How to Wear Skinny Jeans in 2022: Best Styles and Shoes

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Gen Z doesn’t always get it right. While this generation might be calling the shots on fashion trends, not everyone agrees with every decision they’re making.

As the most active demographic on social media sites like TikTok, Gen Z has a bigger sway on fashion trends than any other age group. In the age of comfort-driven fashion and athleisure, it’s no surprise that Gen Z has canceled skinny jeans.

But not everyone is ready to wave goodbye just yet. For a generation of women, skinny jeans will always be their ride or die. The good news is that you can still wear skinny jeans in 2022 – you just need to know how to style them and the best jeans to buy.

This guide is your cheat sheet on how to keep wearing your skinny jeans even when Gen Z has canceled the style. We’re answering all your burning questions – from which shoes to wear with skinny jeans to what styles are now in fashion.

What to wear with skinny jeans

The secret to wearing skinny jeans is all in the styling. The trick for styling skinny jeans is all about finding balance for your look. Not all skinny jeans are made equal, so these rules will vary depending on the style that you choose.

When you’re styling your skinny jeans, you don’t need to worry about letting them bunch up. This look was once a fashion faux pas but now screams ‘effortless chic’. You’ll get the best look for this styling tip when wearing cropped skinny jeans.

Like any style of jeans, you can wear skinny jeans with any type of top, from an oversized sweater to a tank top. The one thing you want to remember is to create balance in your look. If you’re wearing a crop top, you want to skip skinny jeans with a low-rise silhouette.

1. Free People Blue Bell V-Neck Sweater 2. True Religion Stella Low Rise Skinny Jeans 3. A.L.C. Jordana Crop Top 4. Kut from the Kloth Donna Fab Ab High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans1. Free People Blue Bell V-Neck Sweater, $128 at Zappos, 2. True Religion Stella Low Rise Skinny Jeans, $149 at Zappos, 3. A.L.C. Jordana Crop Top, $225 at Saks Fifth Avenue, 4. Kut from the Kloth Donna Fab Ab High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans, $89 at Nordstrom

Skinny jeans can also be the perfect way to experiment with wearing denim on denim. As the jeans have a more understated silhouette, it can feel less daring when styling them with another type of denim or the same denim wash.

You can take a leaf from Hilary Duff’s style book by coordinating your favorite skinny jeans with a contrasting denim jacket for a colorful moment.

1. Levi's Ex-Boyfriend Denim Trucker Jacket 2. Agolde Cropped Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans 3. Marc Fisher Ulani Pointy Toe Bootie1. Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend Denim Trucker Jacket, $98 at Saks Fifth Avenue, 2. Agolde Cropped Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans, $176 at Farfetch, 3. Marc Fisher Ulani Pointy Toe Bootie, $188.95 at Amazon

When in doubt about what to wear with your skinny jeans, stick to the classic look of jeans and a t-shirt. This combination will never fail you and should be a staple in your closet.

You can make this classic look your own by adding a signature piece that incorporates a little of your personality. This accessory could be a statement bag, an oversized jacket, or eye-catching sneakers.

1. Sanctuary Lou Ruched Tie Tee 2. Topshop Jamie Ripped Ankle Skinny Jeans 3. Chloe Woody Small Crossbody Felt Tote1. Sanctuary Lou Ruched Tie Tee, $48.95 at Zappos, 2. Topshop Jamie Ripped Ankle Skinny Jeans, $75 – $80 at Nordstrom, 3. Chloe Woody Small Crossbody Felt Tote, $1,050 at Saks Fifth Avenue

What shoes to wear with skinny jeans

Booties – including duck boots – are your best friend when wearing skinny jeans. If you want to give the illusion of a slimmer silhouette, shop around for ankle boots with a stiletto heel.

Joe's The Charlie Coated Ankle Skinny Jeans and Chinese Laundry Elba Booties1. Joe’s The Charlie Coated Ankle Skinny Jeans, $198 at Nordstrom, 2. Chinese Laundry Elba Booties, $89.95 at Zappos

Although short boots are the perfect match for your skinny jeans, don’t overlook the potential of knee-high boots. These shoes are ideal for winter or when you want a more seductive look.

Wearing skinny jeans means that you don’t have to worry about excess fabric when slipping into your knee-high boots.

1. Isabel Marant Nadeloisa Trousers 2. Schutz Magalli Knee-High Leather Boots1. Isabel Marant Nadeloisa Trousers, $500 at Matches Fashion, 2. Schutz Magalli Knee-High Leather Boots, $238 at Saks Fifth Avenue

While heels are usually a go-to for skinny jeans, you want to consider the length of your jeans.

