Why do guys wear skinny jeans? When men’s fashion went slim

Jamie Wdziekonski from OhJamie.com

Skinny jeans on men have not had a good name. “Aren’t his jeans too tight?” seems to be the most common question on people’s lips. But what people are really saying, and what the central argument against skinny jeans on men is, “shouldn’t guys give some room to breathe ‘down there’?”.

Perhaps it comes down the reason some believe that humans are on their earth – reproduction. If we take into account the findings of a 1986 scientific study that suggested wearing tight pants or underwear could lower a man’s sperm count – it really does beg the question, why put yourselves through such pain? What possible advantages could skinny jeans give to its wearer?

But of course, fashion has never been about advantages of health, or safety. After all, what advantages do high heels bring considering they’re a proven danger? Why did women in ancient China bind their feet? Why were Victorian women wearing corsets that bruise their ribcage?

Is the simple answer to all that (and to why men wear skinny jeans) is because we’re all slaves to fashion? And believe it or not, men are just as impressionable to the latest fashion trends as women, even if they don’t admit to it.

In 2001, Hedi Slimane left Yves Saint Laurent Homme to take the reins at Dior Homme, he forever changed the shape of menswear. By slimming down silhouettes and choosing lean, lanky male models instead of traditional bulky types, Slimane not only changed men who were involved in fashion – Karl Lagerfeld famously lost 42 kgs in 2001, saying that he “wanted to dress differently, to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane”, and he’s kept that weight off since – but society’s perception of male body image.

Dior Homme, Autumn/Winter 2001-02 by Heidi Slimane

Jamie Wdziekonski, photographer and fashion blogger behind OhJamie.com tells us that he wears skinny jeans because it’s aesthetically pleasing.

“To be honest though I have no idea why guys started wearing skinny jeans. Straight cut or loose fit jeans make my legs look big and chunky. I guess it also in a roundabout way ties back to the whole androgynous look?”

“I definitely don’t think the skinny jean will die out anytime soon though,” he added.

But somewhere between 2001 and 2012, the skinny jean or slim trouser cut went from being a high fashion trend to being an everyday piece in men’s fashion.

“It’s interesting, because the skinny jean has become so ubiquitous for men that many shops don’t sell any other cuts anymore,” fashion writer Nadia Bailey tells us. “It’s not a style that suits my boyfriend – he favours a relaxed fit or even a bootcut – but many shops have dropped those cuts from their stock.”

“It may seem like an obvious point, but skinny jeans tend to suit skinny guys – and men who have a more muscular shape or indeed, a curvy shape (yes, men can have curves too) don’t look their best in the skinny shape.”

“Personally, I love skinny jeans on guys, but I recognise that they don’t work for everyone – my boyfriend included.”

Over the decades, men’s body shape has change that the size of male mannequins have shrunk to reflect this trend. Below are the measurements of famed British mannequin maker Rootstein, and it’s obvious how their chest and waist size have dropped dramatically in the last 50 years.

1967: 42″ chest, 33″ waist
1983: 41″ chest, 31″ waist?
1994: 38″ chest, 28″ waist
2010: 35″ chest, 27″ waist

Simply casting ourselves as vulnerable animals influenced by the awe of fashion isn’t very reassuring, but asking why men wear skinny jeans is akin to asking why women wear sky high heels – cause we simple look good in them.

Perhaps it is a trend that turned into an everyday fashion look thanks in large part to the needs of the youthful guys and creative men who wear them . Whether it’s in the name of comfort or to achieve an androgynous (or asexual) look, who’s to say its right or wrong? It’s fashion.

We would love to know what you think of men who wear skinny jeans – share your thoughts below.

By Arthur Chan with Helen Lee.

Arthur is the Editor of Hommestyler, a menswear and men’s grooming blog. You can also follow HommeStyler on Twitter or on Facebook.


  • hughskinnyjean says:

    Only trendy man wear or like skinny jean, the tightest you wear the trendy your are. In future tight narrow skinny jean not just only for women.

  • skinny jean says:

    I a hugh fan of wearing skin tight cloth include skinny jean.

  • juliemarg says:

    That was really a great fashion! The jeans are good!

  • Mike says:

    I love skinny jeans – the tighter the better.
    If you have the confidence to wear them the do it!
    I’m going to try and see if it’s acceptable to wear them in my office.

  • GuileWilliams says:

    Skinny jeans are an offense to male masculinity unless you’re Japanese. They make men look “pretty” and it is a little to feminine. But hey, if the new generation wants to look like a bunch of sissy girls then go ahead with the skinny jeans.

  • Corey says:

    If you are having problems finding skinny jeans for guys, check out 20jeans.com. They have some great colors and every pair is $20 (http://20jeans.com/skinny-jeans.html)

    As a guy who is moderately fashionable (self-proclaimed), I like a slimmer cut in my jeans, shirts, and suits. I think slim is here to stay!

