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Denim Trends for Spring 2021. Take or leave them?

Every Spring, fashion editors everywhere are eager to announce the new denim trends that will guarantee to make you an "it" girl. I am always curious about what is trending, but I also proceed with caution. Why? Because not all trends are going to work for every body. And, I know for a fact that most of my clients aren't interested in trends. At all. They are interested in knowing what they can pull out of their closet year after year and still look stylish and modern. And, they are interested in knowing what is going to work for their unique body type - something that is rarely addressed when the new trends come out.

So I'm here to keep you informed about what's trending, but also to give you permission to take, or leave it. Personally, I love trends, but not all of them. And I don't adopt every single one of them. Only the ones that feel most like me, and most like my own personal style.

>>> Wondering what your style is? Read this blog post on How to Find Your Personal Style.

I encourage all my clients - and help them - to identify the styles that work best for their body. For example, I have always looked good in long flare jeans. And whether they are in style or not, I wear them because they work best on my body.

What about my beloved skinny jeans, you ask?

Same goes with the coveted skinny jeans. (I know you're wondering whether you can continue to wear them at all, after Gen Z so rudely declared them "out"!) Here again, if it works for your body, why stop wearing them? It's better to wear a jean that flatters your body, than a trend that makes you look frumpy or out of proportion. Besides, when was the last time we let one generation rule all our decisions?

I think this would be a good point to note: Trends do not make you stylish.

I love this quote:

"Trends are just another accessory for a girl who's got great style." - Cara Newhart

And this reminder from Coco Chanel that personal style always trumps trends...

"I'm for Style. Fashions change too quickly." - Coco Chanel

Denim Trend #1: Loose Fit & Baggy Jeans

Looser fit jeans are on the rise for this Spring. Perhaps this was the easiest way for us to slowly transition from our yoga pants and loungewear into real pants. (Gasp!) If you’re loving the look and want to try it, I’m here for you! Keep scrolling for tips here for how to style them and which body types it works best on.


  • Straight or rectangular

  • Hourglass

  • Inverted triangle

(Avoid this style if you are pear or round shape, in other words, carrying weight in your middle or bottom half, because they add bulk in an area you want to minimize visually!)


Wear pointed to shoes

This elongates your legs. Rounded toe can make your legs look short and stocky.

Define your waist

Tucking in your shirt or sweater is a must!

Pick tops that define and broaden your shoulders

Think, puff sleeves or a blazer. This helps balance out the bottom half.

Add a jacket

Just make sure it hits you right at the waist. Below the waist and you will look too big.

Add a belt

Another trick to draw the eye towards the tiniest part of your body. It also creates the illusion of an hourglass figure in the case of straight body types.

At the end of the day, if looser fit jeans are not your thing or don’t work for your body type, it’s ok to give it a hard “PASS.” No matter what Gen Z says, you can still rock those skinnies if they feel good!

Want more inspo #IRL? See how I styled this pair of Madewell loose fit jeans on Instagram. Note they are a little less trendy, refined and wearable than the pairs you saw above. So have hope if you want to try this trend for yourself!

Denim Trend #2: Hi-rise Straight Jeans

Straight jeans have been having a moment for at least a year now, and it seems they are still not going anywhere for 2021. It doesn't get any more classic than straight jeans, am I right? I believe these are going to be a pair that will stick around forever.


  • Straight or rectangular

  • Hourglass

  • Pear - carry weight on bottom (especially good if you balance your top with some volume or structure at the shoulder)

  • Triangle - carry weight on top (be sure you tuck to not lose your shape!)


Show a little ankle

Especially in the spring and summer, a straight cropped pair of denim is my go to! I also find that it helps to elongate my look when I wear flats or sneakers (which is most of the time with my straight jeans).

Do the tuck

With a straight jean, you're going to want to highlight that waist, so do a tuck or half tuck! Untucked and you may look like a giant rectangle. UGH, said no one!

Go vintage

A key to making the straight jean style work is to choose a denim that is more vintage. Think: classic Levis denim style, lighter washes, faded black washes, or worn in or distressed washes.

