Men’s fashion has always been defined by a pretty simple set of rules. But in the last few years, the category has turned into the wild, wild west. One item in particular that has spawned confusion is denim. Every major retailer has shelves and racks chock full of skinny denim because it’s the reigning aesthetic. But the fashion-forward guys in all the street style photographs on Instagram are bringing back the relaxed fit. Most guys are trying to emulate one style or the other but with poor results.
This is especially dependent on your body type. If you’re a skinny guy, skinny jeans can actually work against you and make you look even smaller. As a slim dude, your primary fashion goal should be adding some size and proportion to your frame with your looks.
For athletic and stocky guys, beware of skinny jeans if they restrict your movement. If you can’t lift your knee up to a 90-degree angle comfortably, your denim is too tight. Also, if you can see teardrop or hamstring definition through your denim, you’re practically suffocating your legs. Skinny jeans should still allow you room to breathe and move freely.
And vice versa, pulling off looser jeans is a tricky style move. If your pant leg is dragging on the ground or you’re unable to keep your pants on your waist without a belt, they’re too big. Relaxed fit jeans are all about creating a more casual aesthetic, but if your pants are falling off, you’ll just look sloppy.
Instead, find the balance between the two extremes. Slim and straight fits are almost always safe bets that help you avoid the typical denim pitfalls.