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The Great Jeans Debate

During the past few years, a heated intergenerational battle has arisen. One that has Millennials and Generation Z locking horns like never before – “Skinny Jeans vs Mom Jeans”.

Centuries after their origins as seventeenth-century European menswear known as “breeches”, skinny jeans saw a resurgence as straight-legged “drainpipes” in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. It was in the mid-2000s when the skinny jeans we recognise today saw a rise in popularity in young people’s fashion. By the 2010s, they were dominating the market, earning their place as a staple of every wardrobe. 

It was in 2021 that skinny jeans were deemed unfashionable. Thanks to social media such as TikTok and Instagram, and also the Body Positivity Movement, young people began to reject the skintight cut in favour of looser fits, such as the classic mom jean. The debate about which style is best remains a contentious issue. 

Ultimately, should we really let fashion dictate what we wear, regardless of whether or not we actually like what is being offered? If you’re more concerned about which of the many styles of jeans actually work for you as an individual, then the discourse may seem trivial. Here are some recommendations for different cuts and how to style them.


Skinny jeans complement an hourglass or pear shape figure perfectly with their figure-hugging cut that accentuates your curves. They are a versatile style of denim that can be dressed up or down. Try pairing them with a plain white loose-fitting t-shirt and a pair of loafers for a casual look. Swap the loafers for open-toe heels and add a tailored blazer for an instant work-appropriate look. For an evening outfit, switch up the tee for a silk button-up shirt and add some simple, elegant jewellery. 


Mom jeans sit at the waist, making them a flattering choice for curvier body types. This cut is best reserved for comfortable, casual days – a pair of chunky sneakers and an oversized t-shirt or blouse will balance out the relatively baggy leg. Consider adding a simple leather belt to cinch in your waist and add a touch of structure. Oversized knitwear is always a compatible option with these jeans, and tucking in the front of your sweater will ensure your figure isn’t totally engulfed.


Boyfriend jeans are the friend of the classic inverted triangle body shape, as the roomy tailoring will balance out your broad shoulders. It is easy to see why some people avoid this cut for fear that the relaxed, slouchy fit may verge on sloppy. Pairing these jeans with a cropped t-shirt or tank top will add that much-needed femininity to an otherwise rather masculine style. An unbuttoned trench coat and platform ankle boots will add to the grungy aesthetic whilst also providing some tasteful structure. 


Cropped jeans can give athletic, and rectangle body types the illusion of a more defined waist. Styling them with a patterned blouse or button-up and combat boots makes for a fun, edgy look – add a cropped leather jacket if the weather is chilly. Or, you could go the opposite direction and pair this cut with some comfortable knitwear – you won’t have to look hard to find an oversize jumper in any womens fashion retailer. As mentioned earlier, tucking in just the front of your jumper will establish an effortless and chic silhouette.


The clue is in the name, so grab your favourite pair of heeled boots or sandals to go with this timeless classic cut. Boot-cut jeans hug your hips and gently flare at your ankles, making them the perfect choice for those with curvaceous hips. They are also wonderfully versatile. Style them with a neutral turtleneck, long-sleeved top and a statement necklace for a high-profile look befitting of brunch or the theatre. Or consider going retro with a floaty, floral, boho blouse and a 70s-style sun hat. 


The dramatic cousin of boot cut; the flare speaks for itself. Keep the upper half of your outfit simple by pairing your flares with a bodysuit or tank top. Chunky heeled sandals or mules will give you that added bit of height to accentuate the design and lengthen your legs. Swapping a chunkier heel for a more elegant stiletto and adding a belted suede jacket or even a kimono is a perfect outfit choice for a party or dining out. 



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