I love skinny jeans. I didn’t at first, but once I gave them a try, I haven’t looked back. I wear skinny jeans with flip flops, with ballet flats, and in the winter I tuck them into my boots. I have a dark pair, a medium blue pair, a black pair and a gray pair. (Update: and now a red, a green, and a white pair!)
I know what you’re gonna say. A lot of people think they can’t wear skinny jeans, but it’s really all about proportion.
Here are a few general rules of thumb about how to wear skinny jeans, and when to break them.
1. Wear skinny jeans and jeggings with a voluminous top, fitted jacket, or a long cardigan.
When I first wrote this post, this was definitely the rule. But nowadays you will see skinny jeans worn with all sorts of tops. If you are new to the trend, you might feel more comfortable wearing them with a longer top, but as you get more accustomed to wearing them, try them with various styles on top. It really depends on your body proportions and comfort level. Here are a few sample outfits with skinny jeans.
TIP: If you’re shy about wearing a skinny jean or jegging, opt for a straight leg jean. They give you the slimmer silhouette without the dreaded ice cream cone effect. This is a great way to break into the trend without going whole-hog. Although that’s probably not the best choice of expression. *giggle*
2. Wear skinny jeans with boots.
Virtually everyone agrees that skinny jeans look great tucked into boots. The added bulk of the boot on the bottom provides balance so that even girls with junk in the trunk can pull off the skinny jean with boots. It took me a while to find boots that worked for me. I am rather, er, top heavy, with wide hips and skinny legs, so I feel best in boots that are a little more bulky.
But what do you do when it’s too warm to wear boots?
I read one article that said to always wear skinnies with ballet flats or boots and to leave the heels for the super models. But the same night that I read this article, I was with a friend who can pull off skinny jeans with heels like nobody’s business. She was wearing them with a pair of high-heeled slides and looked adorable. Her secret? She’s about 5’2″ and is very well proportioned. She almost always wears heels because she wants the added height, and they actually help her achieve the proper proportion with the skinny jeans.
If you’re a plus sized gal, don’t think you can’t wear skinny jeans. Try them. You might be surprised. My best advice is to wear them with a chunkier shoe to balance out your frame. And you probably want to wear them with a more voluminous top, but this really depends on your proportions. Perhaps a fitted blazer on top will work best for you. Consider the looks below.
The next day I saw another article that said to only wear skinny jeans with heels, that wearing them with flats makes one look stumpy. But I take umbrage with that blanket statement. With my giraffe legs, I look much better when I pair skinny jeans with flats.
So what’s a girl to do?
It really depends on your body type.
If you’re short, or you have short legs for your frame, heels may work just fine. Since I’m leggy, I’m much more comfortable wearing my skinny jeans with flats or tucked into knee-high boots. I generally save my heels for my boot cut jeans. That said, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, and if I suddenly decide to start wearing skinny jeans with heels, I will plead the fifth.
UPDATE: My eye has adjusted, and I have, in fact, been known to wear skinny jeans with high-heeled pumps on certain fancy occasions.
I think when it comes to heels vs. flats, you have to ask yourself two questions: What do I feel most comfortable in? and What looks best on ME? (Not the super model in the magazine or your 21-year-old neighbor next door.)
3. Go for a dark wash. Fit is key, but dark colors generally are more slimming than light colors. Again, all these rules fly out the window if you are young and thin and perfectly proportioned. (Lucky you! Of course, we all kind of hate you.) But for most of us, a skinny jean will look best in a dark, consistent wash.
4. Ultimately, wear what you like and feel good in. If that’s a boot-cut jean, then so be it. Give yourself permission to opt out of any trend that doesn’t work for you. You can be stylish and modern without being trendy. In fact, I highly recommend it.
How about you? Are skinny jeans a do or a don’t? If they’re a do, how do you make them work for you?