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CF’s Ultimate Fall 2011 Denim Guide


Close-up view of jeans
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Denim is the arguably the one wardrobe essential that can be found in every college student’s closet. The right pair of jeans can easily take you from the classroom to date night, making them the ultimate wardrobe must-have. Jeans are comfortable and flattering, and with so many different washes and cuts out there, the choices are endless.

Because we all love our jeans so much, we’ve decided to put together the ultimate back-to-school denim guide for fall 2011. Keep reading to discover the hottest jeans, most popular trends and over 50 cute and affordable denim picks for fall:

The 4 Hottest Denim Cuts for Fall 2011

Four of the most popular denim cuts for Fall 2011 are flares, skinny, wide-leg, and boyfriend jeans. Since you’ll be seeing these cuts everywhere this season, scroll on down to learn a little more about each one.

1. Flared Jeans

Flares are — without a doubt — this season’s “it” jean. The ’70s trend that was popular throughout spring and summer is still going strong and this denim cut reflects the aesthetic of that time period. Flared jeans have the same fitted look as bootcut jeans, albeit with a slightly larger leg opening at the bottom. So, if you’re a girl who normally wears bootcut jeans, swap ‘em out this season for a flared pair.

Flared jeans fall 2011
Product Info: Skinny Mini-Flare- Old Navy, Vintage Flare Explorer Jeans- PacSun, Crosshatch Flares- Kohl’s, Antique Wash Flares- Target, Vintage Flares- American Eagle Outfitters

2. Skinny Jeans

Skinnies are the denim trend that just keeps on going. They’ve been popular for such a long time now that we think they may have gone from a fleeting trend to a bona fide wardrobe staple. Still haven’t rocked a pair of skinny jeans yet? Try them out — you might be pleasantly surprised!

Skinny jeans fall 2011
Product Info: Ankle Zip Skinny Jeans- Forever 21+, Antique Skinny Jeans- American Eagle Outfitters, Almost Famous Skinny Jeans- Tilly’s, Low Rise Super Skinny Jeans- Delia’s, Superlow Faded Skinny Jeans- Kohl’s

3. Wide-Leg Trouser Jeans

This is another type of denim cut with a distinct ’70s vibe. However, unlike flares, which are fitted throughout the hip and leg, wide-leg jeans have a loose, body-skimming fit. These jeans look super-chic whether you wear them with ballet flats and a tee or a pretty blouse and sky-high heels.

Wide-Leg Jeans fall 2011
Product Info: Tailored Wide-Leg Jean- ASOS, Trouser Jean- JCPenney, ’70s Wide Leg Jeans- Oasis, High Waisted Wide-Leg Jean- ASOS Curve, Braided Trim Trouser Jeans- Old Navy

4. Boyfriend Jeans

Menswear-inspired fashion is going to be huge this autumn and boyfriend-style jeans fall under this category. These slouchy jeans are super laid-back, making them perfect for casual days. Just remember to pair them with fitted tops for balance!

Boyfriend jeans fall 2011
Product Info: Ex-Boyfriend Jeans- American Eagle Outfitters, Vintage Wash Boyfriend Jeans- Topshop, Roll-up Boyfriend Jeans- Nordstrom, Rigid Boyfriend Jeans- Land’s End, Washed Boyfriend Jeans- ASOS

The Top 3 Jean Trends for Fall 2011

If you’re looking for something different than your basic old blue jeans, check out these three denim trends that will be popular for fall.

1. Colored Skinnies

Colored denim was trendy a few years ago and now it’s back in a big way for fall and winter. This season is all about the colorful skinny jeans, which are available in pretty much every hue imaginable. To make them fall-appropriate, though, we suggest picking up a pair in a rich, autumnal hue like the ones below.

Not sure how to wear them? Pairing them with neutrals is a no-brainer, but you could also wear these jeans with a colorful top for a bold, color-blocked look.

Colored skinny jeans fall 2011
Product Info: Purple- Forever 21+, Dark Red- Miss Selfridge, Teal- Delia’s, Magenta- Forever 21, Mustard- Topshop

2. White Denim

Since we all know that the silly little rule regarding “no white after Labor Day” is outdated, bright, white denim is slated to be a popular denim wash throughout fall and winter. Wearing white during colder months definitely makes a bold statement, but white jeans can be one of the trickier denim styles to pull off. These babies definitely best accessorized with tons of confidence!

White denim fall 2011
Product Info: Straight Leg Jeans- Bloomingdales, Skinny Jeans- ASOS, 1969 Curvy Jeans- Gap, Charlie Flare White Jeans- Lucky Brand, Diesel Skinny Jeans- YOOX

3. Patched Jeans

Love destroyed denim? Then you’ll probably love this season’s patched jeans, which are exactly what they sound like — jeans with sewn-on patches. While they’re definitely not for everyone, these jeans give off a cool, grungy vibe that’s sure to be noticed. If you aren’t up for buying a pair of ready-made patched jeans, you could easily DIY your own with an old pair!