Do a roll

If you own a pair of straight jeans that go to the floor, or past your ankle, a modern way to style this is to cuff it up once. This will give you the ultra cool girl vibe.

Choose a shoe, any shoe!

What I love most about my straight denim is that I can wear almost any kind of shoe depending on what mood I'm in: sneakers, flats, mules, sandals, heels, ankle boots that hug my ankle. It really just depends on the vibe of your outfit. I love a contrast between a distressed straight denim with a pair of heels or heeled sandals. Or on weekends at kids activities, I'll often pair them with a basic white sneaker or trainer shoe.

Dress it up, or dress it down

I love the versatility of these jeans. I wear them often on the weekend with a sweater, sweatshirt or basic tee and sneakers. I also love waring them with a pretty blouse and heels for dinner and drinks!

Want more inspo #IRL? Check out how I styled my straight jeans below (I own several pair!)

Denim Trend #3: Flare & Bootcut

The flares shown here...

The bootcut shown here...

All women, rejoice! The long-time favorite of so many of us is back (or maybe never went out of style?)! The classic bootcut and flare jean is one of the most universally flattering jeans out there. Not only do they make your legs look a mile long, they also lean you out, and create curves. Win win... win!

What's the difference between a bootcut and flare?

Bootcut jeans are a straighter silhouette, with a longer inseam a slight kick-out at the bottom.

The flare jean has a more dramatic kick-out starting sometimes at the knee, or lower. The flare is much more dramatic. Some flares are super long and meant to wear with a taller shoe, while others are a bit shorter so you can manage a sneaker without it dragging on the ground. (on trend right now)

With both bootcut and flare styles out now, one thing that is certain is that they are high rise, a modern update I will take!

Now, before you go dig out your beloved bellbottoms from the 70's, I always recommend to go with a more current pair to keep your look modern, instead of a looking like you're going to a decade themed costume party!


  • Everyone! (Well, that was easy)

  • For straight bodies, it creates curves

  • For hourglass bodies, it further emphasizes your curvy shape

  • For those carrying weight in their midsection, the flare at the bottom creates a nice balance

  • For those carrying weight on top, a flare also creates balance

  • And finally, for those carrying weight in their bottom half, it works best when you add a top that creates volume or adds structure to your top half (like a puff sleeve or structured shoulder)

  • Also note that either can be worn if you are tall or petite.


Try a tuck

If I had it my way, anyone wearing flare or bootcut jeans would tuck - either full or half. Why? Because it shows off your waist and creates and hourglass figure. Also, it makes your legs look a mile long!

If a tuck is out, go for a wrap or peplum style

If you absolutely will not - cannot - do the tuck, at a minimum, choose a top that emphasizes your waist. Think of wrap tops, or peplum styles.

Stick with taller shoes or boots

Most flares and bootcuts are longer jeans, so you want to choose a shoe that will add some height. Boots or booties, heels, heeled sandals or lug sole boots will all give you some height. Some shorter length flare jeans could be worn with a sneaker.

Pointed toe is best

Don't forget to add a pointed toe (ideal) or almond toe shoe, which will help elongate your legs. Wearing rounded toe will only make your legs look shorter, as will shoes that are too short, letting jean drag on the ground or wrinkle at the shin.

Want more inspo #IRL? Check out how I styled my beloved flare jeans below. (They are my most favorite pair in my closet! I would wear them every day, but they do require a heel.)

Other Denim Trends

There are lots of other denim trends that will probably stick around for a hot minute, like 80's style jeans (think pleating or detailing at the waist and lighter or acid wash denim - I admit, I kind of love this one!), acid washes (hello 80's!) light washes, distressing, and patchwork.

Distressing has been around for a while, but it seems it got bigger and bolder this year. I've worn mine with anything from sneakers to high heels and a blazer.

Another trend that is sticking around from last year is the jumpsuit, utility suit or coverall. I own several and find them to be one of the most comfortable, easy and versatile pieces I own. Again, if it's not your thing... just leave it.

Want more inspo #IRL? Here are a few of the other trends I've adopted, like jumpsuits, and 80's inspired denim.

Need helping finding your perfect pair of jeans?

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