43+ Types of Jeans: All you need to know before buying

Types of jeans - faverie

Chances are you’ve been wearing denim since you were very young. Jeans are a fashion staple that everybody has in their closet. From standard relaxed fit pants to the more modern skinny style, jeans are everywhere. 

This article is dedicated to this denim wonder, its history, different types of denim that have been popular over the years, and different ways that you can style your denim. 

By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be an expert on picking out the jeans that are perfect for your body type and style. You’ll also know the right items to pair with your denim.

Sounds interesting?

Let’s get started!

Introduction to jeans

It’s likely that most people reading this article own at least a couple of pairs of jeans. These denim wonders are a versatile wardrobe item that can be worn for work, a night out with friends, or on a date.

They come in a number of different styles and colors, allowing you to build up a pretty impressive collection of jeans in your closet. This article is dedicated to jeans. From the basics of wearing denim to the different types of jeans that are out there, we’re going to cover it all.

What are jeans?

Jeans are a pair of pants that are made out of denim material. Commonly blue in color, jeans are a casual clothing item that has been around for decades. Their style changes as the years go on, but the concept of jeans remains the same. It’s a fun clothing item that goes with just about everything.

Jeans are also known as blue jeans, and they typically feature five pockets, a zippered fly in the front, and belt loops around the waistline. Various shades of blue denim are used to make jeans, though you can find black, white, and even colored denim as well. 

They have been around since the late 1800s, though they had a different look to them back then. They were meant to be reinforced work pants that will hold up well to wear and tear. Though this is still true for the denim that we produce today, jeans have become an iconic style item as well.

We’ve seen a lot of denim styles come and go over the years. From the mom jean to skinny jeans, there has been something for everyone in the denim market. Curious what types of jeans are popular right now? Read on to find out more.

What styles of jeans are popular now?

There isn’t one type of jeans that is popular right now. There are actually a few different styles that you’ll see on the shelves of clothing stores. The type that you choose will really depend on your body type, your age, and your personal style. 

Not to mention, you may have a few different styles of denim pants in your closet to accommodate the different types of events that you attend.

Straight Leg/Relaxed Fit

The straight-leg jean is popular for both men and women. It’s a basic style that matches with everything. From the waist down to the ankles, these pants don’t have many curves to them. However, they fit a lot of different body types. They’ll have a baggy look to them while still looking neat and practical.

Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans have gained quite a bit of popularity in the past few years. They are very fitted and resemble a pair of leggings. They hug the body’s curves nicely, tapering down the leg to the ankle. Skinny jeans usually have a bit of stretch to them as well. 

They come in a variety of colors. Many of the skinny jean varieties also have some degree of distress to them. A hole or scuff here and there is very common.

Boyfriend Jeans

Boyfriend jeans are made for women, but they have a baggy look that gives off the impression that they are a man’s pair of jeans. The waist will fit properly, but the rest of the jeans will look loose and hang on the body a bit. Boyfriend jeans are usually made from very soft denim and are designed to look comfortable and relaxed.

Flared Jeans

The flared jean will have a tighter fit on the top while loosening up a bit as the leg goes down. The flare of the jean can be modest so that there’s just a little bit of extra space at the bottom. There are also more dramatic flares that are very wide around the calf and ankle.

History of jeans

Jeans have been around since the late 19th century. They began as work clothing that was very durable, becoming a fashion staple in today’s world. With a history of more than 150 years, denim has made some impressive evolvements since they were created in 1873 by tailor Jacob Davis and business professional Levi Strauss. 

Jeans eventually became an everyday item during the 1920s wild-west movement. Miners and cowboys donned these pants mainly. It wasn’t until later on that women would make jeans a part of their wardrobe.

A very shapeless, cool blue denim pant was popular in the 1950s thanks to celebrities such as James Dean and Marlon Brando. Jeans were actually rebellious clothing items that were often banned from schools and establishments. 

Hippies in the 60s wore jeans in the same manner, expressing their form of creativity with jeans, denim jackets, and more. Patches and other decorations were often added.

In the 1980s, there were a number of jean designers that came onto the scene with their own creations. Calvin Klein was one of them. Levi Strauss and Jordache will very popular as well. 

Styles varied, including the stonewashed look, acid wash, distressed and ripped jeans, as well as skinny leg. The look changed dramatically in the 90s, becoming much baggier and looser. 

The mom jean was popular during this decade, featuring a very high waist with a leg that tapered down. A skater look incorporates the extremely large JNCO jean, which was about as wide of a leg as you’ll find in the history of denim.

What jeans flatter my body type?

With so many different styles of jeans available, you’re probably wondering which one will flatter your body type. There’s a lot to choose from, so let’s break down some of your options.

Thin and Slender

If you have a very thin and slender body type, skinny jeans or tapered flare will help show off your curves. This is a very comfortable look that is appropriate for a number of occasions, both professionally and socially.


Woman posing smiling black jeans

Women with curves may be able to find a pair of skinny jeans that fit their body, but you’ll probably have more luck with a pair of flared pants. There are even styles that are marketed towards curvy women. They will have some extra fabric at the hip area to avoid gaps and bunching.

Relaxed Fit

A man that wants to look neat while being comfortable will generally choose relaxed-fit jeans. There aren’t as many options as possible for men, but this style is very practical.

