Denim Trends for Fall 2022

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.

Top 5 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 is perfect for everyone all the time.

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.

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.

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.

#1. Flares

Denim Trends for Fall 2022: flaresleft: Mother Denim (28) // Treasure & Bond sweater (S) // AllSaints boots (9) // AllSaints tote
right: Mother Denim (28) // Nordstrom Signature sweater (S) // Aquatalia boots (8.5)

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

Denim Trends for Fall 2022: bootcut jeans left: Edwin Denim (size 29) // Evereve top (S) // Seychelles heels (8) // Tory Burch hobo
right: Hudson Denim (29) // Vince sweater (S) // Stuart Weitzman booties (8.5) // Gucci sunnies

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.

bootcut jeans with low heeled bootsAG Jeans (28) // Vince boots – 2 1/2″ heel

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

Denim Trends for Fall 2022: slim straight leg jeans left: Pistola Denim (29) // Madewell sweater (S) // rag & bone sneakers (39)
right: Good American Jeans (6) // black sweater (S) // Kork-Ease clogs (8) // AllSaints tote

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

Denim Trends for Fall 2022: slouchy straight leg jeansMadewell Baggy Straight 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

Denim Trends for Fall 2022: wide leg and trouser jeans Spanx wide leg crop pants c/o (M) // white tee (S) // denim jacket (S) // Seychelles heels c/o (8) // Tory Burch hobo

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?

Are skinny jeans in style for 2022? rag & bone Cate ankle skinnies (29) //  Marc Fisher boots (8.5) // old LOFT sweater

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

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40 thoughts on “Denim Trends for Fall 2022

  1. Great post! I think I will try longer flares; I already have a pair of bootcuts I bought on vacation several years ago and I look forward to trying them. And I have straight legs and crop flares that I love. I also am saving a couple or pairs of skinnies for boots.

  2. Good job, Jo-Lynne!! This list is very informative. I actually seem to “collect” jeans over the years and rarely retire any of them! I seem to care about the fabric content and wash as much as the style, enjoying a softer feel and slouchier fits. I still have one pair of Gap bootcuts from the 80’s that I love to wear from time to time. They have a high waist and the most perfect wash. Styles ALWAYS come back sooner or later! Since I have many pairs at different lengths, I can usually choose my footwear first, then find a pair of jeans that go with them!

    1. I totally agree with you! I also have a collection of past trendy jeans that still look great today. personalize your own look and just be you!

  3. I have the new styles except any wide leg. As a petite hourglass, they would look terrible on me. I grew up in the 70’s, and love the flared jeans, and have eagerly purchased some for fall. I am also loving the high rise waist that holds in all the fluff, as you say, that I didn’t have in the 70’s! I fear that high rise won’t stick around much longer. I hope you will still do an updated white boot post and how to wear them. I bought some last year and chickened out and returned them, but I bought another pair during the #NSale.

  4. Great post Jo-Lynne! While I wore skinny jeans, I never really liked them because of how the legs would not move with me, so when I stood up from a sitting position, I’d have to tug them down. I enjoy trying different styles of jeans, when I don’t have to go beyond my budget. I’m glad y’all had a nice relaxing weekend!

  5. Although I have a pair or two, I still do not care for crop flares or crop straight or really crop any style leg. For my body type, they seem to widen my hips and shorten my legs. Who wants that?😂. I have always loved a medium to dark wash, full length Jean, and I am so happy to see them return, along with a lower rise surfacing again.

    Thanks for all of your hard work and trying to keep us current.😊

  6. Great post, thank you! I appreciate your including “curvy” sizes in the choices, those from Loft are about the only denim that fit me well. I’m loving the new denim fits and styles!

  7. Thank you for this great post as I never know which style of shoe to wear with each style of jeans/pants. Do you think clogs are going to stay around for awhile, or are they a fad? I have some bootcut jeans and a pair of wide leg crop pants that would look great with them, but I really don’t want to buy clogs if they will be out of style soon.

    1. I don’t know, I’ve been hearing that they’re coming back for a few seasons and this is the first one where I’ve seen them really taking hold. I would say they’ll be here for a couple years. They’re kind of a classic style that doesn’t really do OUT although if they get really popular for a while, they will look more dated, and sooner, when they do go on the decline… if that makes sense.

  8. Great informative article! I wore flares in the seventies( bell botttoms) . I feel like they require the taller shoes and I can’t do that anymore but they will look great on the younger girls .

  9. Great post and comment on being open to new trends, but wear what you like and feel confident in. Yes, the denim trends have been hard to get use to and I think for me, not because of the look of the denim, but how to wear them with the appropriate shoe/boot. I loved my skinnies, and they are so easy with any shoe/boot, but now they are feeling dated. I have gone to the straight, lately, but they are tricky like you said for shoes. I like them best with flat sandals and mules, but Fall and Winter is coming. I don’t like wearing the taller shaft, heel or pointed toe for everyday wear. I live casual. So, I’m working on that. I have 6 pair of jeans in my bedroom right now I’m trying out and 2 more are expected to come soon. I’m going to have so many Nordstrom returns, as I buy 2 sizes in every jean I order. 🙂 LOL Thanks for these post to keep us updated and trying new things. PS I have to say, I still like you in skinnies. It is a good idea to keep some skinnies for tucking in boots. I have kept all mine. I love the last picture you posted.

