Style & Beauty
Skinny Jeans are Dead. Long Live Comfort Denim!
11/16/2015 10:36:04 AM

Skinny Jeans

There was something missing at New York City’s Fall Fashion Week 2015: the "skinny” silhouette. Sure, there were still pin-thin models sidling down the runways, but what was missing were the black skinny jeans, an industry staple since 2007. Instead, skin-tight denim had been replaced by more comfortable looking options.

In case you haven’t been following denim trends, the skinny jean has been the choice of hipsters, fashionistas, and regular folk alike for nearly ten years. The jeans are more like leggings than denim: usually high-waisted and tapered to a super narrow fit at the ankle. The skinny jean was perfect with the sky-high heels of 2009 or the ankle bootie of 2010, but now, women are looking for new, more relaxed ways to wear their denim. Here are a few popular options:

The Boyfriend Fit

Meant to mimic the casual fit of men’s jeans, boyfriend jeans are loose at the hips and thighs, which make them much more comfortable than squeezing into skinny shapes. However, a word of caution, boyfriend fits can look frumpy with an oversized top, and they can make your lower half appear a little shapeless. If you love the fit of boyfriend jeans but still want to look tailored, pair them with a fitted top and cuff the ankles to add some shape.

Flares

High-end denim companies, like J Brand, are freeing the ankles as they abandon the skinny look. A flared jean is fitted through the waist and thighs, but loosens at the calf an ankle for a wider leg. However, if you’re imagining hip-hugging bell-bottoms, breathe easy. The new flares are subtler, with high waists, and look great with a simple tee or sweater.

Straight Leg

If you’re tired of chasing denim trends, try a straight leg. As the name implies, straight leg denim doesn’t taper or flare at the ankle. Instead, it stays a uniform length all the way down, making straight leg jeans fitted at the thigh and a bit looser at the bottom. Straight legs look great with most shoes and are generally flattering for all body types. One caveat: they do look sloppy if they’re bunched at the ankles. Consider having straight-legged denim hemmed so that it just grazes the top of your shoe or cuff to wear with ankle boots.

Most denim retailers, from designer brands like Rag and Bone to more affordable standards, like Gap, are breaking from the confines of the skinny jean to experiment with roomier styles. So, no matter your budget, next time you’re jean shopping, free your ankles! Life’s better loosened up.

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