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Which Blue Jeans Are You? (Your Ultimate Style Guide to Pant-Leg Cuts)


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You’ve been getting dressed for years now. Everyone knows how to do it—at least in terms of the technicalities that keep one free of indecent exposure charges. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. We all own, or have owned, a pair of jeans. You see the shelves with their different cuts. You’ve seen the styles come and go. Whatever the reason, you are now on a blue jeans blog and you’ve read this far, so you already know where this is going. You know that by the end of this paragraph, you will be about to get schooled to all the wonderful variations there are in blue jean pant cuts. So let’s pose the pressing question, and then get down to answers: Which blue jeans are you?

The Straight Leg – Because some things never change

 Yes, the tried and true original. If you weren't raised on a nudist colony, you know by now what straight-leg jeans are. Straight legs mean the regular kind, the originators. What are the perks of straight leg jeans? They’re trustworthy. These will never let you down when you’re unsure what fashion wants of you next. Never put your straight legs into the Goodwill heap. And what do you wear them with? Uh, whatever you want, whoever you are, they’re the world’s easiest pair of pants.

The Boot Cut – The other obvious old-school must-have

 Boot cuts, like straight legs, have been around since the 19th century. Sailors used to wear these uniform pants that fit nicely over their boots, and Levi Strauss picked up on the utilitarian fashion cue. You can make all the cases for the boot leg that you do for the straight leg. Althought they will be especially kind to your body type if you’re a little broad across the shoulders. These are literally the orginators, but with just a tiny touch of flare.

A Flair for Flare – Retro-Ready Bell Bottom Blues

 Ah, the iconic cut of the Dazed & Confused decade, and the pivotal point of the hippie uniform of the late 60s. At least once in your life, you have got to give in to the urge to see how you look when you grow out your hair, part it down the middle, and retro-bohemian-rock your way around in a full-on pair of flares. Challenges to this pant leg? If you have a shorter inseam and a pear-shaped body, you’re going to have to work at these. If you’ve got broad shoulders, narrow hips or a 70s-retro-Led-Zeppelin-revival complex, you probably already have some. Cute with a tie-at-the-waist top. Challenging with flat shoes—try boots or wedge sandals.

The Skinny on Skinny Jeans

 This is the body-gripping, indie-rocking, hipster-insignia pair of jeans that has become the staple clothing item of the early 21st century. You may have associated skinny jeans with “hipster” about a decade ago. But now? You’re probably just thinking “pair of pants, duh.” If you’ve gone outside in the last decade, you’ve at least contemplated owning them, so you know all the rules already: They look great on leggy girls, and they’re especially adept at showing off some rump. In other words, if you’re not the Heidi Klum or Kate Moss who made them popular, they could conceivably give you a little fashion anxiety. But they were a total godsend after the baggy grunge jeans of the 90s. And rather than conjuring ways to subtly imply that skinny skinny jeans are for skinny girls, let's focus on ways to make a pair of skinny jeans work the way you want them to. Tips? Hip-skimming tops and leg-elongating heels will smooth out the issues of skinny-jean phobia. Problem (area) solved.

Boyfriend Jeans (aso know as baggy jeans or relaxed fit jeans) AKA The Ultimate “I Just Woke Up This Cute Without Trying” Pair of Pants

We hear the term "boyfriend jeans" get thrown around a lot. We even wrote a blog post entirely dedicated to how to find perfect boyfriend jeans. By the very name, there's an implication that you just raided your, slightly bigger-size-wearing-than-you, boyfriend’s closet. Clearly, boyfriend means more than the guy who fondly scolds you for forgetting to change your brake pads. "Boyfriend" is also an inspiration point for fashion! Defining factors? Relaxed fit. Untapered leg. Usually worn cuffed. What are these good for? Pulling off a bohemian look. Also, let’s be real—they’re perfect for concealing “fat days.” If you don’t want to be reminded of a freshly sprouted muffin layer that leaves you terrified of any boyfriend wrapping their arm around you, then you need a pair of boyfriend jeans! Don’t wear these with long, loosefitting tops. These do not pair well with the “boyfriend sweater” unless you want to draw on a beard, speak in football jargon, and attempt to actually pass for him. The secret to the boyfriend jean is feminine on the top, and boyish on the bottom. Balance!

 

Move Over Boyfriend, Step into some Mom Jeans

When lowrises were big, “mom jean” was a derogatory comment you might hear if you had the fashion sense of the unfortunate, cookie-baking, helmet hair population that meant moms with their frumpy shirts tucked in. In fact, the term was actually coined in a Saturday Night Live skit. But times had a turn around, and people figured out that tucking in your blouse to show off the high point of your waist had little to do with the frump factor—they're cute! Mom jeans mean you will never face the curse of the plumber’s crack that can come with the wrong pair of lowrise jeans. And speaking of lowrise jeans . . 

 

Lowrise Jeans Are on the Rise Again

Open up an issue of Vogue. Soon you’ll figure it out. Yup, you wondered if it might never happen. Lowrise jeans are totally back! Are you long and slim through the torso? Have you been a real good girl and done all your sit-ups? Then it’s time to get you some of these! The “ultra low rise” are coming with this trend as well—a look which initially evolved out of the hippy-chic hip hugger fashon. Ladies, you have been warned. Start doing those crunches now. And you may contest the return of the lowrise jean if you must, but there is nothing sexier than a tiny peek at a woman’s hip bone.

Other Honorable Mentions
The capri jeans that came with the 50s and again in the 90s that are a blessing to women with great calves and ankles. These are also known as pedal pushers. Cuffed boyfriend jeans are a loose-fitted variation of these.

Slim-fit jeans are the prototype to the skinny jean, and the ones Marilyn Monroe and tons of huge rock stars have worn over the years. If you’re antsy about transitioning away from the skinny jean, and want to take baby steps, put these into your shopping cart. 

Wide-leg jeans are a varation of the flare leg where the bell shape moves all the way up the leg, rather than just below the knee. These make for a unique twist on the mom jean in that they're cute when worn high rise at the waist.

Alright, so maybe this wasn’t a quiz that defined you by means of random multiple-choice questions like the title might have implied, but if you didn’t before, you certainly know now how to find your way around a pair of pants. The real way to find out which pair of blue jeans are you, is right here.

 

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