We took a short break from discussing fall 2022 fashion trends at the end of last week, but I’m back today with probably the most asked-about wardrobe category of all: Denim Trends for Fall 2022.
This may well be the most polarizing topic we discuss in this community! 😂 After all, each woman has a unique body and a unique set of lifestyle needs, so no one denim silhouette looks great on everyone.
Women also vary in how much they value being on trend. Some of us love to try new things and enjoy staying on top of the latest styles and silhouettes. Others work hard to find the denim styles that work best for their bodies and lifestyles, and they’re going to stick with those no matter what the trend reports say.
The good news is, pretty much everything goes right now. You can look fashionable in just about any denim silhouette, as long as you style them with other modern pieces and wear them with confidence. And, of course, good fit and proportion is key to any stylish ensemble.
All that to say, these posts on fall trends are simply meant to be informative. It’s up to you to figure out if you want to wear them… or not.
5 Top Denim Trends for Fall 2022
These are the 5 most fashion-forward and on-trend denim silhouettes for the 2022 fall season. You don’t need all of these styles in your closet, but hopefully you’ll find one or two to love.
Flares are probably my favorite of the denim trends for fall 2022. This is a 70s throwback style, and the fit is straight through the hips and thighs and kicking out from knee to ankle. Leg openings are typically wider than 20″. (Not sure what that is? This post breaks down the Key Denim Measurements.)
Mid and high rises look the most current to my eye, but I’m sure low-rise styles are soon to follow. We’re seeing all lengths in flares right now, from the traditional floor-grazing style to the newer crop and ankle-lengths. Raw hems and traditional finished hems are equally popular, but the raw hem is more trendy.
Washes are everything from dark to light, with medium washes being the most versatile.
Because wider leg openings make your legs look shorter, flares look best with a stacked or wedge heel. Platform sandals, clogs, and western-style boots are current shoe trends that look great with flares.
If you want to wear sneakers or flats with flares, I recommend a crop or ankle-length style because it is slimming to show a bit of skin at the ankle (generally the smallest part of a woman’s leg.)
#2. Bootcut Jeans
Flares and bootcut jeans are similar, but flares are a little more dramatic and edgy whereas bootcut jeans are more streamlined and classic.
Bootcut jeans fit snug through the hips and thighs and widen from knee to hem, but not as wide as flares. Leg openings are typically 17-20″ wide. Just like with flares, we are seeing full-length bootcut jeans as well as crop and ankle-length styles trending right now.
As far as footwear is concerned, I usually wear full-length bootcut jeans with a heel, but you don’t have to. Lower heels are trending this fall (hallelujah!) so if they have a pointed toe or a slim, square toe, that can work too.
Washes are everything from dark to light, with medium washes being the most versatile, but a sleek dark wash bootcut is always a classic look. I’m seeing a lot of raw hem bootcut jeans right now, which makes it easy to trim to the length you want, but you can certainly wear the finished hem if you prefer.
#3. Slim Straight Leg Jeans
This is my answer to those who are struggling to let go of their skinny jeans. Slim, straight leg jeans are less of a trendy style and more of a classic that is having a moment right now, and they’re a great way to update your look without going too far out of your comfort zone.
The fit is just as it sounds — straight and slim from hip to hem; and straight-leg jeans can be cropped, ankle-length, or full length. Rises are medium or high, and colors run the gamut. The raw hem keeps slim, straight leg jeans looking current and adds texture to your outfit, but you can wear regular sewn hems too.
Shoes can be a little tricky with slim, straight jeans. It depends largely on the length. A streamlined bootie with a higher shaft works well under crop and ankle-length styles, or you can wear sneakers, clogs, loafers, or sandals. Typically you don’t want the jeans to buckle on top of the shoe, and it’s fine to show some ankle.
#4. Relaxed Straight Leg Jeans
I had to borrow a picture for this style because it isn’t one I wear. The relaxed straight is a 90s throwback style, and probably the most trendy of these denim trends for fall 2022.
You will also see these called loose fit, slouchy straight, dad jeans, baggy straight… there is no one correct term. The fit is relaxed on the leg, straight down to the hem, and they can be cropped or long enough to pool on the floor.
Washes are mostly medium or light, but washed black (these have a slightly faded look to them) and ecru (off-white) are also big right now. They may or may not have distressing.
As for footwear companions, it’s trendy to wear relaxed straight leg jeans with retro trainers or Converse high tops, and also with the chunky dad sandals (as shown above). I also see them worn a lot with chunky lug sole boots and lace-up styles such as Doc Martens. A more sophisticated way to wear this denim silhouette would be with a sleek, square-toe bootie.
We’re going to be seeing more and more of these slouchy jeans as the season progresses, but probably more on the younger set. That said, you can participate in this trend and not look like your teenage daughter. It’s all a matter of choosing the jeans wisely and styling them in a way that is more refined.
#5. Wide Leg & Trouser Jeans
Wide leg jeans is another classic silhouette that is having a moment right now, and this style is a little more refined than some of the other denim trends in this list. I’m clearly not wearing jeans in the picture above, but the silhouette is what I’m talking about here. The fit is full from hip to ankle, and they can be crop, ankle, or full-length.
I feel like this style looks best with a platform or a heel, but sneakers or loafers can work if you get the proportions of the outfit right. The key is to define the waist. You do this by tucking your top, wearing a shorter, fitted top, or adding a fitted blazer or jacket.
You can find wide leg jeans in all colors of denim, but they look especially sophisticated in a dark, saturated black or indigo wash. This style can definitely make you look wider than you are, and they’re something of an acquired taste.
I’m not usually much of a fan of this look on me personally because of my body type, but I actually like the pair I’m wearing above quite a bit! They might look even better with a more form-fitting top.
Are skinny jeans in style for 2022?
I’m sure you will notice that skinny jeans are NOT in this list. That doesn’t mean you won’t see them in stores (the retailers carry what sells, and many women are reluctant to give up on styles they have grown comfortable with.) But skinny jeans are definitely on the downward slope of the trend spectrum.
What this means to me is, I won’t be buying new ones, but I’m holding onto a few for tucking into boots this winter.
If you’re not ready to give up your skinny jeans, by all means, keep wearing them. To stay looking current, try matching them with more updated styles of tops and footwear.
But just remember, we all had to get used to skinny jeans back in the day. Sometimes it takes a while for our eyes to adjust to new trends, and what looks flattering to you today might change as the newer denim silhouettes become more mainstream.
For example, I used to detest crop flares. I thought they looked ridiculous on everyone. (I’m sure some of you still do.) Well, now I love them!
So yeah… Take this list of denim trends for fall 2022 with a grain of salt, but don’t write them off just because you don’t like them at first. Part of staying current and not getting stuck in a style rut is being open to trying new things.
That doesn’t mean we should all jump on every trend that comes down the pike, either, so be selective and wear what looks best on you.
At the end of the day, you should be true to yourself and wear what you love. The most important thing is to have fun with fashion, and wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident!
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photos: Alison Cornell