If they’re too long, heels can quickly become a hazard. As a general rule of thumb, your heels should be clearly visible when wearing jeans – meaning that cropped or ankle-length styles are the best.

If you want to elevate your skinny jeans, try styling them with a classic nude or suede heel.

1. Liverpool Gia Glider Pull-On Crop Skinny Jeans 2. Stuart Weitzman Suede Heels 3. Paige Transcend - Hoxton Ultra Skinny Jeans 4. Gianvito Rossi Gianvito Suede Pumps1. Liverpool Gia Glider Pull-On Crop Skinny Jeans, $98 at Zappos, 2. Stuart Weitzman Suede Heels, $489 at Farfetch, 3. Paige Transcend – Hoxton Ultra Skinny Jeans, $189 at Nordstrom, 4. Gianvito Rossi Gianvito Suede Pumps, $695 at Mytheresa

What not to wear with skinny jeans

While skinny jeans might seem like that style that you can wear everywhere, they’re not fool-proof. Although there are several garments you want to stay away from styling with your skinny jeans, these all have easy swaps and alternatives you can wear instead.

You want to avoid wearing a tight tank top with your skinny jeans. While this might look like a throwback to ‘90s supermodel chic, it’s a dated look that sits awkwardly in a halfway house between athleisure and classic jeans and a t-shirt.

Instead, try something different with a voluminous top that balances the sleekness of your skinny jeans with a slightly oversized silhouette.

One shoe style you want to avoid is strappy sandals. These shoes generally don’t go well with any style of jeans, including skinny jeans. Swap them out with classic flats that have a statement feature, like intricate embroidery or an oversized jewel.

What styles are replacing skinny jeans

So, if skinny jeans are out, what’s in? While you might not be ready to ditch skinny jeans right away, it’s always a good idea to try something new.

If you’re thinking of updating your closet for spring/summer 2022, these are the jeans styles you’ll be seeing on the rails of your favorite department stores.

Boot-cut jeans are making a serious comeback as a throwback style from the ‘70s. While these jeans may take you out of your comfort zone, they’re universally flattering and a halfway style between skinny jeans and a wide-leg silhouette.

1. Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Hr Boot Cut Jeans 2. Diesel Bootcut D-ebbey Jeans 3. Nili Lotan High-rise Bootcut Jeans1. Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Hr Boot Cut Jeans, $48 at Zappos, 2. Diesel Bootcut D-Ebbey Jeans, $127 at Farfetch, 3. Nili Lotan High-rise Bootcut Jeans, $395 at Matches Fashion

Fans of minimalistic fashion will be no strangers to barrel-leg jeans. This sleek silhouette is one of the most versatile styles on the market and instantly elevates any look. If you’re creating a capsule closet, this style is one you can’t afford to sleep on.

1. BDG Urban Outfitters Logan Barrel-Leg Jeans 2. AG Adriano Goldschmied Renn High-Rise Barrel Jeans 3. Citizens of Humanity Calista Cropped Barrel-Leg Jeans1. BDG Urban Outfitters Logan Barrel-Leg Jeans, $69 at Nordstrom, 2. AG Adriano Goldschmied Renn High-Rise Barrel Jeans, $215 at Zappos, 3. Citizens of Humanity Calista Cropped Barrel-Leg Jeans, $258 at Matches Fashion

It’s not just classic jeans that have everyone talking, asymmetric jeans are starting to appear across streetwear fashion. This slightly oversized style adds a quirky finish to any outfit and draws the eye to your waistline with its asymmetrical closure.

1. Grey Lab Asymmetric Wrap Jeans 2. R13 Asymmetric Cropped Jeans 3. Maison Mihara Yasuhiro Asymmetric Patchwork-design Jeans1. Grey Lab Asymmetric Wrap Jeans, $80 at Nordstrom, 2. R13 Asymmetric Cropped Jeans, $678 at Farfetch, 3. Maison Mihara Yasuhiro Asymmetric Patchwork-design Jeans, $1,718 at Farfetch

If you want to shake up your style and try something different, straight-leg jean is the perfect way to start. These jeans are a staple in every woman’s closet and feel different enough from your skinny jeans, without being too much of a style shock.

1. BDG Urban Outfitters Two-Tone Pax Straight-Leg Jeans 2. Raey Push Straight-Leg Jeans 3. Helmut Lang Distressed High-Rise Straight Jeans1. BDG Urban Outfitters Two-Tone Pax Straight-Leg Jeans, $69 at Nordstrom, 2. Raey Push Straight-Leg Jeans, $144 at Matches Fashion, 3. Helmut Lang Distressed High-Rise Straight Jeans, $261 at Mytheresa

Are you still devoted to your skinny jeans? How are you styling them in 2022?

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