They're Not Going Anywhere: 5 Skinny-Jean Trends Happening in 2021


(Image credit: @salome.mory)

Although much has been said about the end of skinny jeans as we know them, the denim just refuses to quit that easily. No matter how much buzz trendier fits like loose and wide-leg jeans may be getting right now, my research into the closets of women everywhere tells me that skinnies still have a strong fan base, and that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon. In fact, a closer look at some of my skinny jean–wearing friends proves my point: not only are they still very much around, but there are also skinny-jean trends happening within the broader category of slim-fitting denim. And, yes, we need to talk about them.

The staple denim isn't immune to trends just because it has seniority over newer styles. To prove it, we've put together a guide to the five most important skinny-jean trends of 2021 that we're noticing on Instagram and in the market right now. Below, you'll find outfit ideas and shopping picks that illustrate how to wear each micro-trend, so if you're a staunch fan of skinny jeans or are ready to introduce them into your wardrobe, let this be your guide to the freshest fits of late.

1. Slim-Straight

Non-skinny silhouettes continue to rise in popularity, but if you're hesitant to go full-tilt baggy denim, we're introducing you to the next step after skinny jeans: slim-fit denim. This cut has a straight-leg fit, typically comes in a high rise, features a slim fit throughout, and tapers close to the ankle. 


(Image credit: @ali_tate_cutler)


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

2. A Bit of Bunching

This is less of a jeans style and more of a styling trick. I've been noticing how fashion people have embraced what was formerly considered a faux pas: letting your jeans bunch up around your ankles. Try this one by styling full-length skinnies with a pair of mid-calf or ankle boots for the chicest impact.


(Image credit: @giorgiatordini)


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

3. Back to Blue

Classic blue washes are back in a big way. After several seasons that veered toward lighter washes, I'm pleased to say that timeless blue threads are officially the look to adopt (and hopefully never retire). 


(Image credit: @smythsisters)


(Image credit: @basicstouch)

4. Ankle Grazers

On the opposite side of the spectrum from the bunched-up hems I mentioned earlier are these cropped styles. More and more fashion girls are opting for an ever so slightly cropped hem that exposes bare ankles and showcases cute flats and loafers.


(Image credit: @salome.mory)


(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

5. Slit-Hem

Skinny jeans may be considered a classic to some, but that doesn't mean they can't also be considered trendy. Split-hem jeans just so happen to do both, featuring an of-the-moment detail that immediately makes the denim look so fresh.


(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Next up: 5 Issues Everyone Has With Skinny Jeans (and How to Fix Them)

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.