The new cycle of denim that kicked off in the heart of the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down. Across the globe, women’s denim has loosened up in response to a myriad of societal changes: a year-long isolation that made relaxed fits more appealing, a global pandemic that prompted consumers to turn to vintage (and often looser) denim styles, and a body positivity movement celebrating clothes that fit bodies, as opposed to bodies that fit clothes.
Despite this shift, skinny jeans remain a top-selling product. But for those looking to expand their horizons and introduce looser denim this year, Rivet compiled five staple fits that need to make an appearance.
Devoted fans of the skinny jean can look to the cigarette style for an easy transition into a looser fit. Though snug in the thighs, mirroring the fit of a skinny, cigarette jeans loosen into a slim fit at the knee. The jean is a staple for brands like Everlane, AG and Frame, likely for its ability to lengthen the appearance of the leg without adding volume. A top choice among the supermodel crowd, the cigarette jean is best paired with a basic white T-shirt and sneakers for an effortlessly pulled-together look.
Straight fits are the top choice among TikTok stars and Gen Zers alike. The increasing popularity of the straight leg jean even inspired Levi’s to update its 501 with a slouchier fit in December. The Levi’s 501 90s offers a more relaxed fit through the seat and leg and sits just below the waist. Pair with a tank and a bomber jacket for a low-key night out.
Classified by their low rise and slouchy fit, boyfriend jeans sit at the other end of the spectrum from their high-rise skinny jeans counterparts. The uptick in gender-fluid fashion has repositioned this fit as one to watch. Fit the oversized style to your body with a statement belt that will help you determine exactly where the jeans sit on your hips. Add some flair by wearing a pair of cropped printed leggings underneath and cuff the hems of the jeans so the other layer peeks out a la Sarah Jessica Parker.
A staple of the ’90s, the wide-leg jean has veered back into the spotlight with the resurgence of looser fits. In May, product intelligence company Trendalytics reported a 107 percent jump in wide leg styles from the previous year. Styled with combat boots and a puffer jacket, the fit gives a more rugged look that can be transformed into high fashion with just a few small tweaks—just swap the puffer for a crop top and the boots for strappy heels.
With a high rise—sometimes amplified by pleats—and tapered ankle, the balloon fit offers a more elevated look than the wide-leg jean. Mavi and Levi’s are just some of the brands offering their take on a balloon jean in a variety of colors and washes. The taper makes them easy to adjust, depending on your desired inseam and choice of footwear. Simply roll up and expose a bit of ankle, or keep unraveled for a more streamlined look.