Still stuck in skinny jeans? It might be time to schedule an appointment to be surgically cut out of them and slip into something more comfortable. Baggy jeans are back, and as difficult as that may be for anyone who grew up with them to wrap their head around, embracing the shift to a wider silhouette can really open up your wardrobe options.
Wide-leg, relaxed, straight and loose-fit are pretty much the default settings for Gen Z denim. We’re not advocating cosplaying as a TikTok-obsessed teen, but if you want to roll with the times, then it’s worth embracing baggier fits to achieve a more contemporary look. But how did we get here? What’s the best way to wear loose jeans? And which brands are actually making stylish versions?
To answer all of the above questions, here’s a handy guide to baggy jeans. So get ready to peel those drainpipes off and welcome in a more comfortable legwear era.
How Did Baggy Jeans Become Cool Again?
Those of a certain age will hear ‘baggy jeans’ and their minds will immediately begin to conjure images of the early 2000s. Nu-metal, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video games, puffy skate shoes, wallet chains and hair spiked rigid with wet-look gel. Was it a good look? That’s up for debate, but what’s certain is that elements of it are creeping back into mainstream fashion 20 years later.
If there’s one thing we can see clearly from looking back across the decades, it’s that what’s fashionable in terms of fit fluctuates fairly predictably. Trends swing like a pendulum. If skinny fits are in, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be eclipsed by something wider a decade or two down the line. And that’s exactly what has happened here.
Kids see the generation before them doing something a certain way, and they rebel against it by going in the opposite direction. Hence the skinny jeans millennials have been sewn into for the last two decades are now uncool, and baggy jeans are back in.
Should I Wear Baggy Jeans?
So, should you join the party and buy baggy? That depends largely on your body shape. Extreme fits can be tricky to pull off for certain body types. For example, those with thicker set legs might look out of proportion in skinny jeans, and the opposite is true where loose-fitting jeans are concerned.
If you’re particularly skinny or short, a pair of baggy jeans could leave you looking like you’re drowning in denim. The goal is to balance out proportions, so we’d advise going for something a little less extreme. If you want to move away from skinny and slim fits, why not try a classic straight-leg jean instead?
Styling Advice For Baggy Jeans
Keep Proportions Balanced
It’s important to maintain a sense of balance between your lower and upper halves. When it comes to baggy jeans, this means making sure whatever you’re wearing on top isn’t overly tight or fitted.
We’re not saying you have to limit yourself to baggy hoodies and oversized shirts, but just avoid muscle-fit tees and you should be good.
Don’t Go Too Baggy
Be careful not to stray too far down the baggy route. If your jeans are getting shredded to bits by the heels of your shoes and wicking up rain water from the pavement then you might want to consider a more conservative cut.
Choose The Right Footwear
Balance is also important where footwear is concerned. A pair of tiny little low-profile running shoes can look odd peeking out from beneath a huge cloak of denim.
Instead, stuck to styles with some heft. There’s a reason chunky sneakers and baggy jeans always seem to trend at the same time.
Fit is still important
Baggy doesn’t have to be a synonym for ill fitting. Your jeans should still fit well in the waist and be a good length for your legs, regardless of how baggy or relaxed they are.
Go for a high waist
A high waist can make loose-fitting jeans feel a bit more grown up. Drake’s makes some great high-waisted styles that are loose in the leg without any of the Limp Bizkit connotations.
The Best Brands For Baggy Jeans
We’re big fans of Wax London’s contemporary twist on menswear’s staple garments. The British brand makes some great loose-fit jeans that are cut nice and wide in the leg for a comfortable, modern fit.
German denim specialist Closed has a huge selection of relaxed-fit jeans to choose from. They’re laid-back and loose without being obnoxiously baggy, and they’re available in a plethora of different colours and styles, including distressed options.
Non is a sustainable fashion brand that uses organic and post-consumer materials to create stylish clothes. There’s a range of straight and relaxed-fit jeans to choose from, or even wide-leg styles if you want to go all out.
The label specialises in selvedge denim made from organic and recycled cotton, and there are even raw options for those who want to create their own fades and whiskers.
Whenever you’re shopping for jeans, Levi’s should be on your radar. The American brand brought denim jeans to the masses, and it’s responsible for some of the most iconic styles on the market.
If you don’t want to go too baggy, a classic 501 is a good compromise. It’s still comfortable and far more relaxed than a skinny or slim jean, but it’s not comically baggy either. That said, there are plenty of relaxed, loose-fitting and baggy styles to pick from too.
Carhartt’s streetwear-inspired WIP sub-brand is known for its relaxed fits, and denim is no exception.
Expect to find workwear-inspired pieces with skate and street culture elements woven in, including baggy carpenter jeans that are equally at home building stair sets or skating them.
Japanese denim brand Edwin carries a wide range of fits and fabrics, including those on the baggier end of the spectrum. Pick from cuts like wide-leg, loose-tapered and relaxed, and arm yourself with a pair of baggy jeans from one of the biggest and most respected names in the denim game.
OG Californian streetwear label Stussy is one of the most consistent brands there is. Its best known for logo-heavy hoodies, tees and wild patterns, but it has an excellent legwear offering too, including plenty of loose-fitting denim.
Look out for relaxed straight-leg jeans and denim utility pants.
American workwear brand Dickies is known for its reasonably priced, generously sized legwear. The 574 chino, with its simple looks and wide leg, is the label’s most popular style, but there are also plenty of denim options available with similarly roomy cuts.
For a premium option, we’d direct you to Drake’s. The preppy London label is famous for its jazzy fabrics, upscale casualwear and quirky tailoring, but the denim is great too.
Granted, Drake’s jeans are far from baggy, but they’re cut looser than your average straight-leg jean and feature a stylish high rise that looks great with tucked T-shirts and shirts.