Skinny Jeans vs Baggy Jeans - What to Pick When

Skinny Jeans vs Baggy Jeans - What to Pick When


What goes around in fashion always comes back around.’ The old adage rings true, and the most recent evidence is that baggy jeans are back in style. So, does this mean that you should discard your skinny jeans and replace every pair with the baggy cuts currently dominating the fashion world? We think not. In fact, your wardrobe will be at its most wearable when you have a selection of both styles to choose from. This guide explains exactly when to wear skinny jeans and when to slip into something with a bit more room. 

What Are Skinny Jeans?

Skinny jeans are a wardrobe classic, outlasting so many other denim fads that have come and gone. Skinny jeans are tight, form-fitting pants that are snug on the body from top to bottom. 

Skinny pants were well and truly introduced into public consciousness in the 1950s by celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe. In the ’60s, icons such as The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Dorris Day inspired the slim-fit trouser space. 

It wasn’t until the early 2000s that skinny jeans made their statement return, and by the 2010s, they’d taken over completely. This was the era where skinny jeans arrived in bright and bold colours, often with a low-rise waistline. 

This brings us to the next phase of the skinny jeans life cycle. While some are adamant that skinny jeans are now out of fashion, hold off on ridding your closet of them. Below, we break down how to keep your skinny jeans relevant in today’s fashion landscape. 

How To Style Skinny Jeans 

You’ve decided not to hastily throw away your trusty skinny jeans, so it’s time to work out how to style them in a way that keeps them looking fresh and up-to-date. 

How you style your skinny jeans will be largely dependent on where you’re headed and when. The shade of denim you choose will also come into play here. 

Let’s take a look at three key occasions where your skinny jeans can thrive. 

Office Outfitting 

For offices with a casual dress code, skinny jeans will be a reliable go-to option. They’ll also work in some business casual offices, especially if you ensure they tick the following boxes. When selecting skinny jeans for work, there are a few things to remember:

  • Avoid distressed details - this means no rips or tears. 
  • Look to dark washes - darker shades, namely dark blue and black, will offer a more professional edge than lighter colored denim.
  • Length matters - to keep your look polished, avoid skinny jeans that bunch at the ankles. Opt for a cropped pair for a clean finish. 

Dark-wash cropped skinny jeans will pair effortlessly with your favourite work basics. Team your jeans with a classic white or blue button-up shirt, blazer, and pointed-toe heels for a chic and elevated look. If your workplace is on the casual or creative side, opt for a blouse with statement sleeves and sneakers or mules. 

Our top pick? These Mavi Skinny Jeans in a true black wash. 

Everyday Errands

On those busy days where you’re running from one errand to the next, it can be difficult to strike the balance between comfort and style. Enter: skinny jeans. The key here is to opt for a super soft and stretchy design that feels more like a second skin than a pair of jeans. 

Now that you’re outside the office and don’t have to worry about dress codes, you can experiment with more casual washes and designs. 

For everyday wear, we love a classic mid-blue wash that styles back perfectly with fool-proof basics. Think these ultra-comfy skinny jeans with a Breton jumper and black loafers. 

For something with a contemporary edge, look to light blue or acid wash skinny jeans with distressed details, then add an oversized white tee and sneakers. 

A Night Out

Skinny jeans look most at home when they’re out for the night. So, if you’re heading out for dinner or drinks, your skinny jeans should be the first item you reach for. While baggy jeans also have their place here, it’s difficult to look past skinny jeans for a few reasons.  

Firstly, skinny jeans have a sculpting effect, meaning they’re designed to flatter your body by creating a shapely silhouette. 

Secondly, when it comes to styling skinny jeans for a night out, you can’t really go wrong.  Some prefer teaming skinny jeans with an oversized or loose-fitting top to break up the flow of the outfit. Others love to pair skinny jeans with something tight up top to create a streamlined shape. Both options work well, so experiment with both to see what feels right for you. 

As for colour, darker tones are generally preferred for evening outings. These dark grey skinny jeans are a great option. The bonus? They feature a super high rise waist to keep you feeling comfortable and secure. 

What Are Baggy Jeans?

While skinny jeans are an undeniable wardrobe hero, the return of baggy jeans is welcomed. Baggy jeans are loose-fitting in design, crafted to hang off the body rather than fit snugly. 

Baggy jeans first made their case in the 1980s - Hammer pants surely ring a bell. They increased in popularity throughout the ‘90s and dominated the fashion world by the late ‘90s and early 2000s. The designs were often low rise, oversized, and styled with statement belts. 

So, are baggy jeans back in style? And, do baggy jeans look good? The experts say yes. Baggy jeans have made an unexpected comeback in recent years, and the spectrum of options now makes the style a much more accessible option. Cuts range from boyfriend and mom jeans to wide leg jeans and truly relaxed styles, so there’s a design to suit everyone. 

How To Style Baggy Jeans

Your first point of action with baggy jeans is to work out which styles suit you best. 

If you’re tall or curvy (or both), wide-leg jeans are a perfect choice. Look to high-rise styles that will cinch in the waist before widening in the leg. This cut will accentuate the leg and flatter your curves with ease. High-waisted mom jeans will also be a great and versatile design for you. 

If you have a petite frame, straight jeans or baggy boyfriend jeans will work well for you. These styles still offer that oversized and laid-back look but have a bit more structure to them, so they won’t overwhelm your body. Top tip: opt for high-rise and cropped styles to elongate your legs. 

Below, we look at when to wear baggy jeans with some tips on exactly how to style them. 

Working From Home

Baggy jeans will transform your working from home wardrobe. Mom jeans or baggy boyfriend jeans are our top picks. These loose-fitting designs will be comfortable enough to sit in all day while ensuring you feel put together for the workday. 

When working from home, you don’t have to be as restrictive on colour. Experiment with mid-blue and light-blue washes and see what works best with your wardrobe colour palette. These styles are best paired with a fitted top, such as a structured work shirt or a timeless turtleneck. 

Weekend Street Style

It was celebrity street style images on social media that helped to inspire the return of baggy jeans. So, for off-duty days, baggy jeans will be your go-to. 

Relaxed straight-leg jeans will ease you into the loose-fitting trend, providing some shape while still maintaining that effortless, oversized look. For brunch or a trip to the shops, slip into a white tee, oversized coat, and heeled boots to bring the look together. 

For a casual weekend ensemble, you can rely on girlfriend jeans. You may even choose to roll up the fabric at the ankles for a more relaxed look. This style fits a little slouchier than straight jeans and works well with an equally slouchy jumper or tee, sneakers, and a cap for an understated, cool finish. 

From Day To Night

Wide-leg jeans are the perfect denim option to take you from day to night. This cut is an elevated take on the baggy jeans trend that you can easily dress up or down depending on the occasion. 

To keep things relaxed during the day, style wide leg jeans with chunky white sneakers and a jumper. When you’re heading to dinner, swap the sneakers for mules and swap the jumper for a racerback tank and leather jacket.  

Colour-wise, you can take your pick. Opt for blue denim for versatility, or make a statement with an off-white design.

Location, Location, Location

The votes are in: would we wear skinny jeans or baggy jeans at the below locations?

  • Sophisticated Wine Bar - Skinny Jeans
  • Shopping In the City - Baggy Jeans
  • Brunch - Baggy Jeans
  • Lunch Meeting - Skinny Jeans
  • Daytime Birthday Drinks - Baggy Jeans
  • Evening Birthday Drinks - Skinny Jeans
  • Supermarket Shopping - Baggy Jeans