Despite what “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” tells us, not every pair of jeans will magically fit us or look amazing no matter what we pair it with. There are different styles of jeans that look best on different body types and with tops, shoes and accessories that flatter and compliment any style. Looking through racks of denim at the department store can be a little overwhelming – Flared, Boot Cut, Carpenter, Slim, Skinny, Boyfriend… what do all these mean? Here is a quick reference guide on different styles of jeans and how to wear jeans stylishly.
Flared – Low on the hips, fitted at the thighs and wide at the calves and ankles, flared jeans were a staple in the 1960s and had a resurgence in the ’90s. Nowadays, flared styles are more subtle and look best in dark washes. Flared jeans look great slightly longer than your actual legs and paired with a high wedge heel. Flared jeans create the illusion of length, so the style looks great on shorter women who wish to appear taller. Flared jeans also accentuate the butt while minimizing its width. Top off your modern bell-bottoms with a Peter Pan-colored top and blazer for a dressy look or a simple tank for a sexy casual ensemble.
Boot Cut – A more subtle relative of the flared jean, the boot cut style was designed to allow wearers to fit their tall boots under the wide legs of the pants with ease. It comes as no surprise, then, that the jeans look best when paired with boots. Look for boots with a heel or platform, and make sure your boot-cut jeans are long enough to reach your foot. Keep an eye out for a trouser variation of the boot cut which is more flattering, longer, and features a higher waist. Boot cut jeans also look best in a dark wash and can be paired with more casual tops for a relaxed and comfortable outfit.
Skinny – Tight all over and tapered at the bottom, skinny jeans look best on longer, slimmer legs. When paired with a flowy top, the jeans compliment the body and call attention to your legs. For those who feel insecure about wearing jeans this tight and unforgiving, a slim-fit jean is the next best thing. Straight up and down and more relaxed than a skinny, slim fit jeans look great with boots, flats, heels or sneakers. They are very versatile and work with all body shapes. These two different styles of jeans look more polished than their baggier cousins and come in a larger variety of colors. Pair red skinnies with an oversized black and white striped sweater, or match a light denim slim fit pair with a feminine baby doll top.
High-waisted – Some may wonder how to wear jeans stylishly when they have a high waist. Often referred to as “mom jeans,” this style can be tricky to wear fashionably. High-waisted jeans are great because they accent the smallest section of your torso and can make your legs look supermodel long when worn correctly. Search for a dark wash pair of high-waisted denim that isn’t too flowy at the bottom. If the jeans look too 1970s, your outfit can appear more like a costume than a chic ensemble. Tuck in a fitted T-shirt or tank and slip a thin, colorful belt into the jeans’ belt loops. Wear the jeans with tall pumps, and you’ll look more Gisele Bundchen than Jessica Simpson.
Don’t be afraid to try out different styles of jeans – even the more obscure ones – to see what looks best on your body and what feels more comfortable to you.