Skinny jeans, particularly for men, have come a long way since their inception in the 1950s. Their popularity has fluctuated over the last six decades, but all the current evidence points towards men's skinny jeans being here to stay. Finally!
However, it hasn't been plain sailing for what is now a staple item in most men's wardrobes. The popularity of skinny jeans has dipped in and out of both fashion and favor with consumers and fashion designers alike.
Slim fitting denim first became popular in the 1950s with the birth of American rock n roll music and was made popular by icons like Elvis and James Dean. By the '60s they had become a firm favorite among musicians such as The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and it's a different story. By the 1990s skinny jeans fell well out of favor, replaced largely by baggy carpenter style jeans. Throughout the early 2000s, this rejection continued, but skinny jeans were then reintroduced into mainstream fashion for women by around 2005.
And, despite some initial resistance from consumers, men's skinny jeans finally started to gain popularity too, as fashion trends started to move away from the flared and baggy style jeans that had been popular for the last decade. Mass brands like Levis and Gap started to get in on the skinny jeans action, later creating elasticated varieties for better comfort and mobility.
While it was thought that the resurgence of skinny jeans would be a mere flash in the pan in the late 2000s, it now appears that men's skinny jeans are a fashion item that's here to stay.
But even though skinny jeans are popular and generally accepted as a legit fashion item for guys - that doesn't mean they're the easiest thing to pull off. There are a few common mistakes that guys make when styling skinny jeans. Read on, and make sure you're not making one of these fashion faux pas.
The Idle Man
Buying Skinny Jeans That Are the Wrong Fit
Even though people often say that you simply can't go wrong with denim (after all, it's always in fashion), styling a pair of skinny jeans properly it takes a little bit more effort than simply slinging on a pair and hoping for the best. First and foremost - it's all about getting the right fit. There's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to styling skinny jeans - even if you're buying, well, your size!
A common mistake when it comes to wearing skinny jeans is assuming that the cut and shape will be the same, and fit your body in the same way that regular straight leg jeans would.
Since skinny jeans are tight (obviously) its sometimes a good idea to buy a size that is an inch or two longer in length than your regular size. This can help prevent the jeans from riding upwards. Also, making sure your jeans aren't too tight around the waist is a must - as this can drastically alter your silhouette.
When fastening your jeans, you should be able to easily fit your finger between your waist and the waistband of the jeans. If you can't - they're too tight. Another good rule of thumb is to perform a 'pinch test' when shopping for a new pair of jeans. You should be able to pinch about an inch of slack from the denim at the top of your thigh. If not, again they're probably too tight.
Since not all men's skinny jeans are created equal, it's probably best to shop around and experiment with a couple of different sizes until you find the fit that's right for you.
Dressing The Wrong Style for Your Body Shape
Another common mistake when it comes to choosing or styling skinny jeans is picking the wrong style for your body shape. There's a line between jeans looking skinny, and jeans that simply look too tight.
It's a good idea to consider your body shape and size, then figure out what the best style is for you. For example, bigger guys might be more suited to choose slim-fit jeans rather than skinny, as these offer a very similar close cut but are better at flattering a heavier figure.
If you're slim, you could opt for skinny or even super-skinny jeans, depending on the look you're going with. Or if you're long-legged and slim - you could opt for something baggy on top to avoid looking 'gangly'.
Of course, this is all down to personal preference - but the main point here is that certain small fixes in the fit and styling of your skinny jeans can make a massive difference to your overall look. The best thing to do is to make sure you know your measurements, are aware of your body type and then take it from there.
Choosing The Wrong Colour Skinny Jeans
You might be thinking that there's no 'right' colour when it comes to fashion - because it's all down to personal preference, and you'd be right (in a sense). But choosing the wrong color skinny jeans for different occasions is actually a common mistake that plenty of people make.
For example, light coloured skinny jeans are great for casual occasions, easily paired with a plain, fitted t-shirt or a casual shirt. Darker colors are easily styled for both day and nightwear and are arguably easier to combine with any style outfit. Dress them up for a sleek, urban look with a biker jacket and a crisp shirt, or dress them down with a hoodie and a pair of plimsolls - dark coloured skinny jeans are pretty diverse.
Where mistakes often happen is when we start introducing bold colors and prints into the mix. This, of course, depends on what sort of statement you're trying to make. If you want to rock the red leopard-print skinny jeans look at a formal dinner - who are we to judge! The point we're making here is to dress according to your own goals, using the 'occasion' as simply a guideline.
Wearing The Wrong Shoes With Skinny Jeans
Also, the shoes you pick to complete your outfit can have a major impact on your overall look. When it comes to styling skinny jeans, people often make the mistake of choosing the wrong style of shoe. If you're going for a relaxed, casual look for an example - then formal shoes or high-shine brogues aren't going to be the best option. Similarly, high-tops are going to look out of place if you're wearing skinny jeans to a workplace with a 'smart-casual' dress code.
Since skinny jeans taper in at the bottom, it draws more attention to your footwear than, say, bootcut jeans would. Therefore, it's important to put some thought into the type of look you are creating and choosing the footwear that's right for you. And remember, the same rule goes for the other items of clothing you choose to complete your skinny jeans outfit.
For example - the way you layer and create a silhouette can dictate your overall style. So, unless you're going for a skin-tight look overall - it can be a good idea to contrast your top half with your bottom half by going top-heavy. If you style the top half of your body with something less fitted - like an oversized jumper of a loose fitted shirt, you draw more attention to your skinny jeans - and this is the item that you want to show off, right?
Over to you guys! Do you have any tips on styling skinny jeans for men?
We'd love to hear about it, so please feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.
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Title image source: The Jeans Blog