Style Tips

Denim Trends for Fall 2023

Fall Trends Week continues here on the blog, and I’m back today with the most asked-about wardrobe category of all: Denim Trends for Fall 2023.

photo credit: Evereve

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.

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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.

What Jeans are in Style for 2023

Before dive in, I want to mention that I worked very hard to find a photo for each style or trend that represents the exact look I’m trying to describe. I especially paid attention to the length of the jeans as worn by the model (often they are shown too short) as well as the shoe pairings. I hope this helps you see how they might be styled in a way that is current and on trend.

#1. Wide Leg & Trouser Jeans

photo credit: PAIGE

Wide leg jeans are finally hitting the mainstream this fall, and I’m getting on board! The fit is full from hip to ankle; and they can be cropped, ankle, or full length.

I feel like this pant silhouette looks best with a platform or a heel, but sneakers or loafers can work if you get the proportions of the outfit right.

This style can definitely make you look wider than you are, making it something of an acquired taste, but I think it’s really fresh and fun when done right. The key is to define the waist. You do this by tucking your top, wearing a short or fitted top, or adding a structured blazer or jacket.

You can find wide leg jeans in all washes and colors of denim, but light and medium washes still seem to dominate the racks at most mainstream stores this season. I’m also seeing some fun colors, such as chocolate brown, burgundy, olive, and the rust shown above. I rounded up a bunch of different options at a variety of price points below.

#2. Flared Leg Silhouettes

photo credit: J.Crew

Flares aren’t new, but they’re still going strong this fall, so I felt like they deserved a mention here. This is my favorite denim silhouette, so I’m thrilled to see them sticking around. The fit is straight or slim through the hips and thighs, and then it widens from knee to ankle, usually with a leg opening of 20″ or more.

(Typically a leg opening smaller than 20″ is considered a bootcut, but you will see the terms bootcut and flare used interchangeably on many retailer websites. You can read more about Denim Measurements here if you need more guidance on figuring that out.)

Mid and high rises look the most current to my eye, but low-rise styles are on their way back. 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 both out there, but I feel like finished hems are more prevalent this season. 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 bit of a heel. Platform sandals, clogs, and pointed toe boots (as shown above) 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.

#3. Straight Leg Jeans

photo credit: Madewell

Straight leg jeans have pretty much replaced skinnies for a classic denim style, and I find them most versatile of the three silhouettes included in this list. The fit is streamlined from hip to hem. They can be cropped, ankle-length, or full length; but the longer, relaxed styles are definitely more on trend for fall 2023.

I’m seeing everything from the mid-rise slim, straight ankle jeans, to the high-rise floor-grazing styles with a relaxed column fit. We’re also going to start seeing the return of the low-slung, slouchy fits, but I feel like that will mostly appeal to the younger crowd.

I’m also noticing that there aren’t as many raw hems this year, and that goes for all denim styles. I still see them, and I still wear them, but they aren’t as ubiquitous as they once were.

You can wear all types of shoes and heel heights with straight leg jeans; it all depends on the length and silhouette of the jeans and the overall vibe you’re going for. The possibilities here are virtually endless.

I like to wear my slim straight ankle jeans with loafers and mules and sometimes clogs, and I’m planning to try them with ballet flats (as pictured above) this season. I tend to save my boots and booties for my flares, bootcut, and wide leg jeans.

#4. Midi and Maxi Skirts

photo credit: Mango

While we are talking about denim trends, I would be remiss not to mention denim skirts, as they are making a huge comeback this year.

We’re seeing lots of denim midi and maxi skirts, and denim mini skirts are also trending, but the classic knee-length pencil skirt isn’t as prominent. That said, if you love that style, wear it with confidence. They’re definitely out there.

I like some of the denim midi skirts I’ve tried, but it’s very hard to keep them in stock! I rounded up some options below.

#5. Patch Pockets

photo credit: Evereve

Okay, now we’re getting into some of the more trendy elements I’m seeing on the various denim silhouettes mentioned above, and the front patch pockets are everywhere this year.

At first I wasn’t a fan, but now I kind of like the effect. It adds interest, and it’s something fun and different. You will usually see these on wide leg and flared silhouettes.

#6.Carpenter Details

photo credit: Anthropologie

Utility-inspired styles are trending big time this fall. Think cargo pockets and diagonal seams. This is definitely a more dramatic look that might not appeal to the majority of you; it certainly isn’t for me, but if you think it’s fun, go for it!

