Since its arrival on the men’s fashion scene, skinny jeans has been awarded the title of being one of the most polarising trends. Love it or loathe it, they won’t be leaving the stores anytime soon. A trademark look for the alternative younger crowd in its early days, the more daring and savvy amongst the older gents have come to embrace the trend in a tasteful fashion. A versatile wardrobe staple, skinny jeans can be easily incorporated in outfits throughout the seasons to achieve different looks.
Whether you were an early adopter or only just starting to explore the world of skinny denim, here’s our top tips on how to wear men’s skinny jeans without looking like you’ve just raided your girlfriend or sister’s wardrobe.
HERE’S THE SKINNY ON STYLING SKINNY JEANS FOR MEN
Not all skinny jeans are created equal. There are two types you’ll find on the market: the ’standard’ and the ’spray on’. Starting with the latter, as its namesake insinuates, the spray on skinny jean often comes with a high proportion of stretch elastane, allowing for a skin tight look from top to bottom. The hems are designed to taper down and hug the ankles for a spray on, second skin feel. A word of warning when it comes to these babies, they leave nothing to the imagination and it goes without saying that they’ll be pretty uncomfortable if you plan on enjoying a few drinks after work. In saying that, if you’ve been blessed with balanced proportions to pull spray on jeans off, then by all means, go for it and rock it.
The second type you’ll find in stores are the standard skinny jeans. This style still hugs the thighs and tapers down, but maintain a slightly wider opening at the ankle than its brother. The standard skinny jean has been the more widely adopted style amongst young and old, due to its more forgiving fit and it’s our personal favourite when it comes to styling various looks.
NAILING THE SMART CASUAL LOOK
From boot leg to straight cut, just like any other denim look, the skinny jean is perfect for smart casual occasions. With its tapered cut, it creates a sharper and tidier slimline silhouette, without creating unsightly added bulk. For strictly casual occasions, skinny jeans with ripped knees can work wonders in lessening the severity of the look by incorporating more texture and dimension.
- Basic Tee + Sneakers: This is a given. Grab your favourite plain tee and chuck on your favourite kicks for an effortless, off-duty look. To smarten it up, reconsider your footwear and choose leather boat shoes, brogues or a desert boot for a more polished finish. If it’s verging on the more casual of occasions and you’re wanting something a little edgier, opt for a monochromatic theme. Think black band tee and you guessed it, black ripped skinnies with black sneakers or boots. Pull the look together with your go-to aviators and you’re set. Feeling a tad chilly? Pull on a shawl cardigan or crew neck jumper for added warmth, check out our two cents on styling this season’s knitwear essentials.
- Oxford Shirt + Brogues: A classic combo for smart casual events, you can never go wrong with a neatly pressed, collared shirt and beautiful leather shoes. Keep the look on the smarter side by choosing a darker pair of skinny jeans such as navy or black, and stick to a solid wash. If you’re leaving your shirt untucked, add some height and proportion to your outfit by cuffing your jeans to show a flash of ankle.
TASTEFULLY DRESSED UP
While some oldies might still disagree, denim has definitely worked hard over the years to become a staple for more formal occasions. Choose a standard fit pair that veers on a straighter cut, in a solid darker colour. No fraying, no holes, no rips, no fading and definitely no outlining of the nether regions, and you can rest easy that your skinny jeans will go down a treat.
- Blazer + Shirt + Dress Shoes: Perfect for work cocktail drinks or that engagement party you have on the weekend, dress up your dark skinny jeans with a blazer. Keep it looking streamlined by tucking your shirt into the waistband and finishing the look with a nice leather belt. Put your best foot forward in a pair of polished dress shoes for that perfect final touch. Don’t forget, keep any facial hair in check and book in with the barber if the hairdo looks like it needs some work.
- Formal Shirt + Monk Strap Shoes: If the weather doesn’t permit for a blazer or outer layer, you can still dress up your skinny jeans by choosing a more formal shirt, in a stiffer material to minimise any creasing through the day. It goes without saying that the shirt must be tucked in, no excuses. Monk strap shoes will add a classic touch without looking too over the top. The devil is in the details, dress up your outfit by adding tasteful accessories. Opt for some quirky cufflinks and a tie or bow tie will also instantly add a more formal touch to your ensemble.
KNOW YOUR PROPORTIONS AND WORK IT TO YOUR FAVOUR
If skinny jeans are a foreign territory for you and you’re still in doubt on what is considered too tight, do the pinch test. Try pinching the denim around your thigh, if you’re struggling to gather any material, give those jeans a pass. You’ll want an inch or two of slack for the most flattering fit.
Without sounding like a broken record, check your proportions and make sure everything is in balance before you step out. Skinny jeans can leave little to the imagination so you’ll want all the other elements of your outfit to be on point. For more tips, read our last blog on how to style your denim.