Photo: Hazypix, Splash News /

Just because skinny jeans are called skinny jeans doesn't mean they have that affect on the body. On the contrary, the unforgiving, curve-hugging, tapered-bottomed pants are sometimes best left to, well, the skinny.

But since they've infiltrated style to such a high degree and managed to stay in fashion for years now, women of all body types want to make those darn skinny jeans work. We'll admit it -- we've had some hits and misses with the style ourselves.

Luckily, we're figured out a few fashion tricks through our own skinny jean test-drives, as well as through observing celebrity style. Jessica Simpson (above, left) is known for falling prey to "fat" outfits, despite being in fantastic shape. Her ultra-light skinnies pictured here unfortunately do make her bum look a bit bigger than it actually is.

The reason? For one, the color. The lighter the pants, the more they draw attention to every woman's least-loved body part: the thighs. Another issue: They're baggy. Tapered pants are cut wider at the thigh, so you'll want them to fit as snug as possible, or they'll only add width to the area. The final insult? Her jeans end at the ankle, and contrast sharply with her black heels. This has the effect of breaking up the leg line, making them look shorter.

On the other hand, Hilary Duff (above, right) demonstrates a safer style angle. She wears super-dark skinnies, which help downplay the actual dimensions of thighs, so they're not as noticeable. Then, she tucks them into slim high heel boots of the same color, which helps elongate her legs, for an overall skinny effect. Nice job, Hil!

So if you're not model-skinny (and really, how many of us are?!) follow Hilary's lead for wearing skinny jeans, and you'll have better luck flattering your gorgeous curves.