Despite a recent trend assault by those ridge-happy schemers over at *Big Corduroy, the time-honoured and steadfast denim jean remains the world's casual trouser and jacket of choice. Still here. Still covering the legs and bodies of the big, the small. The fashionable and the... not so fashionable.
But, ubiquitous or not, that doesn't mean it's not susceptible to a trend or five.
In a world where men are no longer held at gunpoint and forced to wear bootcut sort-of-washed blue jeans, you are free (FREE) to wear whatever denim you like.
It's our job to guide you along the way. Here are the big denim trends you should know about for the year.
*Corduroy is still cool, though.
1 | Indigo
A wash that's played second (third?) fiddle to pale wash and black denim over the last fews seasons, dark, consistent shades of blue are enjoying a quiet comeback, with the likes of Officine Generale, Dior and Off-White including indigo cuts in their latest shows and campaigns.
Clean, straightforward and best in slim-to-regular fits, your indigo can either be worn with a turn-up (more on that later) or with a carefully-incised slit in the knee, as our friend Zayn demonstrates above.
Also great with a white t-shirt or Breton.
Indigo Stretch Denim Jeans, by Canali at mrporter.com
Slim-Fit Dry Denim Jeans, by FRAME at mrporter.com
2 | Patchwork
A trend borne out of the fashion world's recent obsession with D.I.Y rough-around-the-edges style, patchwork jeans are for guys who like the (supposedly) carefree idea of ripped jeans without, you know, looking completely like a Love Island contestant.
Best worn in a pale wash with either a crop or a turn-up, the best patchwork jeans are the ones where you can scarcely tell the materials are even mismatched.
A slight mix in texture is all you need.
Patchwork Straight-Leg Jeans, by Gucci at matchesfashion
3 | Pale Double Denim
The Canadian Tuxedo is back and more Edmonton '82 than ever this year! With pale washes (no acid or bleached, though) and loose fits the defining colour and shape for spring and summer.
Championed by the likes of Balenciaga and their ever-deeper dive into the dusty basements of 'Dadcore' style, complete your casual double denim look with a low-key graphic t-shirt and a beaten up pair of trainers for the full irreverent vibe.
Or, if you're feeling really brave, a pair of Ugly Trainers.
What are you? A chicken!
4 | Turn-ups
After a denim period dominated by rough hemmed and cropped jeans, 2018 is the year of the carefully carefree turn-up. "Oh these? I thought they came like that?"
Hahahaha. We know the truth... we know.
Turn-ups are best worn with a small, single cuff to create a straight silhouette that shows a bit of ankle without veering into the badlands of capris pants. While washes can be anything from expensive raw selvedge that you wash in the bath (relax, they're jeans) to simple black slim-fits from the highstreet.
Just flash that sock.
Gucci Cropped Stretched Denim Jeans, at mrporter.com
A.P.C. Petit New Standard Slim-Fit Dry Selvedge Jeans, at mrporter.com
5 | Confused Formal
Right, the last thing we're suggesting is that you wear your denim jacket with a gingham shirt and patterned tie, but we do want to draw your attention to the fact that denim is slowly but surely skirting around the periphery of more formal fashion, with Dior in particular pushing a smarter denim-heavy look this spring.
While replacing your suit jacket with a denim alternative might be a step or 10 too far for most, there's now the scope to experiment with pieces like white shirts buttoned all the way up under more structured denim jacket; slim jeans worn with thick-soled derbies in black or oxblood or lighter denim jackets worn under heavy formal coats.
Not just for the weekend, basically.
Levi's Vintage Clothing 1936 Type 1 Denim Jacket, at endclothing.com
AMI Denim Jacket, at mrporter.com
From: Esquire UK