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Feeling overwhelmed by all the choices of jeans out there?  Here’s a breakdown of all the main styles and fits of jeans, and what to look for in each style.

Let’s talk about different styles of jeans

I love jeans. I love all styles of jeans. Skinny jeans, straight leg jeans, mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, wide leg jeans…give me all of them!

But I know that with all the different styles, it can feel overwhelming and confusing…

Questions you might ask yourself about jeans

  • How are they supposed to fit?
  • Which ones are best for my body type?
  • How do you style them?
  • What is the difference between the various styles?

Skinny jeans

  • Fitted leg
  • Available in all washes and colors
  • Available in all rises and lengths

Everyone’s favorite jeans for the last fifteen years! And nope, they’re not going anywhere. Stick with your favorite pair and keep on rocking them.

I’d recommend a mid to high rise with a length that hits right at or around your ankle bone. That’s the most universally flattering. I think we all know how to style them at this point, but check out THE OUTFIT GUIDE if you need more outfit ideas.

Jeggings

  • a mix between jeans and leggings
  • soft, stretchy material
  • usually still has a traditional waistband, but sometimes has a stretchy waistband
  • fitted leg

Jeggings became very popular a few years after skinny jeans made their big debut in the early 2000s. At first they were really bad, looking more like super thin jeans made of crappy material with a fake waistband and fly.

But now they’re done really well and can have traditional waistbands and are just made out of really comfortable and soft denim fabric.

How to style them:

  • Because they are uber stretchy and borderline leggings, they are often a great option for dressing down with Chelsea boots, sneakers, or casual sandals.

Straight leg

  • straight, not tapered or flared pant leg
  • typically cropped ankle length
  • typically high waisted

These are similar to mom jeans, but mom jeans are usually tapered in the leg while straight leg jeans are not.

How to style them:

Mom Jeans

  • Super high waisted
  • traditionally a lighter wash but can be any wash
  • straight or tapered leg
  • ankle length

Everyone’s gone crazy for the mom jeans in the last year or so. Levi’s is the master of the mom jeans with a super high waist and a tapered leg.

To avoid looking too 90’s, avoid an acid wash, or a length that forces you to roll them at the hem. Also they should fit you well through the hips and waist.

How to style them:

Boyfriend Jeans

  • Looser fit
  • Can be cuffed at the hem if needed
  • often distressed

These are looser, wider leg, and often distressed. They’re supposed to look like you stole your boyfriend’s jeans and wore them, so they’re made to have an oversized fit.

But they should still fit you well around the hips and not get overly bunched at the crotch area when you walk and sit.

How to wear them:

Wide Leg jeans

  • fuller leg
  • can be cropped or full length
  • should fit well through the hips and waist
  • higher waist works well here to create an hourglass shape

These are a fuller, wider leg that flares out like a capital A on each leg. They’re often higher waisted, and they should be fitted through the waist and the upper hip area.

Cropped wide leg jeans have become very popular, and full length wide leg jeans are on their way in. Personally, I think the cropped wide leg jeans are easier to wear and feel less 70’s.

How to wear them:

Flared Jeans

  • Flared lower leg
  • Can be cropped or full length
  • If you choose cropped, pick a length that hits you at your ankle bone, not shorter

The tamer version of bell bottoms with a slight flare at the ankle. These are making a comeback and I’m not sure how I feel about them. But they’ve also come back in a cropped version and I’m actually a fan of those.

Again, they should fit well through the waist and hips, stay slimmer through the leg and then flare out as you get to the lower leg.

How to wear them:

  • I don’t have any posts about full length flared jeans, but here are four ways to wear cropped flare jeans. My best advice for full length jeans is to choose shoes that allow the jeans to fall about 1/4″ to 1/2″ above the ground. They shouldn’t drag on the ground!

Which ones are best for my body type?

That’s up to YOU!! You can honestly wear any style of jeans that you want. The most important thing is that they fit you.

But as far as rise and leg width and length, that’s personal preference.

Yes, some will look better on your body type than others, but none are off limits. You do you.

I’ll be doing a new episode of Get Dressed with Merrick on Instagram stories this afternoon showing some different styles of jeans in my closet! Don’t miss it.

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE POSTS

A Breakdown of Different Styles of Jeans

Feeling overwhelmed by all the choices of jeans out there?  Here’s a breakdown of all the main styles and fits of jeans, and what to look for in each style.

 

Let’s talk about different styles of jeans

I love jeans. I love all styles of jeans. Skinny jeans, straight leg jeans, mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, wide leg jeans…give me all of them!

