Skinny jeans have become a staple piece in wardrobes during recent years, both for men and women. That feeling when you find the perfect pair of skinny jeans can be something of euphoria, especially if when you’ve tried on hundreds of pairs!
As well as a traditional denim wash colour, skinny jeans have become so popular that they are now available in an array of colours, textures, and materials. Some have embellishments and added features on them, some are sleek and classic in look, while some are ripped, faded and designed for a more casual style.
Whichever you prefer, you need to make sure you know how to style them. If you have no idea where to start and always reach for the same footwear, keep reading and we will guide you in the right direction.
The evolution of skinny jeans
Although introduced to the American market as early as 1962, skinny jeans didn’t become a mainstream product in the UK until 2005. Customers were dubious at first but since then, they have been a staple in most women’s wardrobes.
They came onto the men’s market in 2008, although they are more of a fitted jean, rather than a skin-tight style. In the past couple of years, super skinny jeans have appeared in stores, marketed towards younger people. These have been renamed ‘jeggings’ due to their super tight fit, similar to leggings.
Initially, they were thought to be for younger, slimmer people but since then, they have had a universal appeal. Because they come in so many different colours and washes, they can cover a wide range of ages and shapes. They now come tailored in petite, tall, and plus-size, so there really is a pair of skinny jeans for anyone!
Why choose skinny jeans over other styles
What makes you reach for your skinny jeans over all of your other pairs of jeans? Is it because they fit you better or is it all you’ve ever known? We’ve gathered our favourite reasons as to why we love to our skinny jeans are our number one choice.
- They are practical: Because of their slim fit, you can wear them with a wider range of footwear, more so than any other style. They now come in super stretchy fabrics which makes them comfortable AND stylish: what more could a woman want?
- They are versatile: Dress them up or down, wear them casually for running errands or for a night on the town. They can even be tucked into boots without excess material, which makes them the perfect jeans for all footwear.
- They come in a variety of styles: We recommend buying a dark wash for a sleeker, classic look and a lighter wash for casual days but there aren’t really any rules. You might even prefer a coloured pair or a patterned pair if bright colours are more your style. Don’t forget to keep the rest of your outfit neutral to make your coloured jeans stand out!
- Anyone can wear them: There’s no age limit on who can rock a pair of skinny jeans, whether you’re old, young or somewhere in between. It’s all about how you style them and picking the items that match your style best. If you already know your style, it will be easier to grab the items you want to wear with them. If you have no idea what your style is, don’t be afraid to try different options with your jeans before you find your groove.
Finding the perfect fit
This will be the most relatable section for all of the women reading: finding the perfect pair of jeans is one of life’s hardest tasks. It can be a nightmare if you have no idea what you’re looking for. It can be overwhelming when it seems there is just so much choice on the market, and even in one shop. To help you find the perfect fit, we’ve come up with a series of questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing a brand new pair.
- Know your size: By this, we don’t mean clothes sizes because they can fluctuate from store to store. You can be a size 12 in one shop, then go next door and be a 16. Old-school measurements using a tape measure are the best way to go. Jot them down in the notes section on your phone or in a notepad so you will have them wherever you go. The two main measurements you’ll need are your waist and inside leg length.
- Think about the fit you want: With so many styles on the market, regular skinny jeans are just one type of skinny jean. There are now relaxed skinny fit and super skinny fit as well as low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise skinny jeans. There are also special fits for petite, tall and plus-size women, so there really is a pair of skinny jeans for everyone!
- Choose a wash: There are a tonne of colour choices out there when it comes to jeans: dark, light, mid-wash, black, grey as well as every colour under the sun. Darker washes tend to be easier to dress up and down whereas lighter washes are perfect for the summer months. Risk-taker? Try a bright colour or patterned skinny jeans!
- Try as many pairs on as you want: We understand this can be overwhelming, so we suggest trying on lots of pairs until you find the right ones for you. It can take some time but it is worth it in the end when you find that perfect pair that fit like a glove.
