try straight-leg jeans instead of skinny denims

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try straight-leg jeans instead of skinny denims

Question – I grew up wearing skinny jeans, but now I hear from my wife that they are officially six feet under, style-wise. I’m a man in my late 30s and the idea of wearing oversized, baggy jeans does not sit well with me. Is there a happy medium, and if so, what is it? – Unskinny Bop

Dear Unskinny Bop

Your wife is correct, skinny jeans are off the menu (for now, at least) and yes, you’re also right: oversized styles are trending for both men and women. Let’s unpack this before we go much further.

Loosen up: try the classic Levi’s 501 fit. Corrie Bond

First, trends are what we make of them. If you invest in the idea of trends, then yes, you should pack your skinnies away for the time being. If you want to wear something you love, trends be damned, then please, continue to wear your skinnies. You should wear fashion, and not the other way around.

That being said, wearing skinny jeans now is going to make you look dated. It just is (you might be OK with that! And that is perfectly fine). These days, a more relaxed silhouette is in, and pleasingly, it is flattering and best of all, comfortable. As someone whose waist was always gaping in skinny jeans (while my thighs longed to be free), I am happy to see their demise.

Celebrity and corporate stylist Jessica Pecoraro at her Sydney studio: “Go for a classic straight-leg style and ensure the hem hits the top of your shoe to make it look refined, not sloppy.”  Louise Kennerley

Stylist Jessica Pecoraro (whose clients include AfterPay co-founder Nick Molnar) says straight-leg jeans are the perfect balance of skinny and oversized, and complement most body shapes. “I don’t like the overly baggy look either,” she says. “Go for a classic straight-leg style – P. Johnson makes great examples – and ensure the hem hits the top of your shoe to make it look refined, not sloppy.”

P. Johnson himself – Patrick – says Pecoraro is referring to his Toby jean, a straight leg style that is loose around the thigh and calf while sitting more firmly around the waist. Outside of his own brand, Johnson recommends a pair of Levi’s 501s. “These are a classic for a reason,” he says. “Remove the ego and always go a size up. Levi’s always feel and look better when they fit the waist perfectly but aren’t too tight in the bum.” Wise words.

P Johnson’s Tony straight-leg jeans in ‘mid indigo’. 

As for the oversized trend, don’t discount it altogether. Australian men tend to be more athletic and muscular than some nationalities, making our body shapes better suited to bigger clothing. Oversized jeans need not look sloppy; go for a dark wash (black and indigo are great), avoid rips and frayed hems, and pair with tailoring like a blazer and Oxford shirt.

Send your fashion questions to [email protected].

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