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What are Skater Jeans?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 21, 2024
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Skater jeans are worn by skateboarders and are designed to make skateboarding, or skating, easier. Apparel made to accommodate certain activities or to fit a certain style usually has a specific set of traits, but this is not so with skater-style jeans. Skate jeans can be slim or loose, thin or durable, and clean or scruffy and full of patches. It really depends on the skater’s interpretation of the skater look and his or her preferences.

Slim skater jeans are made to fit snugly at the waist and be slim along the legs, calves and ankles. Male and female derivatives of slim jeans are nearly identical, though the crotch is typically looser in male versions. Slim skater jeans have an advantage over loose jeans because there is a much lower chance they will get caught on a rail or anything else, which can reduce the odds of falling. One disadvantage is that riding can be uncomfortable and doing tricks will be much harder if the slim jeans aren't flexible.

Baggy skater jeans usually hang low on the waist and have spacious legs. Male versions tend to be baggier than female versions. The advantage that baggy jeans have over skinny jeans is that they tend to be more comfortable and easier to move in. The downside is that, if the waist is too baggy, they can fall off and increase the odds of tripping when doing tricks.

In terms of style, thinner skater jeans tend to be the popular definition of skater style in 2011, though thicker jeans are often more useful when riding. This is because every skater is going to fall at least once. Thinner jeans have a higher chance of ripping, while thick jeans are usually more durable and will only be scuffed and scratched. At the same time, rips and scuffs are looked at as badges of honor and also are part of the skater style.

Despite scuffs on jeans being a badge of honor, some skaters prefer to wear so-called clean skater jeans. When a pair rips or gets dirty in the course of riding, some skaters throw them away and buy a new pair. Like everything else with skater jeans, this is a matter of personal preference.

Some skaters wear patches, either ironing or sewing them onto their skater jeans. These patches are usually from their favorite skate brand or skater. Such patches may be functional, but they often are just about style. Patches aren't as common in skater style as they are in other styles but, again, skate style is all about personal preference.

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Discussion Comments
By Buster29 — On Aug 31, 2014

My son used to come home with ripped or destroyed jeans after skating at the local park. I wanted him to be happy, but replacing those blue jeans was getting expensive. I was glad to find this article when I was looking for a solution to the problem. I had never heard of skater jeans before, but I found some at a store in the mall and he picked out a few pairs.

He doesn't wear them all the time, but he does put them on if he plans on doing some tricks at the park after school. He doesn't tear them up anymore, and he says they actually help him do some tricks better.

By Reminiscence — On Aug 31, 2014

I remember watching a male figure skater doing a routine while wearing blue jeans, and I wondered how he was able to perform all of those leaps and splits in them. Most of the jeans I wear don't have much "give" in the crotch area. I would have ripped those jeans wide open if I tried any of those moves.

I noticed later that those were skater jeans he was wearing. They just looked like regular skinny jeans, but they had an extra gusset sewn into the seat and crotch. If he did a split or kick, the jeans didn't bind up. Many martial artists wear those jeans, too.

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