From the 1950s, well into the 70s, slim fit trousers were at the heart of men's fashion. They dropped out of favour for a decade or two, replaced by the baggy jeans of the 90s, but since the late noughties they've come back, and they're showing no signs of disappearing!
Whether you're searching for a pair of jeans that'll make you stand out from the crowd, or you're simply looking to stay on-trend, there's a pair of skinny jeans for every man. In this guide, we'll introduce you to everything from casual slim fits jeans to ripped skinny jeans straight out of the 1970s punk scene. We've even compiled a list of the top 10 best skinny jeans available to buy online in the UK from Amazon, John Lewis and ASOS.
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Of the three cuts, the standard 'skinny' jean sits somewhere in the middle. Gone are the days when a man wearing tight jeans might attract negative attention, and skinny jeans can now be found at all fashion retailers. Their fit tapers towards the bottom of the leg, leaving ample room for the thighs before tightening around the ankles.
Such a cut tends to fit slimmer men better, but the use of stretch fabrics means there are skinny to comfortably fit all sizes and leg shapes. However, men of all sizes should bear in mind that a tighter fit means restricted movement. But as long as you're not going rock-climbing, you should be okay!
Slim cut jeans are the widest, and they're slightly more forgiving than their skinny counterparts. They still taper, but do so in a more relaxed way following the shape of your body. They're not as figure-hugging, so you won't feel as restricted as you might in skinny cut jeans.
Because they're a little more casual in their style, it's possible to find slim fit chinos, joggers, and even formal trousers that can be worn in the office. However, fashion aficionados may struggle with their lack of je ne sais quoi. After all, slim-cut jeans may be more comfortable, but if you're looking to turn heads or assert your individuality, skinny cut, or extra skinny jeans are the way to go.
Some people just aren't content with half measures! If you're the kind of person that likes to take things to the max, you'll definitely want to take a look at extra skinny cut jeans. They're the narrowest of all the cuts and are so tight it can look like you're wearing spandex. In fact, they're often referred to as 'sprayed on' jeans.
Extra-skinny jeans are the perfect way of expressing an outgoing personality or complementing an extreme look. Just be sure that you've got the right figure for them, as they really leave nothing to the imagination!
Skinny jeans for men are most commonly available in one of two rise heights, either mid or low. The matter may not be as pressing for men's jeans as it is for women's, but it's still important to bear in mind. Mid-rise jeans are the most common style when it comes to skinnies, with a waistband that sits just below the bellybutton and a semi-formal look that accentuates the legs.
Because of the extra height, they're also the jeans of preference for men who like to keep their shirt tucked in. Low-rise jeans, on the other hand, sit a little lower on the waist, giving a more casual, relaxed look that lengthens the torso.
The matter of which to go for depends primarily on how you wear the rest of your clothing and your body shape. For example, bigger men and those with shorter legs may appreciate the extra room and the lengthening effect of high-rise jeans.
When it comes to skinny jeans, cotton is the most commonly used material. This is primarily because it's comfortable to wear - something that's particularly important with skinny jeans - but also because it can be combined with other materials, such as elastane, to give skinny jeans their stretchiness.
After elastane, the most common material you'll find mixed with cotton to make skinny jeans is polyester. Not only is polyester cheaper to manufacture, it also increases the durability of your skinny jeans, meaning they can stretch over and over again without showing wear.
Most skinny jeans will be made from a blend of these three materials. However, different fibre percentages will affect the look and feel of your jeans. Those with a higher cotton percentage will have a more rugged, traditional denim look, whereas a higher polyester percentage results in a softer fabric that looks and feels a little closer to spandex - something that's essential for a 'sprayed on' look.
As you might expect, skinny jeans are available in traditional colours, such as black, grey, and various shades of blue. But as the trend continues, bolder colours are being introduced into the mix, and it's not too difficult to find skinny jeans in shades of red, purple and mustard.
Bound to be music to the ears of those who love a more eye-catching ensemble, if you're eager to try experimenting with colour there's plenty of scope. But if you're not sure how to incorporate bolder shades into your wardrobe, stick to the rule of matching complementary colours. Pair your jeans with other items of a similar hue, and you're sure to look amazing from head to toe!
