What is jean rise? When people speak of jean rise they usually mean the front rise on jeans. The front rise measurement on jeans is the measurement from the waist band to the crotch seam. Jeans rise may be labeled low rise, midi rise or high rise.
Choosing jeans with a particular rise can not only be a matter of a styling option but also, according to figure and body shape, can help accentuate or draw attention away from areas on your figure. Another thing to consider is that the rise on jeans may fit differently according to your vertical body proportions (short torso, balanced, long torso).
For example, for someone with a short torso, a mid-rise/medium rise jean will fit like a pair of high rise/high waisted jeans. Included in this article are not only definitions for low rise, mid rise and high rise jeans but also quick style tips to help you achieve the look you want when you wear jeans.
What is front rise on jeans – definitions and measurements
The rise measurement given on product pages for jeans is typically the front rise on jeans. Just as definitions vary by brand for labeling different types of jean styles for women, there is some slight overlap in the categorization of jeans rise as low rise, mid rise or high rise.
**Keep in mind…
Where a pair of jeans will fall on your waistline can be influenced by different factors. How tight-fitting or relaxed the cut is, the length of your own unique body rise, (the length from the leg-break/crotch to your natural waistline) whether you have balanced body proportions, a long torso or a short torso. Also, the stretch of the denim will play into where jeans fall on your waist. And another thing – some rise measurements provided by brands are approximate. The variation is obvious in the pictures below. The rise measurements were provided by the retailers.
What is meant by low, mid or high rise can vary by brand. But the measurements fall within a general range. (Some brands just list the length of the rise and don’t categorize the jeans’ rise)
High rise jeans are defined as having a fit at or above the belly button and generally the jeans rise measures 9-10 inches. They are also referred to as high waist or high waisted jeans. Super high-rise or super high-waist jeans (also called ultra high-rise/high waist) fit above the belly button and the front rise generally measures above10 inches.
The front rise on jeans isn’t the only factor worth considering in picking a pair of jeans that you’ll look your best in. Find style tips and definitions for bootcut jeans, mom jeans, skinny jeans and more – read 19 types of jean styles for women. In another article, learn about denim washes and treatments while getting tips to flatter your figure and ideas to add variety to your denim wardrobe. See how design details like fading, back pockets and leg seams can cure many figure blues. Find all that info and more in the article on how to look good in jeans.
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Do you hesitate about wearing cropped jeans? Are you unsure about getting the latest cuffed look in jeans because you think they will make your legs look short? Get easy to follow advice on how to wear cropped jeans to give you the look of legs for days. I’ve included sure-fire and tested style tips to make your legs look longer when you wear cropped, capri and cuffed jeans.
The problem with cuffed, capri and cropped jeans
Cropped, cuffed and capri jeans will make your legs look shorter because they break up the line of your legs. These can be among the most tricky types of jeans for women to wear. The further up the hem on the leg, the greater the leg shortening effect.
Style tips – shoes to wear with cropped jeans, capri jeans and cuffed jeans. Plus choosing a jeans rise and wash/color to elongate your legs.
But there are things you can do – listed in this article are tips to mitigate and lessen the leg shortening effect. Learn how to wear cropped jeans, capri jeans, and cuffed jeans by picking certain styles and the right shoes to maximize the appearance of your leg length.
How to Wear Cropped jeans
Wear high-rise/high-waist cropped jeans to elongates your legs. The line of your leg is extended by the high rise of the cropped jeans which of course makes your legs look longer.
A general tip for how to wear cropped jeans and look your best is to have the hem end around the ankle or where the calf begins to narrow, at the thinner parts of the leg.
Close-fitting cropped jeans, straight-leg or tapered-leg crop jeans preserve the line of the leg for a streamline silhouette and therefore lessen the shortening effect of cropped jeans.
Shoes to wear with cropped jeans
Heels or wedges worn with cropped jeans can help your legs look longer. (This tip is not only for how to wear cropped jeans to elongate your legs but is useful with any jeans or pants style)
Cropped jeans worn with shoes that are flesh-toned or the same color as the jeans will make your legs look longer. The lengthening effect is greater if the shoes are heels or wedges.
Wide-leg cropped jeans and wide-flare cropped jeans are especially shortening to the legs. This can be countered by wearing them with heels, especially ones that are that are flesh-toned.
How to Wear Capri jeans
High-waist/high-rise capri jeans elongate the line and make your legs appear longer than lower-rises. (Wear a mid-rise if you have a short torso because a high-rise/high-waist would fit too far up on your torso.)
A slim fit will help preserve the leg-line and make for a sleeker silhouette.
Shoes to wear with capri jeans
Heels or wedges are shoes to wear with capris jeans that can help your legs look longer.
Shoes that are flesh-toned or the same color as your capri jeans will also help lengthen your legs, especially if the shoes are heels or wedges.
How to wear capri jeans for those with thick calves
If you have very muscular or thick calves or thighs, short capri length jeans can make your legs look stubby. But there are tips on how to wear capri jeans that will help with that. A longer capri length or cropped jeans that end just above the ankle or where your calf starts to narrow are a better bet. Wearing flesh-colored heels or wedges will also help elongate your frame. (Follow the same tips above on the styles of shoes to wear with capri jeans that will make you look longer and leaner)
How to Wear Cuffed jeans
Cuffed jeans can be bought pre-cuffed or the wearer simply rolls or turns up the hem on non-cuffed jeans. The width and length of the jean’s leg and the width of the cuff varies. You can have close fitting capri jeans that end at the knee with a narrow cuff, wide-leg, wide-cuffed jeans that skim the floor and all variations in between.
Aside from the width of the leg and the width of the cuff, style variations in cuffed jeans include frayed hems and cuffs where the underside of the fabric is embellished with details such as embroidery.
If you’ve read much of this site you probably have caught on that it’s all about the lines. Just as capri length jeans add a horizontal line and break up the vertical line of the leg, cuffed jeans do the same and for cuffed capri jeans or cuffed cropped jeans, the cuff adds an additional color block (the fabric surface, the contrasting underside of the fabric and the exposed skin of the leg). A general rule of thumb – the narrower the cuff, the less leg-shortening the effect.
