5 Denim Trends That Are Hitting Their Expiration Date in 2021

With a brand-new year ahead, we’re ready to say goodbye to 2020 in more ways than one. I think it’s safe to say that we really slowed it down on denim this year, turning instead to softer pants like sweats, leggings, and knit pants and leaving our beloved jeans to gather dust. But since 2021 is offering us a clean slate in all areas of life, we’re taking the opportunity to get you up to speed on the jean styles to know for the year ahead (because we’ll be wearing them at the first chance we get).

The new shapes on the horizon honestly feel so fresh, from slim bootcut jeans to the loose and distressed pairs bubbling on Instagram. Of course, when new trends emerge, older ones tend to die out, so we’re pointing to five styles that are hitting their expiration dates, so to speak. Ahead, find out which ones are getting the boot and peruse the new denim trends stealing the spotlight in 2021.

Mark my words: Boot-cut jeans are the denim trend you’ll see the most of in 2021. While wide flares now feel outdated and a bit costumey, these slim boot-cut jeans are right on the money. They look super sleek and pair well with heeled ankle boots, so really, what’s not to love?

Let’s talk distressing. Frayed hems had their moment in the sun but are now on their way out. Replacing them are the loose-fitting ripped jeans the fashion crowd is obsessed with. They’re sure to be a staple in 2021 as an of-the-moment way to bring a laid-back quality to any look.

Okay, so skinny jeans won’t go out of style necessarily, but certain details will, and right now, it’s mid- and low-rise skinnies that are getting the ax (sorry!). If you’re a devoted fan of the slim denim, then might I suggest the cousin of skinny jeans, slim-straight denim? Think of these as a hybrid of the two fits and style them as you would classic skinny jeans.

Maybe I’m biased here since I never really warmed up to the voluminous shape of pleated jeans, but I’m happy to see that they’re now on their way out. Instead, “skater jeans” are the baggy style du jour. The relaxed, low-slung fit looks ultra-cool and laid-back, especially with a long slouchy hemline that pools around your feet. Style them with sneakers and a graphic tee to fully embrace the skater-kid vibe.

Jean washes like black, blue, or gray tend to last longer as trends than denim fits do, but one thing I’ve definitely noticed is an influx of lighter washes. The casual, ’90s-inspired denim is so easy to style but also indicates that colored denim is on the decline.

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