Slim Jeans Vs. Skinny Jeans


Stretch fabrics such as stretch denim and twill are often used for slim and skinny jean silhouettes. Since these jean silhouettes have grown in popularity, manufacturers have translated the patterns into plus size patterns as well as for the 40+ and 50+ woman. The silhouette's cut makes both jean styles flattering to a woman's natural shape and curves.

Slim Jeans Defined

  • A jean silhouette is defined by the pattern type and cut of the garment. A slim jean follows a form-fitting pattern, which results in the slim jean cut silhouette. The leg pattern is not necessarily closely tapered. Although the silhouette contours naturally around the shape, the jean does have added room.

Slim Jeans: Fabric

  • Although stretch denim is most commonly associated with form-fitting silhouettes, the slim jean is also cut in non-stretch cotton denim fabric. The slim jean usually has a five-pocket silhouette with two front shaped pockets, a coin pocket and two back pockets, as well as a fly front brass zipper and a trendy low-front rise. Non-stretch fabrics are utilized with the slim jean silhouette because of the full front opening feature and the slight added room around the hip, thigh and calf.

Slim Jeans: Fit

  • The main fit feature of the women's slim jean is the specific cut of the silhouette to fit tighter at the seat and thigh. The leg opening varies from a slightly tapered leg to a wider boot cut opening leg. The slim fit cut often produces a more flattering look for the consumer by eliminating bagginess.

Skinny Jeans Defined

  • The jean silhouette cut for the skinny jean uses a pattern that is contoured to the body resulting in a closely tapered leg. Designers have extended the length of the inseam to the skinny jean to make it a trendy silhouette.

Skinny Jeans: Fabric

  • Elastane and Lycra/spandex are blended with cotton denim to weave stretch denim. This fabric blend is primarily used for the skinny jean because of the fabric's recovery. This is a term referring to fabric that returns to its original state after stretching without resulting in bagginess around the stretched areas such as at the thigh and knee.

Skinny Jeans: Fit

  • The main fit feature of the skinny jean is the "second skin" cut, which is a term referring to a pattern that is made close to the body's shape. The cut works with a woman's natural curves. The closely tapered leg pattern is the key factor of the silhouette by featuring the natural silhouette of the thigh, knee and calf. The inseam is usually extended to give the illusion of a long leg.


  • Stonewash finishes such as light, medium and dark as well as trimmings such as rivets and decorative stitching are common similarities for the slim and skinny jeans. Stretch denim twill is also used and dyed into colors such as black, grey and white as well as popular colors such as green, brown and purple.

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  • "Fierce Style: How to Be Your Most Fabulous Self;" Christian Siriano, Rennie Dyball and Tim Gunn; 2009
  • "Your Perfect Fit: What to Wear to Show Off Your Assets, What to Do to Tone Up Your Trouble Spots"; Paige Adams-Geller and Ashley Borden; 2007
  • Photo Credit jean"s pockets. image by SYLVIE FOURGEOT from
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