Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

Ask CF: What Are Some Alternatives to Skinny Jeans?


Ask cf alternates to skinny jeans header
Photo Credit

Welcome to the latest edition of Ask CF! Every few weeks, we select a reader fashion question and answer it here on the site. Do you have a specific fashion question for us? Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to send it our way!

Ask CF Question

Dear CF,

Could you do a post on alternatives to skinny jeans? How do you style boot-cut, flared jeans, and boyfriend jeans? What shoes would you would wear with them and how can I look fashionable in them?

Tired of Skinnies

Our Response

Dear Tired of Skinnies,

Over the past few years, skinny jeans have gotten so popular that it’s hard to remember a time before them. But – we promise – there was a time when other styles ruled the fashion scene.

Whether you don’t like the way skinny jeans fit or you just want to change up your wardrobe routine, below, I’ve created three looks for inspiration to help you do just that. For variety’s sake, each look includes a different style of jeans: There’s a bootcut pair, a wide leg pair, and a boyfriend pair.

When styling each outfit, I focused on creating visual balance. For example, in the wide leg look, I added a heeled boot and a long vest to create length to balance out the width of the pants. For the boyfriend pair, I added ladylike details to feminize the look. I also added some fun shoes that will stand out even though the pant legs cover them up a little.

Thank you again for your question. I hope you enjoy the looks and find them useful and inspirational!



Outfit #1: Bootcut

Ask cf alternative to skinnies bootleg
Product Information: Belt, T-shirt, Jacket, Earrings, Shoes, Pants

Bootcut pants are probably the most iconic of all styles, so it’s likely that you have a few pairs lying around in your closet. (I know I do!)

For this look, I found these great bootcut cords, which are a great change from your typical jeans (though regular jeans would work just as well). Next, add a simple oversized white tee and and an electric blue blazer. Finally, put on the finishing touches with accessories like a leopard print belt, some cool studs, and — for some serious glitz — some glitter brogues that will peek out from under the cords.

Outfit #2: Wide Leg

Ask cf alternative skinny jeans wide leg
Product Information: Vest, Sweater, Scarf, Pants, Earrings, Boots

Another popular pant style is the iconic wide leg “flare” cut. For this look, I mixed an eggplant-colored pair of flared pants with a horizontal striped sweater. To balance out the width of the wide leg jean, I added length to the look with a heeled boot and a vegan leather waist coast. Finish the look with a floral print infinity scarf and some sparkly earrings.

Outfit #3: Boyfriend

Ask cf alternative skinny jeans boyfriend
Product Information: Earrings, Sweatshirt, Bag, Pants, Shoes, Sunglasses, Watch

This final look incorporates a pair of trendy boyfriend jeans. To pull of this menswear-inspired style, I like to pair them with feminine pieces for balance.

To start, I chose some boyfriend jeans that actually boast a feminine vibe already, thanks to subtle rhinestone studs. And even though the jeans are oversized, a loose, baggy sweater can still work – just add glam accessories like glitter oxfords and bejeweled drop earrings. Complete the ensemble with oversized sunnies, an envelope clutch, and a sleek watch.

Do you have a fashion question? Send it our way!

Is there something in your closet that you can’t seem to figure out how to wear? Do you have an event coming up and need an outfit idea? Do you have a specific fashion conundrum you need help with?

If you have a question you want to see answered in this column, just send it on over via email to askcf  @ and one day you might see your question answered right here on the site!

Please note: We get A LOT of email and unfortunately we will not be able to respond to every single question. However, we will read through each question and then decide which ones will be most helpful to the most readers. Thank you for your understanding.

What do you think?

Have you had this problem before? How do you feel about skinny jeans? Do you usually wear skinnies or do you stick to other cuts? What is your favorite way to style non-skinny pants? Which of these looks is your favorite? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Posted on on December 4, 2012 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

24 Responses to “Ask CF: What Are Some Alternatives to Skinny Jeans?”

  1. 1
    December 4th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I really like the first and last outfits, but I LOVE skinny jeans! Being 5’2, skinny jeans are more flattering on me and they go with just about everything. I honestly never wear boot cut anymore! This post was helpful because I never know how to pair bootcut, boyfriend, etc. jeans with anything anymore!

  2. 2
    December 4th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I agree with Ella! Skinny jeans just make us short girls look taller. Whenever I wear any type of flare I look so short!

  3. 3
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    SUPER helpful post! I’ve been wondering about this for ages now because I live in my skinnies (I’m 5’2″ as well… I drown in a lot of other things) but I think my favorite part of this post was that you didn’t try and make bootcut pants “preppy” or wide leg pants “boho” neither are really my style but these outfits inspire a lot of things that I would call my style!
    I’m just really happy you did a post on this!

