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Have you ever gone into a store and been overwhelmed by the amount of choices in the styles of jeans? Do you know your boyfriend jean from your girlfriend jean, your dad from your mom? We’ve put together a guide to the shapes and styles of this wardrobe staple and which will suit your body shape the best. We’ll take a look at the latest denim trends in the stores and even debate the demise of the skinny jean.

So let’s look at what those shape labels mean when you’re in store.


Bootcut jeans are slimmer in the hips and thighs then widen a little below the knee (to accommodate boots – hence bootcut) and then flares a bit more at the hem.

Who do they suit?

Bootcut jeans are especially flattering on curvy women. They also help to create curves on slim-hipped women as wider flares will look out of proportion. Petite women should also opt for a bootcut over flared jeans as the proportions will suit their small frames better.


1 Principles Petite ‘Aimee’ Blue Mid-rise Dark Wash Bootcut Jeans, £22 at Debenhams.



Similar to bootcut jeans in that they are fitted at the hips and thigh but there is a greater flare from the knee. This style of jean was particularly popular in the 1970s.

Who do they suit?

Again, flared leg jeans can be very flattering on curvy women, and will create an hourglass shape on those with an ample bottom. However, avoid if you have very wide hips, as wide flares will make your legs look shorter.


2 Dark Blue High-rise Flared Jeans, £40 at River Island.


Unlike the bootcut and flared jeans which are fitted through the thigh and flare out below the knee, wide-leg jeans are looser through the thigh and get wider as they go from the knee to the hem. This style is the most loose and comfortable fit of all jean styles for women and is also one that has great styling options.

Who do they suit?

Another great style for the curvier figure which again will create an hourglass shape. It’s also a great one for those with an inverted triangle body shape as the width will help with balance, creating a longer and leaner look. However, this may be a style to avoid if you are on the short side as it can emphasise this and make you look shorter still.


3 High-waist ‘Adalae’ Wide Leg Jeans, £25.99 at New Look.



A straight-cut jean is exactly what you would think. It’s cut straight from the hip and thigh to the hem but can sometimes have a slight taper. This style is more relaxed and sits somewhere between the skinny and boyfriend styles.

Who do they suit?

Straight fit jeans are great for elongating your legs. They are a great alternative to a skinny jean style for apple-shaped body types, especially those with a bigger bust or wide shoulders.


4 Blue Straight Leg Jeans, £30 at Next.


Boyfriend jeans are often worn oversized, giving a baggy appearance. They sit lower on the hips (low rise). Popularised by Marilyn Monroe when she wore the style in the 1961 movie, The Misfits. They should look like you’ve borrowed your boyfriend’s jeans, hence the name.

Who do they suit?

Boyfriend jeans are great for those with evenly proportioned figures and those who are a mid-range weight. If you have a bigger bottom half, they can add too much unwanted bulk in that area. Equally if you are very slim or petite the extra fabric will overwhelm your frame so a girlfriend jean maybe more flattering.


5 Blue Mid-rise Boyfriend Jeans, £28 at Next.



Girlfriend jeans are, as the name would suggest, the more feminine version of the boyfriend. They are cut to sit higher on the hips and have a slim straighter leg shape. Designed to emulate the boyfriend style but show off your shape by hugging your curves.

Who do they suit?

Girlfriend jeans are a much more forgiving cut than the boyfriend as they don’t have the added bulk. Great if you are petite as they won’t overwhelm your body shape and also great for curvy girls who want to try out the looser boyfriend look.



It may be difficult to differentiate the tapered jean with that of the mom style but they tend to sit lower on the body, and are often mid- to low-rise. However, both styles have a relaxed fit through the hips and narrow gradually towards the ankle.

Who do they suit?

As with the mom style, tapered jeans can be difficult to wear for some body shapes as the taper can make legs look narrow and hips and bottoms look wider. Because of this they are best suited to those with proportional hips. However, they can be great at balancing proportions on those with slender or narrow hips (inverted triangle body shapes).



Classic mom jeans are typically made from rigid denim and have a looser fit in the crotch area, however modern mom styles are often slightly more fitted so it can be difficult to differentiate them from other jeans styles. If they fit high on the waist, have a looser tapered leg fit, then they can be classed as ‘mom’ jeans. Originally popular in the 1980s and 90s.

Who do they suit?

Of all the types of jeans for women, mom jeans can be the most challenging for most figures. They best suit slim or medium proportioned body types but even then can be difficult to style because the high-rise, tapered leg and loose fit can emphasise a pear shape.


6 High Ankle Mom Jeans, £24.99 at H&M.


These are the type of jeans that your dad used to wear in the 90s. Those sort of faded light blue, slightly baggy jeans… think Jeremy Clarkson. We would say they are an even baggier version of the boyfriend jean but are often worn a little shorter (with or without a turn-up) and can be distressed (paint splatters, rips etc).

Who do they suit?

These are definitely only really going to suit those who are slim and young. Oh, and Victoria Beckham… she looks amazing in them.


Slim or Cigarette

Cousin of the skinny jean, the slim and cigarette styles, are cut straight from the knee to the ankle and so fit less snugly. Slim are usually full length, whereas the cigarette version of this style is typically shorter in length than the skinny jean, finishing either just above or below the ankle bone. 

Who do they suit?

Great style for most body shapes. They flatter hourglass figures but look just as good on tall and slim women. They even look great on petite frames.


7 Blue Mid-wash ‘Ellis’ Classic Slim Fit Jeans, £15 at Dorothy Perkins.



Skinny jeans are often made from stretch denim and they fit snugly from hip to ankle. The reigning jean style for many years, they seem to have fallen out of favour in the latest denim trends. Could it really be the end of the skinny jean? It’s unlikely as the skinny jean is a classic and is a favourite of many women as the style can be very flattering. It’s also still a pretty cool and edgy style, and firm a favourite of Kate Moss, so who are we to argue?

Who do they suit?

Especially flattering for hourglass figures, petite women or any body type that has slim legs. Also great for women with an athletic frame especially with toned legs.


8 Dark Blue Denim High-waist Skinny Jeans, £26.99 at Quiz.


Is it a jean, is it a legging? Well, it’s a bit of a hybrid. While not made of conventional denim they have the look of jeans. As they are made from stretchier material than skinny jeans, they have a skin-tight fit.

Who do they suit?

Jeggings are great for all body types and can be especially flattering when worn with a loose fitting top to hip or thigh length.


You’ll find a great range of jegging at Roman Originals.


Look out for these catwalk trends arriving in stores

Mega Wide Leg Jeans

Patch Front Pocket Jeans

Tapered Jeans

Split-hem Flares and Bootcut Jeans

Re-constructed or Patched Jeans

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