Looking for a primer on the different types of jeans that are out there? You’re in luck, because today we’re running down 40 of the most common jeans styles for you to peruse. (And yes, we’ve got pics for everything!)
Ask people about their preferred bottoms, and a majority of them will answer jeans. Denim pants may not be the most comfortable clothing, but they sure do blend well with just about any look.
One pair of pants can help you achieve a whole range of styles by just changing your top and shoes. Moreover, there’s an entire kingdom of types of jeans that leaves you with endless options at your disposal.
Denim jeans style is currently two years shy of turning 150 years old. The timeless fashion piece remains in vogue every season worldwide, in every culture and social setting.
However, jeans pants have evolved immensely over the years, giving rise to an infinite spectrum of brands, washes, and designs.
If you feel confused about the difference between jeans types, you are not alone. Many people cannot walk into a store and throw the words boot-cut, straight-leg, and slim-fit jeans with confidence.
Related Reading: Why Are Denim Jackets So Expensive?
We took our time to compile this easy-to-understand but informative guide to make it a little easier for you to navigate the perplexing world of jeans.
40 Jean Types: A Detailed Guide for Denim Heads
If you’re reading this, you probably want to go straight to what jeans styles are turning heads right now. Here’s the good news; any type of jeans looks good right now!
Whether you go for the high rise, low rise, cropped, flared, or faded design, you are bound to step in style as long as you find the perfect fitting pair of pants.
To make things a tad simpler, let’s decode different types of jeans based on aspects such as the leg design, fit, waist level, and more.
Jump to the types of jeans that most interest you:
- 13 Types of Jeans Based On Leg Shape & Width
- 9 Types of Jeans Based On Fit
- 4 Types of Jeans Based On Waist Height
- 5 Types of Jeans Based On Length
- 9 Types of Jeans Based On Embellishments
13 Types of Jeans Based On Leg Design (Shape and Width)
1. Straight Leg Jeans
First is one of the most versatile jeans—the straight-leg denim pants. These are ideal for all body types and are incredibly easy to style up or down.
Unlike most jeans styles designed to get narrower at the ankle, the straight leg cut offers the same leg opening width from the top to the bottom of the leg. This creates a cleaner look with a perfect fit above the knee and a looser design below the knee.
If you’re just not a great fan of skinny jeans, straight-leg pants will do. Note that the term “straight” merely refers to the jeans cut. Therefore, you can opt for slim straight jeans or relaxed straight jeans.
Either way, the pants will fit comfortably without seeming too sloppy or baggy. You can twitch your tops and shows to create a casual, sporting, or semi-professional style.
2. Skinny Jeans (Tight Jeans)
Skinny jeans have ranked high on the fashion charts for quite a while now. They are a fashion trend that simply refuses to die. Here is a simple way to describe the jeans style:
- It offers a slim fit to the ankle and gives the thighs and calves a tight hug
- The leg area has no flare, just a sheer tight-fit perfection
- Designed to offer a figure-complimenting fit
Skinny-fit jeans go by different names that include skinnies, and slim-fit jeans, just to mention a few. Generally, they have a snug fit that tapers at the bottom of the leg.
A close relative of the skinny jeans is drainpipe denim pants. The two types of jeans look nearly identical, only that the drainpipes have a straighter lower leg instead of a tapered one.
3. Tapered Jeans (Slim Tapered Jeans)
The leg’s natural shape tends to become narrower as it gets towards the ankle. Tapered jean cuts mimic the leg shape and gradually narrow towards the ankle.
They show off the lovely shape of your legs while saving you from wearing baggy pants or jeans with excess fabric from the knee downwards.
Like straight-leg pants, tapered jeans come in two fits. You can choose between a slim-tapered fit and a loose-tapered fit. As expected, slim-tapered jeans are borderline skinny jeans.
The main difference is that the former offers a tighter fit at the seat and thigh area while the latter gives a tight fit from the thigh to the leg.
It’s easy to assume that tapered jeans are ideal for those with thin shapely legs. The truth is that they look great on anyone with high self-confidence. If you don’t mind a look that accentuates your legs and thighs, you will highly likely appreciate the tapered jeans design.
4. Boot Cut Jeans (Bootleg Denim Pants)
Boot jean cuts are narrow in the knee and wider at the leg opening. Typically, these types of jeans have leg openings ranging between 17 and 30 inches.
