Skinny jeans are a staple. I’m willing to bet that every Northwestern student has at least one pair in their closet. Whether you frequently wear yours or not, most everyone has a blue, white or black pair. They’re a must – a classic, even. But – and please don’t kill me for saying this – they’re a little boring and outdated in comparison with newer jean styles. Recently, new denim trends have jumped into the spotlight, transforming classic skinny jeans into more chic and straight-legged styles. Check out NBN’s guide to rocking these stylish new looks around campus, and get ready to find your newest statement piece below.

1. High rise, straight jeans

Straight jeans are definitely a new trend around campus. Whether you’re in Norris or the sorority quad, you can usually spot at least one Wildcat rocking a figure-flattering yet not skin-tight pair of jeans. Much like their name, straight jeans are designed to fall straight from your waist to your feet. This means that jeans like these are perfect for pairing with boots, as they allow for some extra space around the ankles that skinny jeans fail to offer. My personal favorite for trekking to my 9 a.m. classes this quarter?  Levi’s Ribcage Straight Jeans for $98.

Photo Via Timur Emek/Getty Images

2. High rise, wide leg jeans

In the past, I’ve only been a fan of baggy pants because they’re great for both dressing up and dressing down. Recently, however, I was introduced to the world of baggy (or wide leg) jeans – and they’ve quickly become my number one obsession. As seen in looks like the ones below, flared jeans are perfect for dressing down a fancy look. For a more casual outfit, these jeans look great with a plain white t-shirt! My personal favorite wide leg jeans are the Cropped Wide Leg Jeans by Topshop. For $68, you look both chic and comfortable enough for a Cupitol brunch date!

Photo Via Getty Images

3. High rise Mom jeans

Though mom jeans never actually look like jeans that my own mother would wear, they’ve now become a recognized nickname for jeans that are slightly baggier than skinny jeans but aren’t straight either. Instead, they follow your body’s curves without sticking to them. Although I wouldn’t describe most moms as cool and hip (sorry mom!), those words are the embodiment of mom jeans. I personally bought a pair last winter break (Hollister’s Vintage Stretch Ultra High-Rise Mom Jeans for $59.95!) and have been wearing them nonstop to parties – with a cute bodysuit – or class lectures ever since.

Photo Via Style Du Monde

4. XL cuffing jeans

Every once in a while, I cuff the ends of my jeans to make them look different – hipster, even? Though this may sound like a common thing to do, XL cuffed jeans are one of the hottest new denim styles right now. These jeans come already folded, with a fold larger than anything you would ever do on your own. This extra touch at the bottom of your jeans not only makes them stand out, but also elevates the whole look. My favorite pair, the Ribcage Straight Selvedge Jeans by Levi’s, can be bought for $98. They are perfect for any event from a downtown Chicago concert to a Spring Quarter afternoon discussion section!


Though the classic skinny jean is always a safe choice, different styles have lately been making their way into the fashion spotlight. So next time you’re thinking of trying something new, why not branch out in a wide leg jean or an XL cuffed one? You might be surprised at the impact that jean design will have on how stylish and trendy you look!