Narrow cuffs are best for petite frames. A smaller cuff doesn’t interrupts the line of the leg as much and a smaller cuff is more proportional to a smaller frame.
With a lighter wash jean there is less contrast between the underside and upper-side of the fabric so there will be less of a dramatic break in the leg line (and won’t shorten your legs as much).
If you are tall and lean, not only can you easily pull-off any cuff widths but can use the color-block effect of cuffed jeans to break up your height if you wish.
Shoes to wear with cuffed jeans
Cuffed jeans worn with heels will help your legs look longer, especially when the heels are flesh-toned or the same color as the cuff. But even if the shoes are flats or sandals, flesh-toned or nude shoes will still ads a bit of leg-length.
If the jeans are cuffed and cropped, the leg shortening effect can be doubled (the cuff and where the leg hem ends on your leg) so nude heels maximize the leg lengthening effect.
Many people fret and hesitate about wearing some styles of clothes. But fashion should be fun or at least without too much angst in choosing what we wear. Cropped Jeans, capri jeans and cuffed jeans are a very common jean style we are likely to see often among the trends in jeans over time.
You can enjoy wearing this jeans style by adjusting the styling of cropped, capri and cuffed jeans to suit your figure. I hope you found these general tips on how to wear cropped jeans, how to wear capri jeans and how to wear cuffed jeans helpful. Thanks for visiting and be sure to check back often for more jeans and denim fashion.
Denim: One word that evokes so much. Few other fabrics are as steeped in fashion lore. This fabric is a staple for both the construction worker and the fashionista. A fabric that can be the most casual or dressed up for the work place or an evening out.
Origins: Genoa, Italy & Nimes, France
The origins of modern denim fabric can be traced back to Genoa, Italy and Nimes, France. A sturdy cotton indigo-dyed fabric called bleu de Gênes (blue from Genoa) was produced in Genoa, Italy. When weavers in Nimes, attempted to replicate the cloth from Genoa, they produced a serge fabric (heavier, twill woven fabric) called serge de Nîmes (serge from Nimes). Bleu de Gênes is the origin of ‘blue jeans’ and serge de Nîmes is the origin of the word ‘denim’. By the 17th century, the fabric was vital to the working class in northern Italy. Early cargo lists indicated that these low-cost, durable fabrics were shipped beyond the local regions to northern Europe.
Levi Strauss & Co
On May 20, 1873, Nevada tailor Jacob Davis and San Francisco dry goods merchant Levi Strauss were granted a US patent for copper rivet reinforced work pants leading to the first modern blue jeans. Early on, the sturdy trousers, called “waist overalls”, proved very popular with factory workers, ranchers, miners and farmers.
Jeans remained popular in the west and competitors who produced denim trousers and overalls for cowboys and laborers soon followed. Among the early 20th century manufacturers were the HD Lee Mercantile Company and the Great Western Garment Company (a Canadian company, which was fully acquired by Levi’s in1972).
The 1930’s and 40’s saw the spread of blue jeans beyond the West and beyond just utility as just a work pant, thus crossing classed divisions. Jeans were a hard-wearing, easy-to-clean play-wear pant for for children and also men and women adopted blue jeans as casual wear.
Visitors from across the country and from Europe would vacation at ‘dude ranches’ and this help spread the popularity of blue jeans. Eastern stores would stock blue jeans for the vacationers to take West. Western movies and novels also helped popularize the rugged trousers. A June 1935 issue of Vogue magazine featured blue jeans in there pages hinting at the future when denim would be considered part of fashion.
Just as western movies brought jeans to more of the public in the 1930’s and 40’s, music and film added another cultural dimension to blue jeans in the 1950’s. This time movie icons such as James Dean, Marlon Brando, Elvis. Marilyn Monroe added an edgy, rebellious and sexy allure to jeans which particularly appealed to the teenage/youth culture. Pivotal movies that helped these icons further transform how denim is worn include Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953), James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits (1961).
Counter-Culture & Mainstream
The 1960’s and 70’s saw the next generation of youth culture and blue jeans. The look of blue jeans was diversified to include bell bottom styles and paints, prints patches and embroidery. Influencers include popular music and the counter-culture of the 60’s and 70’s. For example, Sonny and Cher helped popularize bell-bottoms in the 1970’s. But it wasn’t just ranchers, manual laborers, vacationing dude-ranchers, rebellious youth and the counter-culture that wore denim, Jeans, in one form or another, were now casual wear for the masses.
Luxury Brand Jeans
By the 1980’s, blue jeans had become a commonly worn garment. So it seems inevitable that the next step in the evolution of the blue jean was the adaptation of this once work pant as a high fashion piece. The luxury jean came into full fruition in the 1980’s. Designers that offered these high-end jeans included Calvin Klein, Versace and Gucci.
Popular culture and counter-culture still held sway over blue jean trends. The punk music subculture inspired skinny jeans and the mottled snow wash look on denim.
Pop Music Icons
The firmly established dominance of youth subculture and the continued influence of popular music shaped blue jean trends in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
Grunge and hip-hop music heavily influenced jean styles.Distressed denim, overalls, baggy jeans and denim-on-denim are signature looks from this era. Pop stars such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera sorted ultra low-rise jeans in the early 2000’s, at the tale-end of the 90’s era.
The 2000’s saw the crest of a reiteration of blue jeans as high-end apparel. While the 1980’s heralded the rise of the luxury brand jean from fashion labels such as Calvin Klein and Gucci which offer a full range of apparel, the new premium blue jeans were from denim-only brands such as True Religion, 7 For All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and Diesel.
Sustainable fashion came to the fore in the early 1990’s and by the 2000’s had become a practice used by many labels including makers of blue jeans. The skinny jean re-surged aided by new technology in stretch denim fabrics.
