Your Definitive Guide To Finding Dream Jeans
Whether you prefer a high waisted skinny or baggy boyfriend, I think we can agree that jeans are an essential staple in everyone’s wardrobe. However, shopping for denim may be a daunting experience with the sheer amount of choice given to you. Fret not, here’s an ultimate guide to jeans and also how to style them. Your perfect pair awaits!
Text: Mona Teo and Nicola Watson / HerWorldPlus / June 2017
Additional text: Cheryl Lim
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Fit: Figure-hugging from the hip all the way to the ankle.
Wear with: Sneakers, ankle boots or flat sandals.
Fashion Editor tip: If you enjoy skinny jeans but fear they’re rather ‘exposing’ in their fit, opt for a dark denim wash instead of light.
Fit: Figure-hugging from the hip to where the jeans end, usually several inches below the knee.
Wear with: Low cut sneakers, flats or sandals.
Fashion Editor tip: Exposing more of the ankle will ensure these jeans elongate your legs. Opt for mules or court shoes to keep the ankle area open. Bonus: Nude platform court shoes are a capri jeans win.
Fit: Bootcut jeans fit snug at the thigh and flare out from the knee to ankle.
Wear with: Boots, pointed heels or wedges to elongate your legs.
Fashion Editor tip: Whilst we’ve seen the skinny jean take over from the bootcut in popularity, this doesn’t mean you should neglect the bootcut completely. Balance the flare out with a fuss-free fitted white tee for a modern twist on this 90’s favourite.
Fit: Baggy from hip down, with a looser fit from the upper thighs to ankle.
Wear with: Heeled sandals, flats or low cut sneakers.
Fashion Editor tip: As its namesake suggests, these jeans are meant to look like you’ve stolen your boyfriend’s jeans and adapted them to be your own. So, with that in mind, they’re not really set out to be dressed-up. That said, they work great with some chunky heeled shoes or feminine strappy sandals to provide contrast to your ensemble. But I would always favour working these jeans with what they’re designed for: trainers and a basic top.
Fit: Figure-hugging from hip to ankle, with a band of extra fabric that wraps under the foot.
Wear with: Low cut sneakers, flats or heels.
Fashion Editor tip: But I’m not riding a horse? Yes, I hear you loud and clear, however these jeans can work great for general off-duty style. To show off the stirrup detail, pair with thin strappy heeled sandals, along with a logo print t-shirt (which is a huge current trend) and baseball cap. Voila – sassy and street AND stirrup, all rolled into one outfit.
Fit: Ripped jeans feature rips and large holes on the legs – both front and back. This jean detail can be found in most styles, from skinny to boyfriend cut.
Wear with: Whatever you so desire.
Fashion Editor tip: The ripped jeans came back into play a few years ago and have stuck around ever since. From ripping our own old jeans to purchasing new jeans complete with distressed knees and no pockets, the ripped is here to stay. The way we’re rockin’ these at the moment is with fishnets underneath, for the ultimate ‘I am one severely trendy millennial’ OOTD.
Ultra-Low Rise Jeans
Fit: The ultra low rise sits even lower on your hips and usually features a much shorter crotch length.
Wear with: Flats or sneakers.
Fashion Editor tip: These work wonders to elongate and balance you out if you have a short torso, especially if you pair with a long top. If your mid-drift is something your Instagram followers would proudly repost, then these jeans can show off your best asset, either with a crop top or bralet.
Pegged Legged Jeans
Fit: The legs can be a skinnier or looser fit, but always end with a rolled cuff at the ankle. Given the rolled cuff creating a casual feel, they’re usually looser in leg width.
Wear with: Low cut sneakers, strappy wedges or ankle boots.
Fashion Editor tip: As these jeans finish at the ankles and draw attention with the turned-up cuff, balance the jeans out with a long sleeve crop top and high heels.
Skinny Flared Jeans
Fit: Figure hugging from the hip to the knee, and flaring out to the ankle.
Wear with: Heels or boots.
Fashion Editor tip: This pair combines the best assets from the flare and the skinny, giving off a totally relaxed “I don’t work, I do brunch” chilled vibe. They work superb with wicker sandal wedges (closed or peep toed, your call) and a floaty top, plus large brimmed floppy hat. A flute of bubbly wouldn’t go amiss either.
Fit: Extremely baggy from the hip that tapers at the ankle, and features a drop crotch.