They have a vintage style that exudes the 90s and is neither too edgy nor too rock star. A pair of boot-cut jeans can help you achieve a clean, casual look without much effort.
If you are in between styles, boot-cut jeans can help you achieve balance in your overall look. They are slightly tapered at the thigh area, and they hug the hips and thighs just enough to give you a clean fit and sexy appearance.
Better still, the broader area at boot length will make your shoulders appear more balanced.
You can pair the pants with a loose top to achieve a relaxed and casual look. Another option is to wear a tighter top for a more polished overall appearance.
Because this option is ideal for all body shapes, you simply need to ensure that the waist design (mid or low rise) works well with your physical attributes.
5. Flared Jeans
Today, the anti-skinny trend is making waves and flared jeans have made a comeback. The pants have a vintage design that doesn’t go too retro, although you can pair it up with tons of patterns, colors, or washes to dictate how deep your look dives into the 70s.
Flared jeans resemble bell-bottoms, although the latter tends to be wider from the knees down. Moreover, bell bottoms have a more profound 70s vibe.
Generally, flared jeans have a leg opening of 2- 4 inches wider than the knee width.
6. Bell Bottom Jeans
It’s safe to think of bell-bottoms as flared jeans with an exaggerated flare.
They are also not so different from kick flare jeans because they give the hips and thighs a tight hug before turning loose from the knee downward.
You can give your look an instant retro flair by throwing on a pair of bell-bottoms.
As the name suggests, this style of jeans forms a bell-like shape because of its wide flare at the legs. Most varieties come with a low or ultra-low rise and give a tight fit till the knee before widening to create the iconic bell shape.
If you’re looking for types of jeans for women that can flatter your body shape, it’s hard to go wrong with bell-bottom pants.
7. Kick Flare Jeans
Kick flare jeans have many similarities with both the flared and bell-bottom jeans. However, there are also stuck differences that make them unique denim pants.
For instance, compared to the flare jeans, the kick flare may have an almost similar leg width at the bottom. However, it appears more shaped from the knee upwards, just like the bell bottom.
Flared jeans have more defined lines and have wider legs that gradually get wider as you get to the bottom.
If you don’t want to rock a 70s look with bell bottoms but wish to accentuate your body shape, your best bet is a pair of kick-flare jeans. Think of them as the funky and fun cousins of regular flare pants!
8. Baggy Jeans (Puddle Pants)
Baggy types of jeans are back and here to save us all from years of wearing hopelessly uncomfortable tight pants.
According to the big wigs in the fashion world, they are the only potential rival for the popular skinny jeans. They are loose around the hips and thighs and could have a wide or tapered leg opening.
In the 90’s anyone with the salt to call themselves fashion-forward rocked the puddle pants. The pants hug you at the waistline and are tapered at the leg for a more sophisticated look.
Contrary to popular belief, they are pretty versatile, and you don’t need to use them as home jeans. It will, however, be necessary to be a little creative with your hairstyle, belt, top, and shoe choices if you want an upscale look.
9. Mom Jeans
Mom jean cuts are trendy pieces of casual wear. They feature a high waist and a considerably longer zipper. They also have baggy legs that can make you look a tad taller.
Even though most mom jeans have the classic blue denim hue and have no rips, the pants look equally fantastic when they start to wear out.
The loose fit around the crotch and hips gives the pants a comfortable feel. Even so, it’s hard to deny that a humble pair of jeans can turn out to be the most versatile.
Mom jeans are timeless pieces that can be styled up or down, depending on the occasion.
10. Boyfriend Jeans
Boyfriend jeans look like mom jeans, only that they have a tighter fit around the hips and seat. Both designs have relaxed cuts through the legs to give you a more casual style.
These are your go-to pants if you have a few “less-favorite” areas you would wish to camouflage.
The loose fit of boyfriend jeans can leave you looking a little too sloppy for your liking. If you want to achieve a tidy look, you may want to crop the leg length to ensure the pants end a few inches above the ankle.
You can pair the look with heels or flats just as long as you don’t wear an equally baggy top.
11. Girlfriend Jeans
Girlfriend jeans are the feminine version of boyfriend types of jeans. The pants sit higher on the hips and have slimmer and straighter legs.
Even though they look just like boyfriend pants, they allow you to show off your feminine curves. They are perfect if your hip and seat areas enhance your overall look.
Pairing girlfriend jeans is easy-peasy. You can give yourself a femme-fatale factor by tucking in a floral or bright top. Throwing on a structured blazer and flats or pumps can instantly transform your look by giving you a business casual flair.
