Can Fat Guys Wear Slim or Skinny Jeans? (and should we…)

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When I first met my wife I was wearing skinny jeans and a denim jacket. Of course, that was more than 100 pounds ago.

But then, like most guys, I continued dressing the exact same way for the next decade.

I had always been on the receiving end of snide remarks about my skinny jeans and the way I dressed so I figured that people telling me sniggering at me was nothing new.

I didn’t realize that it was no longer because I was wearing skinny jeans. It’s because I was a fat guy wearing skinny jeans.

That’s not to say that all fat guys can’t wear skinny jeans. Of course, fat guys can wear skinny jeans, we can wear whatever we want.

Whether it’s a good idea or even possible to look good are other questions entirely.

The main problem with skinny jeans is that skinny jeans aren’t flattering for big guys. Because of the average fat guy’s body shape skinny jeans highlight the most unflattering parts of their bodies (skinny legs, pancake butt, and big belly).

If, however, you have the body type for skinny jeans you can wear them fashionably no matter your weight.

Choosing The Right Type Of Skinny Jeans As A Big Guy

People that make blanket statements about whether or not fat guys can wear skinny jeans have totally missed the boat. There is both a right and wrong way to wear skinny jeans for everyone, not just fat guys. You just need the right type of jeans for your body type.

Skinny Jeans – Fit vs Cut

When most people hear the term “skinny jeans” they think about the low rise, pencil thin, black jeans that every skater wore in the 90s. Or at least I do. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Let me share with you some little-known information about the way that jeans are designed and labeled.

Each pair of jeans has two descriptors, one for the fit and one for the cut. For example, you might have tapered skinny jeans, relaxed slim fit, tapered straight, etc.

One half of the equation refers to how the top of the jean is fitted and the other part is how it relates to the bottom half.

My favorite pair of jeans of all-time was a pair of Levi’s that were tapered skinny jeans. The fit slim (but not skin-tight) over my thighs and then skinny on my calves and ankles. Flattering and I still got the skinny-jean-effect without emphasizing my belly or butt.

If you’re a big guy you’ll probably be able to find a pair of what most people consider skinny jeans that fit you well. Having a jean that tapers toward the ankle is most falttering cut for most big guys whether you go all the way to skinny jeans or just stay with straight-leg options.

Best Material

Apart from choosing the proper cut the most important thing a big guy can do to ensure proper fit is to select the right material.

For the longest time I always ripped the crotch out of my jeans. Finding proper jeans for guys with big thighs is a huge problem. It turns out that most cuts of jeans are fine, I just needed jeans with a bit of stretch to them!

Skinny jeans with some stretch will be more comfortable, fit your body better, and last longer!


While this is mainly a preference, big guys should stay away from light colored pants as a rule of thumb.

Opt for dark denim (black being the best option) for skinny jeans and you’ll be able to avoid the pre-pubescent skater vibe.

Skinny jeans, paired correctly can be appropriate for nearly any environment including work or even church.

Best Skinny Jeans For Big Guys

While every guy is build a bit different, here are the skinny jeans that I’ve had good luck with and recommend to my plus-size guy friends if they are jealous of my denim

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I would high recommend the 511’s but all of them are good options. Just be sure to go somewhere that you can try them on first or you’ll end up returning a lot of jeans!

Are There Fat Guys That Shouldn’t Wear Skinny Jeans?

First off, you can wear whatever you want, no matter your size. However, if you’re looking for some fashion advice for big guys then yes, there are guys who should not be wearing skinny jeans.

If your body type is something like “soggy marshmallow on toothpicks” then maybe you should give skinny jeans a pass. Having a belly that hangs well below your skinny jeans or very thin legs on under a large upper body will mean that you’re going to look disproportionate and (to most people) unhealthy in skinny jeans.

Having said that, there are also skinny guys who shouldn’t be wearing skinny jeans, according to most people. Looking good in skinny jeans has much more to do with your overall body proportions and your build rather than just size/weight.

What If You’re Obese?

Can obese guys wear skinny jeans? Well, to hearken to my early response, sure. That doesn’t mean they’ll be comfy or fit well though.

Very few companies make jeans of any tapered variety that would fit an obese man (or woman for that matter). One of the reasons this is such a problem is that everyone gains weight differently as they approach obesity. The difference in waist to thigh to calf size grows making it much more difficult for brands to create skinny jeans with a large waist that would fit well otherwise.

This lack of alternative plus size clothing is one of the main reasons that items such as skinny jeans are considered to be taboo for big people, just because it’s so unusual.

If you’re obese and want to wear skinny jeans all I can do is wish you luck in finding some that fit and hope that they are somewhat comfortable.

Alternatives To Skinny Jeans For Big Guys

For most guys, slim fitting straight leg jeans will be more flattering than true skinny jeans. Unless you have muscular legs and a shapely backside you’ll simply look better (to most people) passing on the skinny jeans.

If you want the shorter look, joggers are a great alternative. Although they hardly come with the punk rock vibe.

Probably the best overall alternative to skinny jeans is to wear a taper slim fit pant that is tight on your calves but big enough for your waist. Don’t make the mistake of buying slim fit pants in a size down to make them skinnier.

Instead, try on a bunch of different brands and styles until you fit a pant that is skinny on your lower legs and comfortable on your belly/thighs.


Perhaps this was not quite the yes/no answer you expected about whether big guys can wear skinny jeans but, like most things, the answer if more nuanced that you would expect.

If you do wear skinny jeans, just make sure that the rest of your outfit is on-par with that level of confidence and decision.

Personally, I will continue wearing my skinny jeans as long as I can keep finding options that fit well. Because I like them.

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