Fashion

The 5 Jeans to Cut From Your Closet—And the Ones to Shop Instead

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Show me a pair of so-called “eternally classic jeans,” and I’ll show you flared hems from the ‘70s, baggy fits from the ‘90s, and mortifyingly low-rise boot-cuts from the early aughts: For a closet staple that’s as permanent as denim, it sure has seen its share of transformations. We may look back at some of our jeans of wardrobes past and cringe, but, inevitably, all styles come back into fashion—although when they do, it’s always with at least one tweak, a modern-day modification to give it a fresh, of-the-moment feel. (There’s but one proven exception to this rule, and it’s our beloved vintage Levi’s.)

With that said, let’s turn our attention to 2017’s crop of on-trend denim. By crop, we do mean cropped, because the shin-grazing length continues to dominate the market for summer: Last year’s kick-flares evolved into culottes, while the fringed finish (pioneered by 3×1) has taken over nearly every hemline. The beloved, retro high-waist, too, is going strong, with a straight leg sliced at the ankle, of course, for maximum breathability. If you prefer a more fitted look, there’s even a jegging upgrade for you.

Keep scrolling to find out which of your old favorites might be due for an update. (If you’re ever in doubt, remember: High-rise and cropped never seem to fail.) Find your new go-to pair of jeans, below.

SWAP Boot-cut Jeans FOR Cropped Kick-Flares

We’ll always have a soft spot for our boot-cuts, but cropped baby flares have proven to be a formidable alternative, possessing the same leg-lengthening effect but with the added bonus of showing off your footwear.

From left: Current/Elliott The Kick jeans, $200, Net-a-Porter; Mango Flare trumpet jeans, $59.99, Mango.

SWAP Jeggings FOR Lace-Up Skinnies

Second-skin skinnies have taken a backseat to rigid ’80s-style jeans (amid the fashion set, at least). But that doesn’t mean your favorite fit is on the way out—rather, the summer ’17 update, popularized by the Kardashian-Jenner crew, features a new eye-grabbing detail: sexy ties lacing up each leg.

From left: AG The Layla, $138.60, AG; Topshop Moto side lace Jamie jeans, $95, Topshop; Amapô Lace Up skinny jeans, $263, Farfetch; Good American Good Legs lace up, $189, Good American.

SWAP Wide-Leg Cuts FOR Denim Culottes

The cons of a sweeping wide-leg jean? Dragged hems, excess fabric, and a too-baggy shape. A shortened cut fixes all of the above without compromising volume.

From left: Zara Denim culottes, $29.90, Zara; Madewell Wide-leg jeans, $128, Madewell; Gap High-rise wide-leg crop jeans, $48.99, Gap.

SWAP Boyfriend Jeans FOR ’80s Straight-Leg

Nothing will ever beat out slouchy boyfriend jeans when it comes to comfort, but ’80s-style jeans, with their high waist and straight-but-roomy fit, boast the same leg room with a more polished finish.

From left: H&M Vintage High-Waist cropped jeans, $39.99, H&M; Frame Rigid Re-release Le Original, $295, Frame; Re/Done High-Rise Ankle Crop, $309, Re/Done.

SWAP Conventional Hems FOR Unique Finishes

Straight-cut hems? Ah, how 2015. The easiest way to step up your denim game this summer is with raw edges, fringe, tie-dye, staggered frays—or any other embellishment that catches your eye.

From left: Zara Ripped mid-rise jeans, $49.90, Zara; 3×1 WM3 crop fringe jeans, $295, Net-a-Porter; Mother Insider Crop Step Fray, $228, Mother Denim.

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