12. Stovepipe Jeans
Stovepipe jeans are like a hybrid of skinny and straight-leg pants. They fit tightly to the knee, just like skinny jeans, and then fall straight to the ankle like straight-leg pants.
Stovepipe pants are as versatile as any jeans pants can get. You can achieve a professional and polished look, a casual style, or a night out and about flair. It all depends on your choice of top, shoes, and accessories.
13. Cigarette Jeans
Cigarette pants look like skinny jeans because they fit snugly around the hips. Then again, they resemble straight pants in that they cut straight from the knee downwards. A feature that makes them unique is that the jeans style only falls to ankle length.
9 Types of Jeans Based On Their Fit
Every denim head needs to understand the word “fit.” It refers to the seat and thigh area and how they feel once you put them on.
1. Relaxed Fit Jeans
Men’s relaxed-fit jeans are always in high demand. “Relaxed fit” simply means that the jean cuts provide adequate space in the crotch, seat, thighs, and legs.
Compared to regular fit jeans, relaxed fit pants are looser and have a longer rise. Such a design ensures unrestricted movements, especially when handling high-intensity jobs.
The extra breathing room makes them excellent for casual wear, especially for anyone looking for comfortable work jeans. If slim and skinny jeans simply don’t tickle your fancy, you may want to consider relaxed fit jeans.
These are perfect for men with a thick or bulky midsection and tend to look sloppy on men with slender legs.
It’s important to note that relaxed fit jeans are not the same as loose-fit denim pants. The latter option is baggier and tends to have a floppier structure.
2. Regular Fit Jeans (Classic Fit)
Regular fit jeans give a “normal” fit. They are neither too baggy nor too loose and often perfectly fit the average man and woman. These pants allow the normal range of movement without giving you an overly casual or professional look.
Think of them as a hybrid between slim and loose jeans. They merely follow the body curves without hugging onto the skin.
Like relaxed-fit denim pants, regular-fit jeans are comfortable to wear. The snug fit provides a clean casual vibe, making them excellent for the weekends.
Most brands taper the legs around the ankle area to reduce the bagginess, although some maintain straight jean cuts.
3. Slim Fit Jeans
Slim-fit jeans are ideal for both men and women. They give a tight fit around the waist, hips, thighs, and rear panel, generally hugging the body.
Also, they have tapered legs ensuring the slim-fitting goes down to the ankle. Men with tight butts, well-toned thighs, and a figure worthy of showing off tend to look best in slim-fit jeans.
As we mentioned earlier, slim-fit jeans are also known as skinny jeans. They are often made from stretchy denim and are not as uncomfortable as they may look.
Then again, they become looser as you wear them, so you may want to ensure that you literally squeeze your body into the pants you choose.
4. Straight Fit jeans
Straight fit jeans are also called relaxed straight-fit denim pants. They look just like relaxed fit jeans but with a few unique aspects. Generally, they have a “relaxed fit” coupled with “a straight jean cut.”
They are neither too loose nor too tight around the thighs and hips and won’t hug your legs tight because of the straight cut. Note that relaxed fit jeans often have tapered legs.
Straight fit jeans have a casual appearance mainly because of the bagginess around the ankle. However, they aren’t sloppy as loose jeans, even though they provide adequate breathing room.
5. Stretch Jeans (Flex Jeans)
Stretch types of jeans are made from a perfect blend of denim and elastane or spandex. Spandex fibers keep the pants stretchier and more flexible than 100% cotton denim pants.
While most manufacturers only add 1 to 4% of the elastic material, it plays a significant role in making the jeans easy and comfortable to wear while enhancing the ease of movement.
Any jeans with stretchy material are flex jeans. For instance, skinny jeans will often contain some spandex that enhances comfort.
The main difference is that while most pants only stretch in two directions (left and right), stretch jeans stretch in 4 ways (left and right, up and down.
Here are some of the reasons why flex jeans are in vogue:
- Pretty comfortable, unlike 100% cotton denim types of jeans
- No pressure on the waistline even with a tight fit
- Easy to wear and enhanced freedom of movement
- Easy to dress down or up for a casual or business casual look
6. Cargo Fit Jeans (Combat Denim Pants)
First, let’s get one thing clear; cargo-fit jeans are not carpenter jeans. We will be talking about carpenter jeans later in this article.