Now that you have some information on the history of jeans and the basics of this denim wonder, we’re going to go on to talk more about the different types of jeans that are available, different ways that you can wear jeans, and some specific outfit ideas.

Types of jeans

We’ve covered a lot of the basics of jeans, including their history dating all the way back to the 1800s. Now it’s time to look more closely at the different types of jeans that have been worn in the past and those that are still worn today.

This chapter is designed to help you learn as much as you can about denim pants. This way, you can choose the variety that will look best for your body type and style.

Different types of jeans vary based on the overall width and shape of the leg. Different shades of denim can be used, including blues, black, white, and even colors. 

The jeans that you feel most comfortable in will have a shape and fit that is flattering while also providing a very practical look. Let’s get started by walking about the different types of jeans that exist based on leg shape and width.

Types of jeans based on leg shape and width

Over the years, jeans have changed quite a bit. What’s changed has been the shape of the leg as well as how wide the leg actually is. We’ve seen everything from a very skinny leg to wide-leg pants that look like you could fit more than one person into each leg. 

Some are more casual than others, while certain denim is neat enough to be worn for work or in a professional setting. Here are some of the different styles.

Straight-leg jeans

Straight-leg jeans are very narrow but do not taper at all as the leg goes down. They are pretty much the same width from the waist all the way down to the ankles. This results in a baggier look from the knee down. The straight-leg jean is practical and classic. 

It has been worn by both men and women over the years. Straight-leg jeans are similar to the relaxed fit, and they tend to be a more casual denim option compared to some of the more tapered looks that you might choose for a casual day at the office.

Skinny jeans/tight jeans

Man sitting posing hand chin

Skinny jeans are tight along the entire leg, starting from the top all the way down to the ankle. They come in a variety of waist styles, some rising high up on the stomach and providing full coverage for the hips, while others will have a low-rise waist. 

Tight jeans often have some stretch to them to make them more comfortable. Otherwise, this look would be very uncomfortable and rigid.

Cigarette jeans

Cigarette jeans are very similar to skinny jeans, but the tapering of the leg is a bit different. You’ll find that these pants have a tight waist and thigh, but the pant below the knee doesn’t taper down very much. This gives a wider look at the ankle. Some cigarette jeans will end a little early, so some of the ankle shows.

Stovepipe jeans

Stovepipe jeans are very similar to straight-leg jeans, but they have a tighter fit. There isn’t much shape to this pant variety, but it’s a style that has withstood the test of time. It’s a classic variety that you’ll be able to wear for a long time. 

If you’re considering purchasing an expensive pair of jeans that you want to provide you with years of use, this is a practical style to consider. It matches with a lot of different outfits.

Bell bottom jeans

Popular in the 1970s, bell bottom jeans have a fitted leg up at the top of the thigh, but it flares out dramatically below the knee. Classic bell bottom jeans were very dramatic, while the more modern version of this denim is a bit more conservative. 

To create a balanced look, bell bottoms are often worn with a tighter shirt that creates some structure up top.

Kick flare jeans

Kick flare jeans look similar in length to Capri pants, but they have a very dramatic flare at the bottom of the legs. The top is fitted, similar to skinny jeans. Just below the knee, the fabric will curve outwards into what looks almost like a bell or triangle. 

Some kick flare jeans have a worn edge on them, making it look like the bottom of a pair of pants was cut off at the calf.

Tapered jeans

Tapered jeans are common these days for both men and women. They fit a variety of body types, providing a pair of denim pants that hug all of your curves. The waist and thigh are wide, but the leg will narrow down as the pants get closer to the ankles. 

These pants look like they follow your specific leg shape, giving a very customized look overall. Tapered jeans come in a variety of colors and styles.

Mom jeans

Mom jeans first came around in the 1980s and 1990s. They had a very high waist and full bottom that really weren’t very flattering. Most women wore them with a belt and a tucked shirt. 

The mom jean has made somewhat of a comeback these days, except they have a little more shape to them. The looser waist still tapers down towards the bottom of the leg, but it’s more of a modern look now.

Baggy jeans

Appropriate for men and women, baggy jeans are generally shapeless but very comfortable. You’ll purchase baggy jeans based on the size of your waist, but don’t expect these pants to hug any of your curves. 

Rather, baggy jeans will simply hang loosely on your frame. They are a casual clothing item compared to fitted jeans that you would wear to work or out with friends at the weekend.

Flared jeans

Flared jeans come in a multitude of varieties. The top of the leg near the thigh will be fitted, but the bottom of the leg will jut out to a much fuller shape. Flared jeans can be subtle with just a slight angle towards the ankle. Other flared pants are very dramatic and have a resemblance to bell bottoms.

Bootcut jeans

Bootcut jeans are similar to flared pants. However, the bottom portion of the leg has more of a bell shape to it than a simple flare. The purpose is to provide more space under the pant if you were wearing a pair of boots that go up above the ankle. 

You wouldn’t want to stretch denim over your jeans if you were wearing something more constricting like skinny pants.

Girlfriend jeans

If you like the look of boyfriend jeans but are looking for a little more structure and style, the girlfriend jean is lovely. This look has a baggier appearance that is similar to what you’ll get from boyfriend pants, but there is shape to the buttocks and hip area. 

