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What Style of Jean Should You Wear? Choosing The Perfect Fit

There are a variety of jean styles, the trick is picking the ones most suitable for you.

While jeans are famous for their versatility, it’s also important to think about where you’ll be wearing your jeans. If you’re wearing them to the office you’ll want to choose something pulled-together. If you’re wearing jeans to run errands you can get more adventurous. 

Brands typically classify how their jeans fit in three areas: hips, thighs and legs. For hips and thighs the fit is self-explanatory, as it means how much room is in each section. When it comes to the leg it’s in reference to the knee, calf, and ankle. 

What Jeans Styles Are Currently Trending?

As we’ve seen throughout the years, fashion trends are constantly changing. While everything eventually does come back into trend, it is important to stay true to your own style and what makes you feel comfortable. 

When it comes to denim trends, one of the most popular styles has been high-rise, wide leg jeans. The ‘90’s-inspired silhouette has continued to be a staple piece in our wardrobes. When a high-rise pair hits the right way, it can be styled in so many ways; a fitted bodysuit, a plain tee, or a relaxed sweater with boots for a weekend chic look. 

Next on the trending list is utility pants, also known as cargo pants. Cargo pants have been popular since last fall, but moving forward the focus will now be on denim. They’re recognizable by their roomy fit and numerous pockets. Cargo pants are also very easy to style as they look great with T-shirts, crop tops or even oversize button ups and a baseball cap. 

Last but certainly not least, ecru and classic white jeans in a looser cut have brought a fresh new feel to denim. A fabric that is easy, layerable and trans-seasonal. A pair of ecru jeans is ultra chic and an easy way to elevate your denim collection. It can be worn many different ways, whether that be a monochromatic look or with a simple vest and black loafers. 

Straight Leg Hem

Straight leg hem jeans are more laid-back, and casual than the skinny jean. They run straight from the hips down through the legs. They’re not too tight and not too relaxed. Straight leg is also sometimes called “regular fit” or “classic fit”. Typically the leg openings measure about 8 inches across.  If you don’t feel comfortable in skinny jeans, try a straight jean instead. If you’re not sure what your body type is, this fit is a great starting point for figuring that out. The body types that look best in a straight leg are, hourglass, apple, and athletic. For men, straight leg jeans are best for those with a slender, athletic build or those with wide hips.

​​Next question is, how should I style them? For women, you can wear a basic T, with some sandals or boots for a timeless uniform. Another option is a striped shirt with a blazer and some ankle high cowboy boots. For men, a looser sweater with some clean white sneakers. Or anything with looser fitting layers for the top such as a loose white tee and a vintage leather jacket.

Wide Leg Hem

Wide leg jeans are cut wide throughout the leg, beginning to flare around the mid-thigh and continuing to a wide leg opening. This may sound like a flare leg, but the difference between the two is that a wide leg hem has a more triangle shape, since the flare is more gradual compared to bell-bottom jeans. They are typically designed to flatter your waistline, hips and butt; this is the reason why wide leg jeans became known as “mom jeans”. They are a great option for those with rectangle or triangle body shapes. For men, they look best on muscular men or those with large waists. Wide leg jeans paired with a high waist have also become known as “mom” jeans. In general, the wider the jeans, the more flattering they can be on different body types. Wide leg leans towards a laid-back and playful aesthetic. 

When it comes to styling, wide leg jeans are the most versatile. You can play it up with oversized knitwear, a button up, or a sweater vest. You can also wear it more casually with a plain white tee or a bralette and a white long sleeve. You also can't go wrong with a pair of sneakers or boots. 

Skinny Jean Hem

Skinny jeans are cut close to the legs, and are the slimmest at your ankle. Thanks to stretch denim, they are actually best for all body types. The wash does play a role here as pear and hourglass shapes look best in dark wash skinny jeans, while apple and athletic shapes can rock lighter washes. 

