara

The Jean Jacket

Boxier and more boyish than the shrunken fits of seasons past, this is the layer you'll want to keep on till summer arrives.

Unisex Sid Fringed Denim Jacket, $178; at W Concept

The Jean Jacket

MOTO Oversized Denim Jacket, $85; at Topshop

The Jean Jacket

Denim Trucker Coat, $268; at AllSaints

The Jean Jacket

Summit Jacket, $98; at The Reformation

Fringed & Frayed

The extra detailing at the hem makes these jeans feel just a little more special than your standard cropped styles—and while you can try this at home, there are plenty of ready-made options to appease those who'd rather leave it to the pros.

WM3 Crop Fringe Bianca, $285; at 3x1

Fringed & Frayed

Night to Dawn Flare Jeans, $65; at Storets

Fringed & Frayed

Marques'Almeida Frayed-Edge Flared Jeans, $356; at Matches Fashion

Fringed & Frayed

W005 Lamere Crop Jean, $240; at Simon Miller

The New Mini

Call it the Vetements effect: The thigh-skimming denim skirt is back, but this time with jagged hems, patchwork panels, and a distinctively haphazard vibe.

Denim Frayed Mini Skirt, $79; at Pixie Market

The New Mini

Vetements Denim Mini Skirt, $1,190; at Nordstrom

The New Mini

Ksubi Cutoff Miniskirt, $205; at Shopbop

The New Mini

Cutoff Hem Denim Mini Skirt, $37; at Style Nanda

Kick Flare

More approachable than its full-length cousin, this style flares slightly above the ankle, making it perfect to show off a new pair of block-heel slides.

Rag & Bone Cropped Raw-Hem Flare Jeans, $136; at Saks Fifth Avenue

Kick Flare

Cropped Denim Trousers, $85; at & Other Stories

Kick Flare

Pursue Pant, $437; at Rachel Comey

Kick Flare

Kick Flare Ankle Jeans, $29.99; at H&M

Sandals & Mules

Denim shoes recently got a major endorsement from Rihanna—but you don't need to commit to thigh-high bejeweled boots to enjoy the trend. Easy mules, picnic-ready clogs, and wear-everywhere sandals will do just as well.

Cube Mule, $425; at 3.1 Phillip Lim

Sandals & Mules

Saint Laurent Blue Denim Clog Sandals, $795; at SSENSE

Sandals & Mules

Florence Slingback Heel, $79; at Urban Outfitters

Sandals & Mules

Thais Light Denim Sandals, $235; at Moda Operandi

Vintage Fit

The silhouette that feels most current and most wearable is cut slightly high on the waist and slim through the leg (though it can be worn baggier depending on how you like it). Several brands (Jordache, Re/Done) are remixing vintage pairs for a new generation of denim fans, while others are creating new styles inspired by throwback fits.

Citizens of Humanity Liya High-Rise Classic Fit Jean, $258; at Urban Outfitters

Vintage Fit

Levi's Wedgie Jean, $128; at Individual Medley

Vintage Fit

After Party Vintage Levi's 501 Jeans, $88; at Nasty Gal

Vintage Fit

The Dee Remix Jean, $265; at Jordache

Wide-Leg

Yet another example of the '90s infiltrating fashion: Raver pants are on the rise, with brands like Alexander Wang and Off-White showing pairs slung low on the hips. They aren't JNCO-level huge (not yet at least), but they're certainly roomy enough to make skinny jeans feel like a straitjacket in comparison.

Rave Wide-Leg Jean, $350; at Alexander Wang

Wide Leg

Light Wash Bootcut Denim Jeans, $69; at Front Row Shop

Wide-Leg

Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh Wide-Leg Patchwork Jeans, $1,072; at Farfetch

Wide-Leg

Tortoise Clemmy's Low-Slung Wide-Leg Jeans, $405; at Matches Fashion

The Denim Dress

Even if you're not a jeans person, feminine styles in denim and chambray work just as well as go-to weekend attire.

Ruben Denim Tie Dress, $410; at Maje

The Denim Dress

Denim Cold Shoulder Smock Dress, $51.76; at ASOS

The Denim Dress

Sunset Dress, $425; at M.i.h. Jeans

The Denim Dress

Denim Overall Dress, $128; at Madewell

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