How to Wear Men’s Skinny Jeans

by Jamie Wilson

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

Skinny jeans are one of the most popular items of men’s clothing around, and it’s not hard to see why. A staple piece of 20th Century fashion, these trousers have come a long way. This guide will demonstrate the variety of different ways you can style this classic piece of denim menswear. 

Best Men’s Skinny Jeans

Spray On/Super Skinny

Spray-on skinny are easily the tightest of jean styles. Arguably closer to a pair of leggings than jeans, the denim will usually come with a nice elastic lining, making them more comfortable to wear. This daring piece of clothing is great for showing your figure and works well with baggier, oversized tops.

Styles Of Skinny Jeans

Most skinny jean styles are made with a mix of cotton and elastane. The elastane gives the jeans an element of comfort and ease when wearing them, so you’re not struggling to get them on and off and you will be able to move in them. A standard pair of skinny jeans don’t taper down the leg quite as much as super skinny jeans do and they have a slightly wider ankle opening.

This makes skinny jeans much more versatile than a pair of super skinny ones. The slightly wider leg allows tall, slim guys to achieve a sharp look while still maintaining a balance between height and width. For those with big upper bodies and smaller legs, standard styles place more focus on the outfit as a whole rather than just the bottom half.

mens skinny jeans and boots street style

How to Wear Skinny Jeans for Men


This is a great look for all the rockers – it’s easy to adapt to both spray on and standard skinny jeans. Stick to dark shades, so mostly black, and you’ll pull off the look easily. A pair of black skinny jeans and black shoes is an excellent way to keep a sense of uniformity within this outfit. All black everything is a style rule that every man should follow and as it’s such an easy way to dress that there’s not much you can really get wrong.


The grunge look works perfectly with a pair of skinny jeans. This style is all about appearing effortlessly cool and casual. Although the 90s rock movement often favoured baggier clothing, the skinny design is an excellent way to modernise this classic outfit. Wear the skinny jeans with a denim jacket and slogan tee, and finish it off with some lace up shoes or boots. Don’t over do it with colour, keeping things neutral and of similar tones.

Night Out

This will most probably be your go-to look, as it’s one of the easiest to pull off. It’s also particularly versatile, working both for a night out or in a laid back work setting. Men in skinny jeans will always be able to pull off this great smart casual aesthetic. Unlike other trousers, they manage to compliment both formal and casual outfits. A smart overcoat layered over a shirt and jumper combo will be the perfect smart casual outfit perfect for a Sunday in the pub.

mens ripped black skinny jeans street style

What Shoes to Wear with Skinny Jeans

One of the main questions you’ll be asking is, what shoes do I wear with skinny jeans? And the answer’s easy. Men’s shoes for skinny jeans leave you with endless possibilities, as anything goes.

Smart Shoes to Wear with Skinny Jeans

You’d be surprised, but smart shoes look great with a pair of men’s skinny jeans. The best pieces of formal footwear to wear with men’s skinny jeans are:

  • Formal shoe – A classic style. Stick to black and brown shades, as these can be paired with any colour skinny jeans.
  • Loafer – A great alternative to the brogue and a better option for warmer months. Again opt for black and brown shades to keep the look trim.

Casual Shoes

These are the typical shoes you’ll mostly be teaming with your best skinny jeans for men.

  • Trainers: You can wear them both casually or as smart-casual. Skinny jeans and high tops look great for a laid back approach. Skinny jeans and low tops are perfect for that smart casual vibe.
  • Chelsea Boots: These can be worn for both formal and casual occasions depending on what you team the duo with – a tee for chilled and a crisp shirt for a dressed down formal look.
  • Desert Boots: The same rules apply as Chelsea boots. You can dress them up and down. Stick to neutral shades to make the most out of them.

The Best Styles for Different Shapes

Skinny Jeans For Big Guys

Balance and proportion are hugely important when it comes to skinny jeans, and bigger guys would be better off choosing slim fits rather than skinny, as they offer a similar close cut while being more flattering the figure. As these are a looser fit, the jeans allow for more room for bulkier thighs and will draw less attention to your legs. Although they’re slightly different, it doesn’t mean they’re just skinny jeans for fat guys as you can style them in exactly the same way.

Another thing to avoid when choosing your skinny jeans is to make sure they’re not too thin or made from an overly stretchy fabric. Stretchy fabric tends to ‘stick’ to the skin and you don’t want anything that’ll be too clingy and figure hugging.

Skinny Jeans For Skinny Guys

If you have skinny/slim legs, you can opt for both super skinny jeans and regular skinny jeans, but make sure to keep it baggier on top so you don’t look too gangly. When it comes to slimmer guys in skinny jeans, wearing a monochrome outfit can be a great way to achieve a minimalist style that matches your frame. mens skinny jeans and formal shoes


  • Light: These are best for casual outfits, a pint at the pub or a night out, as they can easily be teamed with both a crisp shirt or a plain, fitted tee. Light jeans are currently a big trend and are easy to adapt into any wardrobe. They can be paired with almost anything and everything and can take you through smart-casual events.
  • Dark: These are the easiest to style and are great for taking you from day to night with ease. They’re easier to add in with any outfit and will suit everyone’s style – with such a wide variety of styles, you’ll end up having countless pairs. From black to indigo, the possibilities are endless. They are also great to pair with smart shoes such as brogues and loafers, teamed with a blazer for a formal look.

Skinny Jean Fit

This is probably the most important factor when buying men’s skinny jeans. If you don’t know your size, get your waist and inner leg measured.


This is the number that will appear on the label, such as 32R, which is your waist size. When putting the jeans on, they should slide up with ease. If you’re struggling, then they’re probably too tight. This particularly applies to fastening the button. If you’re struggling to do your flies up then they’re too tight. You should be able to easily slide your finger in between your waist and the jeans itself. If you can’t then, again, simply go for the next size up. If you’re looking for the best slim jeans for big guys then try finding some big waist skinny jeans to give that extra leeway.


This is the letter next to the number, such as 32R – the R meaning a regular length. Leg sizes go by your inner leg, so from your crotch to your ankle. They’re determined by short (S) a 29 inch length, regular (R) a 31 inch length, and long (L) a 33 inch length. There are also extra long options for very long legs. It’s best to opt for the length that best sits on your ankle, but if you are after a shorter pair to emulate ankle grazers then go for a short.

The Pinch Test

Another great way to find the best skinny jean is the pinch test to ensure they look flattering. Pinch the denim around the top of your thigh. If you get some slack of about an inch or two in your fingers, then your jeans should look quite flattering. If you struggle to pinch enough material, then it could mean that your jeans are too tight.

bmx skinny jeans mens streetstyle

How to Wear Men’s Skinny Jeans

  • Skinny jeans are best worn in darker tones, so black, dark blue and grey are always the safest options.
  • Both formal and casual styled shoes work well with skinny jeans, meaning you can wear them for all occasions.
  • Make sure the fits right, as you want the jeans to be appropriate for your body shape and not be overly tight on your legs.
  • If you have a stocky build, switch the skinnies for a straight leg as this will balance out your body a lot more.
mens black skinny jeans overcoat

On That Note

Skinny jeans are currently one of the biggest styles of men’s jeans there are, and it’s thanks to their versatility. Due to the vast amount of colours, fits, styles and fabrics, you’re able to use them for a number of events, take them from day to night, and also take them through to any season. What’s not to love?

Feature image from Pinterest

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