#7. Barrel Leg

photo credit: Nordstrom

Barrel leg jeans are a version of straight leg jeans. The fit is loose in the thighs and tapered to the ankle, and they’re usually cropped or ankle-length. I see these as an elevated version of the “mom jean.”

They work best with a tucked-in top or a fitted style, and shoe pairings can range from sneakers to heels. This is definitely a style I want to play around with this fall.

Are skinny jeans in style for 2023?

Are skinny jeans in style for 2022? rag & bone Cate //  Marc Fisher boots // 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.

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 take this list of denim trends for fall 2023 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 feels authentic to you.

The most important thing is to have fun with fashion, and wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident!

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54 thoughts on “Denim Trends for Fall 2023

  1. Thank you for this post! I’m having the hardest time finding flares that work for me. I am just under 5’4″ and need a 30 inch inseam. Almost all of the flares that I like are 32-34 inches. I often have my jeans hemmed, but I feel like a flare jean won’t look right because I’d be losing some of the width of the opening. (Also, I’m super picky and prefer 100% cotton and button flies, but I would probably let those go if I could find a pair that worked lengthwise.) The upside is I’m saving money, I guess! Anyway, thank you again for an informative post!

    1. I’m 5’1 and have the same problem! I have had some luck with Banana Republic jeans. I have been able to hem the crop flares and the boot cut without losing the original silhouette.

    2. Definitely try Banana Republic Factory too. I’ve had luck with the petite length as I’m 5’2 . They used to carry some kick flare looks which were cute!

    3. I’m just under 5’4” as well. I recently purchased a pair of ankle flares from Kut from the Kloth. They aren’t ankle length on me, but hit right below my ankle at the top of my foot. I really like them.

    4. Both Gap and Old Navy carry petite denim. I’m 5’6 with shorter legs. I find Old Navy and Gap petite size pants not only have the right inseam, but the pocket placement is better than regular sized pants.

  2. Denim skirts…I just can’t do them again. I think on a more mature woman they give off an aging hippie vibe.

    1. Lol….I’m a woman of more maturity and I’m going to give it a try (and I’ll keep you posted because I don’t want to be that aging hippie vibe lady in the grocery store, maybe bohemian chic). I want to try a pair western booties maybe and I’ll have to be careful with the paring of the rest of the outfit………I’ll do a boot cut/flare but no wide legs…..yuck on me (I do look like a hippie in those).

      This response was all in fun, enjoy the fall styles and colors.

  3. Love this jean post! I agree with Susan H about the jean skirts though, I got rid of my longer jean skirt years ago sometimes wish I hadn’t but it would probably age me even more but they look cute on someone younger. I would like to have a pair of flares that are not extreme but hard to find that aren’t too long and petites don’t usually work for me.

    1. I like the Wit and Wisdom itty bitty bootcut jeans. They flare but aren’t too much. I purchased them at Nordstrom a few years ago on sale, and used their alteration service.

  4. At 5’3” I struggle with not looking swallowed up by the wide leg, full length pants, and wearing heels isn’t practical for my extremely casual lifestyle. I feel like the barrel pants work well for a shorter person, as do the cropped wide legs. Do you agree? Or since ripped are not as popular anymore, am I better gf sticking with straight legs?

  5. I’m going to again try to find the perfect pair of cropped wide leg – at 5’7″ with long legs I struggle to find good length on a cropped and I’m a skinny jean girl but will admit that the ones I own and still wear and really a skinny straight not necessarily the jegging/legging skinny except for a faux leather pair and a black pair both of which “IN MY OPINION” still dress up really nice with heels or wedges and work for “ME”. I also like the barrel style.

    1. I have the same problem if I want crops (and I’m picky on where they fall, I like just above the ankles)…… what I did this past year for crop jeans or pants was (if the inseam was around 29 or 30 which is a normal pant length in regulars in some brands and I would purchase and they will work as a crop for me). I usually need an inseam of 33 for full length pants. I would have to try/order several pairs and had returns but once I figured a brand and size, I was good. Good luck

  6. Thanks for all your hard work to put this post together, Jo-Lynne. I love the new styles but am trying to be cautious about what I buy because, for day-to-day wear, I think straight-leg is now my go-to. I love wearing jeans “Out” whether it’s to a movie or to have dinner with friends, but that’s the only time I now wear boots with a heel above an inch or so. I’m getting to a point where I’m okay wearing sneakers or Chelsea boots or low clogs to the grocery store. So even though I love flares and bootcut, I’m going to try to control my purchases– especially since I have come to the realization that I prefer premium denim. I’m better off having fewer pairs of jeans and loving every pair.

