Slim Jeans vs. Skinny Jeans: Everything You Need To Know
Jeans have been a wardrobe staple for decades upon decades now, and for very good reason. You can dress them up, dress them down, wear them to the office, on a date, while you work outside or in the garage, or if you’re really dedicated, you can even wear them lounging around the house – if they’re comfortable enough. And while denim has remained a tried-and-true must-have item in your closet over the years, the style of denim has consistently changed over time.
From the boot-cut styles of the 60s and 70s to the oversized, baggy cuts of the 90s, denim seemingly gets a makeover every few years, which brings us to two very popular styles that are widely available today: slim jeans and skinny jeans. And while slim jeans and skinny jeans may seem like one and the same, we’re here to tell you that that’s not the case at all, and there are actually a few key differences between the two cuts of denim.
Read on for everything you need to know about slim jeans and skinny jeans, how to style them, where to wear them, and most importantly, which style is right for you.
What Are Slim Jeans?
Slim-fit pants are one of the most popular styles in general when it comes to bottoms, whether it’s denim, trousers, chinos, joggers, or any other type of woven pants. As you may have guessed by the name, slim jeans offer a slim and straight fit with a narrow, tapered leg opening.
While they feature a more relaxed fit than their tighter counterpart, skinny jeans (which we’ll get to below), they’re not as loose as regular or relaxed-fit jeans – think of them as the love child between skinny jeans and regular jeans, the denim version of the “just right” bowl of porridge from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It’s important to note that cuts may vary slightly between brands and manufacturers, so you may want to go to a store in person to try on a few pairs until you find your perfect fit.
What Are Skinny Jeans?
Skinny jeans are the tightest fitting jeans of the bunch and typically are made with some type of cotton/spandex blend to give the garment some stretch so it moves with your legs. Skinny jeans are snug from the waist and hip all the way to the leg opening and may require some serious tugging to get them on.
However, if you’re looking to make a bold statement with your streetwear or casual outfit and want to show off your physique, then you should definitely have a few pairs of skinny jeans on hand in your closet.
What’s the Difference Between Skinny Jeans and Slim Jeans?
There are a few key differences between the two styles of denim. One of the main differences between skinny jeans and slim jeans is that slim jeans skim your body, while skinny jeans hug your body. This is actually the most important difference because your ideal fit is all based on your personal comfort.
If you like the feel of fabric completely hugging your body with little to no wiggle room and can put up with the restrictive characteristics of skinny jeans, then those babies are definitely for you. However, if you want to have some room to breathe while still maintaining a streamlined look, then slim jeans should be right up your alley.
Not only is the level of comfort an important factor in choosing between slim jeans and skinny jeans, but the type of activity plays just as important of a role in the right style of denim for you. As previously mentioned, skinny jeans can be quite restrictive, so if you plan on doing any type of physical activity for a long period of time, like walking around all day at an amusement park, or plan on sitting for extended amounts of time, like if you’re traveling, you may want to opt for slim jeans so you’re more comfortable.
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How To Style Slim Jeans
If you plan on spending the day moving around, walking, or sitting for extended periods of time, then you should definitely opt for a pair of slim jeans. The great thing about slim jeans is you can dress them either up or down and they won’t look out of place whether you wear them with a crisp button down shirt and Oxfords or a graphic tee and sneakers.
Slim jeans look great in most washes, like light, medium, or even a darker indigo; however, if you’re looking for an edgy, statement-making look, you may want to opt for a pair of black skinny jeans.
How To Style Skinny Jeans
While skinny jeans can be dressed up a bit with a button down shirt, polo, or a nice sweater, they look best when paired with other casual garments, especially if you’re sporting skinny jeans that are destroyed, bleached/acid-washed, or a bold color. Skinny jeans look great with sneakers – particularly high-tops or skate shoes – and pair well with graphic or solid tees, henleys, tank tops, hoodies, crew neck sweaters; literally, anything casual will look great with skinny jeans.
The most important thing to wear with skinny jeans, however, is confidence. Throw on a leather jacket, a bomber jacket, or even a cardigan to finish off your casual-yet-put-together ensemble, and you’ll be the most stylish dude at whatever event you’re going to, whether you’re checking out an art gallery with your Tinder date, meeting friends at a local coffee show for an open mic night, or just heading out to grab dinner and drinks with your family.
How To Care for Denim
The most important thing to know about caring for denim is that you shouldn’t wash your jeans after every single wear (and if you do, you’ve got some explaining to do). When it comes to washing your jeans, in order to keep them from looking worn out or losing their shape/integrity, less is more.
It’s important to turn your denim inside out before tossing it in the washing machine; this will help protect the fabric and help keep the denim from fading. It’s also important that you wash your denim on cold with a small amount of detergent, along with similar colors or just by itself, as denim has a tendency to bleed during the first few washes. If you’re washing white denim, you should never use bleach, as it’s a super-harsh chemical, and you shouldn’t wash it with anything else except other white denim.
Although you can dry your jeans in the dryer, if you have the time, try smoothing out the wrinkles after you pull them from the washing machine, laying them flat, and air-drying them in the shade; this will ensure that you avoid accidentally shrinking your jeans and will also prolong the life of the fabric.
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