Barrel-y an Upgrade

If you thought the great denim debate was about skinny versus baggy jeans, think again. The sartorial dispute is a more nuanced discussion, thanks to a specific, voluminous silhouette dividing the industry. Don’t panic, the skinny jeans may have a moment in the sun later this year — at least, that’s what fashion weeks of season’s past would likely tell you. This season, the denim takeover is much, much baggier than the oft-controversial bottoms. Enter: barrel jeans, a curvy shape taking over the fashion scene.

Alaïa Runway

The divisive style hugs the hips, offers the nonchalant coolness of baggier styles throughout the thighs, peaks in circumference around the knees, and regains its refinement by tapering off at the ankles. As the name suggests, it replicates the bulging cylinder of a barrel or the bowed brackets of parentheses. 

Though the voluminous silhouette has decidedly reached peak popularity in 2024, the trend started brewing early last year when Pieter Mulier sent a model down the catwalk wearing a billowy pair of jeans at the Alaïa Fall/Winter 2023 show (shop the infamous Alaïa pair at Le Mill (in-store only)). And when the creative director debuts a look, it’s typically only a matter of time until everyone else follows his lead.