Fashion

Why it’s time to shake off skintight jeans and embrace denim’s new shape

Posted by
Lucy Reber
Published

Breaking news: it’s time to shake off your skinny jeans addiction. Stylist introduces the new cuts with a cooler, looser silhouette

They completely changed our relationship with denim - and became the go-to garment in women's wardrobes for the best part of a decade. But now the reign of the skinny jean is finally being challenged, with a host of radically different wide cuts creeping off the catwalks. Yes, they will push you out of your sartorial comfort zone, but they will also flatter, as well as complement your existing wardrobe. As Topshop’s buying director (last year they sold a pair of jeans every 10 seconds) Emma Fox explains, “We’ve seen a transition to more authentic styles recently, such as the high-waisted loose-cut Classic Straight in heavier denim, reminiscent of the ‘original’ jean from the Fifties. A fashion ‘no’ for such a long time, now the baggier it looks fresh and cool.”



In fact, there’s not just one new rebel look to get your head around, but several new cuts to choose from if you want to shake things up. Perhaps the most dramatic are flares, exaggerated this time into a bold silhouette, uncompromisingly long and loose rather than being fitted on the thigh and getting gradually wider. And the safest option? If you are struggling to surrender the second skin feel of your skinnies, test the water with the Tailored Kick Crop. Fitted down the leg for a familiar slim fit but with a quirky kick flare, they’re immensely flattering with heeled ankle boots and – depending on the shade – just as versatile and potentially smart as skinnies.

And of course, after so long at the top, skinnies aren’t being totally deposed. “Yes, skinnies are no longer the key shape,” says Stylist’s fashion director Alexandra Fullerton, “but you don’t have to ditch them entirely. Like the court shoe and leather skirt, they’ve transcended trends and achieved classic style status. You’ll still see them on stylish women everywhere, but now they’re a wardrobe staple rather than cutting edge.”

And with denim at the core of modern wardrobes, a little experimentation is the easiest way to reflect fashion’s latest mood. Here, denim experts select the five key styles for spring/summer.

  • True flare

    The new flare’s loose shape is bold and surprisingly elegant. Stylist’s fashion editor Lucy Reber says, “This style can give denim a formal edge, while the cut feels more like trousers than jeans. Wear with a tailored jacket and heels – in a dark, inky wash, they can be worn to the office or for evening.”

    Jacket, £890, and jeans, £410, both Ellery (matchesfashion.com); shirt, £760, Ellery (mytheresa.com)

  • True flare

    £145, Won Hundred (wonhundred.com)

  • True flare

    £40, Nine by Savannah Miller (debenhams.com)

  • New boyfriend

    Now slimmer, with a rockabilly edge and turn-ups – just add a biker jacket. Donna Ida, of the eponymous denim brand, says, “Great jeans have to be versatile; wear these with every shoe, from trainers to heels.”

    Jacket, £325, and jeans, £270, both Frame (matchesfashion.com)

  • New boyfriend

    £85, Hobbs (hobbs.co.uk)

  • New boyfriend

    £210, Rag & Bone (harrods.com)

  • New boyfriend

    £90, Replay (replayjeans.com)

  • New boyfriend

    £45, Weekday (weekday.com)

  • New boyfriend

    £59. Warehouse (warehouse.co.uk)

  • Tailored kick crop

    Slim-line with an ankle kick, these are flattering and fashion forward. Stylist’s executive fashion director, Kitty McGee, says, “For me, this is the style of the moment. They should finish two inches above the ankle. Wear with elongated ankle boots and a tucked-in skinny knit.”

    £170, Ba&sh (ba-sh.com)

  • Tailored kick crop

    £215, Mih (mih-jeans.com)

  • Tailored kick crop

    £190, 7 For All Mankind (selfridges.com)

  • Tailored kick crop

    £250, Victoria Victoria Beckham (victoriabeckham.com)

  • Tailored kick crop

    £109, Liu Jo (liujo.com)

  • Tailored kick crop

    £95, Whistles (whistles.com)

  • Tailored kick crop

    £39.90, Uniqlo x Ines de la Fressange (uniqlo.com)

  • Tailored kick crop

    £210, Current/Elliott (net-a-porter.com)

  • Classic straight

    A gentle shift from the skinny, with a slightly looser, more retro fit. Stylist’s fashion director, Alexandra Fullerton, says, “A straight leg looks incredibly modern, especially with a high waist. Look for styles that just hit the arch of your foot for a clean silhouette.” Pair with a slogan T-shirt.

    £155, Ida (donnaida.com)

  • Classic straight

    £105, G-Star (g-star.com)

  • Classic straight

    £375, Brock Collection (matchesfashion.com)

  • Classic straight

    £85, Levi’s (levi.com)

  • Front liners

    Shirt, £24.99, jeans, £29.99, and shoes, £27.99, all New Look (newlook.com)

  • Front liners

    £32, Next (next.co.uk)

  • Front liners

    £40, H! by Henry Holland (debenhams.com)

  • Front liners

    £215, Escada (escada.com)

  • Front liners

    £29.99, H&M (hm.com)