Denim Trends for Spring 2022

Yesterday I rounded up fashion trends for Spring 2022, and over the next few days, we’re going to take a deep dive into some of the biggest wardrobe categories. Since it’s my favorite and also the most challenging right now, I’m starting with denim trends for spring 2022.

Marrakech jacket (S) // Micheal Stars tank (S) // Citizens of Humanity jeans (28) // Dolce Vita sandals (7.5) // similar tote // Evereve necklace // Yurman bracelet

First, let’s review how trends work. Most trends exist on a spectrum, gradually increasing in popularity until they peak, and then slowly phasing out over time. As each trend rises and falls in popularity, it overlaps the other trends that are also rising and falling, but they don’t rise and fall in synchrony. Older styles get phased out as newer styles arrive on the scene, and your eye will adjust as the new styles become mainstream.

Also, where you live has a lot to do with when these trends rise and fall and which ones have the most staying power. Point being, you don’t have to ditch all your jeans and start fresh every season. It’s totally okay to wear a variety of denim styles, and phase them in and out of your closet as your budget allows.

That said, there are styles that look more dated, and styles that look more fashion-forward, and sometimes it’s the smallest details that make all the difference… such as the rise or wash of your jeans. So… what are the hottest denim trends for Spring 2022?

What are the hottest denim trends for Spring?

According to Nordstrom: New Leg Openings, Flare, Bootcut, Relaxed Carpenter, 90’s Influence, Novelty Washes In Colors and Indigos. Let’s break it down!

#1. Full Length, Relaxed Leg Styles

RE/DONE 90s High Rise Loose Jeans ($265)

Don’t shoot the messenger! I don’t make the trends; I just report them.

In last year’s denim trends report, I said this: I definitely see the pendulum definitely swinging back towards straighter, looser styles… often with higher rises and shorter inseams, but the full-length relaxed styles are right behind them.

Well, it’s here! We are now seeing those full-length, relaxed styles hitting the mainstream, and guess what’s next? Lower rises. #sayitaintso

Ironically, while the chatter is all about the return of lower rise styles, I had a hard time finding any to link. Most of the 90’s styles are high rise right now, but the lower rises are coming.

This is not to say you won’t see your stores stocked with skinny jeans and slim straight crop styles this season; they’re still relevant. In fact, most of us are still getting used to the idea of straighter jeans. But if you’re interested in where things are going, it’s towards the low-slung, slouchy silhouettes.

#2. Natural Wash

Mother The Insider in Chalk Ivory ($198)

As far as washes are concerned, lighter washes are definitely still on trend, especially for spring and summer. But we’re also seeing the return of dark wash denim, and the natural wash is a probably the newest “color” I’ve noticed. It’s a nice alternative to white.

I love how this off-white shade plays into the neutrals but can be paired with bright and bold colors as well. I will definitely be incorporating this natural wash into my wardrobe this spring/summer. If you don’t care for the newer leg styles, consider updating your spring/summer wardrobe with this natural wash in your favorite denim style.

#3. Flares

Mother The Hustler High Waist Ankle Flare Jeans ($258)

This is similar to the longer, relaxed styles that are trending, but flares are universally flattering, and you can choose a rise and style that works best for your body type. I like my jeans to fit closer to the thigh, and I prefer a mid rise, and I can have both of those features with a flared leg.

#4. Dark Wash, Tailored Jeans

Frame Le High Flare Jeans ($238)

While light washes are still very much on trend, we’re going to start seeing the return of inky dark wash denim. This is a more polished, sophisticated vibe, which I love.

#5. Split Hem

Abercrombie & Fitch 90s Ultra High Rise Straight Vent Hem Jeans $99

This is a very specific detail, but it’s been gaining popularity, and we’re going to be seeing a lot more of it this spring. Often the slit is in the front, but I really like the pair above with the slit on the side.

#6. Straight Crop

 KUT From The Kloth Elizabeth Straight Leg ($89)

The straight crop and straight ankle styles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially in the mainstream where they’re still just hitting their stride, so they definitely deserve a mention here. Plus, cropped jeans just make sense for spring/summer.

I’m still making peace with this silhouette, and I think I’ll have an easier time with the full-length jeans, but slim straight and crop flares are the denim styles I’m wearing most right now. I have a variety of crop and ankle length styles; some are straighter and some are more flared, but they’re always slim through the thighs because that’s what works best for me.

In Conclusion

I can hear the protests in the comments already, so by way of disclaimer, you should always wear what you like and what feels most authentic to your personal style. Maybe you’re ready to jump right into some of these new trends, maybe you want to wait a while and see how they play out, or maybe you’re going to sit them out entirely. That’s up to you.

