The history of denim stretches back to the mid-1800s as a solution for more functional workwear during the California Gold Rush. Fast forward a couple of decades and denim has become the epitome of a wardrobe staple. With innumerable styles, cuts, washes, and rises to suit (there are denim suits, too) nearly anyone’s taste. From casual Fridays to everyday attire, we're breaking down the top trends and helpful tips and tricks to find and maintain your favorite jeans to last you 'till the next Gold Rush ✌️.
This may not be your grandma's style of patchwork (if it is, please have her call us), but this age-old tradition in mending clothes is making a resurgence. From utilizing assorted indigo-dyed denim to substituting deadstock fabrics in lieu of the real thing, favorites like CARLEEN and Tyler McGillivary make it easy to find trend worthy denim straight from the runway.
Handy with sewing? Go DIY and patch your own tattered pair using a poly-cotton blend thread and an industrial-grade sewing needle to tackle tight, even stitches by hand or machine.
Made famous by GUESS in the '80s, the acid wash has a look that's undeniable to the era yet still has a place in closets today. While the signature style was originally created via pumice stone, you'll find more and more designers utilizing intentional dye jobs: from dip dye to tie-dye to bleach dye, finding your perfect pair of light-meets-dark wash jeans is as easy as watching an episode of Saved by the Bell.
Ultra Wide Leg
Farrah Fawcett called, she wants her jeans back. Hitting peak popularity in the '70s, today’s wide-leg and flare cuts of denim haven't strayed too far from the original style. No matter what shape or size you are, this style is designed to fit and flatter nearly every body type. Choose a high waisted ultra flare to accentuate an hourglass figure. If you’re looking to create the illusion of volume throughout the hips and legs, find a more relaxed, wide-leg style to create shape.
Distressed and Destroyed
Gaining popularity with the punk/metal crowd in the ‘80s, this is the kind of denim you'd expect to borrow from your man (still totally acceptable) or wear whilst painting a room. Rips and holes in jeans can come naturally over time or you can skip a few steps and invest in a carefully distressed pair torn by hand deliberately. From straight to skinny, boyfriend styles to cut-off shorts, your new "holey" obsession can come in many forms.
Looking to rough up a pair on your own? Invest in a swatch of sandpaper and grab some sharp scissors and tweezers. Lay your denim flat, and cut approximately one-inch horizontal slits wherever desired. Start by pulling the white threads away (do not separate from jeans completely) and remove the indigo threads slowly as the hole becomes larger (feel free to keep a few for fraying). For a more mild distressed look, slip a rock or hard surface inside the desired area of your jeans and rub sandpaper against the grain until you’ve achieved your desired level of destruction.
The Mom Jean
Making a notorious debut in the '90s (not to mention that unforgettable SNL skit), mom jeans have had a pretty harsh reputation over the years. Until now. Meet the new mom jean: a perfectly cinched waistband, pockets that hug (not sag) the bum, and a straight fit that accentuates the hips and thighs. While many emerging denim brands like AGOLDE and Eckhaus Latta are designing their own versions, keep in mind this cut stereotypically doesn't include stretch. To find the perfect pair already broken in, look to vintage or pre-owned pairs for a well-worn look.
Here's The Skinny
Slim and form-fitting cuts have made a resurgence in the past decade. Ranging from drainpipe to cigarette, skinny jeans provide an elongating effect to the legs and typically include one to two percent stretch for a form-fitting look (you’ll want to double check fit tips before making the move on skinnies). To lengthen the life of denim that includes elastane, Lycra or Spandex, wash cold and either dry on low heat or hang dry.
The Alternative Class
Venture outside traditional! Denim comes in many different forms (all of which are très chic). Discover our favorites from chambray bucket hats to rainbow-hued skirts to a classic denim jacket below.