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I have been wearing skinny jeans since the moment I was old enough to shop for my own clothes. Even in my early college years, almost every student I walked past on campus or saw at parties donned the typical blue and ripped skinny jeans. The past few months, however, I finally took the plunge and said goodbye to the skin-tight jeggings in my wardrobe. Recently, everyone has been ditching their trusty skinny jeans for funkier, baggier, and trendier pants. It’s almost as if every college student unanimously decided to hate skinny jeans and switch to vintage or avant-garde pants. While everyone should wear what they feel most confident in, this transition from skinny jeans to more experimental pants can provide you with some fashion inspiration if you’re in the mood to step outside the box. Read on to discover which style of pants can be your next favorite bottoms to wear.

Split hem jeans

Starting off with the simplest excursion from skinny jeans, split hem jeans are an easy way to elevate your look while staying casual. They fit like boot cut jeans, but have a small slit at the bottom of the pants, which allow you to show off your footwear. They pair perfectly with ankle booties or heels, but there are many more ways to style split hem jeans.

High Rise Split Hem Straight Leg Jeans, Boohoo, $24, shop now

Printed pants

Fun designs and patterns are not only for children and tweens. Worn the right way, pants with designs will make you stand out in a sea of blue jeans and black leggings. Pants with stripes, polka dots, smiley faces or hearts, can be worn with a solid-colored top to create an eccentric yet simple look. Colorful patterns on pants, such as these flared pink ones with small red hearts, can be paired with a white or red top for a cute and unique outfit.

Heart Pattern Pink Flares, Cider, $29, shop now

Flared jeans

My new personal favorite style of jeans to wear are flared jeans. Throwing it back to the ’70s, flared jeans look great with a heeled bootie to elongate your legs. The flare can be small or extravagant, but either way, the simple addition of a flared bottom makes the outfit groovy and fun. I like to style my high-waisted flared jeans with ’70s-style striped sweaters and heels to create a vintage look, but flared jeans can easily be modernized by pairing them with plain crop tops, layered necklaces and sneakers.

Original Flare Jean, Cotton On, $49, shop now

Corduroy pants

Corduroy pants are a classic that were severely slept on until recently. Corduroy was another new trend that was originally popular in the ’70s, and I am ecstatic about its resurgence. Tan, beige and white corduroy pants look great in the fall with a black sweater and Dr. Martens boots. While corduroy is typically found in colder seasons’ fashion, fear not, because colorful pastel corduroy pants have been popping up everywhere. For the warm spring weather, pastel purple corduroy pants can be styled with a lilac purple tank top for a fun monochromatic look.

BDG High & Wide Corduroy Pant, Urban Outfitters, $69, shop now

Patchwork jeans

Patchwork jeans can come in any fit, but they’re typically found as straight-legged or mom jeans. The patches create a multicolor denim look, which can be paired with any color and type of top, but my favorite way to style them is with a white top and white sneakers. The white top and sneakers allows for the fun patchwork denim to be the star of your outfit, creating a trendy yet laid back look. The best part about patchwork jeans is they’re super easy to DIY too if you want to save some money and revamp an old pair of jeans in the back of your closet.

Two-Tone Blue High Waisted Straight Leg Jeans, PacSun, $60, shop now

Plaid pants

While plaid pants may seem like they’re solely for internship interviews and class presentations, they can be worn casually if styled well! I personally style my plaid pants with a pair of black Dr. Marten boots or white high-top Converse. In the fall, a white cropped sweater would look great with the pair of plaid pants above. In the spring, a simple black cropped tank top and sneakers is the perfect outfit for going to class or running some errands.

Suit Pants, H&M, $30, shop now

Wide-legged jeans

Wide-legged jeans are another fun way to wear denim, and they have been growing in popularity this spring. These jeans are simple and easy to throw on, but create the illusion that you spent much longer styling your outfit. If you want to go for an overall baggy look, which is quite trendy right now, you could pair the wide-legged jeans with an oversized graphic tee, such as this one from Pretty Little Thing. I style my wide-legged jeans with crop tops, as I prefer the tiny-top big-pants look. My favorite top to wear with my wide-legged jeans is a brown collared top from PacSun.

Wide Leg Full Length Ripped Jeans, ZARA, $50, shop now

Colorful pants

Spring is all about colors and pastels, and what better way to add some color to your outfit than wearing some vibrant bottoms? These mint green bottoms can be worn with a neutral top or with another vibrant color top, such as burnt orange. Everyone needs a little color in their life, and brightening your wardrobe is an easy way to brighten your day!

Ribbed Flared Pants, H&M, $16, shop now

Carpenter pants

While carpenter pants may sound like they’re meant for, well, carpenters; hear me out. The bagginess of carpenter pants is trendy at the moment, and the practicality of the pants makes them a good investment if you’re an outdoorsy person. This style is also typical of skaters, so whether you’re a pro or you’ve never skated in your life, you can dress like one with these pants. Carpenter pants would look great styled with Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, and a white turtleneck worn under an oversized graphic tee.

Pink Dickies Straight Leg Carpenter Pant, Urban Outfitters, $59, shop now

Mom jeans

Last but not least, everyone’s new favorite pair of jeans are mom jeans. They’ve been popular for a while, but the ’80s high-waisted jeans are still worth the mention. If you want to truly honor the ’80s, you can wear mom jeans with a brown leather belt and a crew neck with your university’s logo embroidered on, tucked into your jeans.

BDG High-Waisted Baggy Jean – Medium Wash, Urban Outfitters, $69, shop now

There is no better time than the present ot be experimental with your fashion choices, and the easiest place to start is with your pants. A simple switch from your typical skinny jeans that you’ve worn since your high school days can elevate your entire outfit, and you might even find a new style of pants that you prefer! So, get ou there and enter the new world of funky pants and leave your old jeans behind.

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Isabella is a junior majoring in Literature & Rhetoric at SUNY Binghamton University. She writes articles for her university's newspaper, focusing on culture, entertainment, fashion and campus events. When she's not writing, Bella is typically thrifting, creating new Spotify playlists, learning vegetarian recipes, or painting.
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