7 Outdated Jean Styles That Feel Anything But Fresh In 2023

If there's one piece of clothing everyone can agree is a must in a wardrobe, it's a good pair of jeans. Regardless of your personal style, jeans are a great basic. The right pair can take you from day to night and last you from season to season and year to year. But as great as jeans are, as much as they're a staple, they're not immune to the trend cycle. Think about the styles that were popular only a few years ago and how something about them just doesn't look fresh anymore.

Usually, it's the little details that make your clothes look outdated. And with the trend cycle moving as quickly as it does, it's often hard to keep up with what is exactly in fashion and what isn't. These jean styles currently have the trend cycle turned against them. But remember that the best trend to follow is what flatters your body and makes you feel the most comfortable. Keep your trusty pair of comfy jeans on hand, but if you're looking for a new pair, here's your buying guide.

The super skinny jean

This one may hurt and may also be the most controversial. But the super skinny jean is no longer the It pair to have. This has become a generational debate, with Millennials holding on to their beloved form-fitting jeans and Gen Z opting for a looser fit. Though with the rising popularity of 2010's fashion, all hope may not be lost for the pair. Time will only tell, but in the meantime, consider updating your skinny jeans to a slim straight pair. This style perfectly marries a body-hugging and relaxed fit.

Frayed hems

At a point, frayed hems were the go-to for jeans. They gave a relaxed, lived-in look to your favorite pair. But the tide has turned and ruled that frayed hems simply look unfinished. Current fashion trends across the board are favoring more tailored looks, and frayed hems look too messy. Whether your jeans are fraying from use or you bought them with fraying, it might make your jeans look outdated. Jean trends now are pointing to a more polished and pulled-together outfit, so look for pairs with clean-sewn hems.

Distressing throughout

Along the same lines of fraying, lots of distressing are considered a dated look and for similar reasons. It just looks messy. In particular, jeans that have huge holes all throughout or that look like they're held together by only a few strands of denim. A couple of small distressed areas can give a pair of jeans a relaxed look. But if the holes are getting bigger and bigger with each wear, it might be time to retire the pair. But if a little distressing is part of your personal style, a few well-placed holes are still on-trend.

Low waisted

Another controversial blast from the past is low-waisted jeans. Popular in the '90s and early aughts, these jeans quickly fell out of favor for being unflattering — highlighting midsections, and, of course, the iconic but dreaded whale tale. High- and mid-rise jeans have reigned supreme, but similar to skinny jeans, Millennials and Gen Z seem to disagree. As the younger generation brings back Y2K style, low-waisted jeans have made a comeback, though most are resistant to them. For many, low-rise jeans are messy and unflattering and often look dated in style if not worn with the right outfit.

Acid and bleach washes

Super bleached and acid-washed denim just screams decades past. While they may be great for a '90s-inspired outfit or maybe even a statement pair, acid and bleach washes are no longer the top trends. It seems like lighter washes, in general, are falling out of favor for sleeker, darker blues. Midnight blue offers a modern touch to your classic denim and is dark enough to be a versatile pair. This dark wash can easily be dressed down or up to fit all occasions.

Plain jane jeans

Plain jeans might not exactly be dated, but they're also not the trendiest option on the block. Yes, a classic, simple, go-to pair that works well with everything is a must-have in your closet. You need a pair that you know will work well with any of your tops or sweaters. But you also only need one or two of those kinds of jeans. Let your jeans be a statement and look for pairs with unique details. Consider appliqué, embroidery, or other unique details.

Ultra cropped length

Cropped jeans have always been a popular option; think petal pushers, capris, and even rolled-up hems. But this trend is more of a delicate balance than the rest. Yes, an intentional crop can look laid back and chic. And they're particularly good if you're wearing boots and you want to show them off. But if not done right or if they're off by a couple of inches, your jeans may just look as if the inseam is too short for your legs. Longer hemlines like jeans that hit right at or above the ankles give the appearance of a better fit.