Good Question: What's The Skinny On All Those Skinny Jeans?

May 29, 2008 by SheFindsErin
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From a SheFinds reader: I was walking around the city the other day and saw a lot of women in straight skinny jeans and flats and straight jeans with slight cuffs. Some women were wearing slightly flared pants, but they were all more dressed up for work. So, are flared pants or boot cut simply out? I look good in boot cut and I always wear some kind of heel and am also very petite.

It's easy to give into the lure of the skinny jeans siren song: it does seem like everywhere you turn, girls are rocking ankle-hugging, painted on, had-to-lay-down-just-to-zip-up skinny pants (thanks a lot, Skinny Legs Lohan!). But the truth is, skinny jeans only look good on a small segment of the denim-wearing population. Tall women with boyish figures (read: no curves ahead) look fantastic in long and lean skinny jeans paired with modest flats. But for ladies with even a hint of hippyness, skinny jeans can be disastrous.

Luckily, there are still plenty of boot cut, flared, and wide-legged options for all shapes and sizes. For petite women, a flare or boot cut can help balance out your hips, making you look more proportional. Plus, adding a heel gives some extra length. To avoid making your gams look like those outrageous turkey legs you get at the state fair, try a pair from our Top 5:


Hudson's Signature Boot Cut jeans ($165) are a pair every woman should have in her denim arsenal. Flattering back pockets, a not-too-wide bottom, and a non-gaping waist are three things we look for in every pair of denims we buy.

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For shorter girls on a shoestring budget, try Old Navy's The Flirt boot cut mid-rise jeans ($25). They come in regular length, as well as short and tall varieties, so you don't get the slouchy inseam or dragging cuffs that plague one-length-fits-all jeans.
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Colored trousers are in, and these Dittos wide-leg jeans in grassy green ($159) are no exception. Wide flares make these a perfect partner for barely-there thong sandals, and the bright, happy hue would look great paired with bold black-and-white up top.

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If you want to go a little dressier, opt for polished and practical chinos, like Banana Republic's petite martin cuffed chinos ($79). They come with a shortened inseam for less-than-leggy ladies, so you won't look swallowed in too-big trousers. And unlike skinny jeans, these relaxed, easy-fitting pants give you room to move and breathe.

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Finally, if you want the best of both worlds, look for luxe denim trousers (not jeans, mind you) like these demi denim trousers from Gap ($30). These pants—available in petite and tall versions—manage to look breezy and sophisticated at the same time—the perfect pants for casual Fridays (and look how cute they look with wedge heels!)

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