You might not believe it. The dudes who go on Take Me Out might not believe it. Our comment section definitely doesn’t believe it. But spray-on denim’s reign is coming to an end. The super-skinny jean had a good run, though, outlasting its back-combed, early-noughties acolytes. It was the denim of choice as they first picked up guitars, swapped them for synths, then swapped their synths for spreadsheets and jaded stories about having their music dreams crushed by the guys in corporate.
So, now that the skinny jean’s hung up its dreams of the big time, you should consider retiring it too. The drainpipe is a trouser designed for strutting across stages, not over to the photocopier.
But what to swap in? Well, your pins will be pleased to hear that this season, comfort is king. Which means roomier cuts, softer fabrics and less risk of an accident if you bend to tie your shoe. Of course, to men who’ve lived in second skins for the past decade, change can be scary. So trust our crib sheet on how to give yourself some breathing room, in style.
Where the skinny jean tapers from your hip, straight legs fall, as the name suggests, straight down. Which gives you more room in the thigh and seat, plus prevents that intimate meeting of sweat, skin and selvedge when the temperature creeps up.
“It’s been coming through in high-waisted and boyfriend-fit womenswear jeans and now guys seem to be following suit,” says John Mooney, menswear creative director at ASOS. They’re boyfriend jeans that actual boyfriends can wear.
A looser leg is good everywhere but your shoes, so avoid puddling unless you want everyone to know how into Linkin Park you are. “I’d always recommend a slight crop,” says Mooney, “or even a raw hem.” Slice to length at your ankle bone and let your denim fray naturally. Just be sure to regularly take scissors to any over-enthusiastic threads before they start sucking up puddles.