Should men wear skinny jeans?

In 2006, I had a meeting with the leading fashion trend-forecasting group WGSN, where the headlining conversation was around carrot top jeans being the next big thing. First I questioned what they were, and when receiving the answer, asked 'why on earth?'.

The dilemma with fashion trends today is much of it is aimed at the youth market, and gentlemen looking to refresh their decade-old wardrobes get caught between a rock and a hard place when discerning a trend or an appropriate garment for their age.

Skinny love

After posting "I don't wear skinny jeans'" on Facebook, a friend of mine didn't expect the mad rush of responses. In just under an hour, he received 45 comments, all of which were giving him a big nod.

It seems that although we argue endlessly about politics and pop stars, there's one thing we unanimously agree on – tight, bum-squeezing denim is an absolute no-no for men.

Super tight denim only looks great on female models. The minute that men try to floss in tight jeans they look like human popsicles and we all begin to question just how comfortable they are.

As trouser lengths get shorter thanks to the creativity of the fashion capital, London, men are not sure on two sartorial rules. First, whether to don the happy socks with the monks, and second, how tight those jeans or trousers should really be.

Age appropriate

Many menswear bloggers have also questioned skinny jeans for men. Some say there is definitely a place for them in a man's wardrobe, but, just how skinny should men's skinny jeans be?

Considering the point raised above, there is an age bracket to who should be wearing skinny jeans. The only exception for any man over 50 is Steven Tyler. Period.

When you're trying too hard to fit it all in, it doesn't work and it shows.

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Skinny jeans have certainly become more acceptable; and we can leave the house knowing full well that our slimmer choice of trouser will be free from ridicule. BUT – does showing off your birthright bring an advantage?

Unless you're Zac Efron, Robin Hood or an all-American baseball player who is being paid millions to wear them, the bum squeezers are best avoided.

Health warnings

Did you know that the skinny jean trend might be causing you real, physical damage?

American doctor Karen Boyle has seen real cases of people suffering pain from wearing tight jeans.

"This disorder is called Meralgia Paresthetica and it's a disorder that occurs when one of the nerves that runs in the outer part of a thigh gets compressed," she says. "The pressure on it causes symptoms of tingling, numbness and pain in the outer part of the thigh."

According to Boyle, sufferers report a floating sensation – basically, because they can't feel their lower legs, along with pain in the thighs. Ouch.

Men have to face up to the fact that cosseting jeans reduce airflow around the crotch, resulting in higher temperatures, and the knock-on effect is a lower sperm count.

Boyle suggests buying skinny jeans with a little stretch to them. If you get pain or numbness in your legs thanks to tight jeans, shift up a size – otherwise, you're risking permanent damage. As for curing overheating, well, I'll leave that to your imagination.

What do you think – are skinny jeans a good look for men, or no? Let us know in the Comments section.

Experience within retail trend analysis companies has earned Louise Edmonds cred in the luxury menswear sector. The founder of MenStylePower.com utilises her passion and understanding of fashion to deliver a fresh, edgy take on men's style.

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