Finishes and Textures: The New Feel

Remember distressed jeans? They're baaaaack, and this time they're called "destroyed" and deployed on denim that's more siren-skinny than boyfriend-baggy. Sometimes the destruction is subtle, with frayed hems finishing otherwise sleek pairs, while other jeans are totally shredded. Tonal color-blocked patchwork (echoing the '70s) is the designer denim texture of choice, with Western-inspired embroidery detail coming in a close second. Night-right pairs sparkle with sequins, studs and beading, or go supercool with metallic burnout or stamped designs. If you like your jeans clean, choose the sexy glow of coated or waxed denim (especially in colors besides blue), or pull on a pair in leather - either real or faux. A massive trend this year, skinny leather jeans are the skin to be in.

Cuts and Shapes: Taking Form

"Skinnies" are undeniably the hottest denim silhouette at the moment and look to stay that way for some time to come. Their snug factor ranges from slender to skintight, and they're the chicest, cleanest way to wear bold color, busy prints or bodacious texture and embellishment. Don't dig the stovepipe denim? There are gorgeous alternatives, and they're on-trend, too. With their wide legs and high waists, '70s-style jeans are comfortable and laid-back chic. Wide-leg trouser jeans, some tailored with front pleats, are elegant enough for the office. Then there's the timeless boyfriend jean, with this year's model a little more fitted, and a little less sloppy and shapeless. Cropped denim cuts a trim figure: Make sure the hem hits just above the ankle for the most modern take.