Most Flattering Jeans

by MomGrind

Trying to find truly flattering jeans? Finding a good pair of jeans is not always easy. Which jean style is the most flattering? Which is best avoided? And what do all these terms mean, anyway? Here’s a quick guide to jeans.

Flared Jeans

Flared jeans are narrow along the thigh and knee, widen at the calf and have a wide leg opening. They look great with fitted tops and platform shoes that balance out the flare. The flare on the bottom has a slimming effect on the thighs.
VERDICT: Go ahead.

flare-jeansPhoto credit: Nic Name

Boot Cut Jeans

Bootcut jeans are cut straight at the thigh and flare a little at the ankles. They have a slimming, elongating effect, especially when worn with high heels.
VERDICT: go ahead.

boot-cut-jeansPhoto credit: gohsuket

Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans are tight jeans that end in a narrow leg opening. Generally, skinny jeans look best on long-legged boyish figures. It’s best to avoid them if you have a fuller figure. This young woman is wearing them very well, with high heels and a tunic:

skinny-jeansPhoto credit: gohsuket

But they can be seriously unflattering:

Photo credit: Malingering

VERDICT: Proceed with caution.

Straight Leg Jeans

Straight Leg Jeans are cut with a narrow, straight leg. The leg does not become wider at the calf or ankles. Just like skinny jeans, these are flattering on boyish figures, not so much on fuller figures.
VERDICT: proceed with caution.

straight-leg-jeansPhoto credit: hyena-in-petticoats

Mom Jeans or tapered jeans

These have a generous cut along the thighs and the behind and become narrower toward the ankle. This look is very unflattering because it makes the thighs and behind look bigger.
VERDICT: best avoided.

mom-jeansPhoto credit: glindsay65

Boyfriend Jeans

Boyfriend jeans are cut with a large waist, loose legs and large pockets. They’re a good choice for fuller figures. Wear them with a fitted top to avoid a slouchy look.
VERDICT: go ahead.

boyfriend-jeansPhoto credit: Idhren

Low Rise Jeans

Low rise jeans are intended to sit low on, or below, the hips. This popular style is flattering only if the waist is not too tight (if it is, you will get a muffin top), and especially if you have a flat or an almost flat tummy.
VERDICT: proceed with caution.

low-rise-jeansPhoto credit: luby

Make sure that the rise is not so low that you show more than you probably intended to show:

super-low-rise-jeansPhoto credit: smadness

High-Waist Jeans

On the opposite spectrum from low rise jeans, these have a waist that is cut high and fully covers the tummy.  These should be worn with a fitted top and look great on an hourglass figure. The main problem with this cut: it makes the thighs and behind look bigger.
VERDICT: proceed with caution.

high-waist-jeansPhoto credit: Minirobot

Wide-Legged Jeans

These are cut narrow in the waist, wide along the hips and thighs and have a wide leg opening. This is a forgiving style if you have large hips and thighs. Just like boyfriend jeans, it’s best to pair them with a fitted top. This style is not flattering to very short women since it tends to make them look even shorter.
VERDICT: proceed with caution.

wide-leg-jeansPhoto credit: coutorture

Distressed, torn, or ripped Jeans

It’s a trend that I don’t really get, but it’s very popular.

This is too much:

very-torn-jeansPhoto credit: malingering

This is too, but she’s young and gorgeous and can pull it off:

cute-torn-jeansPhoto credit: Akbar Simonse
VERDICT: best avoided.

Colored Jeans

These don’t have the classic jean look, and can’t be paired with any color, but they can certainly make a statement.
VERDICT: proceed with caution.

colored-jeansPhoto credit: gohsuket

Cropped Jeans or Capri jeans

Cropped jeans cover about three quarters of the leg. In Capri jeans, the jean ends just below the knees. The main problem with this cut is that it tends to shorten the legs, so it is best worn by women with long, thin legs. So, while the cut looks good on her:

cropped-jeansPhoto credit: Malingering

It is not very flattering on her:

Photo credit: A Candid Life

VERDICT: proceed with caution.

My favorite jean style: moderately low rise, flared jeans. While bootcut is a classic, always-appropriate style, it seems a bit too conservative and lacks the flare that flared jeans have. 🙂

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