These pants hug your curves while still giving off a very comfortable vibe. Girlfriend jeans often have some distressing on them.

Boyfriend jeans

The boyfriend jean is very loose from waist to ankle. It’s a comfortable look that is practical for casual outfits, but you can also dress them up a bit with a tight top and heels as footwear. Not actually made for men, boyfriend jeans are strictly for females that want to reap the benefits of a looser denim style.

Types of jeans based on fit

You can select jeans based on their fit. Fit refers to how a pair of pants will accommodate your curves and body type. The amount of fabric used and the shape of the pants can really vary, especially when it comes to whether a pair of jeans is made for a man or a woman. 

Choosing a pair of jeans can take some time as you weigh your options and decide if something makes you look good or not. It’s also important that you’re comfortable in a certain fit. Let’s take a look at some of the different fits of jeans.

Slim fit

Slim-fit jeans are commonly worn by men, but you may see this variety for women as well. They’ve very similar to skinny jeans, but with a bit of a relaxed fit to them. The legs are quite narrow, but there is more of an opening at the bottom than you would find on a skinny pair of denim.

Slim-fit pants look very tailored and fitted. So they work nicely for all kinds of outfits and scenarios. They provide a very streamlined effect thanks to their straight design that doesn’t include a lot of excess fabric or bulk. 

Pair your slim-fit jeans with a great pair of sandals or sneakers and a short top that will show off the full length of the jeans.

Loose fit

Loose-fit denim will fit properly in the waist, but there will be extra fabric in the legs of the pants. This includes material all along the thigh and calf. The bottoms of the pants where the ankles are located will generally have a wide opening. 

Loose-fit jeans are more of a casual clothing option. So you won’t really want to choose them as part of a business casual outfit or something similar. Wear your loose-fit jeans at the weekend with your favorite t-shirt or sweatshirt. They look ultra-cozy with a pair of athletic sneakers or other comfortable shoe options.

Cargo fit

Cargo-fit jeans are a lot of fun because you get a high fashion item with a great deal of practicality. The overall fit is pretty loose, with a wide thigh and lower leg. On the side of each pant leg, there is a large pocket that has a flap of material covering the opening. 

With plenty of space inside, you can use your cargo-fit pants to store your car keys, wallet, or cell phone without having to carry around a purse or bag.

Cargo fit denim tends to be more on the casual side of fashion, but you may come across a pair that looks a little dressed up. You can choose a simple pair of footwear to match your cargo pants, including sandals or sneakers. Complementary tops include sweaters, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and more.

Easy fit

Easy-fit denim is the most comfortable variety you’ll find in stores. They come with an elastic waistband, making it easy to get them on and off. Easy-fit pants are also really easy to shop for because you don’t have to worry about finding a pair of pants that fit your body type exactly. Removing the button and zipper design really makes a big difference in the overall look and style.

Easy-fit jeans will have a loose fit throughout the legs, with a generous-sized opening at the bottom. Even with the elastic waistband, easy-fit pants can sometimes have belt loops around the waist. You may find easy-fit denim with cargo pockets, a slight flare at the bottom, or even a cropped length.

Straight fit

Straight-fit jeans don’t change much as you go from the top of the waistline down to the bottom of the pants. They have plenty of room to move around in, and they give off a very relaxed vibe. Straight-fit jeans come in varieties for both men and women, though they do tend to be more common for men. Women’s pants are usually the ones that have some sort of flare or curves to them.

Man posing jeans 2

Pair your straight-fit jeans with everything from button-down tops to sweaters or sweatshirts. This is a very versatile style of denim that everyone should have at least one pair of in their closet. If the bottoms are on the longer side, you can fold them up for a cuffed look. Or, have them tailored so they are hemmed according to your height.

Stretch jeans

Stretch jeans are made of denim but have some type of spandex or stretchy material worked into the fabric as well. This allows the jeans to be more flexible when you’re wearing them. 

If you’ve chosen a pair of jeans to wear one day that have a skinny fit or something slender, that little bit of added stretch will prevent your pants from feeling too tight or restrictive.

Stretch jeans may require a little bit of different maintenance when you wash them, which is something you should be aware of. If you put jeans in the drier too many times, the elastic in the material can start to wear a bit prematurely. 

This can result in a rippled effect on an otherwise perfect pair of jeans. You can often avoid this situation by hanging your pants to dry instead of putting them in the drier.

Relaxed fit

Relaxed-fit jeans have a loose fit throughout the legs, waist, and buttocks. You should buy them according to the size of your waist, and the rest of the pants will be comfortable and stylish. 

Relaxed-fit pants are the perfect weekend attire whether you’re heading out to run some errands or you’re going to meet some friends for lunch. They do lack a bit of that fitted structure that some people prefer from denim, but it’s a classic style that’s not likely to disappear any time soon.

Regular fit

Regular-fit jeans are the ultimate in classic denim. They don’t have anything elaborate or overly stylish to them, but they’re a classic fit that has been around for decades. There is plenty of room to keep you comfortable, and they come in both men’s and women’s varieties. 

You can style your regular-fit jeans up or down according to your needs. They have a comfortable leg and thigh that isn’t too restrictive, and the ankles generally bunch up a bit.