Skinny jeans go perfectly with loose, oversized tops but also work well with fitted tops. For men, some ways to style skinny jeans are with knitwear or collared shirts. An alternative is a more casual approach with a simple tee and a bomber jacket. Finding your style doesn’t just happen overnight, it always takes some trial and error. 

Match Your Jeans To Your Style

A person’s way of expressing themselves through clothing is their style. In fashion, “style” is short for personal style. Someone who is stylish doesn’t necessarily follow fashion trends, but they stay true to their own aesthetic. Personal style is all about developing a sense of self rather than just absorbing trends.

Determining Your Look

A great place to start is by looking at your favorite pieces in your closet and seeing what they have in common. After that, it’s helpful to create a fashion mood board. When you see all of your favorite looks in one place it’s a lot easier to understand what your aesthetic is. From there you can begin to put outfits together and know what pieces to look for to add to your collection.

Choosing Your Denim Wash

Denim is one of the most-loved and versatile fabrics in most peoples’ wardrobes. It goes with everything, it’s durable and you can wear it for almost any occasion. 

The washing process is what gives denim its signature faded finish and helps to color the fabric. The colors and washes to choose from can vary. Consider this your foolproof guide to understanding denim washes and styling them. 

Dark wash

Denim that has been untreated, is darker in color and is known as dark wash or ‘raw denim’. It’s often stiffer, meaning it’s best suited to straight-leg jeans. It's best when worn in colder weather but, as with most denim, it’s an easy year-round staple. If you’re looking for a slimming effect, this is the wash to reach for. 

Since dark wash is a stiffer denim, it’s best paired with other loose-fitting pieces in a lighter color, or pair with a bright-colored top for a contrasting statement.

Medium wash

Medium wash jeans have been washed and dried and therefore lighter than dark wash denim. This wash suits most people, goes with anything, and can be worn dressed up or dressed down. This mid-tone blue pairs easily with a variety of colors, making it a casual wardrobe must-have. 

Medium wash goes well with just about any look. It pairs very well with a plain white t-shirt and a clean pair of sneakers. 

Light wash

Light wash is typically a pale blue and is a couple of shades lighter than medium wash. It’s casual and summery, making it a popular choice for jeans. 

Light wash denim has been coming in and out of fashion far more frequently than darker shades, but it's currently popular thanks to the 90’s making a comeback. Pair your light wash jeans with a basic white tee for an easy everyday look. 

White denim

White denim or ecru is usually left to the bold dressers, but it definitely shouldn’t be that way! It’s a great choice in the summer months for a fresh and airy look. 

If you’re afraid to wear white denim, reach for ecru which can be easier to pull off. It’s more flattering for a range of body types and skin tones, and much easier to keep clean. Wear it with similar shades for a monochromatic look. P.S. Make sure not to over-wash it as it dulls the color over time!

Black denim

Black denim is a bit different as it is dyed to varying tones rather than a ‘wash’. For this reason, it’s important to not over-wash them as they are likely to fade. Black denim is the least risky as it never goes out of style and you can wear it with anything. All styles look incredible in black denim, so you truly can’t go wrong. 

As already stated, black jeans are a wardrobe essential. They’re typically not the go-to choice in summer, but they’ll never look out of place. You can pair it with other dark colors, or you can highlight brighter colors. If you’re looking to make a statement, contrast it with whites or neutrals. 

Styling Your Denim

The great thing about denim is that it’s super versatile. Dress your outfit up or down by wearing your favorite jeans with a pair of heels or sneakers. For fall, pair your jeans with a crop top and a trench coat or an oversized knit. For spring, throw on a plain white tee with a baseball cap or a button up and some sneakers. In the winter, you’ll need to throw on several layers to stay warm, grab a hoodie with a thick leather jacket and you’ll be the trendiest one around.

This Post

There are a variety of jean styles, the trick is picking the ones most suitable for you.

August 29, 2022
Melissa Castillo

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