Once upon a time, skinny jeans were all the fashion set wore. Now, between the reemergence (and reinvention) of vintage denim and the advent of luxe athleisure, cigarette cuts are rapidly disappearing. The general attitude seems to be thus: Why wear predictably shaped, constrictive denim when you could wow in a fresher, more freeing bottom? Over the past few months, our Insta feeds have been rife with images of kick flares, wide-leg trousers and tearaway track pants (to name just a few) with hardly any skinny jeans in sight. And thus we began to question: Are skinny jeans over?
Of course, calling it on a trend — especially one as enduring as skinny jeans — is not an act we take lightly. In search of evidence to support our hunch, we parsed through hundreds upon hundreds of street style snaps taken outside the latest menswear, womenswear and haute couture shows. Our findings? Yes, skinny jeans did make a handful of appearances. Certain members of the fashion elite — Instagram guru Eva Chen and supermodel Joan Smalls among them — continue to rock the constrictive cut. But the skinny jean sightings made up an infinitesimal fraction of the crowd.
According to street style stars, the denim fits to wear now are the high-rise straight jean, the bell-bottom, the kick flare and reworked vintage Levi’s (frayed hems and colorblocking FTW). Today’s fashion girls want a generously enhanced derrière and liberal legroom. They want a piece that’s sexy, but utilitarian.
Apart from the aforementioned denim trends, modern fashion gals are gravitating toward tailored and/or flowy trousers, statement pants (of the patent and patterned variety), high-end athleisure (thank Maison Margiela) and feminine skirts and dresses (thank Maria Grazia Chiuri).
Still, those of you who can’t bear the thought of pairing your over-the-knee and motorcycle boots with anything else can take comfort in the fact that skinny jeans, though no longer ubiquitous, aren’t totally extinct. Plus, the less popular your choice of bottom, the more you stand out from the masses. So, in a way, skinnies are winning fashion’s race for individuality. Joke’s on everyone else.
Those of you still on team skinny jean — or now considering giving skinnies another shot — click through the slideshow below for some of-the-moment styling tips and proof that skinny jeans are still in style. (Hint: bare knees and statement outerwear are a must.)