Patched denim fall 2011
Product Info: Contrast Patch Jeans- H&M, Patched Grunge Flares- Wet Seal, Crafted Skinny Flare Jean- Levi’s, Patched Boyfriend Jean- Quicksilver, Pacific Patchwork Jean- Quicksilver

4 Jean-Free Ways to Wear Denim

Jeans aren’t the only denim style that will be popular for fall! Check out these four other denim trends for back-to-school:

1. Skirts

Denim skirts are going to be huge, and we mean H-U-G-E this season. That said, we’re not talking about those basic denim mini-skirts you wore to death in middle and high school. This fall, denim skirts have gotten a chic makeover. Every type of skirt imaginable has a denim version out there right now, so whether you like A-line, midi or pencil skirts, there’s sure to be a denim skirt that matches your personal aesthetic.

Denim skirts fall 2011
Product Info: Stitched Detail Skirt- BCBGeneration, Button-Front Skirt- Old Navy, Pencil Skirt- Nordstrom, Midi Skirt- Madewell, White Skirt- Anthropologie, Side Zip Skirt- Debenhams

2. Jackets

Jean jackets are classic pieces that are perfect for cooler weather – even better, they’re having a major fashion comeback this fall. You can easily throw a denim jacket over your favorite dress to create an instant effortless, all-American look. Invest in a good denim jacket and you’ll have a stylish option that will last you years. However, if you want an of-the-moment moto or cropped denim jacket, look for cheaper alternatives at places like Forever 21 or H&M.

Denim jackets fall 2011
Product Info: Denim Biker Jacket- House of Fraser, Double Breasted Denim Jacket- Urban Outfitters, Cropped Denim Jacket- Topshop, Denim Western Jacket- ASOS, Destroyed Denim Jacket- Forever 21+, Denim Sherpa Jacket- Delia’s

3. Dresses

Denim dresses were popular throughout the summer and they’ll still be trendy for fall. Just like jeans, denim dresses are available in tons of cuts, washes and styles, so find one you love and rock it all winter long.

As far as styling a denim dress goes, wear one with flats and a lightweight cardigan while the weather is still nice, then layer on some thick tights and your favorite coat once it gets cold outside. The denim dress is a super-versatile piece, if you ask us.

Denim dresses fall 2011
Product Info: Coy in Denim Dress- ModCloth, Belted Denim Shirtdress- Forever 21, Faded Strapless Dress- Urban Outfitters, Bleached Denim Prom Dress- Dorothy Perkins, Charmin’ Sandiego Dress- ModCloth

4. Shirts

Since jeans are such a common way to wear denim, shirts made out of this material are a somewhat out-of-the-box way to wear denim for fall. Pair a denim shirt with a nice pair of trousers or a pretty skirt for a sleek look, or be brave and wear some stylish double denim. (PS- Check out our guide for rocking denim-on-denim!)

Not ready to rock a full-on denim shirt? Try one out made out of denim’s easy-to-wear cousin, chambray.

Denim shirts fall 2011
Product Info: Just as You Are Top- ModCloth, Bow Blouse- ASOS, Pioneer Shirt- Roxy, Snap Up Denim Shirt- Forever 21, Denim Cropped T-Shirt- ASOS, Sunset Chambray Shirt- Quicksilver

What do you think?

What’s your favorite kind of denim? Which of these denim trends will you be rocking this fall? Any trends you’ll be skipping? Remember to leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Posted on on August 28, 2011 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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34 Responses to “CF’s Ultimate Fall 2011 Denim Guide”

  1. 1
    August 28th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    So happy that flairs and wide leg jeans are in this season!

  2. 2
    August 28th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I’m sorry, but those patched jeans are hideous. If anyone wanted that look they could do it themselves. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of jeans that look like they got ran over by a bus, when you can make it look like that yourself? Haha just my personal opinion though, I love everything else you posted.

  3. 3
    August 28th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Yay! I love shopping for denim in the fall, so I have to lot to say haha. I’ve definitely got some flares and wide leg jeans for this season, which I plan to wear most of the time, since I’m so tired of wearing skinny jeans (I’ll still wear and buy them, though. I agree they’re a trend that’s here to stay!) I love embellished and ripped jeans too, which I’ve noticed are popping up everywhere. I have boyfriend jeans from Charlotte Russe (the slouchy-slim fit) which I adore. They’re so comfortable and laid back.

    I just bought some brown skinny jeans yesterday and I love them! I’m going to pair them with a corduroy button down and my moccasins, can’t wait :)

    As far as white/patched denim…not a fan!! White denim in the fall seems a bit strange to me. I think I’ll be keeping my wide leg and skinny white denim with the rest of my summer bottoms for now. Patched denim looks strange to me, but my opinion may change with trends as it usually does.

    Loving the denim skirt/jacket/shirt trend! Definitely going to be rocking those this fall.

