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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.

My favorite place to get skinny jeans:

My very favorite skinny jeans are THESE ONES FROM GOOD AMERICAN. I wear a size 0 in their jeans (usually I’m a size 26 in jeans). I’ve linked a few other options below!

 

 

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.

My favorite place to get jeggings:

 

black date night top with blue jeans and sneakers

Straight Leg Cropped

  • straight, not tapered or flared pant leg
  • cropped ankle length – should be ankle bone length, or right above or below.
  • 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:

Where to buy straight leg cropped jeans:

 

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:

Where to buy good mom jeans:

  • THESE EVERLANE JEANS are the ones I have on above, just in an older wash (that’s no longer available), and I chopped off the ends to make them raw. They’re a great not-too-tapered fit, and a high waist without being obscenely high.

 

 

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:

Where to find good boyfriend jeans:

 

WIDE LEG PANTS WITH PURPLE SWEATER

Cropped Wide Leg Jeans

  • fuller leg
  • crop length should hit at about your ankle bone. Slightly above or below the ankle bone works too.
  • 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:

Where to find good cropped wide leg jeans:

 

 

full length jeans with sneakers

Full-Length Straight Leg

  • straight leg fit
  • full length to the top of your shoes
  • can be a little longer or a little shorter, but is not a cropped jean
  • fits well through the hips and waist and crotch
  • Should not pool around your feet or drag on the ground.

These fit similar to the straight leg cropped pair, but just a little wider, and full length.

How to wear them:

  • The biggest question everyone has is what shoes to wear with them (after years of wearing skinny jeans and cropped jeans). I just did a post about it RIGHT HERE! This style I’m wearing above feels very trendy and 90’s, so make sure you’re wearing more classic tops with them to avoid looking too dated.

Where to find good full length straight leg jeans

 

 

full length wide leg jeans with ankle boots

Trouser Style Jeans

  • Fits wider through the leg
  • full length to the ground
  • shouldn’t drag or pool on the ground
  • should fit well through the hips and waist
  • pockets or other details to make them more elevated like a trouser

These are the most dressy kind of jean, and they’re a great option for business casual or teaching or just a dressier outfit with jeans.

How to wear them:

Where to find a good pair:

 

 

Kick Flare 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:

Where to buy good cropped kick flare jeans:

  • THIS PAIR FROM MADEWELL is my all time favorite pair. I’ve tried a bunch of pairs over the last few years and this is definitely the best. Soft, stretchy, sturdy denim, and a great length. I size down one size to a 25.

 

 

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.

 

Here’s a video about some of these styles of jeans, if you’re more of a visual learner!

 

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

 

6 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.

  3. Donna Prendergast says:

    Your tutorials are SO GOOD. I have no clothes sense, but with your assistance I manage to turn out some reasonable outfits. Thanks

  4. Retro games says:

    What you said is very clear and easy to understand because of how you put your thoughts together.

  5. […] jeans are a mix of old and new styles of jeans, making a collage of different colors and textures. With an eco-friendly edge, they give the […]

  6. Natasha says:

    What a comprehensive guide to jeans styles! Your breakdown makes navigating the plethora of options much easier. I appreciate the insights into fit, styling tips, and recommendations for various body types. It’s reassuring to know that there’s a perfect pair of jeans for everyone’s preferences and shapes. Thanks for sharing such valuable information!

    NATASHA
    https://styledbywu.com.au/

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