Skinny jeans are my wardrobe Everest, my fashion nemesis and my daily style kryptonite. We all have a thing that we'd describe as just not me, but why does my particular pain point have to be the very linchpin of almost every other closet across the globe? Skinny jeans have become an entirely trusted part of any girl's repetoire—they are, according to everyone everywhere, one of the most versatile, easy-to-throw-on things to wear. But are they? Really?
Ever since the super-skinny drainpipe jeans found their way from the '80s and back into the regular lineup of fashion choices for a trend-seeking girl in the mid-noughties, my mistrust and hatred toward the sausage-skin denim prison haven't wavered. Oh, I've tried black denim, high-waisted jeans, different hemlines, cut-off hemlines, hundreds of designer brands, skinny jeans that have been specifically tailored to my legs, side-zips, no-zips, stretch, no stretch… Every possible iteration of skinny jeans has been exhausted, and no person could doubt my efforts, but my legs—and my look—just won't have it.
Maybe it's because I'm petite and (admittedly) chunky-of-thigh. It could be down to the fact that I veer more towards the '60s and '70s than any other decade—and we all know skinny jeans were not a key part of the style lexicon then. Some of my friends may argue that I consider skinny jeans to be too "mainstream" and have therefore rejected them out of some sort of sartorial spite—I'm more convinced it's that feeling of suffocation and having nowhere to hide… Either way, I'm sure I'm not alone and the good news is that denim brands, designers and the high street now cater to more varied jeans tastes: There are SO many other options on offer.
So if you're of the skinny jeans–loathing variety, I bring you my best alternatives. Keep reading to see the denim styles you'll love—even if you do love your skinnies to death…
Style Notes: Perhaps one of my favourite options, the cropped flare is a surprisingly flattering silhouette that still continues to look directional and different.
Style Notes: An oldie but a goodie, a pair of hip-hugging boyfriend jeans can be just as good during downtime on the weekends as they can be for dressing up with a fancy top and heels.
Style Notes: Nothing is more leg-lengthening or quite so elegant (in denim terms, at least) as a pair of indigo or dark-wash, super-sleek flares. We love the idea of wearing a pair with heels and a plain Breton tee, such as this one.
Style Notes: Not quite a short flare, not quite a boyfriend, not quite a traditional straight-leg jean… This inbetweener actually looks smarter than most, and the shrunken crop means it's more flattering than a longer hemline—a flash of ankle breaks up the silhouette.
Style Notes: For girls who usually wear tailoring, this is the answer. They also look so good with knee-high boots when the temperature dips.
Style Notes: The most fashion-forward option of them all, the baggy, super-long jean is back en vogue and being worn with equally slouchy tops balanced out by heels. Comfy…
For some major inspiration, check out these 33 chic looks from the streets of Paris Fashion Week.