  4. 4
    August 28th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Absolutely LOVE this post! :)

  5. 5
    August 28th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    You’re missing a couple of fantastic, goes-with-anything options in the skirts section:

    I graduated from jean pencil/A-line skirts from Old Navy ( when I found these last year – the RL skirts have a much more tailored fit/look and are a LOT hardier.

  6. 6
    August 28th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Are there any brand that make colored jeans that AREN’T skinny? I love the look of colored denim but I look absolutely terrible in skinnies.

  7. 7
    August 28th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Love these looks ! but don’t forgot corduroy skinnies either J.Crew has some awesome ones in great colors

  8. 8
    August 28th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    For anyone who can’t find a pair of skinny jeans that’s flattering, I have to put a word in for Delia’s- I have really wide hips and thighs that (for me) make it difficult to find trousers that look nice, but they haven’t let me down yet :)

    Also, I really want that dark red pair from Miss Selfridge!

  9. 9
    August 28th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Flared jeans still remind me of my high school days, so I will not be rocking those anytime soon or wide-leg jeans. Plus, i’m really short (5’1) and I don’t like how flared and wide leg jeans look on me at all! I still love my skinny jeans the best. :)

    As for white jeans, I rocked a pair of white skinny ankle jeans all summer, so I might wear them again in the Fall but the idea does seem a bit odd to me..I feel like white jeans look best in warmer weather, but maybe that’s just me.

    The patched jeans are not cute at all. :|

  10. 10
    August 28th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Meh, I only favor flare, boot cut, and wide leg because they even out my heavy top. IMO skinnies make my hips look wide, and boyfriend and patched look too slouchy (for the first) and tacky (for the second.)

  11. 11
    August 28th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    @Bailey- I will have to check it out! I have a problem with skinny jeans fitting at my knees because I have very thick calves, but very tiny knees and the fabric often gaps which gives my outfit an overall tacky look.

    I can’t say that I enjoy the patched jeans, but if I see an article on how to wear them in the future I just may change my mind. Overall, great post!

  12. 12
    August 28th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I already rock skinny jeans and white jeans.

    Coloured jeans aren’t really my thing.

    Flared and wide-leg jeans… I don’t know. I’ve always been iffy about adding more fabric and bulk to the lower half of my body.

    And the patch jeans… let’s just keep that trend to the ragdolls.

  13. 13
    August 28th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Denim is a huge part of my wardrobe and it’s surprisingly versatile. I’m not really a fan of patched jeans, typically. I think they’re cute on other people but probably not for me. I got a chambray denim shirt recently and it’s great with shorts or skirts for a ton of different looks.

  14. 14
    August 29th, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I recommend going thrifting to find a denim jacket! I got a Levi’s jacket for about $13 and it was soo perfect because it was already nicely worn in. I’m also loving denim shirts but not so sure about the flares…

  15. 15
    August 29th, 2011 at 2:21 am

    I have found the PERFECT pair of skinny jeans for me past spring and I’m so happy to have it! Glad to know skinny is still a trend, but I’m not so much the type of girl for denim though. One pair of skinny jeans is fine for me and I love it =)

  16. 16
    August 29th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Great post! I’m loving the flare jeans trend, though I’ve yet to find a pair that is short enough for my petite figure. I agree with you. I think skinny jeans have graduated from trend to wardrobe staple. I recently found a flattering pair and finally understand the appeal–if they fit well! I also love that you include trouser jeans, which are great for looking a little more dressed up than regular ol’ skinnies or bootcut. I’m a huge fan of the colored jeans, though I haven’t bought any yet. Ditto with white jeans.

    The only trend I’m not big on is the patchwork. I think they are hideous, personally. I have never been a fan of distressed jeans though.

    I like that you included non-jean denim, too! There are so many options besides jeans!

  17. 17
    August 29th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for including Forever21+ and ASOS Curve choices. They fit right in and make these styles more available to everyone regardless of what size they wear. I appreciate that you included them without having to call attention to the fact that they were for plus sized readers.

    Keep it up!

  18. 18
    August 31st, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Hi, I loved this post and I want to embrace some ideas. Would you recommend white jeans for plus size girls? If so, what can i pair it with?

    Thanks :)

  19. 19
    September 1st, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Hey, Cristina!

    The pair of white jeans from Bloomingdale’s (far left) are actually plus-sized, but I found two more pairs if you’re interested: (ASOS flares) & (skinnies from Alloy). I’d suggest pairing them with either a tunic-style top (here’s one from F21+: or with a comfy henley (like this one from Torrid: for a more casual look.

    I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions :)

  20. 20
    September 2nd, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Please do a blog on how to wear white jeans in colder months

  21. 21
    September 4th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I love skinny jeans and flare jeans. I love evry single part of this post. Wonderful!

  22. 22
    September 13th, 2011 at 10:52 am

    LOVE coloured skinny jeans :3

  23. 23
    September 14th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I ordered the mustard colored jeans from Forever 21 and they were not near as mustard as they appear online ! Just a warning ! they are alot more brown than the rich mustard color i was expecting!

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