Trouser fit

Trouser-fit jeans resemble dress pants in their overall cut and style. They have a very flat front, a simple leg shape, and are straight for the most part. Many men wear this style of denim, and it’s practical for different events or outings. Trouser-fit jeans look nice when paired with a button-down shirt, sweater, belt, etc.

Types of jeans based on waist height

In addition to the overall style and fit of a pair of jeans, you can also choose a pair based on the height of the waist. The waistline of a pair of denim really affects the overall look, but it’s also something that impacts how comfortable you’ll be when you’re wearing them. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of jeans that are out there based on what the waist height is.

Regular rise

Regular rise jeans will have a waistline that goes to a normal height. This would mean that the top of the pants goes just over the hips and sits comfortably in that position. This cut is different from those that go very high up on the waist or hang low on the hips. 

It’s very traditional and is a great option if you’re looking to invest in a more expensive pair of pants that are intended to last you for many years.

Low-rise jeans

Low-rise jeans hang very low on the waist. They cover the hips, but they don’t go much higher than that. Low-rise jeans are popular for the younger crowd, while most adults find it more comfortable to have fuller coverage jeans.

Mid-rise jeans

Mid-rise jeans will come well over the hips, but they will stop before covering up the belly button. There is a good deal of fabric on the waistline. So you can feel comfortable squatting, bending, and sitting without the jeans shifting too much. 

It’s a standard rise of denim for both men and women of all ages. The cut of the rest of the pants can be skinny, flared, etc.

High waist jeans

Denim and other types of pants are starting to experience a comeback of high waists. Rightfully so, this is a very comfortable look that provides a good deal of coverage for women who are curvy or have more shape to their bodies that they don’t want to reveal too much. The high waist jeans will rise up above the waist, hips, and usually the belly button as well.

Types of jeans based on length

A regular pair of jeans will come with a set length that should accommodate most people of that size. However, there are different lengths that you can take into consideration if you’re looking for a different fashion statement or you’re very tall/short. Let’s check out some of the different types of jeans based on their overall length.

Skimmer jeans

Skimmer jeans are similar to what you would consider Capri pants, but they are styled a little bit differently. The length of the jeans will go just past the knee and then stop. Capri pants tend to have some extra length to them. You would wear skimmer denim for casual outfits as they don’t really provide a style that would be adequate for work or going out.

Ankle-length jeans

Ankle-length jeans usually have the same cut and waistline as other pairs of jeans, and they will stop right at the ankle. There are probably a couple of fewer inches of length at the bottom than you would find with traditional-length pants. 

Ankle-length pants are fun when the weather may be a little warmer outside, and you want to keep cool while still having full-length pants on. They also allow you to really show off the style of shoe that you’re wearing.

Cropped jeans

Cropped jeans end higher than both skimmer jeans and ankle-length denim do. There’s a good deal of ankle showing with this style. The cropped look is something that is used for both denim and dress pants.

Woman sitting jeans beanie

The overall style of the legs is usually straight, ending at the bottom abruptly. Cropped jeans look super cute with a pair of athletic sneakers, but you can use that shorter length to show off a great pair of heels as well. This has become a very popular and practical style of pants.

Gaucho jeans

Gaucho jeans have a much wider leg than other styles, and their length goes to just below the knee. However, there is a big flare at the bottom, creating a looser look that is much neater than a baggy style of jeans. 

They’re similar to how bell bottoms look, but with a much shorter style. They’re the perfect summer pant, and you can experiment with different styles of shoes, including high platform sandals, heels, and sneakers.

Capri jeans

Capri jeans have been around since the 1940s, and they’re still going strong today. They are usually fitted and stretch down to the mid-calf region. Women wear Capri jeans for the most part, and they give a very sleek and sophisticated look compared to other varieties of jeans that are much baggier and loose.

Types of jeans based on embellishments

Regardless of the style, fit, and waistline of a pair of jeans, you can also pay close attention to the different features and embellishments that are included in a specific pair of pants. 

This section is going to review all of those different intricacies, some of which are still very popular. Others were more in style at other points in fashion history and aren’t seen as frequently today.

Cuffed jeans

We love the look of the cuffed jean. It’s reminiscent of the popular look of the 60s and 70s when men would cuff the bottom of their jeans for a very sleek look. This is an embellishment that has come and gone over the years, but it always seems to make a comeback. 

Cuffed jeans are now worn by both men and women, and this look gives some real character to an otherwise simple pair of denim. You can purchase cuffed jeans that are sewn that way, but you should feel free to play around with the length of a pair of pants that you own and cuff them yourself.

Lace-up jeans

Lace-up jeans are designed for women and provide a very sexy feature to a pair of denim pants. The portion of the pants that actually lace up will vary. Some jeans will be full-length and have a lace-up design right in the middle of the pant, with the top and bottom of the legs having a full coverage design. 

If you have Capri-style lace-up jeans, the second half of the pants on the bottom may have laces that show some additional skin. This is a fun look that is perfect for warmer weather months.

Carpenter jeans

Carpenter jeans were originally created as a type of workwear pants. They have a wider leg but also feature things like small pockets for tools and hardware. There is usually a loop somewhere on the side of one thigh that is where you would hook a hammer. 

This type of denim isn’t just worn by people working a trade. It’s become a very comfortable and casual look that is worn by all. Carpenter pants are commonly worn by men, women, and even kids, thanks to their wide legs and comfortable waistline.

