Every few years we see a significant shift in the shapes and cuts of denim. Where the boot-leg reigned supreme in the early 2000’s, the 2010’s saw the skinny jean take its place. And despite the cropped kick-flare taking center stage in 2016, in recent seasons, there has been less of a prescribed rule of thumb, meaning more experimentation and definitely more fun.

For the fall ’17 collections, denim was polarized into light and dark, with rich indigos and inks playing off ’80s- and Americana-inspired light washes. Cropped, boxy jackets were seen on the runways.

One of the most important shifts during the last few seasons was the move from the super skinny jean to a more slouchy anti-fit. If you want trendy skinnies, opt for the rigid higher waisted style in a stark wash, a clean medium blue, or dark indigo – ripped and distressed is being “storaged” for now, but not too deep in your closet, as you may want to grab a pair here and then. But the tone of the denim is definitely more somber, raw, and always black.

slouchy jeans
R13 Boy Slouch Jean

Besides the rigid skinny, the straight leg style is almost taking over. Rigid denim, higher waisted, and – if possible – in a medium blue vintage wash with slight distressing but no rips. The inseam may be cropped with a finished hem, or ankle length, also with a finished hem.

vintage jeans
Citizens of Humanity Jazmin Crop Straight Leg Jeans

Frayed hems, step hems, and unfinished hems will continue but are slowly tapering out, as the tendency for fall and winter is a cleaner an more “finished” look.

cropped jeans
FRAME Le Boy Jean Raw Stagger Relaxed Jeans

Cropped wide legs, or culottes, are moderately present. Albeit more in refurbished vintage styles, like RE/DONE.

flare jeans
RE/DONE Leandra Crop Flared Jeans

And of course, the staple shaping and sculpting skinny jeans will continue as always. We’re not talking about jeggings or athleisurewear skinnies here, but “real” skinny JEANS with the actual feel of DENIM and not of some Spandex fabric.

skinny jeans
PARKER SMITH Ava Stretch Skinny Jeans


  1. Ladies, let your ankles breathe — put some FLARE into your life.

    I’m loving all the new Artist Flare jeans at American Eagle right now.

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