Like carpenter jeans, cargo fit jeans also have extra pockets on the sides for enhanced levels of utility.
Apart from the usual four pockets in regular jeans (two front and two back pockets), cargo-fit jeans will also have an additional pocket or two on the pant legs. These pockets may also feature flaps or some sort of closure.
The “cargo fit” is loose and relaxed. The pants fall into their own category mainly because of the cargo pockets.
7. Loose Fit Jeans
A widespread myth that needs debunking is that baggy jeans don’t fit appropriately. The truth is that the pants have a loose fit design, although they fit snugly or comfortably around the waist. Sometimes, people that sag their trousers below their boxer shorts aren’t necessarily wearing baggy jeans.
Loose-fit jeans are baggy around the thigh, seat, calves and leg areas. They can be worn easily over boots and still provide plenty of room for movement.
This type of jeans is timeless and highly associated with the hip-hop culture. Even though most brands produce baggy jeans for men, you can also find feminine versions that pretty much resemble boyfriend jeans.
8. Trouser Fit Jeans
Trouser jeans have a loose fit and straight cut legs. What’s more, the pants have the classic design of traditional trousers. Some of the prominent features of this type of pants include a wide waistband and just enough fabric to hug the hips and seat areas lightly.
Generally, trouser-fit jeans give a polished look. They can also come in handy during casual occasions when you want to look your best. One of the top perks of investing in such pants is that they look great in just about all body shapes.
9. Easy Fit Jeans
Easy-fit jeans are similar to relaxed-fit pants, only that they feature a high rise. The pants have jean cuts that provide exceptional comfort.
Moreover, they feature an extra stretchy fabric that fits nicely and “easily” around every curve. Even though the pants look great on every body type, they look extra-perfect on women with a full figure.
4 Types of Jeans Based On Waist Level
When shopping for denim pants, one of the terms you are likely to bump into is “rise.” This simply refers to the positioning of the waistband or rather the distance between the crotch and the band.
Jeans have two raises; the front and back rise. Both will affect how the pants feel once you wear them.
1. Regular Rise Jeans
Most types of jeans come with a regular rise. Such pants have their waistbands sitting smack on the waist, and the rise will measure anywhere between 10 and 11 inches. It’s also worth mentioning that regular rise jeans are perfect for all body types.
The regular rise ensures that the pants don’t look too skinny or roomy. They give a cleaner look, and the jeans feel more comfortable against the skin.
2. Low Rise Jeans
Low-rise denim pants have their waistbands located 2 to 4 inches under the belly button. They are worn at the hips and were quite popular during the 70s and 60s.
While the jeans style can easily knock a few years off your overall look, it is mainly ideal for casual occasions.
You can also find ultra-low rise jeans, also known as Brazilian low rise jeans. They have a super low rise, and the distance between the waistband and the belly button can be about 5 inches.
It’s best to settle for these two options only if you are sure you won’t be too uncomfortable and keep pulling the pants towards your natural waist.
3. High Rise (High Waist) Jeans
With this option, the rise can be as long as 12 inches. Men with a taller frame look great in such pants because the waistband sits on the natural waist, providing a very proportional look.
Currently, many womens jeans styles feature the high rise waist.
4. Midrise (Short Rise) Jeans
Mid rise jeans have a rise of about 9 inches. Unlike regular rise jeans with their waistbands right on the natural waist, midrise pants have the bands falling a little lower.
5 Types of Jeans Based On Length
Before we talk about types of jeans based on their length, let’s first talk about the inseam. This is the measurement of your pants from the crotch to the leg opening.
If you want to figure out the area where your jeans will hit, you must consider the inseam measurement.
1. Skimmer Jeans
Skimmer jeans often have a regular rise and fit close to the body. However, they are shorter in length and are designed to ensure the hem hits somewhere between your knees and ankles.
Skimmer jeans are mainly women’s clothing and are perfect when paired with sneakers or strappy sandals.
2. Cropped Jeans
Cropped jeans are versatile and can breathe life into your denim pants collection. They work well with heels, boots, and trainers and can help you make a subtle statement of good fashion taste.
Often, cropped jeans will have an inseam length of no more than 26 inches.
There are three types of cropped jeans, including:
- Straight leg cropped jeans — they feature straight jean cuts from the hips downward
- Wide leg cropped jeans — the pants have a broader base for a classic vintage look
- Bootcut cropped jeans — they feature a kick-flare base that’s neither too wide nor too straight
3. Ankle Length Jeans
If you want to show some but not too much leg, the ankle-length jeans are perfect for you. Although you can dress them up for a more polished look, they have a casual vibe.