Frayed jeans

Detail legs feet frayed jeans
Source: Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

Frayed jeans are so much fun and are very popular right now. That little bit of fraying or distressing takes an otherwise boring pair of jeans and gives them a fun bit of flare. You can purchase denim that already has the fraying right on it, but feel free to experiment with a pair of jeans you own. 

You can use a little bit of sandpaper or a pair of sewing scissors to create some worn spots here and there. When you wash them, this will cause the frayed spots to become softer and fuzzier. Jeans can be frayed at the knees, pockets, legs, and even at the bottom instead of a standard finished end.

Corded jeans

Corduroy (or corded) jeans aren’t all that popular today, but you may be able to spot a pair in stores this winter if you’re really doing some searching. You’re probably familiar with standard corduroy pants. 

Corded jeans will have the softer, corded look of dress pants while being made in a denim-like design. You get the benefits of wearing a dressier pants, but the overall look of your outfit will be more casual thanks to the shade of blue you choose. 

You will still want to pair your corded jeans with something a little nicer on top. Your footwear should be elevated above something like an athletic shoe.

Ripped jeans

It’s so fun to rock a pair of ripped jeans. In many cases, the more ripped a pair of denim is, the better. Denim often rips on its own at commonly worn areas like the knees, but don’t feel like you need to ditch a pair of your favorite pants when you see this happen. 

You can help the rips along a bit, so they look more worn. You can also add some rips of your own. Let those strings hang loose for the perfect casual denim look. These jeans look fantastic with a basic graphic t-shirt or even a sweatshirt in cooler weather. You can even dress up a pair of ripped jeans with a sweater or dress shirt.

Pintuck jeans

Pintucks are fun little folds or embellishments onto jeans to add a little bit of personalized style. You can purchase denim with pintucks already on them, but you can try your hand at adding them on your own if you have a sewing kit and a little bit of time. 

This process is designed to add a little bit of contour to an otherwise boring pair of pants. You might see a pintuck used as a way to create a cropped pair of pants, but they can also create a fun little slit on the side of a pair of pants. They’re more common than you think, but the pintuck often goes unnoticed because of how subtle it is.

Tinted jeans

Jeans can be tinted in a number of shades. You’ll find blue jeans in every shade of blue that you can imagine, though many brands tend to stick with the more basic washes like light blue, royal blue, and dark blue.

There are also denim pants out there that are tinted in shades of gray, black, and color. Tinted jeans can also have a varying ombre effect. 

Some areas will have much darker colors than the rest of the pants, which will be lighter in color. You can even re-tint your own pair of jeans if they’ve faded and you want to breathe some new life into them.

Distressed jeans

Distressed jeans can have both actual rips and distressing on them, or they may be colored in a way that makes them look older in commonly worn areas like the knees or hips. Distressed jeans may just have a few slight embellishments to them, but it’s also common to see very ripped jeans that show a lot of skin through the pants. 

We love this look when you want to add some style and personality to an outfit. Grab a pair of distressed jeans at the store, or look for a pair of old jeans in your closet that you want to try to embellish on your own. All you need is a simple pair of sewing scissors and maybe some sandpaper to create some small, worn spots on the denim.

Dirty washed jeans

Another way to make a pair of denim look distressed is to feature a dirty wash on them. These pants will usually have a standard light blue color to them, but there will be an actual dirty look to them with brown or tan tinting. 

This was a look that was a lot more popular years ago, but you may still be able to find them in stores. The style of the jeans is still very neat, so it’s usually apparent that your jeans aren’t actually dirty. This just gives them a different effect that you won’t find in a traditional pair of denim pants.

Whisker-washed jeans

Whisker-washed jeans are standard pairs of denim that have small lines of wear on the front of the legs. The lines usually run horizontally and can be frequently found just below the pockets on the thigh region. 

This is a commonly found embellishment that is fun and casual. You’ll even find this detail on dressier pairs of denim pants. It’s almost like including some distressing on a pair of jeans without having to utilize holes or other wear and tear.

Classic washed jeans

If you’re not in the mood to show off some style and want to stick with an appropriate pair of denim, opt for the classic washed jeans. This is a standard and consistent blue jeans that have the same color throughout and is free of distressing and other embellishments. 

The classic washed pant is very practical for all kinds of scenarios, from work to play. The longer you have a pair of classic washed denim, the better it will look over time as it softens and shows some wear on its own.

Acid-washed jeans

It’s been a few years since the acid-washed look was all over the place, but some brands try to bring it back now and again. This look featured two very contrasting colors on one pair of pants. This almost gave off a sort of tie-dyed effect with a very dark blue interlacing with white or a very pale shade of blue. 

The acid-washed look is still popular today when used modestly. You may see a little bit of acid washing on the top of the hips or here and there on the length of a pair of jeans. Otherwise, this look is being left back in the 1980s when it was incredibly popular when paired with a cool neon shirt or a geometric patterned shirt.

We hope that this chapter was helpful when it comes to an understanding the different styles of jeans that you can choose from when you’re getting an outfit together. Some of the styles and fits that we talked about are very popular today, while others were popular years ago but have started to dwindle in popularity today. 

