In the vein of being transparent, I'm going to put my feelings all out there: I'm not a fan of skinny jeans. I know that statement will probably get me some flack, but I need you to hear me out on this. For anyone who identifies as curvier, finding a pair of jeans—much less a pair of skinny jeans that you don't loathe—can be demoralizing. There's nothing worse than trying on a pair of jeans that don't fit over your thighs and calves or are too tight on your waist. And while I know there are some great size-inclusive denim brands and that this style will always be a staple, I'm still personally opposed to it.
So you can understand why I've set my sights on newer trends, specifically relaxed denim. While this fabric is always relevant, we saw the fall/winter 2022 collections of Diesel, Versace, and Givenchy champion more relaxed iterations of denim. From baggy '90s-inspired straight-leg jeans to low-slung maxi denim skirts to dramatic flare versions that lean into puddle-pant territory, there was no shortage of overly chill silhouettes on the runway this season. But it's not just the runway that's championed this style. The fashion set has too.
Relaxed denim has slowly replaced skinny jeans as the must-have staple for fall. And to prove that point, I've rounded up 16 outfit ideas to show how this denim style has taken over, ways to wear it, and where to shop it now. Consider this your case study on why it's time to put the skinnies in storage for now.
If you want the most clear-cut example of how a relaxed silhouette can fit seamlessly into your wardrobe, then look no further than this ensemble. Pairing a colorful button-down with dramatic wide-leg jeans and slingback heels is the easiest way to ease yourself out of your beloved skinny jeans.
One of the best things about swapping skinny jeans for a baggier pair? It can make any outfit look 10 times cooler. Pairing a blazer, jumper, and ballet flats together seems simple enough, but with a pair of relaxed jeans, the look becomes far more stylish indeed.
If you love the relaxed look but still want it to feel formal, simply dress up your denim by pairing it with a tweed jacket, pumps, and pearl accessories.
PSA: You don't have to wear jeans to tap into this trend. If you're anti-pants, try opting for a denim skirt with either a maxi hemline, an oversize fit, or a light wash to get that relaxed feel.
Consider the look above further proof that this relaxed trend can still be polished. Pairing white trouser-like jeans with a tank, clogs, and a leather blazer is the perfect way to dress up this denim style for fall.
What's also remarkable about relaxed denim is that it's prime for colder weather. The looser fit allows you to layer warm pieces underneath or above, like an oversize coat, and look chic while remaining cozy.
Remember how skinny jeans used to be the date-night essential? Well, I'm here to tell you that relaxed denim is vying to take that title thanks to this look. These pants are more comfortable, and pairing them with a halter top and heels proves to be hotter than ever.
If you want to show off this style, keep your styling simple. Pair your relaxed jeans with basics like a cable-knit sweater and chunky boots, and I guarantee you'll be exuding cool energy.
Not to sound like a broken record, but the benefit of this style over skinny jeans is comfort all the way. On those colder days, a shearling coat paired with relaxed jeans and sneakers makes for the perfect snuggled-up look.
Another cool way to style relaxed denim for fall is by embracing a more Y2K feel. Pair light-wash jeans with a tank, a cardigan, a skinny scarf, clogs, and a fun bag to make this style feel trendier than ever.
While the nature of this denim trend does lean into the casual territory, that doesn't mean it can't be dressed up. Simply styling baggy or wide-leg jeans with a pair of pumps, a clutch, and a satin or feather top will make them feel fancy.
In addition to relaxed styles, traditional silhouettes, and skirts, we've begun to see Bermuda iterations trending too. Pulling this off requires you to lean into the quirky styling fully. Don't be afraid to pair them with an oversize blazer, a crop top, and knee-high boots.
Can't possibly come around to the idea of baggy denim shorts? Then this simpler outfit idea is all for you. Classic jeans paired with a turtleneck, a waistcoat, and ballet flats will always look good.
I can't think of a better way to embrace this trend than by leaning in fully and doing a head-to-toe denim look. But if you're dubious about that much denim, the secret to pulling it off is opting for unique washes or styling it with quirky accessories like colorful boots.
Denim suiting isn't for everyone, but the look above surely will be. A wide-leg pair of jeans paired with a leather blazer, button-down, and sweater will always be a crowd-pleaser.
Hopefully, by now, you've been convinced to store your skinny jeans away and embrace something new. Change isn't always easy, but if you take anything away from this story, remember that the effortless fit of this style makes the transition all the easier. Whether you pair it with a tank and puffer, an oversize button-down, or a pretty feather top, there are endless ways to embrace relaxed denim.