Trend Report: 2023 Top Denim Styles
Have you been keeping up with the latest denim trends this year? Jeans have always been a classic go-to that pair well with just about anything, from cozy sweaters to on-trend woven tops. However, denim trends haven’t always been consistent. Throughout the past year alone, we’ve seen an uptick in fashion icons opting for comfortable and chic lose fitting silhouettes over the tighter more restricting fits. A resurgence in vintage 90’s trends, and even an introduction to cool, new hemline details have been the most popular. We’ve rounded up the top trends seen throughout 2023, plus our predictions about which denim styles will be ruling in 2024.
2023’s Top Denim Styles
Where have all the blue jeans gone? We put them to rest (at least a little more) this year in favor of fresh and chic grey washes, which bring on vintage vibes with details like subtle fading and whiskering. Grey denim is often reserved for the colder months, but 2023 embraced shades of charcoal, slate, and ash all year-round, and in an array of silhouettes like wide leg, straight leg, and skinnies.
Styling grey jeans is made easy by its neutral tone, so while it’s not quite as formal as a black jean, you can incorporate casual or dressed-up elements with ease. Rolling up the cuff and pairing them with a slouchy sweater or casual top can give your look an effortless and relaxed vibe. Alternatively, keeping the cuff rolled down while wearing a pair of high-heeled boots and a shimmery blouse and blazer transform this style into a dinner date-ready look.
Wide Leg Jeans
Who doesn’t love the relaxed and comfortable fit a wide leg jean provides? There’s a reason it’s been a top contender in the denim world for decades, as seen in the ‘70s through the ‘90s, this silhouette brings retro-inspired fashion to the forefront, and it’s been everywhere lately. Whether you’ve been rocking these denim bottoms with a cropped hem, a high waist, or in blue, black, grey, or another color variation, the timeless design and unbeatable comfort are undeniable.
The beauty of a wide leg jean is its ability to play well with all sorts of styles, like sneakers or heels, and a tucked-in shirt or a loose, flowy blouse. The variation of design elements make this a fun silhouette to style as well, such as a double side seam for that extra relaxed fit from the hips down, or a sweetheart shaped back yoke that shows off your curves while letting your legs breathe.
Tulip Hem Jeans
This year saw some new design elements that turned ordinary denim bottoms into nothing short of extraordinary. The tulip hem jean had quite a moment in 2023, with all eyes on the intricate structure of the hemline and wide leg fit of the leg. This comfortable style proved that you never have to sacrifice fashion for comfort, as the relaxed fit and subtly lifted hem add shape and movement to any wearer’s silhouette.
When it comes to a fashion-forward piece like a tulip hem jean, your legs are the star, even in a classic shade of blue. A pair of heels can carry on that “legs for day” illusion, though flats or sneakers look just as chic, and a tucked-in or form-fitting top create an hourglass shape. Because of these bottoms’ versatility, and the greater need for comfortable, flattering denim, there’s no doubt that they’ll be sticking around for many years to come.
Kick Flare Jeans
Flared jeans come in an array of lengths, washes, and silhouettes, but the kick flare became a sensational must-have style in 2023. With the fitted structure that moves with you, the subtle flare, and cropped hem, this denim trend was perfectly suited for showing off your ankles in the warmer months and flaunting your socks when it got colder.
The range of design details a kick flare can sport allows wearers to put their own spin on their outfits. Some had faint signs of retro-inspired fading while others went all out with edgy double layer fray hems and eye-catching studs. These elements made it easy to wear these jeans for semi-formal occasions, but selecting the right shoes became even more important. However, a platform loafer or Mary Janes always complement a kick flare, as does a chic knit top or a cozy sweater.
2024’s Top Denim Predictions
Fray Hem Jeans
Blue jeans with a frayed hem may have been a must-have look a number of years ago, favored by denim lovers for the lived-in, timeless look, but we think they’re going to have a total revival in 2024. The beauty of this denim style is its sheer versatility, allowing wearers to showcase their individuality with additional design elements, like a cropped and curved fray hem, distress detailing, and comfortable, all-day wear.
The style can take on a somewhat edgy vibe with a raw fray hem, or you can put together a polished and chic look with a clean finish fray hem. If you’re planning on leaning into this look in the new year, add more vintage vibes with a frayed denim jacket or add a sophisticated touch with an elegant woven top.
Barrel Leg Jeans
By the end of 2023, wide leg jeans had been a major focal point in denim fashion, making way for this contemporary spin on the classic, comfortable style. Designers noticed an inclination toward the barrel leg jean, which incorporates the same relaxed fit from the thighs to the hemline and is cropped above the ankle, and can include some other on-trend details, like a pleat hem and angled pockets.
With the world’s sudden interest in styles that look and feel great, it’s unsurprising that we’ve already seen the drive towards this denim trend and it’s bound to carry on into 2024. Although they might seem like weekend-only attire, barrel leg jeans can also be dressed up with a blazer and heels, or simply with a fitted top that contrasts the relaxed silhouette.
Acid Wash Jeans
From the birth of acid wash jeans in the 80’s to its surge in popularity throughout the 90’s, “destroyed denim” had its moment among the concert-going crowd. However, there are signs that acid wash will be making a reappearance next year, and it’s not just for rock and grunge fans, either. This trend came back momentarily in the early 00’s, but fashion icons have revived it yet again in late 2023.
Like tie dye, which has been popping up in fashion again of late, this acid wash is a design technique gives off an effortlessly polished, yet cool vibe that’s easy to pull off. From a blue double fray bootcut jean to a classic grey skinny jean, you can find acid wash details on any number of denim styles. It’s the perfectly vintage look to wear with a plain tee or a comfortable sweater for a weekend brunch, running errands, or even a concert.
You might be thinking, “Wait, I thought we already did that.” And you would be right. However, this is a denim style that has serious potential for going viral next year due to unique design elements that could set 2024 cuffed jeans apart from the ones that have been popular in past years. While straight leg, skinny, and girlfriend jeans have all been spotted with an optional rolled cuff, new design details can make all the difference (as we’ve seen with just about every denim trend to date).
Cuffed jeans offer a more casual look with a shortened hemline that many opt for when spending time with family or attending semi-casual get-togethers. However, contemporary elements like a reverse fixed cuff can add stylish qualities to your outfit without the hassle of ensuring your hemline is evenly rolled up. Whether worn with a casual knit top or a button-up shirt, this versatile denim trend never looks out of place.
2023 may be coming to an end, but it’s not too late to start thinking about how you can incorporate the denim trends to come in 2024!
Also, be sure to check out our other blog posts on:
- Democracy Favorites: The 2023 Fall Trends Checklist
- Body Type 101: Best Jeans for Rectangle Body Shape
- Denim Drama: Why Won't My Jeans Stay Up?
- 8 Most Comfortable Women's Jeans
- What to Wear with Dark Blue Jeans