Treating finished denim garments by applying different washes, distressing or embellishments is a way to vary the look of the different types of jeans for women. Another way to vary the jean design is by the jean style or cut and using different construction elements such as pocket design and placement and seam placement. Listed below are elements in jean construction that are part of what determines the best jean fit for body type. Consider jean elements such as the wash and cut but also being confident is how to look good in jeans.
Flap pocket jeans add volume at the top of your butt, where volume is usually needed, to making your bottom appear fuller
The extra volume added by detail like stitching and embellishment on pockets can help fill out a flatter rear. You can find a design that suits your tastes – from subtle to bold.
Slit pockets can also round out your rear by adding volume at the top of your butt to give the look of a curvier bottom.
The yoke on the back of jeans is the section just below the back part of the waist band that helps jeans fit your body contours. (However, some jeans are constructed without a yoke). The shape of the yoke varies from a v-shape, to straight to curved.
If you pick jeans with a straight or v yoke you can always use other features such as fading or curved pockets to create an illusion of a rounder rear. These are examples of straight and v yokes on jeans.
A curved yoke will make you look curvier
Just as curved pockets will make your bottom appear rounder, a curved yoke (also called a sweetheart yoke) will have the same effect.
Fading on the seat of jeans can emphasize your backside and make you seem curvier. The contrast of the fading varies according to wash or jean color depth and the amount of abrasion applied to the denim. Fading can be applied in varied intensities to different areas of garments.
Lift a Saggy Bottom
Jeans back pocket design
To make a rear look perkier, choose jeans with a higher pocket placement.
Pockets placed higher will draw the eye upward and and away from the bottom of your rear – (picture on the left).
Jeans with low pocket placement, at or below the top of the leg, emphasize of the bottom of your rear – (two pictures on the right).
You can also choose jeans with built-in shapers to lift your bottom.
Levanta Cola, Skinny Jeans use strategic stitching for a lifting effect.
Some brands use control of the direction of stretch of the fabric to create shaping panels
J Brand Photo Ready Maria High Rise Skinny Jeans (left) and NYDJ Ami Side Slit Fringe Hem Skinny Jeans (right)
Make Narrow Hips Look Wider and Add Curves
If you have narrow hips as is common for the slim rectangle body shape and the inverted triangle body shape, low rise jeans with a wide waistband that sit on the hips will make narrow hips appear wider and thus curvier. If the low-rise, wide waistband jeans are flared or boootcut the illusion of curves is enhanced.
A wide belt worn at the hips will add bulk to narrow hips making them look wider and curvier.
Make a Wide Bottom Look Narrower
Pocket placement and design can give the illusion of a narrower rear for those with wider bottoms.
Jeans back pocket design
Choose jeans with mid-sized pockets where the pockets are located at the center of your buttocks.
Avoid jeans with small pockets as this will make your bottom look bigger in comparison.
Plain pockets are better because flap pockets or pockets with embellishments add bulk and make the rear appear larger
Plain, Dark Wash
Plain and simple jeans in a dark wash work best. Darker washes, without any fading or whiskering are slimming.
Enhance a Curvy Butt or Make Your Butt Look Smaller
Trends are fine for fashion but the shape of a woman’s body shouldn’t be a trend. Curves or not, the differences in women’s shapes are being celebrated. Fashion can be a means of individual expression and you can play up or play down your curves but still appreciate your body and individuality. Jeans rise, type of yoke, jeans back pocket design and denim shades and washes are elements that you can use to get the look you want in jeans.
To Emphasize a Curvy Bottom
If you want to enhance a curvy bottom, curved back pockets will emphasize the curvature of your bottom.
A curved yoke will have a similar effect of accentuating your curves.
Mid-Size back pockets can be flattering, without seeming disproportionately small. Small back pockets may not be desirable if you have a full bottom. The small pocket-size may be too disproportionate for a bigger bottom.
To Make Your Bottom Look Smaller
If you want to play down a larger bottom, opt for mid-size to large, plain back pockets. Small pockets will make your bottom appear larger relative to the small size of the pockets.
If you want to decrease the protrusion of your rear, pockets that end at the top of the leg can have a flattening effect.
Avoid too much stitching, details or embellishment on the back pockets as this will add volume. Plain pockets work best to minimize.
Avoid fading on the seat of jeans because the lightened area gives the illusion of volume and draws attention to your rear.
Very high-waist jeans will emphasize your bottom, while a low-rise jean may not be sufficient for coverage for the full-bottomed woman. Ensure the waist band is high enough for you to sit down and bend over without any spillage but not so high on the waist as to be unflattering. (Where the waistband falls on your waistline will differ if you have a short torso or long torso and according to the length from your waist to the crotch. Check out this article on body-rise for more details).
The jeans on the left (first photo on mobile) have minimal fading, a darker wash and the pockets are placed slightly lower, near the upper thigh which has a more minimizing effect than the jeans on the right (second photo on mobile) .The jeans on the right (second photo on mobile) have fading on the seat, a lighter wash and the pockets end higher.
Jeans with no fading in dark colors
best jeans for curvy women, full bottom and small waist
If you have a full bottom and small waist (typical of an hourglass body shape and women with a pear shaped body type) , finding jeans that will fit your hips and bottom and provide enough coverage but won’t gap in the waist can be a problem when shopping for jeans.
You can look for a contoured waistband. A contoured waist band is cut on a curve to follow the curvature of the body. Jeans with stretch in the waist band is also a solution to this problem.
The following are examples of pattern pieces that would be used to construct straight and contoured (curved) waistbands. Straight waistbands suit rectangular figures but for a curvy figure the contoured waist band helps eliminate gaping at the waist.
Jeans where the rise is cut significantly higher in the back than the front can also provide good coverage.
Jeans especially designed for a curvy women can eliminate much of the guess work about whether the jeans will be a good fit. These curvy fit jeans usually have more room in the hip area or the hip/thigh area, have a contoured waistband and have some stretch in the denim to better fit curves.
Tummy Pooch/Muffin Top
Low-rise jeans lead to spillage for those with extra weight around the middle but if the jeans are too high on your waist they can emphasize your middle. Jeans that hit just below your belly button are a better bet.
