Jeans might not have had the game-changing year of, say, leggings or sweatpants, but, thanks to the pandemic and subsequent rise of the #WFHFit, most of us have been wearing a whole lot more denim, moving jeans from ‘off-duty’ to very much ‘on-duty’. And as our wardrobes have adapted – suited to doing the school run, settling down in the home office, looping around the park at lunchtime and meeting friends for alfresco drinks – it looks like 2021 will be an even bigger one for the age-old staple.
Matches’ entire denim category has increased 58% year on year, and its buyers predict even more growth in 2021 with a view to life (and getting dressed) post-vaccine. So what are the biggest denim stories for spring? Sustainability, for one, as denim brands reduce their water consumption and experiment with innovative ways to reuse post-consumer denim. Shapes are also changing, with rises getting higher and legs getting baggier. Here are the trends, fits and brands to bookmark now.
E.L.V. Denim, the zero-waste brand that upcycles old jeans, has launched a jumpsuit. ‘I was discovering so many jeans that were of great quality denim, but were damaged beyond the stage that they could be turned into E.L.V. Denim jeans,’ says founder Anna Foster. ‘I was inspired to create something from these small sections of salvaged denim, and the jumpsuit was born.’
It’s official: the high waist is set to go stratospheric as tastes shift from the ’90s to the early ‘00s. ‘The super- skinny jean has been down-trending over the past few seasons, slowly being replaced by iterations of the straight-leg – often more oversized or masculine, and almost always high- waisted,’ says Constanza Lombardi, womenswear buyer at Browns. If you’re still looking for a slimline finish, J Brand’s Franky sits high on the waist, stops short of the ankle and is made with 90% less water in its wash process than average.
Denim (Dinner) Jackets
There's something timelessly cool about your garden variety denim jacket, but also something alluring about a version with a little more, shall we say, jazziness to it? See Maje's style with a bejewelled collar.
Working from home in skinny jeans is simply non-negotiable (or at least very uncomfortable). That must be why designers went big for S/S ’21, with baggier jeans than we’ve seen in ages on the catwalks. Victoria Beckham’s were elongated and loose-fitting flares; Balenciaga’s were roomy from waist to ankle. Zara and Mango are the best places to go on the high street.
If you want to try out a particular fit, or a more adventurous, statement style, why not try renting instead of buying, with the knowledge that you might have to make a return? ‘A huge part of the waste produced by the fashion industry is created by the system in which we can buy an item to try it on and, if it doesn’t fit, return it. We assume that this item is added back into the store stock, but in reality returns are commonly incinerated or sent to landfill, as it’s cheaper for some brands to simply create a new item,’ explains Eshita Kabra-Davies, founder of rental app By Rotation. ‘Being able to rent that same item from someone else to try out the fit and ask them what they think of the product is by far the more environmentally friendly option; it allows you to make a fully informed decision with no environmental consequences, as the item is returned straight to the lender.’
At Matches, Suzanne Pendlebury, head of womenswear buying, has got her eye on these labels: ‘Made In Tomboy is a great new brand for S/S ’21. Its shirt with balloon sleeves offers a strong fashion silhouette. Tu Es Mon Tresor’s styles are a perfect fit and are made in their exclusive fabric. Meanwhile, B Sides offers a true vintage aesthetic.’
SHOP: The Biggest Denim Trends For 2021
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