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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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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