The great thing about denim is that it has been around for a long time, and it doesn’t appear it will be going anywhere anytime soon. You can invest in a few pairs of high-quality denim, and those pants should serve you well for a long time as long as you don’t pick anything that is too trendy. 

Woman posing studio pink hair jeans

That’s why it’s always best to have a few classic-fit denim pants in your wardrobe at all times, and you can throw in a pair or two of jeans in the current trend. Keep reading to find out more about jeans, the top denim brands, and different outfits that you can select that use denim pants as their starting point. 

We can’t wait to hear all about your favorite pair of denim, so let us know in the comments below where you got them and what they look like.

Iconic jeans & top denim brands

Jeans have been around for decades, though their style has changed quite a bit. What started out as a pair of durable pants that would hold up well during a full day of work has now become a staple in fashion.

The different varieties of denim are thanks to the different fashion designers and denim brands that have created these styles. In this chapter, we’re going to take a look at some of the most iconic jeans in history, as well as the top denim brands that created them.

Jeans have been around since the late 19th century. They were created by businessman Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis as workwear rather than fashion. Though, people quickly jumped on this trend and started wearing denim for everyday use. 

The styles eventually evolved to create more fashionable jeans that both men and women could wear when going out or working around the house. With an impressive history that spans over 150 years, denim is obviously here to stay. 

Though we may not be sporting bell bottoms or extremely low hip huggers anymore, there’s something to be said for these styles that were in everybody’s closets at one point.

Men were really the first ones to rock the denim look. In the 1950s, actors like James Dean and Marlon Brando turned jeans into a hot style that was popular among the younger crowd. Unfortunately, jeans were often banned in schools and other venues as they represented the statement of rebellious youth for a certain period of time. 

Fast forward to the 2000s, when we all have a number of pairs of jeans in our closets. People of all ages wear them for work, play, and everything in between. Let’s take a look at some of the brands that have been popular over the years and have contributed to the evolution of denim.

Levi’s jeans

Levi’s jeans are the original and classic denim pant that is well-known for how durable and stylish they are. They have changed their style as the decades have gone by, with their original version having been released in 1873.

Detail womans bottom levis
Source: Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

Since then, Levi’s have been found all over the world. Levi Strauss & Co originated in 1853, though it started out as a wholesale house. It wasn’t until a tailor named Jacob Davis came into the picture and helped the design along. 

The patent was eventually secured for the riveted denim work pants, and the first pair of 501 jeans came out in the 1890s. Worn by lumberjacks, cowboys, and other laborers, it took several years before Levi’s became more about fashion.

In 1934, the first pair of Levi’s for women were released. During World War II, Levi’s were declared an essential item by the United States government and were even sent overseas to soldiers. The younger crowd started wearing Levi’s in the 1950s for fashion.

Lee jeans

In 1889 the company that would go on to make the Lee Jean brand was created. Henry David Lee and four of his business partners started H.D. Lee Mercantile Company in Kansas. Its original purpose had nothing to do with denim. 

It was a company that sourced groceries and commonly used items from all over the world to be packaged and sold to grocery stores using the Lee brand name. 

In 1912, Lee opened its first garment factory in Salina, Kansas, after realizing how popular jeans were becoming. Their fashion contribution was a little different. They came up with the coverall instead of just denim pants.

Gucci jeans

The Gucci brand is still around today, and it was originally founded in 1921 by the Gucci family. They were originally popular in Italy before going international. It took 60 years before Gucci actually held its first runway show, and many of the original denim designs have evolved into very different selections. 

Currently, Gucci makes approximately five billion dollars on an annual basis. This isn’t just from denim fashion but also other couture items. This is one of the oldest fashion brands in the world and is worn by celebrities and notable people in society. It’s not your everyday brand of jeans that you feel comfortable cutting into cutoff shorts.

Killer jeans

Killer Jeans is a denim brand that is part of the Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited company. They make jeans and other denim clothing, including an eco-friendly collection that utilizes healthy and organic materials. This brand also functions as other collections such as Killer, K-Lounge, Easies, and Addictions. It’s a very popular denim option in places like India and Mumbai.

Wrangler jeans

Wrangler jeans have been around since 1947, and they’re one of the most affordable and durable denim pant brands out there right now. They are worn for both work as well as everyday use. They are popular for their simple, relaxed fit design, and they tend to avoid any of the high fashion styles that are out there. 

This has likely contributed to their longevity. You can find Wrangler jeans just about everywhere. From your local budget retail store to online. Wrangler jeans are priced low and are easy to purchase in large quantities in different colors, styles, etc.

Diesel jeans

The Diesel jean company was founded in 1978 by a man named Renzo Ross. Right from the beginning, this was a brand that was focused on style rather than practicality. This is also the first denim brand to produce vintage-looking items using an industrialized manufacturing process. The brand is still around, now using unique materials like Lyocell, Tencel, and Coolmax to create unique styles.

True Religion jeans

The True Religion brand was created in 2005, coming onto the denim scene much later than other pioneers. It started in Manhattan Beach, California, and is now sold in thousands of stores and boutiques all over the world. What sets True Religion apart from other brands is the ultra-soft and high-quality denim that they use for their creations.

