10 Jean Styles Everyone Should Own
From mom jeans to bell bottoms, there are many different jean styles to choose from in the fashion world. If you aren’t sure which jean style to add to your wardrobe, check out our list of all the essential jeans that will spice up your closet!
1. Mom Jeans
Characterized by a loose fit, mom jeans are both comfortable and trendy. Mom jeans first became popular in early 1990s and were typically worn by older women which is how they coined the term. Nowadays, mom jeans have become a trend among the younger crowd. They often come in a high-waisted style that tapers by the ankles, and you can find mom jeans in a variety of different colors and designs. You can wear these jeans with a baby tee and some sneakers, or you can pull them off with an oversized sweatshirt. PacSun has a great assortment to choose from, but you can find these jeans in any clothing store.
2. Boyfriend Jeans
Boyfriend jeans are somewhat similar to mom jeans in the sense that they have a looser fit as well, but they are characterized by more of a straightened style. Marilyn Monroe is a pioneer in the boyfriend jeans movement, wearing the jeans in the 1960s and using her femininity to strengthen what was then considered more of a ‘masculine’ style. Boyfriend jeans coined their name due to the fact that the loose, relaxed fit may look like you are wearing your boyfriend’s clothing. Rather than being wide all around, boyfriend jeans tend to flow straight down to your ankles instead of tapering above the feet, making them both flattering and comfortable for your legs.
3. Bell Bottoms
Bell bottoms, otherwise known as flare jeans, are a jean style that gets wide from the knees down, thus resembling the shape of a bell. Bell bottoms became popular in the 1960s and 70s, often worn by popular music groups and artists such as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and The Jackson 5. These jeans are often worn with heeled shoes or boots, but you can rock them with sneakers for more of a casual look. Bell bottoms are guaranteed to add a vintage pop to any outfit.
4. Straight Leg
While straight leg jeans are often lumped in with other jean styles, the look by itself is characterized by a consistent slim fit all-around. Straight leg jeans maintain the same style from top to bottom and take on a tighter fit than mom jeans or boyfriend jeans. Straight leg jeans became popular throughout the 1980s and 90s before baggy jeans came onto the scene, but they are still just as trendy today. Straight leg jeans are particularly flattering for those with longer legs and go great with a casual tee and sneakers.
Patchwork jeans give off a DIY style, calling back to the Y2K skater era. Patchwork jeans first soared to popularity in the 1970s with hand-stitched designs that could be created at home. Now, patchwork jeans tend to involve different fabric washes crafted together to create a unique look. You can find patchwork jeans in a color block design or even with different sew-on fabrics. These jeans have recently come back into style amidst the pandemic due to their arts-and-crafts vibe.
You may have noticed that a majority of the jeans listed throughout this article are high-waisted, and that’s simply because high-waisted jeans are in style! High-waisted jeans tend to start above the belly button rather than directly at the waist line. While high-waisted jeans have come in and out of style, their popularity began in the 1980s when they were often worn with vintage tees and sneakers. High-waisted jeans recently became trendy again in the 2010s, and they haven’t gone out of style since then!
Wide-leg jeans are characterized by a consistently wide circumference from top to bottom. Unlike bell bottoms, these jeans don’t just pop out below the knee – they’re wide all-around! Some wide-leg jeans take on a baggier look with a longer leg style, but many wide-leg jeans tend to end around or slightly above the ankles. These jeans are often elevated with boots, but you can go for a skater style by wearing them with high-top sneakers.
Ripped jeans became popular in the 1970s during the punk movement as a symbol of anger towards society. Those participating in the movement would rip their regular jeans in order to make a statement. Ripped jeans are now purposely ripped, and you can find a variety of different styles on the market. Rips range from larger designs that go from the bottom of the leg to the thigh to smaller designs that are constricted at the knee. Ripped jeans also tend to overlap with many of the other styles on this list. It’s all about finding the style you like!
During the late 1980s and early 90s, baggy jeans soared to popularity when they were showcased in the hip hop scene by artists like Kriss Kross and MC Hammer. Many believe that baggy jeans were particularly worn by breakdancers due to their comfortable fit which would allow dancers to move around more easily. Baggy jeans retain their popularity today as they give off more of a comfortable, laid-back look. This jean style is particularly popular among the skater crowd due to the roominess of the jeans.
While low-rise jeans were first worn in the 1960s, they became trendy in the late 90s and early 2000s due to celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Alicia Keys rocking the jeans in the public eye. Low-rise jeans typically end just above the butt, showing off the waist and curves. Many celebrities also complemented these jeans with belly button piercings and bedazzled belts. Low-rise jeans are often overlooked by high-waisted jeans nowadays, but they are still considered flattering!
Which jean style is your favorite? Leave a comment with more jean styles we may have missed!
Featured Image Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/skinny-jeans-low-rise-denim-trends-2022-11644502889
Sarah is a recent Virginia Tech graduate with a Bachelors in Creative Writing and Psychology.