These jeans have the hem landing anywhere between 2 and 3 inches above the ankle.
4. Capri Jeans
Most people use the terms cropped, ankle-length, and Capri jeans interchangeably. However, these are unique terms used to describe where the pants’ hem lies precisely.
With Capri jeans, the hem sits in the middle of the broader area of the calves.
Compared to both ankle-length and cropped jeans, Capris are shorter. They are often ideal for casual wear and are suitable for taller women. If you are short, wearing Capris will make you seem shorter.
Like Capri Jeans, Gaucho denim pants have hems that end mid-calf. However, they are a loose jeans style with wide legs. Gauchos were quite popular in the 70s and have made a comeback, especially among fashion-conscious women who like to stand out.
9 Types of Jeans Based On Embellishments
Embellishments are anything that adds an element of interest to a pair of jeans. Here are 12 types of jeans based on their unique add-ons:
1. Distressed Jeans
Distressed types of jeans look old and used. Manufacturers deliberately use different techniques to make the pants look faded with frayed hems, tears, rips, and holes.
Some of the standard methods used include bleaching, sandblasting, stone washing, enzyme washing, acid washing, and over baking, just to mention a few. Generally, distressed jeans have an appealing vintage vibe.
2. Ripped Jeans
Ripped jeans are a type of distressed jeans. Some of the prominent features of the pants include ripped legs, hems, pockets, and waistband. They were pretty popular in the late 70s because of the Punk- rock movement that hailed the motto; rip it to shreds.
Ripped denim jeans went through a resurgence in the ’90s and are, to date, a popular sight on the red carpets. The pants are a symbol of expression that signifies freedom and rebellion.
3. Dirty Washed Jeans
Dirty washed jeans are also a form of distressed denim pants browned to look messy.
The contrast created by the brown hue makes the pants ideal for pairing with just about anything, including the classic white t-shirts. Generally, the “dirty wash” gives the jeans a rock-star kind of vibe.
4. Vintage Wash Jeans
If wearing dirty jeans is too overboard for you, you may want to consider vintage wash jeans. They look like regular jeans but appear to have a layer of dust accumulated over several years.
Vintage wash jeans are often not mega-distressed, making them trendy for adults who want to look fashionable without appearing too informal.
5. Classic Wash Jeans
Classic wash jeans are a staple in the modern wardrobe. The pants feature the classic light-hued denim and are a hot choice during the summer. They offer the perfect excuse to get out of your regular dark or mid-saturated denim pants.
6. Whisker Washed Jeans
Denim pants with faint vertical lines on the front are called whisker-washed jeans. The whiskers or faded lines give the pants a natural-looking vintage look.
Then again, these types of jeans hardly fade because manufacturers must wash and artificially fade them before creating the whiskers. These processes that come before adding the whiskers also make the denim fabric softer and more comfortable to wear.
7. Acid Washed Jeans
Acid-washed jeans have white or lighter patches achieved by using chlorine (not acid). Most pants will have darker colors that contrast with the lighter patches. They look with a pair of Doc Martens and a punky jacket.
Even though acid-washed jeans are currently an outdated fashion, they may just make a comeback in the near future.
8. Carpenter Jeans
Unlike cargo jeans that only have extra pockets, carpenter jeans will also feature loops on the sides for hanging tools such as hammers.
For those in the construction industry, wearing these pants may save you from wearing your tool belt, especially when handling small projects.
The loose-fitting pants are also pretty comfortable, irrespective of whether you are working indoors or outdoors.
These pants are designed for work. The loops are strategically placed about 6 inches below the main pocket to ensure you can reach your tools efficiently.
Additionally, the pants have a small vertical pocket below the loop. Once you hang the hammer’s head on the loop, its handle should slide into the small pocket.
9. Cuffed Jeans
Cuffed jeans have a rolled-up hem. Even though a decent number of manufacturers dedicate their time to making cuffed jeans, you could simply alter your regular denim pants by folding the hem to hide it completely.
Jean Types: Wrapping Up
If you are a denim head, we hope that this guide has packed you with a wealth of information about types of jeans.
Even though the bottoms have evolved and gone through endless iterations over the years, there’s just something about them that makes them a staple in our closets.
So, which jeans style will you be adding to your collection? Share your views in the comment section below.