They’re a wardrobe staple—a second skin—yet from time to time, our skinny jeans throw us a sartorial curveball when it comes to which shoes to pair them with. There’s not much in the footwear department that doesn’t go with a spray-on silhouette, but sometimes it’s the wash of the denim and the height of the heel that can make all the difference.
A little turn-up here and a lighter shade there can take you from outfit frustration to outfit success. How do we know this? Because one look at some of the most stylish women out there revealed as much. From the queen of skinny jeans, Kate Moss (who must sleep in hers), to street style superstars, we’ve scanned their best looks for the ultimate skinny-jean recipes. Scroll for your complete guide on the shoes to wear with skinny jeans.
#1: Classic Basket Sneaks
Style Notes: Classic white lace-up sneakers have proved that they’re here to stay, and this is music to our ears. As seen on petite fashion influencer Monikh Dale, there's plenty of proof that this can look absolutely amazing when you’re not a glamazon. They’re skinny jeans’ new best friend.
Available in sizes 5 to 13.
Style Notes: An off-duty model is all we need to show us that loafers—even if they’re on the scuffed, vintage side—and skinny jeans are perfect for trekking around a big city in style. Pack a pair (we’re obsessed with the Olsens’ offering at The Row) on your next mini break, and wear them on the plane—your feet will thank you.
Available in sizes 4 to 12.
#3: Sporty Sneakers
Style Notes: Skinnies and trainers go together like bread and butter. But as London-based fashion guru Irina Lakicevic proves, the coolest combination for now lies in chunkier-soled, sporty kicks like these classic Nikes.
Available in sizes 6 to 15.
#4: Pointed-Toe Flats
Style Notes: It worked for Audrey Hepburn all those years ago, and it still works today. Flat, pointed shoes elevate a pair of figure-hugging jeans to no end. A color-popping style like these cult Aquazzura lace-ups adds further interest.
Available in sizes 4 to 11.
#5: Classic Pointed-Toe Pumps
Style Notes: Pernille Teisbaek often wears her sharp-pointed courts from Balenciaga with skinny jeans—and you can see why. They elongate your legs to no end, meaning you can balance out a cozy sweater very nicely.
Available in sizes 6 to 11.
#6: Midi Block Heels
Style Notes: If flats are too flat, heels are too heeled, and sneakers feel just plain wrong for you, then the solution lies in cute midi-heeled block pumps. Glove shoes like Maria Alia’s (worn here with socks) are the perfectly comfortable, elevated option.
Available in sizes 6.5 to 10.5.
#7: Strappy Heels
Style Notes: There’s nothing like minimalistic strappy sandals to add a dressy edge to a pair of casual jeans. British supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a pro at styling hers. Follow her lead and make sure that yours stop just above the ankle straps of your shoes.
Available in sizes 4.5 to 11.5.
#8: Flat Sandals
Style Notes: She made skinny jeans a wardrobe essential around the world, so it’s only right that we look to Kate Moss for how to style them. And the answer is yes, you can wear them with sandals—even jet-black denim. Note how the supermodel added a little turn-up to hers to avoid them scrunching around the ankles—a definite no-no when going for skinny jeans and sandals.
Available in sizes EU36 to EU39.5.
#9: Sock Boots
Style Notes: The Hadids and Jenners like to tuck their skinnies into sock boots, and the idea has caught on for the rest of the world. You can wear them untucked, but ideally, the hemline needs to sit just above the top of your boots.
Available in sizes 6 to 9.5.