Jeans that fit high on the waist, above the belly button can emphasize a round tummy (left, first). A pair of jeans that hit at or below the belly button break up the curvature of a rounded stomach and give a better look (right, second).
Jeans with a bit of stretch can be more comfortable.
You can also try jeans that are constructed to help control a tummy pooch.
Jeans that have figure shapers including tummy control panels come in a range of sizes from petite to plus. The jeans pictured below are Levi’s 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans in regular and plus size.
Slim larger thighs
Darker colors are slimming so be sure to look for jeans in darker washes and colors.
Look for jeans in a darker wash or color with the side seams brought forward. The reduced area between the seems on the jean legs will give the look of thinner thighs.
Here are some examples in darker washes and colors.
Bootcut style jeans or jeans with some flare in a dark wash can be slimming because they will help balance the fullness of larger thighs.
Two-toned, tuxedo jeans or jeans with side stripes will slim the leg. The effect is even greater when the stripe is brought forward.
Elongate your legs
Making your legs look longer in jeans can be helpful for most body shapes. Elongating your legs is especially helpful for petite women, for those with short legs and for plus-size women. This will obviously help petite women look taller but it will also elongate the frame of plus-size figures making them look longer and leaner. For women with a long torso and short legs, making your legs look longer will help your vertical proportions look more balanced. If you are a balanced vertical body type you may want to counter leg shortening of some styles such as cropped jeans or just to slim and elongate your frame.
Jean types that can elongate your legs include mid-rise to high-rise jeans in a darker wash.
To make your legs look even longer pair jeans with neutral or similar color heels and make sure the hem of the jeans hits at about the bottom of the shoe or at least covers most of the shoe.
Wearing flesh-toned/nude shoes with jeans or shoes that are the same color/shade as the jeans will also help elongate your legs
images: pintrest, flickr
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Since the time denim fabric originated in Genoa, Italy, and Nimes France some 500 years ago and Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss introduced work pants made from the material in the late 1800’s, blue jeans have become a casual outfit fashion staple. While the intentional distressing of jeans has been noted in 1935 and in !965, it was in the early 1980’s that the fashion trend of distressed denim took off. Blue jeans, that stalwart garment, has undergone a transformation and jeans are now available in a variety of washes, treatments, and embellishments
Methods of processing jeans has changed over time. Environmental considerations and the health effects on workers have been taken into account. For example, sandblasting caused serious health problems for garment workers and has been widely banned and alternative methods to achieve the same look have been put into practice. Another example is the development of the enzyme wash process as a more ecological alternative to stone washing jeans.
Just as the name implies, raw denim (also called “dry” denim) is left untreated after the dyeing and finishing process.The denim isn’t washed before it’s sewn into garments so the stabilizing agents applied to the cloth remain and because of this and being that the cloth is usually 100% cotton, the denim garments are stiff and rigid upon purchase. The indigo dye used still saturates the fiber and because the fabric isn’t pre-washed the dye is likely to rub-off. Some raw denim is pre-shrunk (sanforized) while some raw denim is left untreated( unsanforized ). Usanforized raw denim can be expected to shrink 5%-10%. Most purchasers of raw denim are men but there are some women enthusiast for raw denim. Because of the rigidity of the cloth, jeans made from raw denim may suit women who have a slim rectangle body shape / boyish figure best because there isn’t much “give” to accommodate curves. However, curvy girls can wear raw denim but may require restriction to fewer brands that are cut for women’s figures that may have some curve or else purchase bespoke jeans. In the pictures below, the boyfriend jeans are 2% spandex and 98% cotton and the skinny jeans are also made with fabric that has some stretch.
Women’s Raw Denim Boyfriend Jeans
Women’s Raw Denim Skinny Jeans
Shop Women’s Raw Denim Jeans at Amazon
It’s harder to find women’s jeans in raw denim but here are two I found on Amazon
After raw denim, rinse wash denim (also called dark wash denim) is the least processed denim. Rinse wash jeans or dark wash jeans, this darkest hue of denim can have a slimming effect. Rinse wash removes some of the residual dye and also removes starch applied to the denim cloth during weaving which makes the cloth softer than raw denim. Sometimes a softener is added to the wash to further increase the pliability of the fabric. Because some of the residual dye remains, launder rinse wash jeans alone for the first few washes
Rekucci Women’s Secret Figure Premium Denim Bootcut Pull-On Jean
LEE Women’s Modern Series Curvy-Fit Ruby Boyfriend Jean
Levi’s Women’s Boot-Cut Classic Jeans
Levi’s Women’s Classic Straight Jeans
Medium/Mid Wash & Light Wash
Medium or mid wash and light wash jeans are processed in the same way as rinse wash/dark wash denim. The only difference is that they are washed for a longer period of time to remove more of the indigo dye to achieve the look of faded jeans. The color saturation for what is defined as light wash or mid/medium wash varies by brand.
Medium/Mid Wash Skinny Jeans
Light Wash Straight Leg Jeans
Light Wash Straight Leg Jeans
Light-wash denim can make bottom heavy figures like the pear shaped body type and the diamond body shape appear bigger on the bottom. A good choice for these figures is a slimming dark wash or darker medium wash jean.
Indigo dyeing is used to produce blue hues of denim while sulfur dyeing produces jeans in colors such as khaki black, green, pink, and mustard.
Khaki Skinny Jeans
Cropped Boyfriend Jeans in Mustard
Straight Leg Jeans in Black
Straight Leg Jeans in Green
For classic indigo denim in a twill weave, the warp thread is dyed and and the weft thread is white leaving the underside dominated by white threads and the outer surface dominated by blue threads (though in some denim both the warp and weft thread is dyed). Garment dyed denim has undergone a dyeing process after the garment is sewn. This can lead to characteristic uneven fading which is actually sought by those who are fans of this wash. The over-dye can match the color of the finished garment or the over-dye can be in a different color than the finished garment. Examples of the latter case – a black dye over blue/indigo jeans or a mustard yellow dye over white jeans.