Calvin Klein jeans

The Calvin Klein brand was created in 1968. They released their first pair of denim jeans in 1974, and they would go on to be one of the leading denim and clothing designers the world has ever seen. In addition to jeans, Calvin Klein has also produced other clothing items, jewelry, perfume, and much more. Calvin Klein is still alive and designed iconic fashion pieces today.


JNCO jeans were probably the widest pants that you’ve ever seen. They were designed for skateboarders and teens looking to make a bold fashion statement using denim. JNCOs were very popular in the 1990s before quickly phasing out. The brand isn’t around anymore, but people still look for vintage pairs of these pants as more of a collector’s item.

Some denim brands have come and gone over the years, but we still see a lot of the same classic styles being made from the same classic brands. After all, Levi Strauss created this style, and the Levi brand is still being sold today. 

Other brands became popular for a little while before either disappearing or settling back into a low-key role in the denim industry. Take a look at the different denim brands that you have in your closet right now. 

It’s likely that you have some of the brands that we’ve talked about in this chapter, and you may not have even realized it.

What to wear with jeans

When it comes to discussing what you should wear with jeans, the question is, what can’t you wear with them? With so many different varieties of jeans to choose from, you can really pick out a denim-based outfit for any occasion.

From a weekend pair of jeans to a dressy pair for a fancy night out, you probably have many pairs to choose from. This chapter is dedicated to the many articles of clothing that you can wear with jeans.

When do you usually wear jeans? A lot of people use them as a staple item that can be thrown on when you’re ready to run out of the house for errands or grab the kids from school. 

There are many clothing designers out there that create higher-end styles that are dressy enough for a pair of heels and a blouse. Some companies even allow jeans as part of a business casual wardrobe, as long as you’re wearing an appropriate pair of denim. 

Let’s take a look at some of the different outfit ideas for men and women that utilize jeans as the basis of the ensemble.

Outfit ideas for men

Men’s jeans are typically very basic but appropriate for many different uses. With fewer cuts and styles than women have available, men usually start with a basic pair of relaxed-fit jeans and work their outfit around them. 

There are different shades of blue to choose from as well as black jeans. In this section, we’re going to look at specific outfit ideas that men can utilize if they want to wear jeans as their pants. These looks are simple, and you can probably form them using just what’s inside your closet right now.

Sports jacket + jeans

For a more business casual look, a slender pair of denim pants can be paired with a polo, button-down dress shirt, or t-shirt, along with a simple sports jacket. If you’re wearing a dark blue pair of denim jeans, you’ll want to offset the look a little bit with a lighter-colored sports jacket. 

For light shades of denim, choose a dark-colored sports jacket in a shade of navy blue. Stick with brown accents for your shoes and belt. The only time you’ll really want to wear black accessories is when you’ve chosen a black sports jacket for your look.

Tie + jeans

Wearing a dress shirt and tie promotes a very formal look, but you can make your outfit look more casual by wearing a pair of jeans as your pant option rather than a pair of slacks or khakis.

Man posing looking camera white outfit

The jeans you choose for this outfit should be in very good condition, free of wrinkles, and lacking tears or distress. Try to match your tie with the shade of denim you’re wearing.

Sneakers + tee + jeans

For an ultra-cool and super comfortable denim look, pair your favorite jeans with a crisp t-shirt and athletic sneakers. Since this is a dressed-down look, don’t be afraid to get unique with the shoes that you choose. Work in some bold colors that tie in with the color of the shirt you’re wearing.

Black denim pants + White t-shirt + Denim Jacket

Wearing the same shade of denim from top to bottom can be a bit overwhelming, but feel free to mix and match shades of denim for this look. A pair of basic black denim pants can be paired with a white V-neck t-shirt and a light blue denim jacket on top. If you want a more comfortable look, opt for a jean jacket that has sweatshirt arms and a hood.

Black Denim Jeans + Black T-Shirt

Go for that rock star look by pairing a great pair of dark black denim jeans with a basic black t-shirt. For a little bit of edge, you can choose a pair of jeans that have holes in the knees or distressing on the pockets and legs. 

This is a very monochromatic look that is very dramatic and bold. Some modern t-shirts even have holes, or distressing worked into their design. Figure out what you’re comfortable with and embrace your look.

White Cropped Denim + Sweater

White denim isn’t incredibly popular with the male crowd, but there are some pairs out there. If you find some, opt for a style that has a cropped bottom or cuffs that end just above the ankle. This is a sporty style of denim that will look really nice with a basic sweater and a pair of loafers.

Dark Blue Denim + White T-Shirt + Leather Jacket

This is a classic denim-based look that probably won’t ever go out of style. A very dark pair of blue denim jeans paired with a crisp white t-shirt and leather jacket. The jacket can be black, brown, or another shade of leather. 

Match your leather jacket to a pair of leather shoes. A fantastic pair of dark sunglasses will complete this look without the need for a lot of other accessories or add-ons.

Gray Denim + White Button-Down Dress Shirt

Keep your denim look simple for work or leisure with a pair of gray denim jeans and a pressed white button-down shirt. You can play around with the shoes that you wear with this outfit based on where you’re headed. If you’re going to work, choose a pair of simple loafers. You can make the look casual by wearing athletic sneakers or boots.

Cuffed Denim Pants + Plaid Button-Down Shirt + Blazer

For a very preppy look, choose a classic blue pair of jeans that are cuffed at the bottom but still cover the ankles. A dressy plaid, button-down shirt is your shirt of choice. Top it with a simple navy-blue blazer. This look can be elevated with a bold shoe. Think about a very light brown shade of leather.

