The Imminent Death of Skinny Jeans and How to Deal


It’s been a full decade since skinny jeans took hold of the market – likely since the time you were beginning to form an actual fashion sense if you’re in college now – and they still have an obvious grip on most peoples’ wardrobes. Look around at the bar, or in class, and odds are that most denim is of the skinny jean variety. Slowly, though, those odds are changing. It started in 2015 with the boyfriend jean, a looser style meant to mimic the look of wearing a man’s oversized and usually distressed jeans. 2016 let mom jeans be cool again. Now we’re more than halfway through 2017, and looking at clothes for the upcoming season, it’s possible skinny jeans might be getting pushed out all together in the next few years. Take a look at the Gucci S/S18 ready to wear, for example, and you’ll see sequins, velvet, and bold print, all on wide-leg trousers. Not a skinny leg in sight. Fashion blogs have been predicting it for months, and it might actually be upon us – are skinny jeans finally dying?

I’ve heard many peers say that someone could take their skinny jeans out of their cold, dead hands, but trends are trends for a reason. Just as we look back at ’70s huge bell bottoms or the insane JNCO flares of the 90s with a bit of confusion, our kids might look back at our skintight jeans and wonder what we were thinking. Hanging on to a style after it’s past its prime isn’t a great look, so try not to feel to stuck in your skinny jean ways. Everything has its time, and things fall in and out of fashion. That’s part of the fun, as is trying to figure out what to do with a new trend when an old one finally falls off, and relaxed-fit jeans are definitely full of possibilities.

Honestly, it can be odd just looking at pants that aren’t skintight after years of an almost exclusive relationship with skinny jeans. Imagining how to style them is another challenge entirely, but the options are bountiful. You can go for something tamer, like the aforementioned boyfriend jeans, or a simple cropped-hem boot cut, and pair them with the same tops and shoes you wear with skinny jeans now. If you’re more adventurous and/or really want to get ahead of this new trend, you can opt for a full-on wide-leg pant. For jeans, you can pair them with a fitted top to balance them out, or throw on an equally flowy top for an early 2000s bohemian look. If you’re really into the athleisure thing, look to young artists like SZA and Billie Eilish to see how a wide-leg track pant can look stylish. If you’re really bold (or just love those Gucci pants that much), it’s also always an option to channel Harry Styles and go for an eye-catching floral print trouser to make the wide leg the focal point of your outfit.

Whatever you may choose to try out, remember a few things: first, you don’t have to do a full wardrobe overhaul if you don’t want to. We are not having a “sorry, my old jeans can’t come to the phone right now? why? oh, cause they’re dead” moment. Keep the skinny jeans if you love the skinny jeans; just be aware that you’re about to have a lot of other options. Second, for anyone thinking to themselves that they can’t pull off more relaxed fits, you’re wrong – with enough confidence, you can pull off anything. After confidence, proper fit is the most important factor in looking good in an item, and that remains true even for intentionally loose fitting garments. You don’t have to buy a pair of jeans that doesn’t fit your body just because it fits the trend – in fact, please don’t. But the next time you go shopping, do at least consider giving your legs a little more room to breathe.

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