But I know that with all the different styles, it can feel overwhelming and confusing…

 

Questions you might ask yourself about jeans

  • How are they supposed to fit?
  • Which ones are best for my body type?
  • How do you style them?
  • What is the difference between the various styles?

 

good american jeans

Skinny jeans

  • Fitted leg
  • Available in all washes and colors
  • Available in all rises and lengths

Everyone’s favorite jeans for the last fifteen years! And nope, they’re not going anywhere. Stick with your favorite pair and keep on rocking them.

I’d recommend a mid to high rise with a length that hits right at or around your ankle bone. That’s the most universally flattering. I think we all know how to style them at this point, but check out THE OUTFIT GUIDE if you need more outfit ideas.

jeggings

Jeggings

  • a mix between jeans and leggings
  • soft, stretchy material
  • usually still has a traditional waistband, but sometimes has a stretchy waistband
  • fitted leg

Jeggings became very popular a few years after skinny jeans made their big debut in the early 2000s. At first they were really bad, looking more like super thin jeans made of crappy material with a fake waistband and fly.

But now they’re done really well and can have traditional waistbands and are just made out of really comfortable and soft denim fabric.

How to style them:

  • Because they are uber stretchy and borderline leggings, they are often a great option for dressing down with Chelsea boots, sneakers, or casual sandals.

 

black date night top with blue jeans and sneakers

Straight leg

  • straight, not tapered or flared pant leg
  • typically cropped ankle length
  • typically high waisted

These are similar to mom jeans, but mom jeans are usually tapered in the leg while straight leg jeans are not.

How to style them:

straight jeans with a sweater

Mom Jeans

  • Super high waisted
  • traditionally a lighter wash but can be any wash
  • straight or tapered leg
  • ankle length

Everyone’s gone crazy for the mom jeans in the last year or so. Levi’s is the master of the mom jeans with a super high waist and a tapered leg.

To avoid looking too 90’s, avoid an acid wash, or a length that forces you to roll them at the hem. Also they should fit you well through the hips and waist.

How to style them:

 

mom jeans outfit

Boyfriend Jeans

  • Looser fit
  • Can be cuffed at the hem if needed
  • often distressed

These are looser, wider leg, and often distressed. They’re supposed to look like you stole your boyfriend’s jeans and wore them, so they’re made to have an oversized fit.

But they should still fit you well around the hips and not get overly bunched at the crotch area when you walk and sit.

How to wear them:

WIDE LEG PANTS WITH PURPLE SWEATER

Wide Leg jeans

  • fuller leg
  • can be cropped or full length
  • should fit well through the hips and waist
  • higher waist works well here to create an hourglass shape

These are a fuller, wider leg that flares out like a capital A on each leg. They’re often higher waisted, and they should be fitted through the waist and the upper hip area.

Cropped wide leg jeans have become very popular, and full length wide leg jeans are on their way in. Personally, I think the cropped wide leg jeans are easier to wear and feel less 70’s.

How to wear them:

cropped flare madewell jeans with beatles graphic tee

Flared Jeans

  • Flared lower leg
  • Can be cropped or full length
  • If you choose cropped, pick a length that hits you at your ankle bone, not shorter

The tamer version of bell bottoms with a slight flare at the ankle. These are making a comeback and I’m not sure how I feel about them. But they’ve also come back in a cropped version and I’m actually a fan of those.

Again, they should fit well through the waist and hips, stay slimmer through the leg and then flare out as you get to the lower leg.

How to wear them:

  • I don’t have any posts about full length flared jeans, but here are four ways to wear cropped flare jeans. My best advice for full length jeans is to choose shoes that allow the jeans to fall about 1/4″ to 1/2″ above the ground. They shouldn’t drag on the ground!

 

Which ones are best for my body type?

That’s up to YOU!! You can honestly wear any style of jeans that you want. The most important thing is that they fit you.

But as far as rise and leg width and length, that’s personal preference.

Yes, some will look better on your body type than others, but none are off limits. You do you.

 

I’ll be doing a new episode of Get Dressed with Merrick on Instagram stories this afternoon showing some different styles of jeans in my closet! Don’t miss it.

 

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE POSTS

 

2 Comments

  1. KimW says:

    this is soooo helpful, merrick!!!!!!! i saved it for reference 🙂

  2. Beck Carol-Lynn says:

    Are ripped jeans ever going to go AWAY? I hate, hate, hate them.

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