Skinny Jeans Vs Jeggings: What’s The Difference?

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Torn on what to wear for grabbing coffee with friends? Check out our definitive guide on the differences between skinny jeans vs jeggings.

Skinny jeans and jeggings are both great fashion choices for people who want a variety of clothing options. Like other denim styles such as mom jeans or straight-leg jeans, these types of pants are popular for their versatility and wide range of uses: they can be dressed up with heels or dressed down with sneakers.

So what exactly are the key differences between skinny jeans vs jeggings? Keep on reading to find out!

What Are Skinny Jeans? 

Medium wash skinny jeans from Pink Lily
Get these skinny jeans on Pink Lily
Normal wash skinny jeans from Madewell
Get these skinny jeans on Madewell

Skinny jeans are the tightest type of jeans. They are often made from denim fabric that includes a small amount of elastane which gives them their stretchy fit.

Skinny jeans usually have a high rise, which means the waistline sits higher than your natural waistline. However, some skinny jeans also have normal and low-rise styles.

Skinny jeans are a popular choice among millennials and young adults, especially since they pair well with many casual tops for everyday looks. They also look great with many types of boots and sneakers, ranging from chunky combat boots to slim-fit knee-high boots (and everything in between, really!).

What Are Jeggings?

White Spanx jean-ish jeggings
Get these Spanx jean-ish jeggings on Nordstrom
Black Spanx jean-ish jeggings
Get these Spanx jeggings on Nordstrom

Jeggings (also known as jean leggings) are a type of stretchy pant that have the appearance and feel of jeans. As the name suggests, they are a hybrid between jeans and leggings, with the benefits of both. They’re usually made with stretchy materials like a cotton/spandex blend, and usually replicate the look of denim.

They often have an elastic waistband and flat seams at the waistline to prevent chafing when you move around. In fact, leggings don’t even require buttons or zippers thanks to their tight fit and stretchable material that prevents them from falling down when you move around.

Skinny Jeans Vs Jeggings: The Main Differences

Skinny jeans and jeggings are both popular options for casual wear, and they look relatively similar in terms of construction. But there are some key differences in fit, comfort and function that set the two styles apart.

1. Fabric

The main difference between skinny jeans vs jeggings is their fabric, which immediately sets them apart. Denim is a sturdy cotton fabric that has a tight weave and comes in many weights, including light, medium and heavy-duty. It’s often used in combination with elastane to make stretchy pants like skinny jeans.

Jeans (and therefore also skinny jeans) tend to be more rigid than jeggings because they don’t typically use Lycra or spandex like jeggings do.

Jeggings, on the other hand, are made of a cotton, spandex ,and lycra blend, and are often produced to imitate the look of denim. The stretchy fabric of the jeggings is a dead giveaway that makes them feel completely different from skinny jeans.

2. Fit

When it comes to the fit of jeggings and skinny jeans, there is a major difference. Jeggings are tightly fitting all over, to the point that they have a second-skin feel. Despite this, jeggings generally have more flexibility in terms of how much they stretch and move with your body.

In addition to this, thanks to the fact that jeggings often have an elastic waistband rather than one made from traditional denim material (which tends to be heavier), they can feel lighter on your body than regular jeans do. This can be great when the weather is just right, but you may want to add a thermal layer underneath when fall and winter roll around.

3. Comfort

If you’re in the market for a pair of pants that will make your butt look great and feel good, then jeggings are the way to go. Brands like Spanx are especially well-known for creating multiple jegging designs that imitate the look of jeans, but give you the full comfort of leggings.

From our experience, jeggings are just as comfortable as leggings or stretchy yoga pants because they’re made with spandex or other similar materials that allow them to stretch easily and give you an overall comfortable fit.

However, these materials tend not to breathe very well which means they won’t keep you cool when you’re wearing them during hot weather or exercise activities (like walking around town) where heat buildup becomes an issue quickly.

Skinny jeans, on the other hand, are made with denim fabrics and are therefore quite constricting to wear. However, denim is a fairly breathable material, so you will most likely fare better in hot weather in your skinny jeans.

4. Function

Another thing to consider when deciding on which type of pant to purchase is their function. Jeggings usually do not have front or back pockets (they usually have faux pockets to give the illusion of jeans), and upon closer inspection, you’ll find out that they have no zippers or belt loops either.

Skinny denim jeans are more functional since they have buttons, zippers and pockets that can be used to hold some personal items. However, as you probably know from experience, these pockets are not amazing, so we would still recommend accessorizing your outfit with a bag of your choice.

Jeggings are a little less functional, and they will always be tighter than skinny jeans but both types have their place in your wardrobe!

Next Gen Jeggings are now on the rise

More and more fashion brands have upped their jeggings game and improved them so much to the point that they look and feel almost identical to skinny jeans, complete with belt loops, buttons, zippers, even pockets, and ripped/distressed features.

Dark wash modern jeggings from American Eagle
Get these jeggings on American Eagle
Ripped jeggings from Aeropostale
Get these jeggings on Aeropostale

The fashionable jeggings featured above are made with Lycra Freefit technology, and they’re made to be as functional as skinny jeans while still being as comfortable as a pair of leggings.

You’ll still find jeggings with the original fits in major retailers like Target or Walmart, but if you search for jeggings in fashion brands like Aerie or Aeropostale, you’ll see that they have adapted to the next generation of jeggings already.

So, Which Should You Go For?

Deciding which pants to go for ultimately depends on your personal preference. Some ladies prefer skinny jeans since the style is what they’re used to, while some (including us) find jeggings much more comfortable when it comes to mobility.

In addition to this, a lot of ladies with bigger bums have a problem when it comes to skinny jeans (or jeans in general). Because of this, they have to size up, leaving their waistlines too loose just to accommodate their bottoms. This is the reason why a lot of curvy ladies prefer to wear jeggings instead, as they are super flexible and hold their shape well.

However, if you love accessorizing with belts, you should stick to skinny jeans, as few jeggings offer this styling option.


There are many things to consider when choosing between a pair of skinny jeans and jeggings. The most important thing to consider is what makes you feel comfortable, whether that means choosing your favorite style or going with the latest trend.

Ultimately, don’t forget that this is all just fashion – you can get both pairs and wear them on rotation!

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