  10. PS You need to keep and wear those Spanx wide leg. 🙂 I know you don’t usually go for that style, but the way you styled them and with those sandals, they look great on you.

  11. Great post!! I have the Mother Hustlers you mention/show in the Bootcut section. The model in the Nordstrom ad wears them shorter than they are on me. Do I need to get out the scissors and shorten them? Thank you for keeping us in the know.

    1. Not necessarily. A lot of times the models on the websites are a lot taller than the average woman and they don’t show them wearing the jeans in the correct length. They’re supposed to be ankle-length, but you can play around with them and cut them the length that works best for you.

  12. Thanks for all the recommendations! I am so glad full length boot cut and flares are back in. I am 5’11” and wear a 34 inch inseam. Since I’ve always had trouble finding jeans that are long enough, I’m one of those people who don’t like the cropped flares. I wore my boot cuts yesterday with my chunky heeled sandals and felt great!

  13. I sure enjoyed this post. Thanks for all the details and pictures. This post gave me lots to think on. I definitely want to try one or two new jeans this fall. And I really appreciate the encouragement to find what fits my body and style. Thanks.

  14. I still love my skinny jeans & they’re a good silhouette for me. You mentioned last week that low cut booties are definitely dated…what type of booties can I wear with skinny jeans? Should hems be cuffed or uncuffed? Thanks?

    1. I think the cuffing also looks dated, I would probably wear them with Chelsea boots or lug sole boots. Or tucked into knee-high boots or the slouchy half-calf ones will probably be coming back soon with the other 70s styles.

      1. One of the pairs of jeans I kept from the NSale are lightly distressed medium wash “girlfriend” jeans that they show with a small cuff. Is the cuffed look out for all jeans or just the cuffed skinnies like we were doing a few years back? Thanks!

        1. It’s mainly the skinnies cuffed to come to the top of the booties… Or with sneakers, even, that looks dated to my eye. I don’t feel like straight jeans cuffed has that same tired look to it, although it’s not my preference. The boyfriend/girlfriend styles play into the slouchy trend, and also they are similar to the barrel jeans that are trending, so they still look okay to me, if not exactly trendy. You could also try un-cuffing them and see how they look.

  15. After working in the fashion industry for years, it’s important to understand the way this industry makes money is to keep changing the style trends so we’re forced to buy the new styles to stay looking “updated.” As a middle-aged woman now, I forego all the trend hype & wear what I like & what looks best on me. As Jo-Lynne says, if you like it & feel good in it, wear it!!

  16. So I guess this means my slouchy cuffed bottom girlfriend jeans are out? Maybe I can uncuff them and call them “relaxed straight leg”? I’ll have to try that out and see how it looks.

  17. I already own straight leg jeans in both blue and black. I’m excited to find the perfect pair of bootcut with a high waist. I’d have to try a pair of flares on to see if they are flattering. I won’t be trying the relaxed straight leg. It looks too 70s to me and too slouchy. This was a well researched and written post that explained what all the terms describing jeans mean and which footwear looks best. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

  18. Sorry, but lI cannot get into the wide leg jeans. They just aren’t flattering on me. I just bought a pair of jeggings at talbots and that was what was showing in the windows. I’m afraid that the high waist “mom jeans” will be dated before too long, as they were years ago.

  19. I think I will give the wide leg a try. I just don’t care for the raw hem or jagged hem. That is a trend that will not last I believe. What can you do with them when the trend is over. I have a pair of wide leg jeans in my closet now from 10 plus gears ago when they came around.I think I will start with those.😃

  20. I have a maxi denim skirt I bought many years ago. A-lined and looks great with boots. Is the denim maxi skirt going to be popular this year?

    1. I’ve actually seen it mentioned here and there. It’s definitely not one of the most prominent trends, but I do think it is going to be out there. Maybe it will hit the mainstream next fall?

  21. You did the best job I’ve seen for defining all the different choices that are available At this point I can’t stand skinny jeans. I can’t stand clothes that tight anymore. Still too many types of jeans to figure out but what looks and feels the best is what I’ll end up with and toss the rest.ND now I understand the types much better Good job m’am!!

  22. honestly i’ve always struggled finding jeans that look flattering on my body type until i finally decided to buy some bootcut jeans and now i’m obsessed haha i love how flattering they look on my body and now it’s all i own lol they make me feel really comfortable and confident

  23. Thanks for the comprehensive fall 2022 denim update! Also, rest assured that you look just as great in the wide leg version as the other styles. : )

  24. I am glad to see you did not mention ripped jeans. I’m could never figure out why this style became so popular and in many cases still,is. Why do women wear these jeans that make them look like they are wearing clothes that are fit for working in the garden or to do some dirty work around the house. .

  25. I’ve been reading all your posts on denim this fall because I’m stumped by lengths and shoes. You’ve provided so much great info! One thing I can’t find are suggestions for hem length and shoes for wide leg jeans. I can’t figure out where the hems should hit for different lengths and what shoes (other than your cute sandals) would work. I’d love any ideas you have!

  26. Your article was interesting. I am in my seventies and want to be update without looking ridiculous. Stilleto heels are out of the question although they look lovely. Would boots be a good option?

    1. Boots are a great option for all ages. Ankle boots go with all types of jeans, and there are many styles available so you should be able to find something that feels authentic to you.

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