Wear with: Flats or strappy sandals… or trainers for the ‘street’ look.
Fashion Editor tip: Granted, these are quite tricky to wear… but not impossible. The key here is to make the jeans do all the work – so keep your shoes flat, and then the top simple and tight. Weather permitting, rock these with a short black boob tube and large sunglasses, complete with a chain choker for the ultimate ‘I got this’ style.
Fit: These jeans cover ¾ of your legs and can be looser or more figure hugging at the hips and thighs.
Wear with: Heels or flip flops for beach attire.
Fashion Editor tip: I like to down-dress these jeans with an oversized baggy t-shirt and flip flops or mules. For extra fashion points, purchase a unisex or man’s t-shirt in size small so it looks ‘oversized’ but doesn’t swamp you. Roll up the sleeves for even MORE fashion points (we’ve just nailed the off-duty look so well, I cannot cope).
Low Rise Jeans
Fit: This style sits several inches below your belly button and below the hip bone.
Wear with: They’re so versatile they go with heels, flats, trainers – whatever you wish!
Fashion Editor tip: The low rise jean is the modern common choice, particularly low rise skinny jean. I don’t need to give any tips to style these bad boys because they work with pretty much anything. Heels and blouse for date night? Check. Trainers and crop top for Saturday? Check. Bra and pants for indoor slouching? Check check.
Mid Rise Jeans
Fit: These jeans typically sit just below your belly button and comfortably on your hip bone.
Wear with: Heels, flats or sneakers.
Fashion Editor tip: These jeans work wonders for us who are a little bigger in the middle. If you’re looking for a staple day pair of jeans that will go with a variety of styles and keep you comfortable, opt for a mid rise pair in stretch fabric. The fabric is very important – if it isn’t stretch, you may feel rather stuffy and restricted.
Straight Cut Jeans
Fit: Straight cut jeans form a straight line from your hips to the ankles.
Wear with: For maximum leg-lengthening, a pair of heels will allow the jeans to fall nicely from the hip and down to the ankle.
Fashion Editor tip: As these are straight down from hip to hem, they give off the ‘fuss free’ and no frills required vibe. I recommend continuing in this vein by pairing with simple shoes and a plain top. Perhaps you could sneak in a logo or cartoon print on your tee, but make sure it’s minimal. You want these jeans, along with your whole outfit, to say ‘I am effortlessly cool’.
Fit: Usually elasticated at the waist and ankles, like a regular pair of jogger pants. It fits loose at the hip and thighs, gradually tapering into a skinny fit at the ankle.
Wear with: Sneakers or slide-ons.
Fashion Editor tip: There is absolutely no way to dress up these jeans, so don’t even try. As in, if you decided to wear them for a dinner date I may have to pull you aside and ask you to explore the other 17 slides we have in this handy guide (if in doubt, go for skinny!). The jogger jean is for when you have no energy left to get yourself dolled up, but you still need to leave the flat to do some shopping or head to your boyfriend’s place for a takeaway and movie night in. Wear with anything that fits the ‘slouchy, comfy and don’t care’ aura of the jogger jeans themselves.
High Waisted Jeans
Fit: Waist band sits at your natural waist, and can be in any cut from skinny to wide flare.
Wear with: Flats (mules are highly recommended).
Fashion Editor tip: As these jeans come up above the waist (well duh) then pairing them with flat shoes is the easiest way to balance this style out. That being said, they look very feminine teamed with heels. I recommend purchasing in a stretch material otherwise they can be quite restricting, particularly after you’ve ate a large meal.
Fit: Usually high-waist, baggy at the hips and tapering slightly from the knee to ankle.
Wear with: Low cut sneakers, wedges or plimsolls.
Fashion Editor tips: Contrary to what the name suggests, the mom jeans are all the rage at the moment. Wear with a chunky black belt, a detailed crop top and large shirt-come-jacket left open for the perfect ’90s look.
Wide Legged Flare Jeans
Fit: Snug at the hips and flares out from the upper thigh to ankle.
Wear with: High heeled shoes or boots.
Fashion Editor tip: Wearings these with a baggy or even slightly loose top may be difficult; you may end up looking completely swamped in frabric. Keep the jeans as the main ensemble driver and team with flat shoes (they’ll probably not be on show anyway so no biggy) and a tight top – albeit t-shirt, boob tube, crop top or bralet.