Cropped Garment Dyed Brown Jeans
Skinny Ankle Jeans Garment Dyed Ivy Mist
Skinny Jeans Garment Dyed Dusty Red
Tapered Jeans Garment Dyed Sea Spray
Garment dyed and tint/color jeans are a great way to welcome warm weather in spring or break up the winter doldrums with a bit of color.
Mixing tint/color jeans or garment dyed jeans with standard indigo/blue denim or a chambray shirt keeps your denim-on-denim outfit from being monochromatic.
Worn Look, Faded Jeans, Distressed Denim
What are distressed jeans? Distressed jeans can be defined as a process or series of processes that are applied to the finished garment to make the jeans look broken in or aged. There are varying degrees of distressed denim – from the conservative removal of dye and fiber material which simulates the natural fading on jeans to the destroyed denim look with rips, fraying and abrasion. In this section denim processing techniques are covered. These mechanical processes are additional step that give jeans a much worn or aged look.
Stone Wash (Stonewash)
Stone wash (sometimes referred to as stonewash) jeans are laundered with pumice stones to achieve the look of “broken-in” faded jeans that have been frequently washed and worn. When we machine wash jeans, over time this not only removes indigo dye but breaks down some of the fibers. Washing jeans with abrasive pumice stones accelerates this process and softens the denim, simulating the wear and tear that occurs when we machine wash jeans at home. The look achieved with stone washed denim can vary with stone size and washing time.
Straight Leg Jeans in Heavy Stone Wash
Flared Jeans in Stone Wash
Straight Fit Stonewashed Jeans
Acid Wash & Mineral Wash
The acid wash process usually involves tumbling the garments with pumice stones or other abrasive agents which have been soaked in a bleaching agent. in the acid wash phase of garment processing, the garments are ”dry washed”, that is the chemical soaked stones and the garments are tumbled in a rotary washer without adding water. The acid washing process can produce a high contrast faded effect on darker shades or a distinctive mottled look on lighter shades of jeans. Different looks of acid washed denim can be achieved by varying factors such as stone size and shape, bleaching agent concentration and the use of additional additives. Acid wash jeans (also called moon wash or ice wash) became popular in the 1980’s and regained popularity in the late 2000’s decade.
The mineral wash process produces a similar contrast-fading, mottled look on the denim. The abrasive agent is, in this case, a foam block sprayed with a bleaching agent. The garment is then washed in a similar process as stated above
Acid Wash Cropped Jeans
Acid Wash Skinny Jeans
Acid Wash Mom Jeans
Mineral Wash Cropped Jeans
This technique uses enzymes in processing to achieve a worn look and feel to garments. Enzyme washing was developed as an ecological friendly alternative to stone washing. Cellulase enzymes break down the cellulose in cotton fibers on the surface of the garment and also removes some of the indigo dye since the color is on the surface in denim fabric.
Skinny Crop Jeans in Light Enzyme Wash
Flare Jeans in Dark Enzyme Wash
Bootcut Jeans in Dark Enzyme Wash
Fading on Jeans, the Sandblasted Look
Sandblasting is the technique of lightening specific surface of areas of jeans by spraying sand onto garments at high pressure to get a worn look and fading in specific areas of jeans. Because sandblasting has caused serious health problems for workers in the garment industry, the practice has been widely banned . Alternative methods to achieve the same look are used instead in the majority of cases. Fading is one of many design elements that can effect how you look in jeans. This design element, which has a sort of 3-D effect in adding the illusion of volume is especially helpful for slim body types like some rectangle body shapes and the inverted triangle body shape.
Dark Wash Sandblasted High Waisted Skinny Jeans
Dark Wash Sandblasted High Waisted Skinny Jeans – Back
Vintage Wash Sandblasted Look Skinny Jeans
Vintage Wash Sandblasted Look Skinny Jeans – Back
Vintage Wash Skinny Jean Sandblasted Look
Vintage Wash Skinny Jean Sandblasted Look – Back
The Sandblasted look & Whiskers, Hand sanding or scraping
Hand sanding or scraping is a technique used to get a sandblasted look on jeans. The jeans are placed over inflated rubber balloons and areas such as the thighs or the seat of jeans are sanded by hand.
hand scraping jeans
hand scraping blue jeans
Whiskering & Creases
Whiskering is the effect achieved when dye is removed to simulate the creases that occur on the front of jeans at the bend of the hip and leg area from ordinary wear and tear. The whiskered jeans look can be achieved using a variety of techniques that usually involve sandpapering the area with or without a mold or whiskering template placed underneath the surface to be whiskered. Honeycomb creases are creases in the back of the knee on jeans. Honeycomb distressing is most often seen in men’s jeans but can be found in some high-end women’s jeans.
Dark Wash Slim-Boot Cut Jeans with whiskers
Below is a close-up of the jeans above
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whiskering on jeans
Whiskering on jeans in a lighter wash.
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Destructed Boyfriend Jeans with whiskering
The following jeans have whiskering on the hips and honeycomb distressing behind he knee area
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Cropped Skinny Jeans with whiskering and honeycombs-front
Whiskers detail – Cropped Skinny Jeans
Cropped Skinny Jeans with whiskering and honeycombs-back
Honeycombs detail – Cropped Skinny Jeans
Another example of jeans with whiskering and honeycomb distressing
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Cropped Flared Jeans with whiskering and honeycombs-front
Cropped Flared Jeans with whiskering and honeycombs-back
Strategic fading can add volume to a flat bottom or very thin thighs.
Resin is used to permanently set and emulate the wrinkling that occurs on jeans on the front hip and thigh area and at the back of the knees on jeans. This resin process is most often applied to the front hip and thigh area but is sometimes applied at the back of the knees.
Cropped Straight Leg Jeans with resin set wrinkles
Below is a close-up of the jeans above
(click on the picture and click the picture again on attachment page for full size photo)
resin set wrinkles close-up
Here is another example of resin set wrinkles on jeans
example – resin set wrinkles on jeans
Destroyed/Distressed Denim – Tears, Rips, Fraying
Holes, abrasions, rips and fraying of denim is a more extreme distressed look. Sometimes the warp and weft thread are removed but often the blue of the warp thread and the white of the weft thread is utilized in the distressing. For example, the blue thread is removed in frayed hems, tears or holes and the white weft thread remains.
