A New Era for Denim
Skinny jeans have become so ubiquitous that it would be easy to think that the dominance of Lycra could never be overthrown. Skinnies have taken up more than their fair share of rack space for an entire decade. In consequence we have grown accustomed to the comfort factor and denim has transmuted into a form of active wear for the street.
This is all very well if you suit skinnies or have no thirst for change. But what if you don't have legs like pipe cleaners or you would at least welcome the concept of choice?
Those who have had their fill of the skinny revolution will be heartened to hear that change is on the way. But change can be painful. Our brains are now hard wired to accept slimline and stretch as the norms and so any divergence at first appears awkward and off-key. You have to hang in there for a while in order to acclimatise to the sea change. Perhaps only then will you be able to fully embrace diversity. Straight legs are on the way back and rigid is about to usurp that comforting Lycra.
So there is very good news on the horizon if you have become weary of skinny domination. Choice is returning to both the high street and designer collections as straight legs look set to ease consumer fatigue and even flares are showing their faces. Traditional denim in a variety of shades is making a much needed comeback and even patches and embroidery are feeling their way into the denim landscape.
it's not that the skinny silhouette doesn't work because it often does. It is simply time to move on, ironically by exploring our jeans heritage. The fabrics and cuts that we once cast aside are set for a triumphal return giving us a greater variety of looks to explore.
So what exactly can you expect to see in the coming months?
We can look forward to levering ourselves into more rigid denim. This is going to feel foreign after years of more forgiving fabrics if you have fully embraced stretch. Many people didn't, of course, and have always been martyrs to stiff and raw. These styles of jeans are about to become features of many collections and Levi's 501s could find themselves centre stage yet again. Lee Brooklyn Straight and Regular Straight Jeans for men are now looking like a super cool choice.
High rise cuts are also reappearing as waistlines migrate due north from the hip area to where our waists are actually located. It's all a bit 90s but high waists are more flattering for many women so you can expect this look to stick around for a while.
Specialist collections are increasingly turning to vintage looks in order to differentiate themselves. You can expect the mainstream to catch up with this trend for revival in the near future. Alternatively you can take the authentic route and raid the far recesses of your wardrobe for the jeans you were wearing twenty years ago or more and give them a second chance. If you can still get into them!
The focus will not only be on waistlines but also on what is happening down below. Not there! Hems! Frays and cuffs are making an appearance on the catwalks and many new styles are clearly meant to be worn on the short side in order to showcase one's ankles and footwear. That is if you want to showcase these features. If you have cankles you may prefer a longer cut or will have to invest in a good pair of boots.
Nods to the past will probably not include a new found love for stone washes and similar treatments. Think more true blue heritage than distressed for 2016. The industry and consumer tastes are a little more earth friendly than in yesteryear. Many jeans treatments are the antichrist of eco-friendly and could well be shunned.
Denim all the Way
Double denim is a Marmite look but denim's reach may soon extend further than jeans, shirts and jackets. Denim skirts, dresses, coats and accessories are about to be big news, possibly making 2016 truly the story of the blues.
Of course predicting new trends is always difficult. No matter how hard designers try to turn our heads, trends have a life of their own. Fashion Icons will experiment with their looks and we will then either love the results or make a mental note never to go there. The movers and shakers are presenting us with new choices which are actually more like old friends. Will we embrace a new relationship with our old amigos or does that Lycra simply have too much allure? It's time to think straight Lee jeans and 501s and to give the skinnies a rest.