The ultimate guide to wearing denim in 2021

Update the hardest working piece in your wardrobe with our trend report.
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Denim never goes out of style – however, some cuts, shapes and washes do come and go. The two things to note for this season’s denim are that it’s all about comfort and raw denim.

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“Iced-out bleach washes seem to be everywhere, and it’s a nice way to lighten your trans-seasonal and winter looks,” says Katie Von Dadelszen, senior designer at JAG.

You won’t find any skinny, bold or black-coloured denim here. Instead, relaxed, soft blues dominate the scene alongside new ways to wear this wardrobe staple. So button up and take note!

JAG’s Katie Von Dadelszen shares her advice for finding your right fit …

The key to finding your perfect fit is to understand your body shape and be willing to try on more than one pair. Check yourself out in the mirror to get a thorough idea of what reflects your personal style and flatters you most.

1. For hourglass figures, when your bust and hips are the same size and your waist is well defined, go for high-rise styles that draw attention to your waist, with plenty of stretch for holding power, comfort and movement. And always tuck your top in!

2. If you’re pear shaped, meaning your hips are larger than your bust and your waist gradually slopes out to the hips, opt for a slim straight-leg and high-rise style, as opposed to a skinny leg. This will serve to balance your body’s proportions and showcase your best assets. You could even go for a barrel-leg shape.

3. And for banana shapes – your bust and hips are the same size with a slightly smaller waist – the perfect style is butt-hugging high-rise jeans with a slightly tapered leg. This will give your figure more shape.

(Credit: Getty)

Low Rider

Meet 2021’s revamp of the boyfriend jeans. They’re a cross between dad jeans and skater jeans (the baggier, the better!), worn low on the hip.

Designer label Off-White is all about wear and tear (literally!), showing a frayed style on their autumn/winter runway.

As for how the stars are styling their pairs? With sporty sneakers or mid heels. If wearing them low like ’90s hipsters isn’t your thing, hitch them up with a belt to create higher-waist pants.

Designer label Off-White is all about wear and tear (literally!), showing a frayed style on their autumn/winter runway. (Credit: Getty)

Shade Switch

Indigo jeans are still trendy and very much an office-appropriate shade. But if you’ve already got a sea-of-blue-denim drawer, try washed blacks and charcoal greys. They give off a fashion-forward vibe without trying too hard – simply style a straight pair with a crisp white top.

White jeans are a no-no, though. Instead, opt for a milky ecru colour or soft brown. These hues make for a nice palette cleanser when you’ve had enough of your baby blues.

Follow Kendall Jenner’s lead and swap out your blues for something else. (Credit: Getty)

Barrel beauties

Billowing barrel denim has hit the streets and it’s proving to be a hit with the fash pack. This style sits mid-rise and billows out at the side seam, creating an exaggerated silhouette.

Go casual with sneakers or slides, or try elegant heels and a sweet blouse to give the look a girlie twist.

Copy the Milan street style. (Credit: Getty)

Canadian tux

Double denim – aka the Canadian tuxedo – is having a moment. Dark and icy coloured pair-ups are dominating the runways, as are boilersuits.

Key learnings from the street stylers: tuck in a heavy-weight denim shirt (rather than a bulky jacket, unless it’s cropped), and then add some height with heeled boots. Ensure the shade of your denim top is as close as possible to your jeans.

Denim on denim a la Paris street style. (Credit: Getty)

Straight Shooter

Whether you call them the skinny bootcut or slim straight jeans, they’re the easiest of the bunch to wear. With their flattering high-rise waist and a no-frills silhouette, they’re the perfect pull-on pair for those “jeans and a nice top” days.

You’ll find the fashionistas in the longer lengths that sit over the shoe, but there are also plenty of cool cropped styles.

“We can’t get away from the high-rise straight leg – ultra easy and equally flattering to take you through the seasons,” says Von Dadelszen.

Kaia Gerber’s straight leg jeans are giving us some major fashion inspo. (Credit: Getty)

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