It was nearly two years ago when the idea of men wearing women’s skinny jeans was raised on The Jeans Blog. It was (and continues to be) one of the most heavily commented upon articles that we have here. It is apparent that we have a large contingent of males in our reader base who wear women’s skinny jeans, so this article is for them and those who are on the fence about trying women’s jeans.
In my opinion, the taboo about men wearing women’s skinny jeans is overblown. Truthfully, when people see you on the street, they notice that you are wearing skinny jeans, not that you are wearing women’s jeans. As such, the real question for men is do they feel comfortable wearing skinny jeans? The answer seems to be a yes. In which case, it gets down to what brand and style of jeans gives you the fit and look you want for your body. There are certain tells such as rear pocket size and placement, inseam length, embroidery on the pockets, and fly length, which avid readers of this blog may pick up on as being characteristic of women’s jeans, but are mostly oblivious to the public at large.
With the proliferation of skinny and extreme skinny jeans for men why bother with women’s jeans? Well for one thing, women have been dealing with extremely skinny jeans for a considerable amount of time. Once you approach form fitting styles, the bio mechanics of walking and sitting introduce new challenges into finding a good fitting jean. Poorly designed jeans tend to bunch up at the knees and slip down from your waist. For example, if the leg is tight on your thighs or waist and the fabric has insufficient flexibility, they will start to bunch up around the knees. On the other hand, if the jeans are tight on the calves and the fabric has insufficient flexibility, the jeans will have a tendency to slide down below your waist.
I don’t know about you, but I hate having to constantly pull up my jeans to keep them in place. Innovations in women’s jeans which have yet to take hold in men’s styles are in soft stretchy fabrics, usually characterized by a low percentage of cotton fiber such as Paige’s Transcend material and the use of a higher rise for the jean. The newer fabrics beyond being incredibly comfortable, don’t stretch out yet have a flexibility that minimizes bunching along the leg. By going to a slightly higher rise, the jeans rest on the top of your hip bone which helps anchor them in place.
As someone who has dabbled in women’s jeans, I’d like to share my opinion on several pairs that will work for a man if he is willing to give it a try. Rest assured, I do have a pair of each and wear them often. The characteristics I take into account when selecting a pair of women’s jeans include:
- Am I comfortable with the way they fit on me?
- Is the inseam long enough as the jeans’ leg must cover my ankle?
- Is there a sufficiently long fly for obvious reasons?
- Do they stay in place with minimal slippage and/or bunching?
- Plus, are the size & placement of the back pockets ok? If too small or placed too high, they can look overtly feminine.
Of the women’s jeans that I’ve found that men can wear, I’ve categorized them into “extreme skinny” and “tall-lean”. I’m only going to comment on why these cuts work for men in general. With respect to washes, distressing, and highlighting, that is a matter of your personal taste. For those of you who are new to women’s jeans, here is some sizing advice for you:
- I’ve found that two sizes down from your male waist size usually gives an okay fit. So if your male waist size is 30″, size down to a 28″ for women’s jeans. If you want them super skinny and love the very stretchy fabric, depending on the brand, you can size down up to 3 sizes, but it varies on what jeans you are trying.
Extreme Women’s Skinny Jeans For Men
I categorize “extreme skinny” as basically almost but not quite as skinny as leggings. They are skinny along the thighs and calves but have enough of a leg opening to go over your ankle retaining the appearance of jeans. From my experience, these styles above work. They are all of a higher rise with a bit of slouch and giving me a great skinny look. All of them have an inseam of about 30″ with a sufficient leg opening to cover my ankles, rest on my feet, and avoid the legging look. All of them have a good fly length, but have minimally useful pocket depth.
I’d rank the Paige Hoxton’s at the top of the list as they don’t exhibit any of the tells traditionally associated with women’s jeans. Depending on the wash, the Hudson Barbara’s may have faux front pockets. I generally stay away from faux front pockets but they can be worn if covered with a longer jacket.The J-Brand Maria’s have somewhat small rear pockets that could be noticed. I’d recommend wearing a longer sweater or jacket with them if pocket size is a concern. The AG Farrah’s have embroidered rear pockets, however as the they are the same embroidery that AG uses on their men’s jeans I gave them a pass.
Tall & Lean Women’s Skinny Jeans For Men
The “tall lean” category have a slightly higher rise and longer inseam which works best for some of us taller men. The jean’s that I’d recommend are above. It should be noted that all of the washes that I’ve tried in this category used approximately a 90% cotton content which I like as it maintains the traditional denim feel. To date, with correctly fitted jeans, I’ve yet to experience bothersome stretch-out. Key item’s that make a difference are:
- The Margot and Carlie both have a longer more comfortable fly length.
- The Carlie has the deepest functional front pockets that I’ve found in women’s jean.
- Some washes of the High Riser are offered with multiple inseams (28.5″, 30.5″, and 32.5″).
- Citizens of Humanity’s Rocket Jeans may be an option too, however I have insufficient experience to weigh in with a definitive opinion, but Adam here loves and wears them often. They come in two inseam lengths too.
Of all the skinny jeans, the Carlie’s are becoming my favorite pair. It should be noted that if premium brands are outside your normal price range, Madewell is a decent lower priced alternative. So if skinny jeans are your go to style, women’s versions have to be considered an option if you are looking for your perfect pair. Whether that holds true for other styles is TBD. As always, the brands websites can give you more details regarding the jeans covered in this article. Let us know what women’s jeans you guys love to wear as well.