Distressed denim is great for denim-on-denim outfits as a way to not look too matchy.
Various machines and techniques are used to abrade prominent, thicker parts of jeans such as hems, pockets and the waistband to emulate the worn edges that “lived-in” jeans have.
abraded pocket on jeans
destroyed pocket jeans detail
grinding – jeans pocket
Bleached Spots & Grungy Tint
Bleach splattering is a distressed look achieved by varying methods. Also, a tint or pigment overlay can be applied to distressed look jeans. Tint is often applied to areas that have been lightened by sanding to give the jeans a stained or dingy appearance. (Another way to get the dingy look on jeans is to incorporate tan or brown thread in the woven cloth.)
Boyfriend Jeans with bleach spots
Mom Jeans with bleach splatter and rips
Cropped Skinny Jeans with bleach splatter
Skinny Low Rise Jeans in Tinted Mid Wash
Skinny Jeans in Tinted Dust Wash
Straight Leg Jeans in Dirty Wash
Trends come and go and through the years and adding embellishments to jeans has been a way to do something a bit different with this fashion staple. Crystals, sequins, grommets, embroidery, patches, contrasting or decorative stitching and printing on denim have been some of the embellishments used.
Sequin Embellished Green Jeans
Straight Fit Crystals and Faux Pearl Embellished Jeans
Grommet Embellished Cropped Flared Jeans
Sequin Embellished Wide Leg Jeans
Embroidered Cuff Cropped Jeans
Distressed jeans embellished with patches
Sequin Card Distressed Skinny Jeans
Sequin Card Distressed Skinny Jeans Detail
Bootcut Jeans with embroidered back pockets
embellished pocket jeans detail
Embellishments are a great way to dress up denim for a fun evening out.
Not merely decorative, embellished back pocket add fullness to flat bottoms.
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What are the different styles and types of jeans for women? Women’s jean styles tend to be more varied and numerous than men’s jean styles. For example, not only are you more likely to find wide leg, bootcut and flare jeans among jeans available for women (even when they aren’t currently trendy), but other designs and style elements are more widely available in women’s jeans. Such variations include variety in inseam or hem length (crop jeans and capri jeans as shorter hem options) to front jean design and waist style variations (paper bag jeans, sailor jeans).
It can be argued that for off-the-rack, mass produced garments, the process of finding a good fitting piece of clothing is more complicated for women than men. After all, it is easier to fit straight lines and angles than curves and women’s figures are more variable than men’s figures. This may be a factor in the types of jeans for women being more varied than men’s jean styles.
Jeans can be cut to be tighter or looser in the hip and thigh, sit higher, mid-way or lower on your waist or hips and the leg shape of the jean can vary from hugging the shape of your leg to being a loose sheath. The leg shape of jeans can narrow toward the ankle, be straight or flare from a point on the leg. These variations along with elements such as jeans back pocket design, different types of denim washes and finishes and different shades of denim, determine the best types of jeans for women according to body type.
What are bootcut jeans? The bootcut jeans style is cut slimmer in the hips and thighs. This type of jean widens a little below the knee (to accommodate boots) and then flares a bit more at the hem.
Bootcut jeans are especially flattering on curvy women.To create curves, petite women should opt for bootcut jeans over flared jeans because the slight flare of the bootcut style is more proportional for a small frame.
Bootcut jeans are a great choice for women with narrow hips to create curves. Narrow hips are characteristic of slim, rectangle body shapes and the inverted triangle body shape. It’s all about a balanced look. Wider flares will look out of proportion for narrow hips.
Flared type of jeans are similar to bootcut jeans in that they are fitted at the hips and thigh but there is a greater flare from the knee. The degree of this flare varies in this jean style so you can go for something subtle in a narrower flare that is slightly wider than a bootcut jean or a more dramatic look in a wide flare jean.
Flare denim dimensions can vary vertically as well as horizontally. Cropped jeans come in flared styles as well as straight and tapered leg styles. Crop flare denim can range from narrow cropped kick flare jeans to wide flare leg cropped jeans.
(There are no hard and fast rules or a standard definition stating what is bootcut and what is a ‘narrow flare jean’ and there is some overlap. Different brands will use flare or bootcut as a description for a jean with a narrow flare but the leg flare isn’t dramatic or very wide in either case.)Some variation in the labeling of the types of jeans for women is subjective according to the brand.
Flared leg jeans flatter curvy women with bigger bottoms as it balances proportions and creates an hourglass shape.
If you have very wide hips, avoid very wide flares as this will make your legs appear shorter.
Tall and lean women have the frame to pull off a range of widths in flared jeans – from narrow widths to bell bottoms.
Wide Leg and Trouser Jeans
Wide Leg Jeans
Unlike the bootcut style and flared jeans which are fitted through the thigh and flare out below the knee, wide-leg jeans are cut looser through the thigh and can widens as they go from the knee to the hem. The cut varies from a straighter cut to a more flared leg. This style has the most loose and comfortable fit of all of the types of jeans for women and is also one that has great styling options.
Trouser jeans are usually a dressier wide leg jean. They often resemble non-denim pants in that they may lack many features of standard jeans such as a five pocket design or flat-felled seams with contrasting stitching. These jeans are sometimes made to resemble dressier pants by having slash pockets and finer details. However, the looks of trouser jeans can vary from a more typical jeans appearance to a more dress pant appearance depending on how uniform in color, how dark the fabric and whether there are more refined details on the pockets and waist. (Some brands will describe what are essentially wide-leg jeans which have typical features of jeans as trouser jeans)
Trouser jeans are a flattering jean fit for most body types. This is because the straight line created by the loose silhouette that falls from the hip to the foot streamlines and lengthens the figure. However, different body types can look better in some hem widths than others. (See specific info on wide leg/trouser jeans for these body types: petite, apple shape, diamond shape and pear shape)
These are three examples of trouser jeans which illustrate the variation in back pocket detail – slit pockets, standard back pockets and no back pockets. (The first jean’s back view has been lightened to better see the pocket detail )
If you are petite, a trouser jean with a narrower hem won’t swallow your shorter frame.
