As one of the enduring trends standing the test of time, denim continues to make its mark in the fashion scene in 2024. Here are six ways to conquer the “fashionista” standard with denim in the upcoming year.
In the latter half of 2023, the fashion world witnessed a spectacular influx of the quiet-luxury trend into the realm of fashion trends. From Ready-To-Wear runways to laboratories brimming with innovative values, known as Haute Couture, “understated luxury” infiltrated the design language of leading fashion houses. In the dreamy realm of Couture, minimalism and extraordinary silhouettes emerged from the extraordinary imagination of designers. No longer flaunting extravagance as usual, the exquisite craftsmanship characteristic of the Haute Couture realm now retreats into the background, concealed within high-quality materials and intricately detailed elements, thanks to the wave of quiet-luxury.
The quiet-luxury invasion also brings about a positive presence of various denim styles. Despite being a timeless material/trend in the ever-changing flow of fashion, denim has appeared several times on haute couture runways. However, in the recent Fall-Winter 2023 Haute Couture season, denim was interpreted with a surprisingly familiar and lifelike style. Dispelling any doubts about its practicality, everyday denim jeans confidently strode down numerous Couture runways. Valentino opened its latest Couture collection with a look that we could easily spot on the streets: an oversized white shirt paired with high-waisted straight-leg jeans, shocking with its “world’s most expensive” tag. It wasn’t made from ordinary denim fabric; instead, it was crafted from gazar silk, meticulously hand-embroidered with thousands of tiny glass beads dyed to resemble denim. Indeed, it was a Valentino deception. Denim was also found in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Couture empire, gradually establishing itself as a dominant trend.
For the Spring/Summer 2024 fashion shows, designers approached and interpreted denim in a simpler way within the language of everyday clothing, through refined design details and a push for both style and material applicability while ensuring necessary sophistication. Overall, designers remained faithful to classic styles, using them as a foundation to inject fresh and modern interpretations.
At Proenza Schouler, the beloved straight-leg jeans of the ’90s were paired with cleverly layered double-belt details. Meanwhile, at Loewe, wide and loose jeans were maximized with incredibly stretchy denim, pleats, and waves at the ankle for emphasis. On the opposite end of the spectrum, many brands applied characteristic suit seams and folds to familiar straight-leg jeans. Denim also took center stage in Sabato De Sarno’s debut show at Gucci, where models wore wide, loose chambray-colored jeans paired with various knit designs, crystal embellishments, or silver belted jeans accompanied by the dazzlingly adorned Jackie bag. Alongside traditional styles, denim shorts dominated high-end runways from Alexander McQueen and Laquan Smith to Valentino.
With such a positive presence, denim is undoubtedly set to continue its recognition on the fashion trend list in 2024. Here are six trends for women to master denim authentically and meet the “fashionista” standard in the new year.
Dark Denim Washes – Embracing a Unified Dark Wash
If denim is washed with light tones like pale blue or silver, it brings a sense of freedom, casualness, and a down-to-earth vibe. On the other hand, dark washes give denim a more polished and upscale appearance. Dark tones also perfectly complement the current corpcore or the trending uglycore movements. From one fashion week to another, the fashion world is captivated by a slew of dark-washed jeans, exuding a classic allure. Gucci, Miu Miu, and Helmut Lang are leading the way in this trend. For styles washed in dark hues, women should prioritize pairing them with vibrant and bold colors to create a youthful look. Unique details are also ideal for mixing and matching with dark denim wash.
’90s Straight-Leg Jeans – The Comeback of ’90s Straight-Leg Jeans
Light, straight-leg, and body-hugging jeans, reminiscent of what Kate Moss or Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy wore in the early ’90s, have become a recent trend, especially prominent in the Spring/Summer 2024 fashion shows. This jean style aligns with the minimalist trend prevailing in 2024. On the Tove runway, ’90s straight-leg jeans were slightly widened, while Proenza Schouler added layers to enhance this classic style. With the influence of the quiet-luxury trend, these vintage jeans are making a powerful comeback, pairing well with various tops, dresses, or different style options. Particularly in the trend of pairing dresses with jeans, this style of jeans is an ideal suggestion.
Denim Shorts – Experimenting with Shorts in Various Silhouettes
From boxer shorts to bermudas, the Spring/Summer 2024 season witnesses a strong resurgence of diverse short styles in the fashion scene. Renowned creative dynasties like Prada, Versace, Miu Miu, and more showcase a plethora of stylish shorts. Alongside familiar short styles, super short shorts (resembling underwear) are also interpreted in various materials in collections, including the wide and loose denim Bermudas by Valentino and the tiny indigo denim shorts by Alexander McQueen. Both are completed with suitable denim blazers, making them more sophisticated than your typical beach shorts. For street style enthusiasts, knee-length denim shorts with a wide, loose fit paired with a tank top or a comfortable t-shirt will be a perfect suggestion.
Big Baggy Jeans Continues to Lead the Trend Charts
Starting to emerge as a trend after the influence of the pandemic, the impact of wide-fit jeans, also known as baggy jeans, remains strong to this day. While not a new trend in the Spring/Summer 2024 fashion shows, wide-leg jeans maintain their position, attracting attention with various styles, materials, and distinctive embellishments. Baggy jeans with a high waist can easily be paired with a variety of tops, while styles with wide and loose legs, ankle-length, and a late-rise waist from the dadcore trend challenge women even more. Jonathan Anderson perfected this look at Loewe’s runway with extremely long jumbo jeans, neatly folded above crystal ballet flats and perfectly paired with oversized knitwear.
Pleated Jeans – Elegant Denim with Trousers’ Pleats
Denim is always associated with street style, but in the fashion trend cycle of Spring/Summer 2024, there’s a new denim style: pleated jeans inspired by sophisticated trousers. At Gucci, Tibi, and Toteme, pleats and folds taken from elegant trousers in sleek suits are incorporated into denim styles, giving them a more polished and exponentially elevated look. Influenced by the resounding echoes of the quiet-luxury trend, this new style of jeans will pair perfectly with button-up shirts, sophisticated knitwear, and shiny brogue shoes.
Horseshoe Jeans Take the Spotlight!
Horseshoe or Barrel-leg jeans have gradually attracted attention in the fashion world since Alaïa introduced them in the Fall 2023 collection. Since their debut, this style of jeans has been a controversial topic with a curved leg shape from the hips and a flare at the ankles, reminiscent of a horseshoe. However, a wide silhouette similar to baggy jeans has helped this unique style regain its voice. “The horseshoe jeans silhouette feels sculptural but still has the ability to look comfortable and sophisticated. It evokes a classic style but still feels modern,” Marianne McDonald, former Creative Director of Citizens Of Humanity, shared with Vogue. Although they only appeared on the runway in late 2023, horseshoe jeans are expected to make an even more significant impact in 2024. Get ready for the invasion of horseshoe-style jeans!