Alongside cotton, denim is probably one of the most adaptable textiles. Unlike some fabrics like silk or velvet, it transcends economic and social classes and is at once at home on the runways of New York and Milan, as well as in the worksites of the working class. And though some of its permutations—like pajama jeans or JNCO jeans—aren’t quite fashion fixtures, denim itself most certainly is. Below, we look at some denim trends, like denim shirts, overalls, the Canadian Tuxedo, flared jeans, and “mom jeans,” that have made a major comeback.
- Denim Shirts
Denim shirts are basically the epitome of casual chic. They’re one of the most versatile pieces in that you can easily wear one to work (provided your workplace dress code is business casual), to school, or to date night without a hitch. Even better, it’s one of the only trends on our list that’s entirely gender-neutral. Boyfriend blazers and jeans are great, but being able to borrow your guy’s shirt on laundry day without it being obvious is even better. These shirts were once a practical workwear staple for cowboys and other working class folks but, like overalls, made their debut in the fashion world in the ‘90s. Over the past couple of years, the chambray shirt has become a resurging favorite among fashion bloggers and savvy trend spotters alike and this style is now popping up everywhere.
- Mom Jeans
Another ‘90s hit, the “mom jeans” were by the early 2000s more often deemed a fashion faux paus than fashion forward. “Saturday Night Live” even did a famous skit starring Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch “advertising” the typically ill-fitting and high-waisted style that said for moms everywhere, “I’m not a woman anymore; I’m a mom.” Oddly enough, the trend is now bigger than ever—though in a revamped fashion. The “mom jeans” of today are equally high-waisted, but more often well-fitted than those the ladies of SNL hilariously (and accurately) described.
Like “mom jeans,” overalls are a bit more divisive than some of the denim trends on the list. Some people love ‘em; others loathe them. Some of the hate may come from the fact many of us associate overalls with elementary school and dated boy band fashions. But the overalls of today are quite a bit different from those of yesteryear. As evidenced by the stylings of overalls aficionado and famous fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What, contemporary dungarees can be cool—and even luxurious.
- Denim on Denim
Ah, the Canadian Tuxedo. No more the stuff of mullet-headed beer-chuggers, the denim-on-denim look has come back in a major way. This look may seem a little risky, especially for those of us who can’t un-see Britney and Justin’s all-blue American Music Awards catastrophe (which, if you can believe it, was 15 years ago now). But styled correctly, it can be an effortlessly-cool ensemble. Some choose to rock the monochrome blue; but many fans of the look also go for monochrome black or white or a mixture of different shades to mix things up. We’ve also seen quite a few Canadian Tuxedos incorporating some of the other trends on the list, like overalls, and chambray shirts.
- Flared Jeans
In the ‘70s, flared jeans, along with “bell bottoms” signified non-conformism among the younger generation, and stars like Janis Joplin, Cher, and Dolly Parton were known to sport the look on more than one occasion. Quite a few ‘70s fashions have had a resurgence in the past decade or so, including peasant blouses and fringe detailing, and it seems flared jeans are yet another making a comeback. Even if you’re a bit skeptical about this look, it’s worth noting it is pretty flattering on many body types and is a heck of a lot less restrictive than the skinny jeans we’ve become so accustomed to in the past 10 years.
Since its inception, denim has climbed the social ladder while remaining firmly grounded in its humble roots. Taking on styles forms from overalls to mom jeans, chambray shirts to bell-bottoms, it is truly a people’s fabric, and a beloved one at that. What are some denim trends you’d like to see make a comeback? Share them with us in the comments!