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Top five jean styles and how to style them

Give the sales lady some slack and learn your jeans so you don't waste minutes trying to explain what you're looking for

(Probably not the article you were expecting but don’t blame me for how your mind works)

Jeans are the most convenient clothing item we have. They can be used for almost any occasion with some simple tweaks and mix and matching. From what was simply “jeans” to a whole array of styles, it seems that what used to be distinguishable has become a big blue abyss of overlapping characteristics. Skinny mom jeans? Baggy straight cuts? But that’s a downward spiral not worth our time. Get to know your jeans so you know exactly (or at least close to) what you’re looking for, starting with the basics:

Straight leg jeans

Baggy straight jeans from Cotton On

The quintessential jeans, straight leg jeans are the most popular and common style of jeans. Originally made for comfort and function, straight leg jeans were inspired by the overalls worn by factory workers and those who worked similar jobs. Straight leg jeans are, as their name suggests, just jeans with a straight cut. This means the pants width remains the same from the hip area to the ankles giving a snug fit on the thigh area then loosening out by the ankles. Straight jeans have now been adapted to numerous styles but have remained a fashion piece that has “yet to go out of style”. Paired with sneakers or heels, these jeans are a fashion staple due to their adaptability to both casual and formal settings. Pair your straight jeans with a blazer and crop top and you’ve got yourself a power fit for the ‘Gram.

Mom jeans

Mom jean from Cotton On

A ’70s staple for stay-at-home-moms and housewives, mom jeans were made for running errands and moving around the house. Similar to straight leg jeans, mom jeans have a straight cut but have a baggier fit and have generally shorter lengths not suitable for formal settings. Characterized by their, more often than not, elasticized waistband, these jeans were (and are) the epitome of comfort and functionality. With its focus on comfort, these jeans are not for those who need some enhancing of curves but are great for thinner looking thighs—just make sure to avoid cropped lengths. Mom jeans are one of the most versatile types of jeans when it comes to body shapes, especially great for curvy women due to their loose fit and ultra high waist which works well for wide hips and keeping the pants from falling. Take on the ’90s aesthetic and pair your mom jeans with a cute sweater or vest and you’ll have Chandler asking you “how you doin?”

Boyfriend Jeans

’90s boyfriend jean from American Eagle

The most laid-back of all jeans, boyfriend jeans became a fashion staple during the ’50s when women rebelled against society and showed that jeans weren’t just for men, and that being limited to dresses and skirts was just so boring. For those feeling lazy and relaxed, these jeans have dominated mainstream media all over again, especially with the rise of street fashion with its emphasis on ragged looks. Befitting those who go for edgier styles, the perfect boyfriend jeans are those that look a bit too oversized with its hem draping a little over your shoes—did we mention their long length makes your legs look longer when paired with platform shoes or high heels? But try not to go overboard with the baggy fit otherwise it might look like the pants are wearing you and not the other way around. A great way to combat drowning in your denim is finding pants tapered at the leg to down the bagginess. With its baggy fit which feels similar to sweatpants, these are jeans that you wouldn’t mind wearing even at home. I highly recommend wearing a cute tank top to balance out the bagginess for that trendy social media influencer look.

Boot cut Jeans

Kick bootcut jean from American Eagle

Boot cut jeans are essentially straight cut jeans flared at the ends (don’t worry as flared jeans come next). Tagged as the cousin to straight leg jeans, boot cut jeans sport a relatively straight cut but start to curve outwards around the ankles. Initially designed in the 1800s for workers to easily slip on their boots, these pants are great for the cold weather and high cut shoes. Unlike straight cut jeans which elongate legs, boot cut jeans are great for those who want the illusion of shorter legs for more balanced proportions. Paired with a leather or denim jacket, you’d be shocked just how hot bootcut jeans can be. And hey, denim on denim is cool.

Flared Jeans

Long wide leg jeans from Cotton On

Flared jeans, also called wide-leg pants or bell-bottoms, are the wilder sibling of boot cut jeans. If you’re thinking disco pants like that in ‘An Extremely Goofy Movie’ then you’re on the right track! Unlike bootleg cut jeans, flared jeans widen around the knee area and has a wider leg opening. These jeans are great for flattering one’s curves as they give you volume in the right areas as well as give you the illusion of longer legs. Did you know that bootcut and flared pants have distinct measurements to help settle the debate? If the leg opening is around 17 inches to 20 inches then what you have is a bootcut whereas any measurement above that is considered flared jeans. Going in with the disco vibe, match your flared jeans with a bralette or a one shoulder top and you’ll be shining through the city with a little funk and soul in no time.

All in all, you don’t need to remember all this information when you shop as your style is your personal expression.our body, your rules. Style tips are there just as a guide; because an outfit is carried by the confidence of the wearer. Certain clothing may look flattering on certain body types but there is always a way to work around it. Plus, who cares what others think when you’re feeling like a queen? Just do you and wear what you want.

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