The only thing that will dispel the nagging guilt we feel every time we open the bottom drawer of our dresser and reach for sweatpants: a pair of jeans we can actually get excited about. And these six styles are just that—something fun and fresh you’ll look forward to showing off. Here, our favorite denim trends for spring.
Sick of Sweatpants? Try These 6 Denim Trends on for Size
Still not really ready to let go of your college-branded track bottoms? Ease into it with a crossover of soft knit denim shaped like your favorite sweatpants. These ones, from Express, are part of their new comfort knit denim collection, meaning they actually feel like you’re wearing sweats. Co-created with customers, these styles pass all the tests: super comfy and plenty of stretch that won’t wear out.
Give those gams a little breathing room with trouser-style denim. The antithesis to the skinny jean (thanks, Gen Z) is actually more flattering than you think, especially if you opt for a high waist that hits you at your belly button. The differentiator between these and a pair of flares? The roominess throughout the thigh—which, given our outfit choices for the last 12 months, will be much appreciated.
3. Barrel Leg
This year’s answer to straight-leg denim: barrel-legged jeans. Think: a high waist, extra leg room and a straight, slightly cropped ankle. The beauty is that this style, which is also referred to as "balloon leg denim," is loose—not baggy—while also cinching your middle, making for a surprisingly flattering fit that avoids the “skinny-jean shimmy” at all costs. Express has an affordable option that's on our radar. Plus, they just launched their curvy denim collection in March and it's already sold out... But not to worry: More curvy denim is launching in May—hooray!
4. Bright Colors
This past year, we’ve learned patience is a virtue, and the time will come again for us to be bold—in our actions, feelings and clothing choices. So, when we saw colorful denim (ombre, acid wash, jewel tones, tie-dye) take center stage for spring, we couldn’t Google “green culottes” fast enough. Ease into the look by opting for soft pastels like lavender, salmon or pale yellow instead.
5. Pencil Skirts
Just when we thought our workwear had hit its stride, we went to working from our couch for months on end. And we have to say, we sort of miss the structure and sophistication of our dressier wardrobe. Enter: a denim pencil skirt that feels just as chic with a graphic tee as it does with a French-tucked white button down.
The evolution of white jeans is here, just in time for summer. This year, dreamy neutrals like beige, ivory, gray, off-white, mocha and cream are taking over. A bit more forgiving than stark white, dove-colored jeans feel softer and more sophisticated, the perfect complement to brown leather mules and a black blazer or cardigan.