The joy of skinny jeans. On kids.

This post also appears on the Gap 1969 Stream, along with tons of photos, articles, inspiration, and tips about denim.

skinny jeans

When skinny jeans first hit the world of kids’ fashion, a lot of parents were thinking,
huh? Me included. Back in the olden days, I remember thinking of them as
“painted-on denim” and they required a friend (and a super flat tummy) if you
wanted to have any hope of actually zipping them and buttoning them

But I’ve come to learn that skinny jeans are simply fabulous on little kids for
all sorts of reasons.

Not the least of which is that I have two skinny girls, and when I
put them in regular jeans, they often look like their pants have swallowed their
lower halves whole.

beatle boots with skinny jeansFirst of all, skinny jeans are so adorably mod on little girls. One way to wear them is
embrace that angle completely, pairing them with a British-inspired top; this Union
Jack sweatshirt (above) is adorable over a simple white tee with a fun, flattering neckline.
Finish it off with a pair of cute little Beatle boots–or little Doc Maartens if you
dare–and you’re ready for Carnaby Street.

 Don’t worry if the bottoms of the jeans end up scrunching up around the top of the
boot–it’s cute. Plus you don’t want your kid fussing too much with uncomfortably
tucked-in cuffs. They are still kids, after all.

Swingset before style!

dress over skinny jeansSkinny jeans also have the distinct advantage of looking a lot like leggings. Which
means you can pair them with tunics, dresses and jumpers over long-sleeve tees,
add a short cardigan, for a funky, layered look. The jeans are warmer and more
playground-friendly than tights, and keep you from having to worry about
underwear peep shows on the monkeybars.

Make sure to keep the top flowy and long, the same way you’d never wear a skin-tight mini with an equally fitted tank. A billowy tunic, blousy oxford, or chunky knit
sweater balances the weight of the outfit and keeps your kid appropriately kid-like.

And psst…while your skinny jeans aren’t going to last your kid three years, they can
actually do the same for other pieces in her wardrobe. In fact, all styles of jeans
breathe new life–and wardrobe possibilities–into dresses that are now outgrown.

girls on the bench

 Just roll up the sleeves and behold! Your favorite little 18 mo dress is now a stylish
3T tunic. No one will know, promise. –Liz

Check out our
Gap 1969 Stream for a whole ton of fashion tips, photos,
and advice from some of the coolest editors, bloggers, fashion icons
and style leaders anywhere. Plus a whole section just for kids + babies.

[photos c Liz Gumbinner]

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.


  • September 7, 2010

    alice blevins

    Sooo, where does one find the union jack sweater? I <3 it:)

  • September 7, 2010

    Isabel @AlphaMom

    these pics are so freakin’ adorable

  • September 7, 2010


    This really should be titled, The joy of skinny jeans. On little girls. I see no mention of the joys for little boys.

    I’m intrigued by them for boys, but my son probably wouldn’t wear them. He chose to wear jeans today (despite my saying it was going to get HOT – 90’s) and looked at his two newest pair from ON: dark wash straight leg, and a little lighter jeans with patch pockets. He chose the latter as he asked, “Which have more room to move?”

  • Cool Mom Picks
    September 7, 2010

    Cool Mom Picks

    Funny you should mention, Julie, I was just thinking about how I’d put them on my 3-year-old son.

    Truthfully, I think they can be a bit dressier than regular jeans, and might be a nice change to the typical khakis we wear for more special occasions. A button down, cool shoes, dark skinny jeans = awesome. -Kristen

  • September 7, 2010


    cute pictures!!
    i absolutely love skinny jeans on kids, i think they look super cute, and I definitely love how they look with a tunic or dress on top for my 2 year old daughter. In fact, I just picked up two new pairs for her for fall! So easy to slip into boots, too.
    I started looking for skinny jeans for my son 2 years ago, and it was nearly impossible to find them. He is super super slim, and I can’t ever find jeans that are long enough and still fit around the waist, even with the adjustable waistline. Thank goodness they are so easy to find for boys now, too. At 5-1/2, my little guy looks awesome in them, and they totally suit his fashion sense. He loves them!

  • September 7, 2010

    RookieMom Whitney

    Funny – I posted on a similar toddler fashiony thing today. Love the pics of T + S in their skinnies. Those 3/4 boots are my faves.

  • September 7, 2010

    Mrs. Kennedy

    My 9 y.o. son loves skinny jeans, he thinks they’re cooler than regular fit. I think they’re cute on him, but I may be somewhat biased.

  • September 7, 2010

    RookieMom Heather

    Whitney’s little daughter wears jeggings as the remedy for jeans-loving parents and a leggings-only little girl.

    Being a boy-mama, I have other issues (sweat pants and shorts!)

  • Cool Mom Picks
    September 7, 2010

    Cool Mom Picks

    It was a sweatshirt from Diesel we bought about 4 years ago for my first daughter. Speaking of clothing you can get a lot of years out of! -Liz

  • Cool Mom Picks
    September 7, 2010

    Cool Mom Picks

    Lesley, did you see that Gap 1969 has a whole section of skinny jeans for boys?

    What do you pair with skinny jeans on your son? We’d love to know!

  • September 7, 2010

    Andy Ptacek

    So adorable…. but not too keen on putting these on boys!

  • September 7, 2010

    Accidental Housewife

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE skinny jeans for kids and have been singing their praises to friends for at least two years now. Living in northern Canada, their absolute best feature is easy tucking into boots. When you spend 9 months (at least!) out of year battling snow, slush, rain, and mud not having to employ advanced origami to get your kids pants tucked into their boots is a godsend.

  • September 7, 2010


    my boys rock skinnies all the time! we just got some “urban” family pics taken by the amazing blue lily photography and my two older boys wore skinnies.
    you can check them out in all their “skinny jean” glory here:

  • September 8, 2010


    I LOVE THEM! Oh, and the jeans are great too!

  • September 8, 2010


    the kids look really cute with jeans but I’m not sure they feel completely comfortable wearing them all day

  • I finally took the plunge this summer and bought some skinny jeans and of course since my daughter always wants to dress like me, she wanted some. She looks SO cute in them and I love living vicariously through her adorable body – athletic but with a little pot belly and slightly chubby thighs but a perfect round tush. The best part is that she has no shame about her body. She loves it and is fearless – she’ll wear anything.

  • September 14, 2010


    Yes! I love the Gap skinny jeans, they’re fantastic. In fact, I’ve been trying to find a pair of the grey wash in his size, and keep forgetting that online now ships in canada [i live in vancouver]. I must check it out!

    Anyways, my little guy is rather opinionated in what he wears, and he loves his jeans, but insists on picking out his own shirts. fair enough! He loves to wear short-sleeved button-downs just like his dad, and also t-shirts. star wars is his favourite, although he’s never seen the movie. go figure 😉