Evolution of Denim & Its Trends

Denim, being one of the wardrobe staples in everyone’s, has come a long way since it came into existence during the 18thcentury. From being a work outfit to having a cult statement status lately, no other garment has been worn for so long as the jeans with such versatility. Due to its durability factor, jeans gained popularity over a short period of time.

Because of the dyeing, stitching, and cut, each pair of jeans is one-of-a-kind. When the term “blue jeans” had not been coined, these pants were referred to as “overalls” in the late 1800s. With changing trends, the jeans continued to evolve with new rivets, patterns, buttons, and pockets.

In the 1950s, a variation was introduced including the zipper fly because easterners were unfamiliar with the button-up design. It became a sensation of the teenage population. Jeans were reimagined throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and the casual look became a symbol of a carefree generation. Bell-bottomed jeans were popular, and they were frequently embellished with beads, patchworks, embroidery, and paint. It was a non-conformist statement. Calvin Klein was the first designer to display blue jeans on the runway in 1976. Not only that was a commercial success but also gave the garment a sexier image.

Problem faced by denim maker - TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN

Image Courtesy: Textile Value Chain

Then came the rock era of the 1980s, with its acid wash, holed, ripped, and cut off styles of high-waist jeans made popular by celebrities, particularly rock musicians. “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins,” a 15-year-old Brooke Shields said in a Calvin Klein commercial, pushing denim to the forefront of every fashion designer’s mind. Jeans from the 1990s had a cleaner, more classic style, with shades of blue, grey, and teal. Manufacturers also came up with many inventive concepts for employing denim fabric, such as poodle skirts, headgear, and handbags, to skim the cream of the denim market. 90s besides being characterised by low-slung baggy jeans because of the rise of grunge and hip-hop, also saw big fashion designers like Versace, D&G and Dior take over the denim market. Intellectuals and hipsters went to dark denim as a way to get back to the style’s roots; pop stars preferred Diesel’s sandblasted and whiskered designs; aficionados paid exorbitant rates for vintage Levi’s and hand-dyed Japanese indigo.

The 00s witnessed the jeans being pulled down to an ultimate low spot at the end of the belly button. The jeans would sweep the floor and sometimes get ripped on its own at the bottom seam. Retro Capri jeans found a resurgence in the mid-to-late 2000s. In 2010s, skinny jeans became the go-to style to wear during the week, on the weekend, and on date night as a result of advancements in denim stretch technology.

Today, multiple styles are available but skinny styles continue to reign supreme due to their ability to be dressed up or down. Still, there’s a trend toward a looser fit, where comfort doesn’t have to come at the expense of style. Some latest denim trends include slouchy and baggy silhouettes, upcycled denim, straight leg, light-coloured, flared, cuffed, cropped & jewelled,  denim skirts, oversized jackets, to name some.

Upcycled jeans is a must-have for 2022, considering the awareness of circular fashion and sustainability. Slouchy silhouettes like wide leg, flared, baggy denim has been on the rise with a long seam that hits the floor. This season might also see dark indigo denim make a comeback as it was spotted on the runways.

From nipped-in jackets to bustiers, tailored denim clothing is another trend to watch out for. Cuffed jeans are making a comeback, and they’ll be embroidered with butterflies in 2022. The brand Blumarine announced this during the presentation of their spring-summer 2022 collection. The patchwork trend, which involves sewing together pieces of cloth in various colours, is also expected to take off. One of the brands that predicted how patchwork would be worn is Coach. Part of Valentino‘s 2022 cruise collection, straight jeans will be a must-have piece.


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