If you’ve passed through the denim section of a clothing store recently, you might have noticed the huge variety of jeans available, from the classic skinny to 90s boyfriend. The names are specific and supposed to help clarify the fit, but when you’re not familiar with the types, seeing something like “cargo distressed vintage mom” on a label is just confusing. To help save any fellow puzzled shoppers some unnecessary trips to the fitting room, here’s a quick guide to the kinds of jeans you might see on the rack and how they should fit on your body!
Regular – Your average pair of jeans, tight enough to match the shape of your body but loose enough to give your legs some space to breathe. Typically, the width of the pant leg is the same all the way down, with some pairs tapering inward at the ankles.
Skinny – Jeans that fit tightly to your body from your hips down to your ankles, emphasizing the shape of your legs.
Flare – Jeans that fit snugly at the hips and thighs and flare out below the knees and at the ankles for a looser fit.
Bootcut – Similar to flares, bootcut jeans are wider at the ankles compared to a tighter fit above the knee, though the flaring is much more subtle than with flare jeans.
Straight-leg – Jeans that have a straight, narrow leg shape with no variation in width from knees to ankles. Straight-leg jeans can vary in size, with some no looser than a regular cut and some much closer to wide-leg jeans.
Wide-leg – Wide at the thighs, calves, and ankles, these jeans are similar to straight-leg jeans, though they typically fit looser and start gradually tapering outward at mid-thigh. The wider ankles are less obvious compared to flare and bootcut jeans, which start tapering out at the knees, but they’ll still give you a different look than even the widest straight-leg jeans!
Mom – Typically high-waisted jeans that are loose around the thighs, mom jeans taper in at the ankles for a relaxed fit without appearing too baggy.
Dad – Straight-leg jeans with a higher waist that are baggy at the hips and thighs (similar to men’s jeans). Dad jeans offer a looser, comfier fit than your average pair of jeans.
Boyfriend – Similar to dad jeans, boyfriend jeans are loose straight-leg pants that are baggier at the hip area than typical women’s jeans. However, unlike dad jeans, they tend to sit at mid or low rise on the waist.
While this list doesn’t cover every pair of jeans out there, hopefully, the info can help you streamline your next shopping trip!