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Denim Trends You Need to Know About

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cornell chapter.

No matter your style, your closet likely has something in common with almost every other closet in the world. Like everyone, you needed a garment that’s versatile, slimming, stylish, trendy, unique, mainstream, and supportive all at the same time. You never believed it could be possible for a piece of clothing to fit all this criteria until you found it: denim. Yout first pair of jeans may as well have had a halo around it. It’s magic, really. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was about a nearly magical pair of thrifted denim jeans, after all.

While you probably have your own pair of jeans or maybe even a denim jacket, it can sometimes be fun to mix up your denim look. A fabric so similarly styled on different body types and so universally purchased invariably creates pressure for the fashion-conscious community to alter conventional styles and produce unique varieties. From elite runway designers to your favorite YouTube D.I.Y. tutorial hosts, everybody has voiced his or her opinion on the best denim styles. Here’s what they look like today.


Patchwork Denim

Common during the Depression era, patchwork found its niche when designers and seamstresses were forced to make do with the meager resources available during a period of economic hardship. Scrap materials came together to repair holes and create unique garments, and the look was adopted over time for its slight undertones of fashionable appeal. In 2017, we’re left with the aftertaste of the old trend, now coming together in fewer tones and prints. By sticking primarily to various shades of blue denim in crisp geometric shapes, designers are creating new, modern patchwork prints. Don’t be surprised if the full plaid and printed version starts to make its way into mainstream culture too, though.


Raw Hems

Forget your cuffed ankles and evenly-trimmed hemlines. Raw hems express creativity, flexibility and freedom by replacing a strict edge with an open-ended flow of fringe.



Ranging from applique to needlework to sewn-on patch designs, embroidery is on the rise. While it may have never completely left the style stage, featured on more obscure, bohemian pieces, it now makes its way into the runway limelight. These embroidery designs tend to appear most daringly on black, blue, or white denim garments.


Split Hems

Showing up hand-in-hand with the raw hem design, split hems may or may not retain the even edge of the past. To compensate, however, they may just break it up a bit. The classic sexy-strip-of-ankle-showing thing now favors a vertical or triangular strip, rather than the historical horizontal one.


High-Low Design


When you think of a high-low structural design, you’re most likely picturing a flowing chiffon skirt with a gradual hemline that starts short in the front and grows longer in the back. (If you need a visual, it’s kind of like a mullet that isn’t always hideous, if that’s possible.) In any case, with denim high-low cuts, you’re fortunately spared a flowing stream of denim, which would probably be less aesthetically appealing. High-low denim hems instead favor a geometric cut, regardless of their presence on skirts or jeans.

Regardless of which trend you prefer, or even if you dislike them altogether, denim is making a serious statement. This timeless piece is never going to go anywhere, and all the while it will continue to offer you the versatility and unique quality you need. Almost like magic.

Freshman at Boston University interested in fashion and lifestyle journalism. Main interests include anything related to dogs, flowers, music, and burritos (keeping my priorities in check, clearly). Hoping to use my position at Her Campus to inspire some college creativity and laughter, wherever they might be needed.
Elizabeth Li

Cornell '19

Junior at Cornell University and President/Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Cornell