  4. 4
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I loove skinny jeans, I think they’re the most flattering shape for me, but when I want a change(not very often, I must admit) I wear wide leg pants with wedges and they look reeslly cute!

  5. 5
    December 4th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks for this! I feel like I’m the only one left in the world that wears boot and flare cuts but not skinny jeans– I just don’t think they’re comfortable!

  6. 6
    December 4th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks for this post! I personally love skinny jeans – the cut seems to flatter my figure. I don’t think I’d be able to pull off the boyfriend jean look, to be honest! I really loved seeing the different outfit ideas though!

  7. 7
    December 4th, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    i used to wear skinnies exclusively, and i loved them with boots–not so much with flats. now i live somewhere that’s warm all the time (so i can’t wear boots) and i own two pairs of bootcut jeans. i was wondering about this! i’ve worn skinnies so long i feel ridiculously out of fashion in anything else.

  8. 8
    December 5th, 2012 at 1:05 am

    LOVE this article! The last outfit is perfect

  9. 9
    December 5th, 2012 at 4:19 am

    I like all these outfits a lot. I have been following CF for the past 6 months. I love it! Your fashion tips are spot on. I’m glad a reader asked this question

  10. 10
    December 5th, 2012 at 4:45 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION!!! Usually if I like an outfit on here, it’s paired with skinny jeans. I have to swap them for bootcut because skinny jeans look awful on me. I’ve managed to find pairs of slim fit jeans that look better but bootcut will always be the most flattering.

  11. 11
    December 5th, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Great idea. But the example of a wide leg pant, is NOT a wide leg pants. It’s a bell bottom flare.

  12. 12
    December 5th, 2012 at 5:18 am

    I am truly in love with the second outfit!

  13. 13
    December 5th, 2012 at 5:32 am

    I usually wear skinny jeans, since I’m not tall and most of the time have around 50kg only, I look even more tiny with wide leg jeans -.-
    But I look surprisingly good in Primark’s cut for guys. i bought the smallest size straight cut trousers and use it for cozy outfits (for those who want to try too)

  14. 14
    December 5th, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Very good post, you did a great styling job ! As an alternative of jeans of all kinds, I also love Chino pants. I think they are easy to wear and to mix with casual or fancy outfits.

  15. 15
    December 5th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Sarah is right; the wide-leg pants are not wide-leg. I own a pair of wide-leg jeans and they look nothing like that. Wide-leg jeans are loose the whole way down and do not hug the knee at all. Also, with wide-leg jeans, I believe that you are not supposed to wear anything long and/or loose as a top or jacket, as it looks frumpy and gives the appearance that you have no curves.

  16. 16
    December 5th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I lived in skinny jeans for about 3 years when I was a moody teenager but I’m starting to wear straight legs a lot more now because I have rather skinny legs and despite the name, skinny jeans do not flatter them.

  17. 17
    December 5th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Dear cf,
    I was wondering if u could help me style colourful sweaters i dont really know how but i keep getting lots of them and they dont get but to use.

    From colourful sweaters

  18. 18
    December 6th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    yeah, i have a pair of wide leg jeans as well and like Katherine said, you look taller if you wear a more fitted top with them, to balance out the wideness of the jeans. :)

  19. 19
    December 8th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you all for your responses! I’m happy to see you found the post helpful.

    Sarah and Katherine: Yes, you are right. The example of the pants pictures are considered flares. Originally, I was trying to encapsulate the wide bottom pant leg in one term (because “wide bottom pant leg” is kind of lengthy and ugly haha) to refer to wide leg pants, flares, etc. and ended up deciding to just use “wide leg.”

    But looking back, that choice was a misnomer given the featured item; something that I should have clarified. Thank you for doing so for me. For those of you who are interested, I have linked two options of true-to-the-term wide leg pants:, . The idea here is that the second outfit works equally well for any wide-bottomed pant (wide leg pants like the examples of the links, flares like the pair pictured, etc.)

    And for those of you concerned with the top half being too bulky on look 2, finding a fitted sweater or sizing down should do the trick. Also, adding length in the vest visually balances out the effect that the wide leg/flare pants have. But because it is a vest it doesn’t add the same amount of bulk that a jacket might. But as always, styling takes practice and experimentation. And sometimes breaking from “the rules” results in some great finds. That being said, try many different options for you, see what works, and see what doesn’t. That’s what makes getting dressed so fun :)

    As always, thank you for your comments!

  20. 20
    December 9th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    What are some ways to style sleeveless collared shirts. I have so many but have such a hard time trying to style them!

  21. 21
    February 8th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I always wear skinny jeans, but I do like the outfits, I agree with Sarah, the example of a wide leg is a bell bottom flare.

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.