At this point, most of these are still on the fringe. For those of us living the mainstream suburban mom life, they may be a few years out, or we may never really see them take hold, but this is where things are going in the world of fashion.

Like all matters of style, the way you interpret these trends is up to you. Relaxed and slouchy just isn’t me, but I can still participate in that trend in my own way. I need my pants to fit snug in the thigh area, so I may wear straighter longer styes, but I’ll be choosing the cuts that have a slimmer silhouette. Mother’s The Runway is definitely on my list to try this spring.

I do like the idea of longer lengths, though. They’re great for elongating the legs, and they pair perfectly with platforms, which are also trending this spring.

Personally, I’m open to new trends, but I don’t like to take big risks with fashion, so I’m a bit of a slow adopter with those trends that don’t immediately resonate with me. The most important thing is to have fun with it, and wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident!

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41 thoughts on “Denim Trends for Spring 2022

  1. Great post and thank you for all your hard work on denim trends! I do like the longer straight styles-I would love to see some ways to style that type of jean with flats, sandals, sneakers etc. I don’t wear heels due to plantar fascitis except booties, heeled sandal ( like Dansko, etc). Booties work ok in the winter/fall months….But working in a school setting, some type of flat as previously mentioned and how to style it would be great! Thanks for all you do, it’s so appreciated.

    1. I second the desire to see looks with flat shoes. I never wear heels due to arthritis. Often, the look changes with flats.

  2. I’ll stick with my skinny jeans, most of these would look awful on me…thank-you for reminding us to wear what we love and what works for our body type.

  3. I think it is exciting to read about the new trends. I want to stay current, so I will keep trying new styles until I find the ones that look the best on me. I am sometimes surprised, a pair of jeans I am certain won’t look good, I end up liking!

  4. I’m so happy to see something besides skinny jeans! My brutally honest opinion ( trigger warning haha): most women who think they look best in skinnies just don’t. Bootcut, full length jeans are universally flattering.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like skinnies and a variety of styles are fun, however, I think it’s easy to get caught up in what “they” say is the “must have denim this season”.

    I’m loving those JCrew natural wash full length boot cuts😍 I hope they show up in-stores soon. One of my goals this year is to do less online/more in person shopping. Iv recently read several articles on the environmental impact of the “order 3 sizes and try” approach to shopping. It might be an impossible goal with jeans, there is just so little inventory in stores these days.

    For what it’s worth, I have notices that the younger hair stylists at my salon have pretty much moved on from skinnies and are wearing bootcut/flares/wide legs. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  5. Great post and I’m not really mad about it. I bought the Old Navy pair of natural wash jeans you’re showing last Fall, I own a pair of dark wash boot cut jeans from the last decade (or before 😬), and maybe if I cut a slit in an old pair of straight legs, I’ll be right on trend. Even a mid rise vs high rise would be ok with me but you know they’ll eventually be ridiculously low. The one thing I am sad about is if the ankle length/cropped style goes away. I’m feeling cropped is a bit dated but both styles are so nice in warmer weather. Plus I love that they show your shoe which can really complete an outfit. Ok, I’ve said my peace. Thank you for keeping us up to date!

  6. Fantastic! Thanks for including multiple price points in your posts. I buy clothes for myself, but also for my 14 year old. I appreciate seeing so many choices.

  7. I LOVE the retro and funky style of the flares! Those look-like they, literally, “scream 1977”! I wish I had the waistline (now, lol! — or to drop these 25 pounds I’m trying to lose, already) to: pair them with a scoopneck black or maroon bodysuit and that cute “oxblood” color moto jacket you frequently show(!).

  8. Great post! I’ll be referring back to this when I order a pair of jeans for spring. I have found myself NOT reaching for my skinnies lately, though I still wear them once in a while. I like the crop flair with the right shoe and do like the longer lengths. I hope the crop look doesn’t disappear as I love it for spring and fall when it’s warm. Full-length bootcut or flair are my best look, but I prefer those with some sort of heel so I don’t wear them on a day-to-day basis. I did have a pair of full-length Kut flairs hemmed and whenever I venture out wearing them with sneakers, I get compliments. I think the style is unexpected for those of us more than 5 decades old. lol.

  9. Love this denim review, and I have to admit I really like unusual and fun details on denim. I have also seen more embroidery on denim, which I love. I basically collect jeans and have some from 20 years ago. Thankfully I haven’t changed sizes much, so can wear them still. Love the flares, split side seams, rolled hems. I wear my natural and white jeans often, and I also have other colored jeans I plan to wear this spring/summer. Can’t wait to shop my closet!!! Thanks Jo-Lynne for all the research!

