i go for jeans with a little bit of shape, that come in a bit at the knees but don't flare out too much at the sides.
the problem i find with some wide leg jeans is that the ones that fit me in the waist (i have a small waist and sounds like you do too) hug my thighs then hang loosely around the rest of my legs, which make my whole leg look large, if that makes any sense.
boot cut or SLIGHT flares which have a more relaxed fit in the hip and thigh area might be the most flattering. i go to jeans warehouse one to find jeans like this usually if you have one near you.
Skinnies are not good, i don't know why people are recommending them to you. it's really hard to find ones that fit people with a good figure, i think they are made to flatter people who are straight up and down. it is also REALLY hard to find ones that fit in the waist but aren't too tight on your thighs and butt. they DEFINITELY will not make your thighs look skinny if they aren't though!
also you don't have to try and make your thighs look 'skinny', the best is to just not draw attention to them but don't try and hide them either, it's not a bad thing to have a figure ;)
basically don't go for shapeless jeans but don't go for super tight ones. sorry this answer was so long and rambling but i have recently been giving it a lot of thought as i have been jeans shopping :)