As menswear heads in the direction of comfort, denim embedded with soft-focus touches will become increasingly important. Additionally, this season will see an investment in stretch technologies supporting one-size-fits-all approaches that reflect consumers’ desire for longevity and functionality.
While denim is one of the few styles to embody this ideal, many styles are available today, making it hard to detect the most profitable items without some guidance. This article will therefore explore the essential men’s denim trends that will redefine the market for autumn/winter 2023/24.
How profitable is the denim market?
The world denim market grew from US$ 70.71 billion in 2021 to US$ 77.62 billion in 2022. Although there has been little progress, experts predict the industry will reach US$ 121.50 billion by 2030. They expect it to register a 6.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period.
According to distribution channel insights, the offline category will lead with a segmental share due to the rising number of fashion clothing and specialty retail stores. However, research suggests that the increasing popularity of e-commerce websites and mobile apps will drive the growth of the online channel, allowing it to contribute significantly to the global market.
In addition, analysts predict the men’s segment will maintain its lead throughout the forecast period. The category is also growing in popularity, with popular styles like tapered leg, skinny, slim fit, and straight leg flooding the market.
North America will generate a dominant market share over the forecast period due to the high presence of famous global brands and their constant denim innovations. However, Asia Pacific will register the fastest growth because of the rapid expansion of various multinational companies. Europe will follow closely behind as experts anticipate emerging opportunities in the region.
Eye-catching men’s denim trends to watch
Like many workwear staples, the denim jacket has evolved from a beat-up dad jacket to a fashionable item that compliments a range of stylish outfits. Modern fashion makes this outerwear a fantastic option for various occasions due to its versatility.
For a while, many deemed wearing denim-on-denim as unstylish and too formal for a denim jacket’s casual air. However, despite risking a suit-like ensemble, consumers can still venture into this style but with some twists. The trick to pulling off a denim-on-denim look lies in pairing the outerwear with pants in different washes, helping to break color uniformity.
Dark denim jackets will match light-colored pants and vice-versa. Men can rock a trickier blue-on-blue ensemble by pairing the right undershirt and attitude.
If consumers are not interested in a denim-on-denim get-up, they can always go for chinos as an easy alternative. These bottoms also have wider varieties, allowing men to achieve eye-catching contrasts effortlessly. Chinos with creases and pleats will pair nicely with a denim jacket and exude a sharper and more stylish image.
Corduroy is another classic option that matches the denim jacket’s casual air. Such pants have an appealing retro, attractive, and touchable texture that offsets denim’s smooth surface. The contrasting yet complementary beauty makes these fabrics natural pairs. However, men should avoid color clashing by blending darker-colored corduroy pants with lighter-colored denim jackets.
Straight-leg jeans are gaining momentum as male consumers gravitate toward looser fits to satisfy their desire for comfort. These baggy styles also draw influence from the ongoing noughties and 90s trend revival, creating an irresistible appeal for the younger demographic. Retailers can also update these bottoms with patchwork techniques, overdye colors, and enzyme washes.
Consumers can’t go wrong with straight-leg jeans when it comes to stylish off-duty looks. However, this updated spin offers a more comfortable and conservative silhouette than slimmer cuts. Moreover, its enhanced versatility makes it even more contemporary in medium washes and with clean cuffs.
Styling straight-leg jeans allows consumers to create a comforting, on-trend, and flattering look. They can pair an unstructured blazer with classic blue straight-leg jeans. Men can add a form-fitting top to balance the tailored coat’s relaxed fit. This blazer and straight-leg jeans combo can effortlessly transition from office to casual affairs.
Loose-fitting layers also make a fantastic pair with these updated bottoms. They’ll create an attractive oversized silhouette that showcases peak casual styling. Men can also go the double denim route by wearing denim jackets, shirts, or knitted field coats.
Unfashionable and old-schooled were words destroying the denim shirt’s reputation in earlier generations. However, previous seasons updated the piece with a trans-seasonal appeal that carried over into A/W 23/34. In addition to performing between seasons, denim shirts are now incredibly fashionable and offer limitless outfit combinations—a far cry from their workwear origins.
Like their jacket counterparts, denim shirts are perfect for a denim-on-denim ensemble. But pulling off this look relies on pairing compatible shades and contrasts. For example, men can rock black jeans and a dark blue denim shirt or a light blue top paired with white jeans. They may also tuck in the shirt or let it fly—both styles look fantastic.
Smart-casual outfits can’t get any better than denim shirts and blazer combinations. A classic tailored coat will quickly spruce up a denim shirt’s aesthetics, especially when paired with chinos or jeans. In addition, male consumers can layer a vest, cardigan, or knit sweater to stay warm during chilly months.
Denim shirts are also perfect for dressing on occasion, and one foolproof style, consumers can pair them with chinos. Denim and chinos have an unrivaled chemistry that helps to craft a classic men’s fashion.
Tapered jeans are popular alternatives to slim-fitted pants. These comfort-driven bottoms provide relaxed and athletic jean styles that feel voluminous at the thighs and get slimmer down to the ankle. In addition, tapered jeans are compatible with various body builds, especially when manufacturers make them with elastic properties.
Men can opt for a cinema casual as an effortless way to incorporate tapered jeans into their wardrobe. They can rock a top-to-toe tonal look, relishing the opportunity to try fresh denim washes. Beige, white, and cream are the go-to hues for this style, and wearers can pair them with classic basics (like tees) for a more polished look.