If you have a petite plus-size figure, a medium width hem flatters your figure best.
Straight and Tapered
A straight cut jean is cut straight from the hip and thigh to the hem. Sometimes the leg can have a slight taper. The fit is relaxed through the hip and thigh – somewhere between the more snug skinny jeans and the looser fitting boyfriend jean.
Straight fit jeans are great for elongating your legs and for when you want an alternative to skinny jeans.
For the apple shaped body type, straight leg jeans are a great alternative to skinny jeans or tapered jeans. (Skinny jeans and tapered jeans emphasize the large bust and/or wide shoulders of the top heavy apple figure.)
For women with muscular thighs, straight leg jeans can have a “skinny” look and approximate the fit of cigarette jeans. The straight-leg jeans fit is tighter around muscular thighs and fit a bit looser around the calves.
Boyfriend style (looser fit)
Boyfriend jeans are cut straight in the hip and thigh and have a loose, baggy cut that sits low on the hips. Many brands label jeans as boyfriend style that aren’t quite as loosely cut. These jeans are more fitted in the hips than relaxed cut boyfriend jeans but still cut looser in the hips and legs than most straight or tapered jeans. (Strictly speaking, these can be described as slim boyfriend jeans)
Those who have proportional figures and have a mid-range weight can wear the looser cut boyfriend jeans the easiest. If you have large hips/bottom and thighs the baggy fit may add unwanted bulk.
If you are a very thin rectangle body shape or petite the volume of fabric will overwhelm your frame. For these figures, slim cut boyfriend jeans or girlfriend jeans are more flattering.
Slim Boyfriend Jeans
Slim boyfriend style jeans and girlfriend jeans are a slimmed down version of the classic boyfriend jean. Still cut straight in the hips and thighs but not so baggy that they sit as low on the hip. From the pictures below, you can see that the slim fit boyfriend jeans are only slightly bulkier than the girlfriend jeans.
Girlfriend jeans vs. Slim fit boyfriend jeans
For petite frames, slim cut boyfriend or girlfriend jeans won’t overwhelm a petite frame like the baggier standard boyfriend jean will.
The slim boyfriend jean/ girlfriend jean are the best boyfriend styles for full bottomed, very curvy women (very curvy pear shaped and apple shaped body types) and plus-size body types. This closer fitting version of the baggier boyfriend jean won’t add unwanted bulk.
Tapered Style Jeans
Typical Tapered Leg Jeans
Tapered jeans like straight-leg jeans have a relaxed fit through the hips but tapered-leg jeans gradually narrow towards the ankle. There is a great deal of artistic license when manufacturers categorize their jeans and tapered and mom-fit jeans have commonalities. So, what are tapered jeans?
Both jean styles have tapered legs but mom jeans are defined as high rise/high waist and general tapered jeans can also be mid-rise ( or lower). Classic mom jeans are defined as made from rigid, 100% cotton denim while modern mom jeans or jeans labeled as only tapered leg in the description can be made of denim with some stretch.
Classic mom jeans have a looser fit in the zipper area but modern mom-fit jeans often are more fitted which further blurs distinction from jeans which brands would describe as ‘mom jeans’. For practical purposes it is sometimes a distinction without a difference. Even if the word ‘mom jean’ isn’t in the description for a pair of jeans – a high-waist, looser fit, tapered-leg jean is a ‘mom-fit’ jean by definition.
The following jeans all are described as having a tapered leg by the brand but each has variations in cut and style. Lee Relaxed Fit Side-Elastic Jeans have more volume in the hip, thigh and leg than the Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Classic Tapered Jeans
The Diamond Gusset Stretch Denim Tapered Leg Jean is more fitted through the hip and thigh which gives it a fit between a relaxed tapered fit and a skinny fit.
Like the mom jeans style, tapered jeans are difficult for some figures because the taper in the leg will make your legs look narrow and make your hips and bottom look wider.
Jeans with a tapered leg are best suited for those with proportional hips.
However, if you have are slender and have narrow hips (inverted triangle shape) the tapered leg will make your hips appear wider and balance your hip width with your top half.
Mom Jeans (A tapered leg jeans style)
Mom jeans typically are made of rigid denim, have tapered legs and are high-rise/high-waisted and loosely fitted in the zipper and crotch area which can make your bottom appear longer and flatter. The classic mom jeans from the 1980’s and early 1990’s was usually made from a solid color light wash blue denim and without finishing such as fading.
However, the revival of this jeans style can include modern design elements. You can find modern mom jeans that have the vintage look described above or ‘mom jeans’ with an updated look that have different washes and distressing and are more fitted. These jeans were described as ‘mom jeans’ in the title or description.
Of all the types of jeans for women, mom jeans can be the most challenging for most figures. Those with figures that are slim or mid-range (average weight and proportional) the reboot of this 80’s/early 90’s style of jean can be another trend to play around with for a different look in their denim wardrobe.
This can be challenging jean to style because the taper in the leg and the high waist and loose fit can emphasize a pear shape and elongate your backside. A go-to option that’s easier for most figures is the boyfriend jean – either the looser fit version or the slimmed down boyfriend jean / girlfriend jean.
The Skinny on the “Skinnies”
Skinny Jeans, Cigarette Jeans, Jeggings and Pencil Jeans
types of skinny jeans
The advances in stretch denim fabrics have made skinny jeans wearable for all figures and this style has been a favorite among the types of jeans for women.
Skinny Jeans, Pencil Jeans
Skinny jeans have a snug fit through the hip, thigh and all the way to the hem. The silhouette narrows from the hip to the ankle. Skinny jeans are usually made with denim that has a bit of stretch which makes them hug your figure all the more. This same jeans style is also called a pencil jean.
