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Jeans have never once gone out of style—and for good reason. Like any other basic wardrobe essential (dresses, button downs, heels and the like), denim adapts to the current fashion landscape. So while jeans in general are always a closet staple, the on-trend styles and cuts of jeans vary from year to year. While the 2020 denim trends featured ripped jeans, pleat-fronts and majorly cropped looks, the 2021 jeans trends bring with them some fresh options.
This isn’t to say that you should chuck out your favorite pair of jeans just because it isn’t a new 2021 trend. Keep what you love! First and foremost, your fashion choices should make you feel good. When you’re confident in what you wear—whether it be in-season, on-trend or none of the above—it doesn’t matter what the fashion rules say. Do you, boo.
If you are curious to see what the 2021 jeans trends have in store for us all, though, keep reading. We scoured the Spring/Summer 2021 runways to get you the scoop on all things denim for the upcoming year. Ulla Johnson’s gorgeous show let us know that loose jeans are in for the new year—but they’re not the early 2000s skater boy vibes you might be picturing. We also got peeks into what denim looks Colina Strada and Balmain are giving us for 2021. Hint: They’re anything but boring.
Classic skinnies and ankle jeans are always going to stay trendy, but designers have taken your favorites a step further this year. Whether you’re a hardcore denim fan who wears jeans with every outfit or just like to keep up with what retailers will soon be showing in their spring and summer 2021 collections, this trend round-up is here to help. Plus, there are ways to shop each and every trend (You’re welcome!), so you can go ahead and stay one step ahead of everyone else.
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Shawty Get Loose
Loose jeans are getting an upgrade for 2021, folks! This isn’t the denim you saw skater boys wearing in the early aughts—it’s much, much chicer. Subtle pleats, high waists and unexpected hues (like the washed-out gray from Ulla Johnson’s SS 2021 runway) make this trend a unique look for the new year.
For spring and summer, you can’t be a wide-leg cropped jean. This pair from GoodThreads is a great option if you want a looser fit, but aren’t quite ready to lean all the way into the loose jeans trend.
If you’re in the market for a pair of jeans that fully embraces the 2021 trend, these Mother Cargo Ankle Jeans are a can’t-miss option. They’ll carry you into fall easily, too!
Forget the pleats and just go straight for a loose, wide-leg fit with these ELOQUII Distressed Wide-Leg Jeans. The silhouette of these jeans gives them a serious vintage vibe, as well!
Bold Prints & Patterns
Colina Strada showed us how it’s done when it comes to bold patterns and prints—especially on denim. The patterned jean trend is one you can easily wear right now through winter, as well as in spring and summer. So don’t shy away from prints that are darker! You’ll be able to rock them year-round.
Case and point: this pair of Amazon Essentials Skinny Stretch Jeggings in a classic leopard print. You can bust these beauts out now and wear them all the way through next summer.
If you do want something a bit lighter, though, these BLANKNYC blue and white floral jeans are a great option. Paired with a lightweight sweater or your favorite graphic tee, they’re the perfect spring and summer look.
Another year-round favorite? Camo. (!) Yes, camouflage jeans are back, and this pair from Levi’s is a cute, no-fuss option for any season.
Long & Lean
Do your jeans hang low? According to the Spring/Summer 2021 Balmain runway, they definitely should. We’re not talking about sagging, though. 2021’s jeans are long and lean. Think bootcut denim that goes all the way to the floor. It’s a bit reminiscent of 2020’s horse girl trend, but a bit updated for the new year.
You can’t go wrong with this pair of Levi’s Western Boot Cut Jeans for under $60! The dark wash works well in any season, and you opt for heeled boots or cute mules, depending on your jean length preference.
These slim bootcut jeans from Warp + Weft are a great option for those who stand by their all-black ensembles—no matter the weather. Plus, they’re ultra high-rise, which is perfect for crop tops and tucking in graphic tees.
If you want a little more flare at the bottom of your long jeans, the FRAME Le High Flare Jeans are definitely for you. In a gorgeous dark wash, these jeans are a unique pick. Shorties, make sure you have a tailor on-call for this pair—these jeans are seriously long.