  • Rob says:

    I think actually, its probably down to personal tast. Im a middle age man, but always wear super skinny jeans, not only do i feel good in them, but they are comfortable, and i frequently get asked where i bought them.
    Maybe the people against are afraid, or maybe fell inadeqite in some way, or maybe just dont have the body for them, or the courageto try them.
    Personaly, they are comfey, i feel good in the tightest jeans around, but most importantly, I wear ski tight jeans because i want to. Just like Jo blogs wears that shirt, or those baggy builder jeans.
    Long live the skinny jean.

  • Kyle186 says:

    Looking at those measurements there’s no way in hell that I could ever fit into the “mannequin size” that is “cool”. I’m 29 and I’m a size 36-38 at 6’3″ 197lbs. Im at my ideal BMI (body-mass index). I prefer boot cut and relaxed fit but I can’t find anything even kind of like that anywhere. I don’t mind if a guy wants to wear skinny jeans, but also dont feel like this should be the only option for men’s apparel Anyone in a similar situation? Love to hear feedback.

  • aaron23 says:

    @Kyle186, I work at American Eagle Outfitters and we carry all mens jeans from skinny to relaxed. Go to your AE and check it our or at aeo.com

  • OMega says:

    Well, its the sign of the times. Women are becoming more like men, and men are becoming more like women. You can never catch me in skinny jeans, and I’m in great shape. Most of the men I’ve met that wear them tend to be on the feminine side anyway. Buy some pants that fit and let your bo jangles breath. Tired of walking behind someone, thinking its a female, and then the person turns around and its a guy.

  • Steve says:

    I agree with Rob. I’m 37 years old and I love to wear super skinny jeans. I feel good in them and they are comfortable.
    I Personaly, think they are very comfortable, I feel good in the tightest jeans around, but most importantly, I wear skinny tight jeans because I want to and they make me look skinnier and not overweight. The looser the jeans, the more I look like I gained weight and am a little flabby. And I say If you wear skinny jeans right you will not have health problems like many people are saying comes from wearing skinny jeans. I wear skinny jeans all the time and have not had any problems at all with my body. Long live the skinny Jeans!

  • Redau says:

    Hey guys

    I always looked at males wearing skinny jeans and said “wtf”men gone wo-men…anyhow I tried a skinny jeans for the 1st time and my god I felt and looked awsome..felt more confident than I usualy do.I must say 1 thing though “stick to blue black or grey skinnys”let’s leave the bright colours for the girls yellow,green etc… I’m a fashion head I live to dress and look hot even did my eye brows lol I guess soon we about to hear that’s gay as well.big up to the skinny whOoooop

  • Troy T says:

    I am an older guy and love to wear skinny jeans and Hot Topic in particular.
    I am well built at 5’10” and 165 pounds with a 32/33 waist and love the feel and looks of skinny jeans.
    I am over 60 years of age and still think they feel and look great. Not gay either.

  • To the above poster says:

    Who cares what people want to wear? If they feel comfortable in skinny jeans how does that affect you? Let your gender stereotypes go. I’m 25 and skinny, and I wear pants on the skinny side (I hate jeans but I wear what you might call skateboarding type pants). Take look at this link: http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/10/C-PAS-image.jpg and look at the pants on the far left. That’s the fit that I normally wear.

  • Henry says:

    Google ‘mens skin tight jeans’ and select images. The first image on the top left – guy with his back to you, is about as good as it gets – perfect legs for the perfect skin tight fit – not broom pole skinny or work out muscular but with a bit of shape. Wear the tightest jeans your confidence will allow. I’m not gay but I luv the edgy, dodgy idea of super skin tight jeans. Girls jeans with a bit of stretch are just fine for me.

  • BlackSheep says:

    I too am an older guy who loves skinny jeans (over 60) body weight of 67 kg, and 179 height. I like to mix at time with tee shirt in summer, and even high heels. Interesting with heels, if I wear a 3″ court heel, no socks and cuffs turned up, it draws more attention, than 5″ heeled boots with cuffs finishing above the heel. Skinny jeans and heels look and feels awesome on a guy

  • .......... says:

    only faggots and queers wear skinny jeans. Disgusting that society accepts men wearing skinny jeans.

    What next? Men wearing lipstick and makeup?

  • reese says:

    stupid sheep, monkey see , monkey doooo !

  • old biker says:

    I wear skinny tight jacket and pants for riding motorcycle at high speed. I can’t stand all the sight and noise from flapping loose clothing. If I’m in motion on natural surface of the earth under comfortable temperature, I want run bare foot and wear absolutely nothing on my skin.

  • tight&skinny says:

    Tight doesn’t mean for women any more, Tight skinny is today fashion.

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