Ripped Black Denim + Flannel + Baseball Hat

Keep it cool and casual with a pair of ripped black denim jeans paired with a t-shirt and a flannel shirt that you wear open in the front. As a fun accessory, choose your favorite baseball hat. Keep your shoes simple with something athletic-based.

Outfit ideas for women

Though styles of jeans go in and out of fashion, there are always plenty of choices for women. You probably already have a number of pairs in your closet but can’t seem to pass up a sale on a great pair of jeans. From skinny jeans to Capri-style denim, we’re going to take a look at some of the best outfit ideas for women that are based on denim.

Skinny jeans + ruffle top + heels

A classic pair of skinny jeans can be dressed up with a ruffle top and heels. Make sure you choose a pair of jeans that fit you well. Skinny jeans should be comfortable and fitted on the hips and thighs, tapering down to the ankles. Don’t have too much excess bunched fabric at the ankles. This could cover your featured shoe.

Ripped jeans + blazer + white tee

The ripped jeans look gives you a sexy and edgy appeal. You can rip your own jeans that you’re starting to get bored with or simply purchase a pair that already has all of the desired accents. 

Pair your ripped jeans with a basic white t-shirt and a simple blazer. You should match your shoes to the color of your blazer for a coordinated appearance.

Bodysuit + mom jeans

Bodysuits have come back into style lately. Mom jeans are also oddly popular again. The bodysuit provides you with a very simple and smooth look up top. It also keeps your outfit held in place.

Woman posing chair hand floor

For a throwback outfit, put on a pair of mom jeans that come up high on the waist and have a full-bottomed look. You can opt for sneakers or a dressier shoe option with this outfit choice.

Ripped Jeans + Nude Top + Nude Heels

This look will utilize a nude top along with nude heels to really accentuate a bold denim look on the bottom. Select a ripped pair of jeans that allows a good amount of skin to show through. You can choose a pair of jeans that cuff at the bottom if you’d like to show off a really great pair of shoes.

The All-Denim Look

Keep your entire look monochromatic and based solely on denim by opting for a classic pair of blue jeans in your favorite fit and style. On the top, choose a shirt that is just one or two shades lighter than your pants.

Distressed Jeans + Graphic T-Shirt + Sandals

Grab your favorite go-to pair of distressed denim pants and pair them with a graphic t-shirt of your choosing. Show off your favorite band or TV show with your shirt choice. On your feet, opt for a pair of flat, basic sandals. 

This is a very chill look that you can wear when you’re out and about on the weekends. It’s also nice enough that you could easily grab lunch with a friend last minute and still look well put together.

Dark Blue Denim + Off the Shoulder Sweater

Denim is perfect for the winter months when you want to stay warm and cozy. Grab a dark pair of denim pants and pair them with a baggy, off-the-shoulder sweater. Make sure you’re wearing the appropriate bra so you don’t see your bra straps. Since the weather is probably cooler outside, opt for a pair of knee-high or ankle boots to complete your look.

Light Blue Denim Pants + Black T-Shirt + Black Blazer

Keep your jeans around for a business-friendly look that utilizes a pair of jeans in a lighter shade of blue. They should be free of wear and tear and look on the new side. A black t-shirt on top can have the neckline of your choosing. 

This outfit looks best with a V-neck t-shirt or a regular crew neck. Top the whole look off with a crisp, black blazer. Make sure your shoes and handbag are black as well.

White Jeans + Colorful Top + Denim Jacket

For a summery and fun look, choose a pair of lightweight white denim pants. They can be distressed or not. It’s entirely up to you. Choose a very bright-colored blouse, such as something in a bold shade of pink. 

Cover your arms with a blue denim jacket with the sleeves rolled up a bit. Heels, sandals, or even sneakers would work as your footwear choice.

Wide Leg Jeans + Crop Top

Woman beach looks camera jeans crop tshirt
Source: Jasmin Chew on Unsplash

Wide-leg pants are pretty popular right now. They give the nod to those classic JNCO jeans that were popular in the 1990s. Choose a pair that has a fitted waist, but the legs should taper out dramatically as the pant goes down. 

By the time you reach the ankle area, you probably can’t see your shoes very well. To offset the baggy nature of these wide-leg pants, opt for a short crop top that shows off a little skin. Keep the rest of the look modest with simple shoes and accessories. 

If the weather is chilly outside or you’re not comfortable wearing anything too revealing, throw on a simple cardigan sweater over your outfit.

We’ve provided you with a large number of options if you’re looking for new ways to style your classic denim pants. You may want to invest in something new that follows current fashion trends and makes use of some of these popular outfit ideas. Let us know what you came up with, and don’t be afraid to try something new.


We’ve learned a lot about denim jeans and how practical and versatile they are. Hopefully, this article has breathed some new life into your current denim collection, so you can style it in new ways. 

There may even be some different denim trends you would like to try out now that you understand their history and how they’re supposed to be styled.

Let us know in the comments below what your favorite pair of jeans look like and why you love them so much. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. 

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family. Our other posts can provide you with fashion insight regarding other commonly worn items and different trends that have been popular over the years.

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