      1. Agree too! I like flares, and wear with wedge sandal (dansko) or boot, I have picky feet so heels and pointy toe shoes don’t work for me at all! Straight leg is more versatile and practical for me, I’m a therapist in the schools so comfy footwear wear is priority to me

        1. Agree! That’s my game plan. Straight with any shoes that are flat, wide leg or flare with wedges/heels. While it may be trending, wide legs with flats/sneakers make the leg look stumpy. I don’t mean that to be a downer, it’s just basic proportions. You effectively widen the leg then chop off the length. It’s not flattering on anyone, but looks especially bad on petites. Unless your goal is to look shorter and wider? Like Jolynne said, pick what works for you. I’d add, keep basic concepts (such as how to visually elongate the leg) in mind so we recognize things that don’t work visually even if they are in style. And of course fashion should be fun so maybe I’m analyzing it too hard! Sorry for the rant!

    1. I agree, I reach for straight or crop flares a lot for around the house and around town. I only wear heels to go out, and even then, they sometimes feel a bit much. I’m trying to wear them more just because I like them, and why not!? But I also feel that I don’t need as many flare and wide leg pants as straight and crop styles.

  7. What I’ve been wearing is the straight crop and love them with sandals, mules and clogs but just don’t know what to do come Winter. Last Winter I just didn’t like my bootie choices with jeans and I have such a casual lifestyle, adding heels just to run errands etc isn’t me anymore. I hope to find new booties that don’t get caught on my pant hem, but are still comfortable for a casual Winter day. I’ll also be on the lookout for some cute Sorel Winter boots. Nothing to big and clunky. Of course this will poise a problem with jeans again. I end up wearing them more with leggings and my long puffer coat. Great post. You are the queen of denim.

    1. I think we are going to see more and more of the straight and relaxed styles with flat shoes. Crop jeans are starting to look “off” to me, even in summer. I prefer ankle or the shorter full length that you can actually do with flats or heels, which makes them more versatile.

  8. I love this post! So many great options! I’m a little curvy at a size 10 and 5’5″ so finding a good fitting denim can be hard for me. With that said I live in California and I feel we have a lot of our own style. Skinny jeans are still going strong here with more updated shoes and blouses. I am searching for a good wide leg denim and I think I’ll try the loft ones that you suggested. I still have my denim skirts and I will see if they still fit. Lol! Wish me luck there!

  9. The number 2 flares any. time! Have always loved the free spirit/’70s vibe of them without, though, looking “costumey-type vintage”. Love them with either a bodysuit base and moto or a white collar shirt and Southwestern-style blazer. I’m not rail thin (5’6″ with a pear figure), but I think they’re youthful and flattering on me while being age-appropriate.

  10. Around here, long denim skirts are pretty much worn exclusively by religiously conservative women who don’t wear pants. Maybe this Fall will be different 🤷🏻‍♀️ But I can’t imagine feeling fashionable in one.

    I keep reading about women who don’t want to let go of their skinnies but, and this certainly isn’t a cutting edge of fashion place, it seems like everyone around me what super quick to ditch them for other styles. I hear more women say they will never go back to them again than I heard say you will have to pry them off my cold, dead, legs.

    1. Agree on both points! I’m not opposed style wise to the denim midi but don’t want to get mistaken for a group I’m not part of. As to the skinnies, I wore them and loved them but let them go much quicker than I have let other styles go in the past. I think it’s because they are not the most comfortable.

    2. Long denim skirts mean the same thing in my area! I thought that when I saw that they were coming back in style. I also live in a university town so I am curious if they will be worn by younger women. Looking forward to seeing how they style them.

    3. As for long denim skirts, I think it’s all about how you style them and your overall vibe. 🙂 Also, the quality of the denim. But I can see how some ladies might not gravitate to them. I don’t care for the maxi lengths, but I do like some of the midi styles – especially the just below the knee length.

  11. Jen,
    I checked out the Wit and Wisdom jeans you suggested and they have several washes, I tend to like the light blue; will watch for them to go on sale. Thanks for your tip! Nancy

  12. I always look forward to hearing what denim styles will be trending. For my height 5’2 I’m better to stick with the straight style! However I do like the patch look. I also like the kick flare as I don’t find it as dramatic as a full flare which can swallow me up . Bootcut is too much for me and the footwear just doesn’t go with my day to day running around.
    Would you be able to do a post on how to make sure we style our skinny jeans to look current for those of us who still like to reach for them tine to time?

