I Don't Wear Skinny Jeans, But These Outfit Formulas Have Changed My Mind

From 2005 up until last year, skinny jeans were the bread and butter of every girl's wardrobe. Taking over from the low-slung, bootcut denim that ruled the '90s, the skintight style offered a more streamlined silhouette that harked back to the '80s drainpipe but wasn't quite as restrictive.

Kate Moss was one of the first champions of the trend in the early noughties, and her signature "skinny jeans, ballet pumps, slouchy tee and military jacket" look was replicated countless times over the decade. Unlike most fashion trends, the skinny caught the imagination of women of all ages and quickly went from seasonal trend to established wardrobe staple within a matter of months. Perhaps therein lies its longevity.

Despite skinnies holding the top spot for over a decade, straight-leg fits have recently seen a resurgence amongst the fashion crowd, and I have wholeheartedly welcomed the change—I could never quite get on-board with the super-tight silhouette. However, over the last few months, I've noticed influencers embracing an altogether more mature and modern approach to the skinny jean, making me reconsider my dismissal of the noughties style.

From Camille Charriere's belted blazer to Lisa Folawiyo's leopard print interpretation, these are all the outfit formulas that have convinced me that skinny jeans can look modern. Scroll down to see and shop all the looks.

Belted Blazer + Heeled Boots + T-Shirt


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Style Notes: The success of this outfit lies in the angular silhouette of the belted blazer balanced by the length-lengthening powers of pairing black skinnies with pointed ankle boots. It's so simple yet so effective.


Going-Out Top + Heeled Mules + Mini Bag


(Image credit: @hannahlewisstylist)

Style Notes: As much as I love straight-leg jeans, they're not the best style for when you want to look polished. Hannah Lewis creates this cocktail-ready ensemble with a statement blouse, black skinny jeans and heeled mules.


Leopard-Print Skinny Jeans + Checked Blazer + Sneakers


(Image credit: @lisafolawiyo)

Style Notes: Leopard-print skinny jeans are one of the newer entries in the denim category this season, and although uncertain at first, I have grown to love them. Lisa Folawiyo shows us how it's done with a quirky pairing of leopard-print jeans, a band tee, a checked blazer and sneakers.


Tonal Basics + Western Boots


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

Style Notes: The recurring theme in many of my skinny-jean outfits is the addition of a more oversized or boxy style to counteract the skinny's silhouette. Case in point? Pernille Teisbaek keeps it simple with a chunky teddy coat and colour-match Ganni knit. I also love the addition of Calvin Klein's Western-style boots—the perfect weekend ensemble.


Sculptural Jacket + Pumps + Leather Shopper 


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

Style Notes: What's great about skinny jeans is that it's nothing like the unflattering jeggings styles that were popular a few years ago; instead we're going back to the more forgiving fits loved by Mossy. Tynlynn Nguyen shows that the classic noughties "skinny jeans and ballet pumps" formula can still feel relevant now—all it needs is a sculptural jacket and pared-back accessories.


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