In fashion, one thing is for sure: the era of sweatpants is over and denim is back. It’s also pretty clear that skinny jeans – the style that has refused to die for 20 years – are finally disappearing from the fashion vantage point, thanks to Gen Z relentlessly roasting millennials over their choice of pants. And that’s where the certainties end.
With the Levi’s CEO declaring that this is the beginning of a “new denim cycle,” fashion experts are unusually quiet in declaring what will be declared the cowboy of the future, or even now. They are hedging your bets. All from the straight leg toward Boot cut and the low height has been discussed. This indecision could have a silver lining. It means you can take another look at your collection of jeans, not the ones you repeatedly wear, the others, the sloppy styles, and reevaluate how to wear them.
Alternatively, shop vintage to refresh your denim choice while staying sustainable and looking like an early adopter of a trend. Here are 10 different denim designs, well worn by style icons throughout the years. Get inspired to find your 2021 cowboy.
Okay, not everyone who wears bell bottoms will be Jimi Hendrix, but to be more of a rock star and less of the disco boy on the emoji keyboard, he is definitely someone to aspire to. In addition to fringes, she wore her jeans with denim shirts, frock coats, velvet blazers, and a blouse with puffed sleeves. Harry Styles, a lot?
How to use flares without looking also retro? Look back at the pin-ups of the 70s as Farrah Fawcett helps. Don’t combine them with high heels and a nice blouse. Instead, a sweatshirt and sneakers look cool, and if they are paired with a skateboard, so much the better.
Billie Eilish, the patron saint of Gen Z, is all about baggy. When it comes to jeans, you, like her, could definitely get some advice from ravers. They wore jeans with legs as wide as oxford bags during the second summer of love in 1988. Often paired with graphic tees, it’s a combination that works just as well today.
Low rise jeans
There have been many rumors and very afraid – on the return of low-rise jeans. It’s a real trend too, with young women ranging from Bella Hadid to Hailey Bieber reviving them as part of a broader trend for all things trendy at the turn of the millennium. If you still have some of these jeans, bravo! – and I want to do the complete look, there are few better references than Destiny’s Child in 2001. This is how jeans and a nice top can legitimately revive.
Debbie Harry is a denim pinup. Her mid-70s jeans were zippered, straight, and ankle-length, where they likely found an open sandal. Harry’s are Levi’s 505, the no-stretch type. Double jean is an option, or Harry also wore them with sports vests.
The Ramones are often credited with skinny jeans OGs; they apparently bought theirs at the punk store in New York. Trash and vaudeville. However, they can also be used for skinny jeans inspo. Here in 1978, they were paired with another trend that is also making a comeback in the 2020s, men’s crop tops.
Between 2014 and 2016, Kanye West made exposed knees into a denim garment. The court even published an article titled Are Kanye’s knees trying to tell us something? Perhaps they were pointing to the future? Five years later, frayed jeans are back. Obviously, this is a style that anyone can adopt. All you need is a pair of old jeans, a pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers, and a YouTube Tutorial.
Who doesn’t want to look like Jane Birkin in the 70s? Patchwork jeans, often worn with a white T-shirt, with a wicker basket nearby, are part of her southern French style. This is another that you could try yourself, just as Jane probably did in the 70s. However, unlike her, you now have Youtube to help.
It’s easy to forget that jeans were a staple. Looking at this photo of Diana Ross in 1975 should remind you. In the disco era, high-waisted jeans were all the rage, often so tight that women had to lie down to zip up. Dust off your jeans for June 21 and wear them with a short vest to look more like Diana. If there is ever a time, it is now.
Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy is catnip from Instagram, loved for his American version of 90s minimalism. While haute couture brands like Calvin Klein, where he was a publicist, were his go-to choice, the type of jeans he wore are an easy way to pay homage. Get the boot cut back in a way that looks classy, slightly cropped and with booties.