    1. I would pair them with trendy sneakers and make sure the rise on the jeans is mid or high (not low). And then with a shorter tops, one of the trending styles, or casual but cute sweatshirt. That type of thing. To me, they’re more of a casual vibe. You could also tuck them into knee high boots. I love that look, whether it is “trending” or not. Just no tunic tops. Maybe a button-up cardigan in the shorter styles.

  13. I’m also intrigued by the barrel leg jeans! I do love the carpenter ones, but not for me; I think they look great on younger women. I bought new flares and bootcuts last year and still love those.

    Back in the 80s, I had a midi acid-washed jean skirt, and I rocked it! So I may try a jean skirt again…!

  14. I’ve enjoyed all your posts this week on fall trends. I bought the Loft front pocket jeans in one of the above photos. I’m 5’2 and they make my short legs look so long. The rust jeans are similar to the rust cotton wide leg pants I bought from Old Navy. I don’t think wide legs make me look wider. My waist looks smaller than with straights. I wear bootleg and wide legs if I’m not doing a lot of walking that day so I can wear heels. For my every day life I wear my straight leg jeans. I’m glad I saved my midi denim skirt. It has a straight cut with a front slit and doesn’t look frumpy. I like all the styles you listed except for sloughy utility jeans. I have utility chinos from Gap which I like a lot. They are little loose but not sloppy loose. It’s all about proportion like you said.

    1. Completely agree with that wider leg pants make your waist look smaller. I used to love watching “What not to wear” with Stacy and Clinton. I remember them saying the same thing. What’s wider in the bottom makes what’s on top appear smaller. Which is why wider leg pants are so much more flattering than skinny jeans.

  15. What an informative and interesting post! The denim trends that fit my style the most are the straight and flared legs. I’ll pass on the others.

  16. I do love the patch pocket trend happening !! Also for me being 5’4 cropped jeans work best because I feel any shoe goes and it’s easy…. I love a full length flare but they alot of them have a 34 inch inseam which os crazy long. I love this posts … thanks for putting it together! PS hope skinny never jeans gain popularity again lol !

  17. Jo-Lynne, I remember you in that outfit with the skinnies and suede booties! I thought that outfit looked great on you! The one thing I liked about skinnies was how they showcased the shoes so well. I still have those booties, and I think I had the rag & bone Cate jeans too. I love bootcuts/flares, crops and straight jeans but haven’t found a wide leg I like yet. I’ve noticed premium jeans prices are in the stratosphere lately, or is it just me? Some are almost $300! Seems they were less than $200 only a couple years ago.

  18. I got a great knee length jean skirt at Talbots for under $100 (A-line if you are searching) I like the shorter length

    1. Good to know, thanks! I often forget to look there, even though I work with them sometimes, because they aren’t with shopstyle (the widgets I do have to use shopstyle). But they have some nice pieces.

  19. I have luck with Chico’s girlfriend straight that hits just above ankle good for all shoes and boots. I will try their flare style next!

  20. I am loving your fall trends posts, and really appreciated this one! I can tell you put in a lot of time choosing pictures to represent the styles and trends mentioned. I am also 5’5” and it can be hard to tell what jeans will look like on me when a 5’10” model is wearing them in the pic :/ Can’t wait to see what you do with barrel jeans as I too am interested/intrigued by this new style of jean.

  21. Wow! You put so much work into these posts and it shows. I was in a J Crew outlet store yesterday and they had a section of skinny jeans available. Just like you said, anything goes.

  22. Such a great and timely post! I am also loving my wide leg jeans even though I’m only 5’2”. I’m actually a little tired of raw hems and even had a pair of jeans hemmed to remove the raw edge. I love my denim midi skirt I purchased at the NSale. I haven’t worn it yet, but I’m excited to wear it with a bulky sweater and boots during the fall and winter! Enjoy Pilates! It is so good for strengthening your body in a safe and mindful way!

  23. I like the look on this post with the heeled loafer that is not klunky looking. I have a pair that are probably over 15 years old never wore them more than twice that are a nice black leather purchased at JC Penney many moons ago so if they still fit they will come in good with the new jean trends. Good ideas in this post!

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