  10. Thank you for all of the work you do for us! I’m like you Jo-Lynne, I like my jeans to fit close and snug in the thigh area too! I’m happy to see a lower rise come back! Last year I bought a pair of Wit and Wisdom boot cut jeans, as well as Old Navy kicker boot cut, and they are each mid rise, and fit tighter in the thigh. I thought they were not on trend, not being high waist…but now they are lol.

  11. Love your Dolce Vita Mavise Heeled Sandals, I keep clicking on the link, but have not bought them yet. Yet is the big word. I really like that the super tight skinny jeans are fading away, I look 20 pounds slimmer in straight, boot cut or wide leg jeans. I also look 3 inches taller in full length jeans/pants vs cropped ones, so I am going to enjoy these spring/summer trends.

  12. Thanks for the great post! I have a pair of black Gap looser straight leg, and I always get compliments when I wear them. I’m debating on getting a blue version. I still wear my skinny jeans though. Where I live, the latest trends don’t emerge right away, but in addition to plenty of skinny jeans, I’m also seeing straight cropped, and honestly there are those who have never stopped wearing full length boot cut. While I agree that those are universally flattering, for some reason, when I wear them, by the end of the day, they just feel heavy on me. (Not to mention, I feel more confined with footwear, as in pointy toed, which are not comfortable for me.) And weirdly, I don’t feel that way about my looser straight leg jeans. I also really liked that pair of Kut from the Kloth jeans that you showed…but I also know part of that is that I’m drawn to the wash. 😉

    Not a fan of the slit hem (although the side looks better than the front to my eye), but part of that is the hemming which I would almost certainly have to do.

    I do think I’m going to go through my jeans and weed out a few of my skinnies that I’m not wearing anymore, but not all. That way I can make room for some additional styles. 😀

  13. Thanks for this post! I am so thankful to see full length and low rise coming back! I love the more masculine/tomboyish cuts of jeans, so I am looking forward to looser straight legs! I just bought new Tecova boots, so some boot cuts (full length) will be in my wish list. I will be looking forward to seeing the description of “cropped” disappear, hopefully sooner rather than later. Cropped jeans make my legs look too short.😂. Stay warm. Have a great day.😊

  14. You are on top of it girl! Was just in NYC and saw a lot of wide leg/loose and crop jeans. I am totally intrigued by the split hem style.

  15. Love all your insight on the trends. I do like the straight cropped style, my daughter calls them my mom jeans. Ha! I can see that is will not be the year for the vertically challenged. If only I were taller, that might solve a few problems. Sigh, deep sigh.
    Enjoy your day 🙂

  16. So I like the idea of flares, full length or cropped but down deep I’m still either a skinny leg OR straight with cuff, big or small. I have fairly muscular calves and unfortunately I’ve tried MANY pairs but it seems the straight cropped “stick” to my calves and that’s not the look I’m looking for but I’ll keep trying

  17. I have enjoyed looking at the comments so far. Everyone has different body types, so not everyone can wear every style. I have tried certain trends in the past, such as rips and tears, but it just wasn’t me, so I got rid of them. I live in a midwestern college town, so as spring comes, I like to see what they are wearing, since they generally wear what’s current. So far, they are still wearing lots of rips and tears in light wash straight leg. I like that longer length is coming back, but at 5’1”, that generally takes me out of wearing brands like Mother, AG, Frame, etc. because they don’t come in short length. I will shop the brand that do, such as Loft and Talbots and Express. I already have a dark denim flare from Talbots that I haven’t worn yet because I am due for hip replacement surgery in a couple of weeks, and I am not going much of anywhere to wear a heel, and I certainly won’t wear heels around the house. But I am excited for spring and feeling better and participating in the Spring trends that work for me. Thank you for sharing all of these trends with us. You spend a lot of time on research, and it is much appreciated.

  18. You are the best at doing a breakdown of current styles!! I’m in on #2 and # 6.. but wearing a jean that buckles and bunches at the hem would personally drive me crazy and look sloppy not slouchy.. if I have to fuss with a pair of jeans whether with tops or footwear to make them work then they’re not for me. I’m waiting for Nordstrom Canada to restock several of the Wit and Wisdom jeans…they seem to be out of sizes for awhile now🤷‍♀️.
    Are we going to still see rolled hems( even if rolled just once?)
    And the chewed hem?
    Thanks again for this post I’ve made screenshots so I can make a quick reference when I’m out jean shopping!
    Hope your neck feels better💕

  19. No, No, No and more no’s LOL I just hate the thought of these new styles. Frumpy, makes difficult shoe choices, makes people look older. I’m really not ready for the longer styles, as then us shorter people have to hem them or cut them. Hard to find “shorts.” I don’t like the fit of petites. As for the slits, it really makes it difficult to hem or cut if the slit is so high. I guess we should never say never, as I do remember wearing lower rise, flare, but now the thought makes me cringe. LOL I think flare only looks good with a higher heel and with a more pointed toe and that is not comfortable for most everyday wear and especially for Summer. I think the newer styles work better for the younger gals, but us 60 year olds oh my. 🙂 LOL I think for Spring and Summer I’ll still be working on finding the straight crop or straight flare that works. But, anxious to see what you come up with.

