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5 Ways To Wear Denim In 2022

Denim has been a staple part of many people’s wardrobes for decades, whether you’re a bonafide fashionista or prefer a smart casual look. From classic denim jeans and jackets to funky denim dungarees, there are plenty of ways you can wear the material to suit your style. Delightful denim fabric is oh-so versatile, so it should come as no surprise that every year there’s a new way to rock denim styles. But keep your eyes peeled and get ready to party like it’s 1975 because we’re loving the resurgence of retro-denim trends this year. That’s the beauty of such an adaptable material, as it’s able to suit a wide variety of fashion types.

Whether you’re looking for a low-key denim piece to pair with bolder accessories or an adventurous item that will really make a statement, you’re in safe hands with us. As we all begin to get our heads around how it’s nearly Spring 2022 already, we’re going to help spark some new ideas on how you can wear denim this year. But before we look at the ‘now’, we must look at the ‘how’ - and that means taking a look back at exactly how denim has become the sought-after fashion item it is today.

Denim trends throughout the years

It’s likely not often that you spare a thought for how denim became mainstream, simply because it has been top of the fashion charts for so long. But, in the interest of history, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. So, strap in, we’re heading right back to the 1800s.


It’s understood that around the mid-1800s, denim as a clothing material had become extremely popular… but not quite as a fashion statement just yet. Instead, denim was lauded for its durable and resilient quality, making it ideal for workwear. Its hard-wearing nature made it perfect for overalls and jeans to be worn in a very practical hands-on setting.

1920s & 1930s

The roaring 20s through into the 30s gave us the first hint that denim clothing would soon become a fashion favourite. This is thanks to Western films that (accurately) featured cowboys, miners and other workers of that time wearing denim jeans. Throw in a couple of gunslingers going head-to-head in a classic Hollywood action sequence and the denim hype was born.


With World War II spanning half of this decade, denim was still very much tied to workwear and hadn’t yet made its way into the average person’s wardrobe. Due to its particularly one-dimensional use, denim jeans and overalls as garments remained largely unchanged in terms of style. However, looking back, you can see that it was simply hibernating and preparing for its big break in just a few years’ time.


Enter James Dean and Marlon Brando. Two of the coolest characters to ever grace the silver screen brought denim into a new era. James Dean’s dark-blue jeans and red Harrington jacket combo has become one of the most iconic looks in cinematic history, paving the way for rebellious teens of the era to follow suit. Gaining traction as a ‘bad boy’ look, denim jeans had officially made it into the mainstream.


The swinging sixties is without a doubt one of the most iconic decades of denim. With an influx of bell-bottom jeans, denim dresses and the well-known double-denim combo, everyone who was anyone was dressing up in denim. Around this time denim had become more associated with the hippie movement, rather than the motorcycle-riding movie stars of the 50s, which meant that it appealed to a whole new demographic. People also became more experimental with the fabric too, exploring combinations of both denim jeans and a jacket - a double denim look that would dip in and out of fashion for years to come.


Denim in the 70s evolved even further, especially in the case of women’s fashion, which saw the widespread popularity of tighter-fitting denim dresses and skirts. Again, largely tied into denim pieces worn by celebrities, a new range of styles became idolised. Part of this fashion evolution included denim jumpsuits, which have come full circle and are often seen sported by style icons today. 


This was the decade that saw a more diverse take on the classic denim jeans and jacket look. To fit with the bold and brash style at the time, acid-washed denim was in and regular denim was out. Standard dark blue denim just didn’t cut it anymore. Rugged stone-washed denim jeans with ripped knees and the occasional patch sewn in became the go-to as the fashion craze ignited.


The 90s was one of the biggest fashion eras to be influenced by music. Grunge bands such as Nirvana helped popularise the baggy jean look, whilst ushering out the slimmer-fitting look of the previous decades. Mom jeans standardised the casual baggy jean look, whilst other styles took things to the extreme with overly baggy jeans which would often engulf the wearer's entire shoe.


The turn of the century saw denim jeans revert back to the flared style of the 70s, with bootcut jeans becoming the norm. Double-denim (or in some cases triple and quadruple denim) was also very much in full swing with celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears donning some daring combinations.

2010s - Present-day

Two words: skinny jeans. This denim trend took inspiration from the 80s, although it took it a step further and brought black denim into the fold. A trend that has continued into the present day, black denim skinny jeans are the ultimate smart-casual option - perfect for work, nights out, dates, the lot!

5 ways to wear denim in 2022

So now we’ve taken a nostalgic stroll through history, how are trends taking off this year?

One of the most important things to remember about denim, or any item of clothing for that matter, is that you should always wear it your own way. Sure, you want to be stylish and you’ll be able to find out what’s on-trend by following style inspiration online, but no choice is the wrong choice - if you feel good, you’ll look good.

Modern double denim

Black skinny jeans are always a great place to start, as you can build on them with more colourful pieces of clothing. Black denim on the bottom half with a light/dark blue denim jacket on the top is an easy way to pull off double denim in total style. Throw in a plain black or white t-shirt and you’ve got a fresh look that’ll turn heads. Alternatively, swap the blue denim jacket for a black one and throw in a vibrant floral shirt for a more indie look.

The show-stopping denim

Never be afraid to be bold with a truly stand-out item of clothing. One of the best and most fun ways to do this is with a pair of Exquisitely Embellished Jeans, which consist of white denim and contrasting embroidery. These jeans have the perfect balance of an eye-catching design without being too OTT, meaning you can still pair them with an adventurous top.

Retro dungarees

Channel your inner vintage vixen with a pair of classic dungarees that helps express your creative side. Dungarees look great with a brightly-coloured t-shirt or top underneath to really contrast against the mellow blue tones. They’re super comfy too, which means they’re great for wearing day-to-day and in casual work environments.

Patchwork parade

Opting for a pair of denim shorts or a skirt with funky patchwork and embroidery is the ultimate way to spruce up an otherwise low-key summer outfit. Embrace the sun with a fun and stylish alternative to standard denim summerwear. Pair with a plain tee to let the embroidery do the talking or go bold with an equally vibrant top. Both looks work great and make for some really stylish ways to get creative with your summer ensembles.

Dashing denim blouses & shirts

Another great option for a summer outfit is a denim shirt or blouse paired with a pair of contrasting jeans or trousers. White jeans with a blue denim shirt is a great combo and a clean look that will have you looking fresh for summer. Perfect for a smart-casual look at a social event or afternoon outing, a denim shirt is simple but effective.

Shop denim with Joe Browns

So, if it’s not evident from the extensive timeline covering its history, denim is a material that will never go out of fashion - it will simply be reinvented in new and exciting ways. And, speaking of excitement, we’ve got a range of denim clothing that will allow you to mix and match until you find your dream outfit. Our forever denim range is perfect for those who like to get creative with their denim clothing and even features select pieces which are made from a sustainable fibre, called Repreve, that is made from recyclable materials. To explore our range of men’s and women’s denim and get your creative juices flowing, just visit our website and browse until your heart’s content!

If you’re after some more ideas on how to style your denim, head over to our inspiration page.

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