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Rex Skinny Jeans
Blue Denim Skinny Jeans in a Classic 70s Style
Scotch & Soda
Skim Skinny Fit Jeans
Slim Fit Jeans Made By Top Quality Designers
Deep Stay Slim Jeans
A Formal Pair That Are Perfect for the Office
x003 Tapered Jeans
Ecru-Coloured Jeans for Spring and Summer
Rex Skinny Jeans, Indigo
A Relaxed, Low-Rise Fit for a Timeless Look
Men's Skinny Stretch Chino Trousers
Skinny Chinos for Both Formal and Casual Occasions
734 Skinny Fit Jeans
Vibrant White Skinny Jeans
Spray On Jeans
An Extra-Tight Pair of Spray-on Skinny Jeans
Men's Jogging Denim Pants
Stylish and Comfortable Skinny Jogger-Jeans
Super Skinny Fit Ripped Biker Jeans
Skinny Jeans for Those Who Love Distressed Denim
Here they are, a classic and iconic pair of skinny jeans, with a slim fit and blue denim colour scheme that is straight out of late 70s New York. They really are the perfect pair for every man, whether you're sporting a retro style or one that's right up to date!
Yes, they're perhaps a bit more expensive, especially when compared to the offerings from high street retailers, but these truly timeless jeans are ones that you'll want to wear again and again. And because they're made by top designers, they'll last for years to come!
This high quality pair of jeans, made by top designers, Scotch & Soda, are guaranteed to become your go-to pair of skinny jeans. Offering a slim fit and a unique pocket design, this pair oozes quality and looks a cut above the rest!
They're pretty standard fare as far as their style goes - not too skinny and in a fairly common shade of black - but not everybody wants the loudest possible designs. If you're new to wearing this cut, they're the perfect way of getting that classic skinny jean look, without going all out.
These jeans, from upmarket designers, Reiss, are a truly unique offering. Low in cotton content, with a high percentage blend of other materials such as polyester, viscose and elastane, they actually look more like smart trousers than jeans.
Yes, they're a pricier pair, but their formal look makes them appropriate for wearing at the office, without sacrificing comfort. Most importantly, they look great too, meaning you'll likely get quite a bit of wear of them.
The skinny jeans market is awash with blues, black and grays, and sometimes it seems that the only alternative is to go for extreme colours such as reds and whites. Fortunately, this isn't always the case, as these ecru-coloured jeans demonstrate.
They're different without drawing too much attention, making them a solid option for those who love to experiment with their look. They probably won't go with every outfit, but find the right ensemble, and they're going to be a smart-looking, versatile pair of skinny jeans!
These skinny fit jeans offer a slightly more comfortable fit than their tighter counterparts. In particular, their low-rise waist offers a relaxed look that's perfect for those who want a skinny pair of jeans that aren't too extreme.
Aside from the low-rise waist, there's not too much that sets these jeans apart. However, they're a high quality pick and offer a timeless casual look that's going to pair well with pretty much any outfit.
Ok, they're technically a pair of chinos, but we couldn't resist these! They're made from the same blend of materials and offer the same slim yet comfortable fit as many of the other more traditional jeans on our list.
It's worth keeping a pair in your wardrobe, as they're ideal for smart-casual office wear and family parties. Their more formal look makes them the perfect trousers for slightly more formal occasions, whilst still maintaining your own distinct style.
For others, an eye-catching look is best obtained, not just through jeans that are super tight, but also ones that come in an extravagant shade. This white pair, while certainly not as different as other colours, is a perfect option for any vibrant outfit.
That said, the white colour may cause you some stress when it comes to stains, however, we're willing to bet that if you're going for a pair of jeans as jazzy as this, you probably aren't the type to worry!
These extra skinny jeans are so tight, they've literally been named 'spray on' jeans. Could they be any more tight? The answer is no, and if a figure-hugging pair of jeans are what you're looking for, look no further.
The extra skinny fit is quite extreme, leaving nothing to the imagination. Of course, if you're confident in the way your body looks, they're perfect for creating an outfit that is sure to grab others' attention.
It's a sign of how far things have come that we now have skinny jeans that resemble a pair of joggers. These relaxed, skinny fit jeans even feature a drawstring waistband and elastic cuffs for extra comfort and style.
Those wishing for a more traditional skinny jean will probably want to pass these up. But for those who want to keep it comfortable and casual, without looking like they've just got out of bed, they're a perfect pick!
With rips, folds and creases all the way down the leg, these are the ultimate in distressed-look jeans! The perfect pair for those who love an edgy, rebellious look, pair with a leather jacket to complete the outfit.
Their distinct look means there are probably quite a few occasions where these jeans won't be suitable. However, fans of biker-style jeans will want to ensure they have a pair in their wardrobe.
Written and researched by Ben Willimett
No. 1: All Saints｜Rex Skinny Jeans
No. 2: Scotch & Soda｜Skim Skinny Fit Jeans
No. 3: Reiss｜Deep Stay Slim Jeans
No. 4: COLLUSION｜x003 Tapered Jeans
No. 5: All Saints｜Rex Skinny Jeans, Indigo
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