While it's certainly a year-round trend, there's no doubt that fall is denim's biggest season. With the crisp, cooler air come more welcome opportunities to wear your favorite pair of jeans or to slip a comfy denim jacket over your shoulders. At the end of each summer, we watch the stores fill with the latest denim trends, which is exciting even if you aren't super into fashion. This season is no different. There are lots of new denim trends for fall 2016, although some have more of a throwback flair than a new feeling to them. While you definitely shouldn't throw away the jeans that make you feel like a total babe (like, ever), you should be open to trying some denim options this year.
Like most of the fashion trends we've seen in the last few months, fall is bringing back some old favorites, and that goes for the denim category too. Some of the trends have such a throwback feel to them that you might actually be turned off at first. Fall 2016 isn't about understated, easy denim (like the skinny jeans that dominated for so long). This season, designers seemed to have a little bit more fun with this classic staple, throwing on unexpected designs and some fun flair that might seem intimidating at first, but is actually really wearable. Ready to shop for your new wardrobe? Check out 10 of fall's biggest denim trends — and then wait to see what else pops up.
1. Flared Jeans
AEO Denim x4 Artist Flare Jean , $30, American Eagle Outfitters
The '70s trend revivals are still going strong, so it only makes sense that flared jeans have officially made their comeback. While I've heard whispers that bell bottoms are going to make their way back into style next, right now, flared jeans are definitely more popular. And for good reason: They're comfortable, they're less restricting than skinny jeans, and they give any other piece of clothing a cool boho vibe. Pick a darker denim shade to make them look more modern.
Patchwork denim is back, according to Fall 2016 Fashion Week runways and this report over at PopSugar. Whether you opt for something more subtle, like these cool patchwork jeans from H&M, or something a little bit more elaborate, there's no doubt that this trend is fun and playful — and really different than anything we've seen in awhile. Ease yourself into the trend by pairing your patchwork jeans with a simple solid-colored top and cute heels or flats.
A slightly random trend that can be spotted in almost every store, fashion magazine, and Instagram fashion blogger feed is a pair of cropped jeans. Not capri-length (dear God, please tell me that never comes back) and not boyfriend-baggy length, but more of a crop in the middle of the two that hits just above the ankle. It's not just for straight-leg jeans, either. Cropped flared jeans (super similar, if not the same, to culottes) are also gaining some serious traction.
Denim mini skirts aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Last summer, the old staple made its way back into the wardrobes of the most stylish people out there, and button up denim skirts were everywhere. While that style is still popular, we're seeing a resurgence of the old late '90s/early '00s frayed skirt trend, which is... terrifying? Awesome? A sign that emo culture is coming back? I'm going to go with (and hope for) the latter.
Similar to patchwork denim, just a little bit more bold, two-tone denim is yet another unique fashion trend for fall 2016. Spotted on the runways quite often, this style can be found on lots of cool-girl style websites and stores. This pair from The Gap features jeans that are two different shades in the front and the back. Definitely not a look for those who want to go for something classic and simple, but fun nonetheless.
Yes, embroidered denim is a thing for fall 2016. Yes, it extends beyond jeans. Fall 2016 runways featured lots of denim jackets, and all of them were fun, playful, and decorative in some way. Denim jackets make the perfect layering piece for confusing fall weather, so stock up on a few of them. If you don't want to spend money on the embroidered trend, buy some pins or patches and get creative.
Frayed hem jeans are exactly what they sound like: jeans that feature a frayed hem. You can pick a pair that has more subtle fraying happening, like these jeans from Zara, or you can pick a pair that makes more of a statement. Your choice!
Distressed/destroyed denim was huge in the early 2000s — in high school, my biggest fashion goal was constantly saving enough money to buy a pair of ripped jeans from Abercrombie — and while it never really completely went away, it definitely died down a lot. The look is staying around for fall 2016, and it's hard to go into any mall without seeing at least one pair of jeans that feature lots of rips, fraying, and holes.
Denim dresses were spotted in a lot of runway shows and can be found on sale almost everywhere. They're super versatile and a really great basic piece for fall. Keep them casual with a pair of flats or ankle boots, or you can dress up your denim dress with heels, a clutch, and the right jewelry.
The moral of the story? When it comes to fall 2016 denim trends, more is better. Whether you're going for a pair of jeans that are frayed, distressed, embroidered, embellished, different colors, or super flared, they're definitely going to make a statement.
Photos: Courtesy Brands