Skinny Jeans Are Dead – Why you Should Be Wearing Non-Stretch Denim


’80s inspired non-stretch denim have made a comeback this season displacing the classic skinny jeans. Here’s what you need to know…

Words Joy Montgomery

They’ve been our faithful friends for over a decade now – their reign over the denim market uninterrupted. But now the winds of change are a-blowing and there’s a new style in town. Sorry skinnys, your dictatorship has ended. It’s time to welcome in the era of non-stretch denim.

Originally embodying the rock n’ roll swagger of the ’60s, drainpipe jeans have slowly descended into mundanity. High street looks have become more and more elasticated (RIP jeggings) and the proliferation of the style has reached every corner of society. They’re the new basic ballet pump. Admittedly there will always be a place for skinnys in our lives. What else would we wear our Chelsea boots and shearling jackets with after all? But the fashion industry has spoken and style-conscious women have embraced the opportunity to break out of the skinny mould.

There’s something very now about jeans (or clothes in general) that don’t cling to every inch of the body. Androgyny has replaced WAG-style sexy – along with no-makeup makeup and I-just-woke-up-like-this hair. The new look is reminiscent of the rigid, high-waisted styles of the ’80s. The silhouette is more relaxed, with a loose tapered leg that finishes just above the ankle. Think of the classic Levi 501s your mum used to wear in her 20s. Heritage is challenging the reign of fast fashion, and if bought correctly, the new denim should be worn-in and kept forever.

In need of some guidance? Scroll down for our non-stretch denim rules…


– Stone wash is currently in-vogue, but mid blue is more universally flattering
– Make sure you flash a bit of ankle to keep the look modern
– Always tuck in your tops to lengthen legs
– Find the perfect fit. This is super important with non-stretch jeans – specialist denim stores will help you find the right pair.
– Look after your denim. Follow our care guide to keep your denim in tip-top condition. 

501® CT Jeans For Women, £85; levi.com

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