Rocking a sideline style is one of the best ways consumers can smarten up any varsity-inspired outfit with tapered jeans. It’s also time to swap the usual jersey shorts or joggers for dressier bottoms that will fit the wearer’s team’s colors. In addition, men can add these tapered beauties to a collegiate mesh vest of NBA- or NFL-inspired tees for a look doused in sporty vibes.
Reservation-ready styles take the tapered jean for an elegant and polished spin. Men can pair trusty tapered jeans with crisp-collared button-downs or knitted polo tops for fine dining. They may wear a suit jacket or blazer to feel fancier on dinner dates.
Skinny jeans have gone beyond the “trend” label and are now solid menswear staples. However, they’ve been losing prominence as more consumers shift toward styles emphasizing roomy and comfortable fits. Despite the apparent decline, skinny jeans have an updated appeal this season by embracing more volume and vintage washes.
Ripped detailings help add dimension to the trendy skinny jeans’ austerity. It enhances the piece with more texture and versatility. Ripped skinny jeans will help balance the wearer’s proportions and allude to a toned-down severed look. Men can tap into the style by opting for slim-fit bottoms with simple rips on both knees.
In addition, a classic shirt will create a stark contrast with the ripped skinny jeans’ edginess. Men may also pair a white tee or tank top for a more relaxed style. Outerwear is not left out as consumers can layer a knitted cardigan, leather jacket, or brown shearling coat over their skinny jeans outfit.
Straight-cut skinny jeans provide a more refined edge, and consumers can dress them up for evening looks. However, retailers must consider the weather before offering any skinny jeans. While lightweight and light-washed denim might work well for winter, darker styles are more appropriate for winter.
With looser fits gaining prominence this season, wide-leg styles are experiencing an expected revival across catwalks and street-level ensembles. Loose flares draw inspiration from the relaxed styling of the noughties and 1990s.
However, A/W 23/24 pushes bootcut jeans into more relaxed and voluminous silhouettes, taking the baggy skater look for a contemporary spin. In addition, retailers can update fits with direction #Lowrise features and loose profiles with floor-skimming leg lengths.
Loose flare also taps into authentic natural workwear patterns to provide a vintage edge. But that’s not all—the trend experiments with acid washes for punk and emo styling twists.
Consumers can keep bootcut jeans simple by pairing the piece with a simple tee. Then, throw on a crisp white top to match the aesthetics of these flared pants. Finally, men can layer a leather jacket over the ensemble for an edgier look.
Alternatively, male consumers can dive into smart-casual styles by tucking a button-down shirt into loose flares. Then, throw on a stylish blazer to craft a work-appropriate look.
Minimalist utility jackets
Utility jackets are classic wardrobe pieces that always seem to be on-trend. But this season updates this premium workwear with a minimalist makeover, making them functional and durable enough to last through repeated wear. Dive into clean silhouettes, boxy shapes, drop shoulders, zip front closures, and creatively placed pockets.
Men can achieve a casual look by layering a minimalist utility jacket over a plaid flannel shirt. Next, they can spruce up the outfit with various plaid colors, including greens, reds, and even brighter hues like oranges and pinks. Finally, consumers can tuck the flannel shirt in for a more relaxed streetwear look.
What’s more, male consumers can wear a denim utility jacket over distressed jeans paired with a graphic tee. This laidback look will look fantastic when wearers leave them loose and open over the graphic t-shirt (or a plain white tee). While neutral colors work best for this outfit, men can mix and match different shirt colors with the jacket.
Another way to add flair to the trusty utility jacket is by rolling up the sleeves. Men can style them in bulky cuffs or opt for smaller and well-defined rolls that feel more meticulous. For an alternative, this utility jacket style can be paired with a colorful undershirt, allowing the hue to peek out slightly from the rolled sleeve.
Loose fit overalls
The ongoing workwear trend revival sees many staples returning, including overalls. The apron-styled denim trend evolved from a vintage lover’s fit to streetwear favorites and appealing mainstream items. Loose-fit overalls also reflect the younger generation’s desire for bold attitudes and personal style.
While loose-fit overalls experiment with all-over prints to attract more directional male consumers, retailers can maintain their universal appeal by sticking to a clean design.
Full-leg denim overalls are a classic cut with roots deep in workwear and weather protection. While they show little prowess in summer, it’s a different ball game for winter months. Layering underneath loose-fit overalls will help regulate the wearer’s body heat and make outfits look textured with attractive depths.
Loose-fit denim overalls with shorts follow a more modern approach. This stylish garment steers away from protective elements and adopts a more fashion-oriented design for willing consumers. However, overall shorts have less adaptability and variability, making them ideal for specific moments.
Utility-inspired and workwear styles continue to redefine the men’s market as more consumers demand functional products with enhanced durability. These denim utility pants take center stage in this regard, drawing influence from trending workwear favorites, including paneled, double knee, and cargo utility pants.
Retailers can update casual straight-leg styles with cargo pockets while experimenting with size and unusual placements. In addition, they can opt for elasticated hems to give utility jeans a sporty edge or go for zippered hems to incorporate functional details.
Consumers can rock utility jeans with regular t-shirts or take an edgy approach by wearing a dark-wash denim jacket. Alternatively, men can style a padded jacket over the combo for a less uniform and more streetwear-inspired outfit.
This year’s autumn/winter season encourages a shift to looser fits with some slim silhouettes maintaining a solid presence in the menswear market. Retailers should aim to view denim in a new light and focus on pushing durability and circular practices into workwear and utility styles.
These men’s denim trends approach everything with sustainability while making comfort a priority. Sellers are also advised to invest in reputable vendors offering these trends to enjoy enhanced sales and profits in 2023/24.