Cigarette jeans are essentially skinny jeans with a slightly wider leg opening. With skinny jeans, the silhouette narrows from the hip towards the ankle but cigarette jeans hug the hip and thigh and then are cut straighter from the knee to the hem.
Cigarette jeans vs Skinny jeans
Slim legs or fit and toned legs can look great in a cigarette jean.
A great alternative to skinny jeans, especially when wearing cigarette jeans with a longer inseam over a heel. The slightly wider leg opening allows the hem to cover much of your shoe – this will elongate your legs and is especially effective when the cigarette jeans are worn with heels.
Jeggings are leggings made from a light-weight stretchy fabric. These can be made of stretchy fabric made to look like denim or a light-weight denim with more stretch than skinny jeans. Jeggings are less structured than skinny jeans and have a skin-tight fit
Jeggings are great for all body types in that they are form-fitting. They can be great worn with a loose top that ends below the hip to hide any figure flaws or to be a bit more modest.
A little off the bottom
Cropped, capri and cuffed jeans
Cropped and capri jeans are shorter than full length jeans. The only difference between the cropped and capri types of jeans for women is where they end on the leg. There can be some overlap and where capri and cropped jeans fall on your leg depends on your leg length (short legs/long legs). Generally, capri jeans are considered shorter than cropped jeans
Capri Jeans vs Cropped Jeans
Cropped jeans can end somewhere below mid-calf to the ankle. Jeans that end at the ankle are sometimes called ‘ankle jeans’. The silhouette can vary from figure hugging to a looser more relaxed fit to a flared or wide leg.
Capri jeans, the shorter of the two, generally fall around mid-calf or higher.
Rolled Hem Jeans
Cuffed jeans have the hem turned up to expose the underside of the denim material. Cuffed jeans can be bought pre-cuffed or the wearer simply turns up the hem on non-cuffed jeans. The width and length of the leg and the width of the cuff varies. Rolled hem jeans – just as the name implies – the hem is rolled multiple times instead of folded as in cuffed jeans. There are close fitting capri jeans that end at the knee and have a narrow cuff , wide leg jeans that skim the floor and have a wide cuff and all variations in between.
Because cropped jeans, capri jeans and cuffed jeans can disrupt the line of your legs thus making them appear shorter, try the leg lengthening trick of picking shoes to elongate your legs. Try wedges or heels or better yet wedges or heels that match your skin-tone.
High-waist jeans have a leg lengthening effect. The same is true for cropped, capri or cuffed jeans so try high waist jeans in these styles to minimize their leg shortening effect.
Other types of jeans for women
Jogger jeans and paper bag waist jeans are types of jeans for women that draw distinction for the different leg opening and waist style respectively.
Jogger jeans are pull-on jeans with an elastic drawstring waistband and with elastic at the leg opening like other jogger pants. Joggers made from denim are worth considering if you are a fan of jogger pants yet haven’t tried jogger jeans. Jogger jeans, made from the more rigid denim give more structure than fabric used to make other types of jogger pants or sweat pants. This more rigid construction will suit more body types than the floppier or lighter-weight fabrics. Jogger jeans also are easier to ‘dress up’ a little as you will see in the following style tips. Jogger jeans have many of the style considerations of cropped ankle jeans being that they also end at about the ankle
Both outfits are with Levi’s Jogger Jeans styled in different ways – the left(first) image is sleek and dressier and the right (last) image is sporty and casual.
Sneakers or any casual shoe work great with jogger jeans. But the close-to-the-ankle silhouette means it’s a great opportunity to show off fabulous heels. You can opt for nude heels to have a leg lengthening effect.
Jogger jeans can be somewhat loose or very loose fitting. Avoid oversized tops so as to not look frumpy. Opt instead for a neat looking tee or close-fitting top. You can also tuck-in longer clos-fitting tops
Paper Bag Jeans
Paper bag jeans are distinguished by their waist style. There is usually an attached strip of cloth or belt that ties in the front with fabric sticking out above the belt. The amount of fabric varies and the fabric can just be extra cloth that closely follows the width of the jeans waistband, in effect being very high waist jeans or the fabric above the belt can be ruffled and fluted and have more volume. Think of a paper bag gathered and tied along the top part. Also, it’s sort of like fluting in a skirt except instead of a fluted hem of a skirt it’s a fluted waist. Here are some examples and useful tips on how to wear paper bag jeans.
Be careful about adding too much volume around your middle if you have an apple shape or thick/undefined waist line. The volume of the more fluted style and the tie belt will emphasize a thick middle or tummy pooch.
Because the waistline of paper bag jeans can be voluminous, they look best with a close fitting top tucked in.
By their name, you can tell that the inspiration for the look of sailor jeans is nautical in origin. Like bell bottom jeans, sailor jeans take design elements from the uniforms of sailors.
Different front button styles on sailor jeans
Jean brands incorporate in varying degrees the look of the broadfall or the buttoned-front flap on the trousers worn by sailors. Some jeans stay true to the look with a button front placket that may be decorative or actually used as the jean’s closure.
The number of buttons and their placement varies. Some jean styles are designed with only a nod to this naval look and have only a hint of the nautical style. Sailor’s pants were usually wide leg or had a loose bell bottom fit. But a naval inspired jeans front design isn’t just used on wide leg jeans or bell bottom jeans but is used on many jean styles – crop jeans, skinny jeans, straight-leg jeans, etc.
Examples of sailor jeans
One more thing…
Like the paint on an artist’s palette that shapes and colors canvas, the clothing we wear can ‘sculpt’ the shape of our body and evoke the look and statement that we want our outfit to convey. Jean washes, distressing and embellishments are elements on the design palette. These design elements along with the basic types of jeans for women described here, can be used too make any body shape look good in jeans.
Jeans cut, style and finishes all contribute to the variety of looks available in jeans. This guide on the types of jeans for women, the articles on denim washes and treatments and how to look good in jeans can help you shop with confidence for your next pair of jeans.
Now that you know the basic types of jeans for women you can pick the best style to suit your figure including the most flattering front rise on jeans for your body shape.
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