If it’s a day of the week, the chances are I’m wearing jeans. Sure, there’s pairs of cool crop pants and several dresses in my wardrobe rotation, but when my brain can’t deal with achieving extreme sartorial creativity, jeans are my default. And I’m more than OK with that. I love the functionality and versatility of denim. And, given that my current stash tops out at fifteen pairs, I clearly enjoy the options available. But sometimes, it feels like staying on top of the latest denim trends is a fool’s mission. Just as I’m finding a groove with a fresh type of denim (nice to meet ya, non-stretch vintage fit!) in swoops a new cut or detail to claim the spotlight.
Which brings us to my current predicament: I’m on the outs with my skinny jeans (a.k.a. half of my collection), and considering cutting ties permanently. Compared to the more classic and roomier jean fits I’ve become acquainted with lately, traditional skinny jeans that wrap from hip to hem aren’t doing it for me anymore. It’s like all the coolest jeans are having a party, and skinny jeans aren’t invited. I know I’m not alone here. “Women are embracing non-skinny silhouettes and stepping out of the box,” says Paige Geller-Adams, Founder and Creative Director of PAIGE, “Part of this is due to fashion trends in shoes and tops – chunky heels are in right now and, proportionately, they look better with a straight leg crop or any jean with a wider leg opening.” She also mentions the resurgence of 80’s- and 90’s-inspired denim looks, which use more structured fabrics that happen to work best with relaxed fits and wider leg styles. Jason Trotzuk, Fidelity Denim Founder and Creative Director, is another strong supporter of what he calls ‘anti-fits’. “Exploring skinny jean alternatives is so important. Many women would benefit from a high-rise cropped flare or a slouchy skinny, but, because they’re hesitant to break out of [a skinny jeans] habit, are missing out on flattering modern fits,” he says, “There isn’t a single body type, so there shouldn’t be a single fit!” So, to toss or not to toss my skinny jeans. That is the question.
The unanimous answer from the pros is no, and the central reason echoes my opening comment re: effort. “In terms of versatility, ease, and modernity, skinny jeans have truly become iconic. It’s a no-brainer pairing skinny jeans with most shoes, tops, and accessories,” says Trotzuk, “The skinny jean won’t ever transition out of the Fidelity Denim collection; instead, we’ll offer new body additions for those who want to break out of traditional fits.” Geller-Adams is on the same page, adding that skinny jeans remain best-sellers because they also earn major points in the figure-flattery and comfort departments. “I don’t think they will ever go out of style. The movement we have seen is to higher-rise skinny styles,” she says, “My go-to pair will always be my black high-rise Hoxton Ultra Skinny in our super soft Transcend fabric because I can wear them anywhere from morning to moonlight, and still look edgy and effortlessly cool.”
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Which isn’t to say Geller-Adams is wearing all skinnies, all the time either. “Different silhouettes work for different occasions,” she says. It’s a holistic approach to denim I can get on board with. So, here’s my plan: tuck my skinnies away and wait for the fashion tide to turn, which will no doubt rekindle my love for them. I may not adore skinny jeans on me at the moment, but it would be shortsighted to think that’ll last forever. In the meantime, seeking out Trotzuk’s fave denim picks for the season will keep me happily occupied. “The Taylor, a high-rise paperboy fit with a wide leg and cuff, and the Madison, a vintage tapered fit, are flattering skinny alternatives for those not quite ready to venture into full-on boyfriend or wide-leg territory,” he says. Consider me ready, willing and able!