Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Despite being every guy’s go to item at the moment, they’re not for everyone. And that’s ok. Here’s our guide on some slick alternative options to the skinny jeans.
There’s a saying that goes like this: “Skinny jeans are for people with skinny genes.” Basically, while skinny jeans can set a look off perfectly on a slimmer frame, some of us just aren’t the right build to pull skinny jeans off.
But that’s okay, we’re all different and not all styles suit all men. Fashion and life in general would be pretty boring if we all had the same body shape and we all looked good in the same clothes. So rather than try and force a square peg in to a round hole or more to the point, chunky legs in to skinny jeans, why not give some other styles a go?
So, if skinny jeans just aren’t right for you, don’t despair, help is at hand. Check out our quick guide to some of the other options out there for all of us who can’t, or don’t, want to squeeze in to skinny jeans. You can still look sharp, but you just won’t cut off the blood supply to any vital body parts.
There’s a whole world of other options out there, and rather than put yourself through the trauma of trying to fit in to a pair of jeans that stop you from sitting down and take 20 minutes to put on in the morning, sometimes it’s better to bite the bullet and just go for another choice. You can still however achieve the slim lined, alternative yet versatile look that skinny jeans provide, but with some stylish alternatives.
1. Slim Jeans
Slim fit jeans are perfect if you’re looking for a more fitted jean, but just can’t manage to squeeze in to full on skinny jeans. They’re a great cut for a more fitted jean, and perfect if you’re looking for a pair to dress up for an occasion. They’re great for tall guys who want to accentuate their height, but don’t have the frame for skinny jeans.
For a smart look pair them with a long sleeved Oxford shirt and brogues, chukka boots or good old fashioned lace ups. This look is the perfect coming together of comfort and style, and is versatile enough that you can add details like watches, caps or jewellery to make more of a statement.
2. Relaxed Tapered Jeans
The beauty of these jeans is their versatility. It’s a style that has a place in practically any man’s wardrobe, and can be dressed up or down, and looks great either way. A tapered fit basically gives a slightly more slimming impression, with the bottom of the jeans tapering in at the ankle. It looks great on most body types and can be paired with pretty much any kind of shoes and shirts.
To achieve a more relaxed look, pair these with simple lace up trainers, and a simple T-shirt. For a smarter look try pairing them with brogue boots and a simple button up shirt.
Chinos are a great alternative to the skinny jean, as they offer a comfort and a fitted feel, without falling in to the group of being labelled a skinny pant. Also, like most great jeans, they’re adaptable and will fit in with almost any outfit and style. Not to forget, they come in a wide range of colours and fits, so you can find the pair that fit you perfectly. If you’re looking for a pair of trousers you can throw on for a day or evening out, these are perfect, and they will ensure you’re still looking smart but stylish.
We recommend matching these up with white trainers such as Converse, then keep it simple with a black chunky crew neck jumper or sweatshirt.
4. Slim Tapered Jeans
Slim tapered are a modern twist on the standard slim jean. These have a skinny fit towards the ankle, offering the illusion of a slimmer fit than they are. They also feature comfort stretch, so feeling great and unrestricted is paired with looking good. With a slightly less casual look than slim straight jeans, they have the comfort of everyday jeans, but can be smartened up with a pair of brogue boots or loafers and a button up shirt.
Wear with some brown boots for a casual look, such as the Hudson Angus boots, and a short sleeve navy shirt. This look offers the perfect mix of smart and casual and the worn jeans set the look off to perfection.
5. Customised Tapered Jeans
They’re a new addition to the field of jeans, but one that has hit the top of the list for many. These are an absolute classic when it comes to jeans, there is nothing more iconic and synonymous with the word jean, than Levi’s 501s. If you only have one pair of jeans, they should probably be these. Their unique cut works great in a light denim, and can be paired with some simple plimsolls for a relaxed summery look, or flat brogues for a smartened up one.
Pictured above, this straight leg cut, light blue jean is pretty versatile, but we’d recommend pairing with these classic kicks, such as the Converse and a standard crew neck tee. It’s a simple look, but also a classic.
The Guide to Alternatives for Skinny Jeans
- Slim fit jeans – Stick with the skinny jeans fitted look, but leave a little more room to move around in. Work with all outfits and styles.
- Relaxed tapered jeans – They give a slim aesthetic without swamping your legs. Work well with all styles, shapes and sizes.
- Chinos – Still fairly fitted, depending on what fit you go for. They work well for casual days out paired with a jumper and trainers, or smarter evenings out paired with a shirt and shoes.
- Slim tapered jeans – Similar to the slim fit jeans, but they taper towards the bottom. Give a skinnier aesthetic, without restricting your waist line too much. Work well for casual outfits, or pair with brogues to smarten up.
- Customised tapered jeans – Levi’s 501’s are a great alternative to skinny jeans. They sit really well on the body and taper down towards the bottom. Pair with boat shoes or plimsolls for casual fits, or some shoes for an evening out.
So if you’ve been trying and failing to pull off the skinny jean look, don’t panic, and rather than suffer in an impossibly tight pair of trousers, simply seek out an alternative.
It’s a pretty sensible move to find a look that suits your body shape and individual style, rather than force yourself in to a pair of skinny jeans that don’t look right. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably natures’ way of telling you not to do it, and go for one of these great options instead.