Beyond Skinny Jeans

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Are you team ‘I love my skinny jeans’ or team ‘I’m done with skinny jeans’? Whichever team you’re on, I have news for you. Skinny jeans are not dead (contrary to what you may have heard). But they are no longer the only option.

For years, the only thing you could find in stores was skinnies. You’d walk into Nordstrom or Banana Republic or J Crew and you’d find a bunch of variations on the skinny. And a couple bootcut in the back. So, if you didn’t love skinny jeans, you were pretty much out of luck – unless you were prepared to do some hunting.

But now there are options. Slim straight. Straight. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Bootcut. Flare. Cropped bootcut. Cropped flare. Wide leg. Ok, maybe there are too many choices.

So, if you’re finally ready to stop wearing skinny jeans as your only denim choice, what do you do next? Read my tips.


First, I want to share my advice on trying something new. Because the last thing I want you to do is jump into the deep end of the denim pool – especially if you’ve been wading in skinny jeans for years. So, here’s my simple idea on trying new denim fits, in a totally comfortable way.

Try one new thing first. And by that, I mean just trying one new aspect rather than going for all new, all at once. So, if you’re used to dark wash skinny jeans with minimal details and a regular hem, do not go for pale blue wide leg jeans with distressed knees and a frayed hem. The shape of the jeans will be the new thing – so stick with a color you love (dark wash) with details you’re used to (like a regular hem).

The same thing goes when you’re trying anything brand new. Pick a new color – but in a familiar shape. Or a new shape – in a color you love. Or new details – in a fabric that you know feels great. And if you’re looking for other easy ways to try something new, click here.


If skinny jeans are basically the only jeans you’ve worn for years, then a gradual transition may be helpful. And here’s how: try jeans that fit similar to your skinnies through the waist, hip and upper thigh – but then go straight down from your knees.

Certain brands will refer to these as ‘straight’, others may call them ‘slim straight’ (and some brands might even still call them ‘skinny’). By going for styles that are looser from the knee down, you’re giving yourself the chance to get used to jeans that don’t hug your ankle. And if you’re shopping in a store and can’t tell which is which – take the bottom hem of the jeans and fold them up to the knee. If the hem is narrower than the knee, they’re probably skinny. If the hem is about the same as the knee, they’re straight. And if the hem is significantly wider, they’re most likely bootcut or flare.

Two more quick tips. First, this will take getting used to. You may love it right away or it may be very different when you look in the mirror. Second, experiment with the length of your jeans. You might like your jeans a little shorter when they’re wider at the ankle (my ideal length is 1-2” above your ankle bone). Or you may prefer a cuff, especially with a chunkier shoe. And also experiment with shoes – you might like different shoes/booties with a straight leg jean than with your skinnies. If you have questions, read this for a few tips on how to wear booties and jeans.


Where you go after trying straight leg jeans is up to you. But I can tell you what has worked for a bunch of my clients:

Girlfriend/boyfriend jeans – are a favorite of many of my clients when they’re looking for a more relaxed style. They generally have a fuller leg and more room through the hip and thigh. Boyfriend jeans are just what they say. They’re patterned after a men’s jean, so they tend to be straighter from waist to hip. Girlfriend jeans are the boyfriend jean that’s made for a woman’s figure – so it allows for curves better than a boyfriend cut.

Bootcut/flare jeans – are what you may prefer when you’re wearing jeans with heels or heeled booties (and you want to wear your jeans over your booties, as opposed to just above). Just be sure you can commit to heels, especially after a year in slippers.

Cropped jeans – are a great option, especially if you love booties. Cropped jeans come in different fits (straight, boot, flare, etc.). So, you’ll need to decide which fit you like most – which may be different from what you like full length.

Wide leg jeans – are the biggest departure from skinny jeans, since they generally fall straight from your hip. You’ll need to get used to the leg width, but they are a great way to balance a curvy figure.

One thing I want to reiterate – give yourself a chance to get used to non-skinny jeans. A new shape can be a challenging, since it looks and feels different at the same time. So, don’t buy a new denim wardrobe all at once. Try a pair, see how it feels, and take it from there.

Do you have a hard time trying new styles? Sometimes it’s easier to shop with a partner who has an objective eye – specifically, someone who knows your lifestyle and understands your needs. And that’s what I do with my clients. Before we ever go shopping, I spend time getting to know you. And then we spend time in your closet to figure out what works (and what doesn’t).

Are you curious about what it’s like to work with a stylist? Click here to read what my clients have to say about how I helped them evolve their style. And click here if you’d like to set up a free discovery call to chat about the different ways we can work together.


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