When to wear skinny jeans
Skinny jeans are probably the most versatile items you will ever have in your wardrobe. There are a whole host of tops, shoes and accessories you can wear with them and it all comes down to your own personal style as well as the occasion.
Dressing down/casual occasions: If you’re running errands, going on a shopping trips or lunch with friends or family, skinny jeans are your go-to pair of jeans. Pairing them with your favourite flat shoes means you can be comfortable yet chic during your daily activities.
Dressing up/smart-casual occasions: If you’re going on a night-out, an evening meal out or a dressier event, dark wash skinny jeans should be your preferred option. Adding a pair of heels and a clutch bag to a daytime outfit instantly brings an outfit from casual to dressy.
We don’t recommend wearing skinny jeans for formal events, such as weddings, black-tie events, interviews and meetings or to the office (this depends on the office dress code). Although they can be dressed up, they are not considered formalwear. The key is to always look at the dress code for any event before thinking about your outfit.
When to wear cropped jeans
We stock cropped skinny jeans all year round but most stores will have them in the lead up to summer. Switching out your full-length skinny jeans for a cropped version during the day allows you to let some skin breathe. Cropped jeans can be difficult to style for night-time and more formal looks so we recommend sticking to casual outfits with them.
How to choose the right shoes for skinny jeans
Skinny jeans can be flattering on so many women of all shapes and sizes, so if you don’t have a pair yet, what are you waiting for? When it comes to your footwear, your main focus should be on what activity you’ll be doing when wearing your outfit. Is it during the day or is it a night-time event? Will you be sitting down mostly or will you be spending the majority of your time walking or standing up?
During the day: Flat shoes are a must for daytime outfits, especially if you’re going to be doing plenty of walking. With skinny jeans, you have such a wide range of choices when it comes to footwear. If you want to keep it super casual, such as taking the children to school or doing the food shop, pairing skinny jeans with a pair of sneakers or canvas trainers gives you the ultimate comfort factor.
Because of their fit, skinny jeans are the perfect jeans to wear with boots, whether they’re knee-length or ankle-length. We love tucking our skinny jeans into a pair of statement wellies, like our Ripon II High Gloss Wellies in Rose, when walking the dog, or into a pair of Kirby Suede Chelsea Boots in Navy which look great on a shopping trip. Matching your boots to your jeans elongates your legs too, perfect for those petite ladies!
A favourite look of ours is adding a pair of loafers to your outfit; it’s a great look for those occasions when you want to add a classic style to your outfit.
During the evening: Dressing for evening events is either something you know how to do well or you’ve never quite nailed down your style. For those occasions when you have to dress up but don’t want to look too dressy, skinny jeans are the best alternative to wearing a dress or skirts and they’re especially great during the colder months.
Adding a pair of heeled boots still keeps the look casual but adds a dressier element to it. Our Kirby II Suede Heeled Boots would look great on a meal out with friends or family or for a night at the pub.
If you want to dress up even more, adding a pair of heels or wedges is always a safe option. If you keep your outfit as plain as you can, statement heels can steal the show. Try a metallic pair or a bright colour if you want to add a pop of colour.
How to choose the right shoes for cropped jeans
The main rule of cropped jeans is to not wear them with boots. The idea is to show off your calves and ankles as much as you can and boots would look odd. Loafers and deck shoes are a smarter alternative to trainers and can be worn just as easily.
Ballet flats look super stylish and very Parisian when paired with cropped jeans. Think like Audrey Hepburn and add a classic nude or black pair; this look is perfect for shopping trips and lunch with the girls.
Some people think that skinny jeans are just for younger people, but if you know how to style them and which shoes go best with them, anyone can wear them.
Think about where you’ll wear your skinny jeans the most, try on lots of pairs until you find the perfect fit and then gather your footwear to try on with them.
It always comes down to your personal style but whether you’re a more casual dresser or you love to dress up, skinny jeans have a place in every woman’s wardrobe and won’t be going anywhere any time soon.