  20. So I will be back in fashion again as I have never embraced skinny jeans or above the ankle jeans! I will try out the white/cream colour for the first time this year and see how I like that. Thank you for all your work.

  21. “Don’t shoot the messenger!”😆 Great post! In stores in my area of Ohio, skinnies are all I see still. I have a pair of boot cut jeans that I bought in TX several years ago so I hope to wear those soon.

    I love the natural wash! I will definitely be trying those; I wonder if it will be difficult to find a pair that isn’t see-through since that’s often a problem with light-colored or white jeans/pants. And I love those dark flares! 😍

  22. I think these are really fun, Jo-Lynne! Thank you for your hard work! I’m surprisingly drawn to the split hem for a little fun-factor. ☺️

  23. As a petite long waisted hourglass, who doesn’t like wearing heels, I am not liking the long legs and low rises. I dislike bootcut jeans because of the lack of shoe choices you can wear with them. I always have to hem bootcut jeans, which messes up the proportion, and you have to hem them to particular shoes(heel heights) which makes them even less versatile. They look sloppy with flats and I feel like Suzy dump truck in them, wearing anything but a heel. Their only plus is they do make my legs look longer. But, I don’t grocery shop In Heels, so they would not get much wear. I have one pair, which I haven’t worn yet, that I got for $16, and that’s about all I’m willing to spend, ha ha. Love the sand color jeans though!

  24. Great post and spot on! You did do your homework haha! My 21 year old daughter in CA has been wearing the light wash wide leg, full length, split hem jeans for at least a year now. She also just ordered a pair of natural colored jeans. I find that these trends start earlier with the younger crowd and some trends actually make it to the mom crowd. I’ve been looking at her wardrobe for awhile now and thinking ahead on how this will translate to the more mainstream market. Thanks for keeping us current with this post!

  25. As a very short woman in her 60’s, I am thankful there are several styles to pick from and no one has to wear the same one! I have a hard time with the oversized, slouchy styles making me look shorter than I am. I’m with you, Jo-Lynne…I also like my jeans slimmer through the thighs. Thanks for doing all the research for us! Time to go through my closet and see what I have, and what I want to try!

  26. Thank you so much! I don’t see other bloggers presenting the trends with such detail and options at all price points. You do a great job at this.

  27. Great post and great commentary…just goes to show there is something for everyone! Thanks for keeping me aware of trends. You are so much better & realistic than fashion magazines! I would appreciate your help in showing the best ways to wear these new styles and incorporate into existing wardrobe.

  28. I personally love the full length jeans; straight, boot cut and flare. I’m glad to see them in style. I’m tall though so I feel like I get more options this way and full length can be dressed up more too it seems. However, I’m not a fan of loose-fitting or baggy jeans….looks too sloppy for my lifestyle (but I see teens and 20-somethings wearing them and it looks kinda cute on them). Funny how you’re predicting low rise returning because when I was out of town last weekend at a resort hotel in San Diego I saw quite a few young girls wearing low rise jeans with crop tops and blazers and those chunky Doc Martens shoes (actually a cute look if you’re 29). Have no idea what stores are selling the low rise, but they’re out there somewhere! I feel like we all just started wearing high rise jeans and I like them now! It’s frustrating how fast fashion trends change!

  29. Ugh- I’m so sorry you have to approve every comment I make now. Such a pain for you. I don’t know why it goes to moderation for me now. 😞🤷‍♀️ Let me know if it’s too much of a hassle for you and I’ll just stop commenting. 😥

  30. My 2 cents worth… Totally agree with commenter who said most ppl who think they look good in skinny jeans don’t. Skinny jeans truely look good on very few women. They are of course the best choice for wearing tucked in tall boots. So they do have a place. Another trend that just looks ridiculous to my eye is the cropped flare. It shortens the leg line and looks like the wearer is trying to imitate an elf. Very happy to see full length and wide leg coming back. As many have mentioned it is a universally flattering look.

  31. I just about died when I saw that first picture! LOL What a horrible look for most women who have any hips at all. I don’t care how trendy that look becomes…I am running the other way! 🙂 I do LOVE the look of the natural wash denim. I hope some of the mid-priced brands will pick up that color to offer as well. Thanks for the report on the trends! These are some of my favorite posts you do each season/year.

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