As has been pointed out by a plethora of amateur fashion trend forecastors, so much of what is bubbling in denim is indeed a replay of late ’90s and early aughts low-rise silhouettes. That said, there’s so much more happening in denim than just thong-revealing jeans (no offense Paris Hilton!)
Rising denim trends like acid wash and trompe l’oeil are at least partially rooted in technology advances, while others like all-over crystal and rhinestone-detailed denim no doubt reflect our celebratory mood now that COVID-19 appears to be fading.
At the same time, silouettes are not longer in lock step with each other as they once were, so while some women may be stepping out in a foil-coated denim miniskirt paired with heels, just as many will be keeping it cozy in a pair of oversized cargo jeans and sneakers. In other words, there are a LOT of options.
Check out my views on 10 current denim trends that will take us into spring 2023, and take a look back at my summer 2022 trend report here.
Down and Out: Low-rise flares dominate the market, and authentic brands that were popular in the early aughts play to this style exceptionally well. I have been thrilled to see Blumarine make a strong comeback, meanwhile Diesel has let us know it remains a force and continues to deliver damn good designs! Feel free to blast your favorite throwback tune as a soundtrack to this look. Might I suggest “Bills, Bills, Bills” from Destiny’s Child?
Barely There: Mini skirts have always been a choice among women shopping for denim and the silhouette has come roaring back this time in barely-there silhouettes. The look has received an extra boost from the body-positive movement, which opened the trend up to all shapes and sizes, an update on the early aughts that was extremely overdue.
Logo Mania: Logo prints are back and abundant, a trend that comes and goes but will forever owe its DNA to designer Dapper Dan. For 2022, look for jacquard weave, laser print, discharge print, embroidered and even rhinestone all-over prints. The repeats are oftenover-sized, but some brands have given us a dainty version of this trend and even tone on tone for a more subtle look. If ever you were on the fence about all-over logos, I say 2023 is the year to dip your toe in the trend with a denim piece.
Straight Up: As anchored by Levi’s truely iconic 505 silhouette, straight leg denim is a timeless classic, that can be dressed up or down and play the supporting cast in a fantastic outfit. Be it rigid or with a bit of stretch, lightweight or heavy, I hope you all find a great pair of straight legs for your wardrobe. It took me a long time to appreciate them, but now they’re all I wear.
Diamond Ball Out: Crystal-covered denim has flooded the market in a way I haven’t seen in a very long time. The stage was clearly set for the look to return when this normally holiday embellishment began showing up in spring runway collections. In 2023, we will see the look as a go-to piece for all celeboratory moments and available in an array of price points. Providing a head-to-toe disco ball look, brands will also offer matching button downs and jackets.
Perfectly Placed: Along with crystal embellishment, rhinestone detailing also began to show up as a trend in the spring with various stones and spikes often shown outlining pocket scoops. The detail has also be used to brighten up side seam and provide pizzazz to leg openings, a trend led by AREA, a label that knows it’s way around embellishments! When done with an eye on style, the look is evidence rhinestone aren’t just for cowgirls but for grown women, too.
Top Coat: Liquid, foil and coated denim also speak to the sheen and shine of the holidays and a look that’s the boldest of the three trends embodying holiday cheer and definitely a perfect statement for those who want to see and be seen. Be it in silver, gold, metallic black or metallic blue, it exudes heat. One can go deep and view the trend as reflective (literally) of global warming trends or perhaps simply a desire to make up for party time lost to the pandemic.
Acid Reign: Acid wash is an ’80s childhood trauma I thought I’d never overcome without intense therapy sessions, that is, until now. The updates we’re seeing are certainly not the acids of yesteryear; instead, they have a new, more modern look. The style has become softer and much more pleasant to the eye. Just as importantly, the process to achieve this look has become much more environmentally friendly thanks to technological improvements.
Cargo City: Cargo denim is an offshoot of the utility styles that emerged in the spring combined with the ongoing trend of wider legs. They offer comfort, room, and flexibility but can still be paired with heels. Cargos also parallel the wildly popular parachute pants, which have taken over the bottoms market. It’s also seasonally appropriate for winter glamping if that’s your kind of thing.
Optical Illusions: As denim has returned as a favored textile, trompe l’oeil printed denim has also appeared as utilized not just on apparel but also bags and shoes. Early to the trend, Rag & Bone has offered a killer pair of denim printed joggers (above) as part of its offerings for years. Rooted in the spring 2022 ombre trend, trompe l’oeil ups the ante on optical illusion with an appeal that’ two fold: it enables the look of denim sans the stiffness of a woven fabric and it’s also in-step with the meatverse’s digital fashion.