Just like your must-have Starbucks drink or go-to Sweetgreen order, once you’ve found your favorite denim silhouette, it can be hard to stray from it. But whether your trusty jean selection is a slouchy high-rise or skinny dark wash, there is a slew of denim trends for 2022 that might convince you to experiment outside your comfort zone. Spoiler: The new year’s buzziest styles are all about nostalgia.
According to AGOLDE’s Design Director Erin Meehan, there’s a strong emphasis on more directional shapes going into next spring. “You’ll see lower rises with stacked straight legs, as well as relaxed silhouettes with more volume,” she tells TZR. Ultimately, the expert says people are looking to wear statement-making pieces that will provide a sense of ease and coolness. And it turns out, Meehan isn’t the only one seeing an uptick in low-rise styles. Jordan Nodarse, founder of Boyish, adds, “The last few years have been pretty focused on high rises, but now we are seeing a bit more interest in lower rises which we have coming out in Spring/Summer 2022.”
Additionally, Sonia Mosseri, founder of Still Here New York, anticipates a rise in more denim on denim outfits as well as everyday, wearable jean essentials like jackets and skirts. “I think this past year we all got comfortable with the idea that the Canadian tux look has evolved from Britney and Justin to a more accessible yet editorial look,” she tells TZR. Therefore, when in doubt, you can always turn to a full denim ensemble next year.
Below, experts reveal what denim trends they think will take over in 2022. (Don’t worry, there are more options beyond low-rise.)
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Remember when you had a bright pair of denim for almost every day of the week as a teenager? Well, Dynasty Ogun, co-founder of L'Enchanteur, is seeing colorful denim entering the scene once again in 2022. “I think we are looking at the next generation of trends where attention to detail and going beyond the standard denim supply is very present,” the expert tells TZR. “We’re at a point where we’re looking to create something fresh while pulling from a time when our attention to high-quality denim is a standard.”
Mosseri is in agreement with the colorful comeback, adding, “but when I say colored denim, I mean extremely specific colors, not ROYGBIV.” For example, she says a chocolate brown or a very delicate and subdued pink pair of jeans.
Mosseri is yet another designer to confirm that next year will be filled with conversations around low-rise jeans. “I don't think the world is 100 percent ready to pull the trigger and buy a low rise, but we may see some styles that can help us transition — especially since high rise has had a really really long moment these past few years!”
‘80s & ‘90s Styles
“For spring 2022, we have throwback styles of the ‘80s and ‘90s but reimagined with exaggerated shapes, slouchy fits as well as super high rises and inseams that puddle at the hem,” Tim Kaeding, creative director and co-founder of MOTHER, tells TZR. “We’re making denim more personal based on how you wear [it].”
And on top of silhouettes, Maggie Winter, CEO and co-founder of AYR, says “We're gravitating towards bright, happy, early ‘80s- inspired true blues and still love a powdery soft shade that looks like you've owned it for twenty years.” Pro tip: Scroll through a vintage shop and you’ll find lots of these throwback denim styles.
Abrasions, patchwork, and mending are starting to catch Mosseri’s eye. “There is so much hand-work and detail that goes into properly mending jeans in terms of both function and aesthetic,” the founder explains. “It's a skill that is at the core of sustainability in denim and I think (and hope) we see more of this in denim trends in the new year.” Plus, she believes a well-mended pair of jeans is without question the coolest jean in the room.
“I'm anticipating long denim maxi skirts having a moment this year,” Mosseri says. “That look of a well-fitted denim maxi skirt, a white crisp baby tee, some midriff showing, some Birkenstocks ... Jennifer Aniston in the early 2000s vibe.” If a maxi skirt isn’t for you, shorter hemlines are also worth trying as a playful alternative.
If there’s one denim style that’s taken off over the past few years, it’s a loose, slouchy fit. According to Nodarse, this on-trend silhouette will transition into the upcoming year. In particular, the brand’s Ziggy, Ricky, and Charley styles have been gaining lots of buzz. “They are styles with a wider leg [that are] baggy but cool, [and also] relaxed yet elevated,” he tells TZR.