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Jeans 101: A Guy’s Guide To Denims

Jeans kept on a wodden table


Demystifying the denim styles lingo

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What makes a  pair of jeans the ultimate wardrobe workhorse?  They are not only the most versatile piece of clothing you can own, but also can be a superb canvas to build the rest of your look on.  While a dressy pair can jazz up an evening look, a distressed one can make up for a cool, laid-back look for a round of Sunday barbecue with the boys.

With so much riding on a single piece of garment, shopping for the perfect pair of denims can be a bit of a daunting task.

Here’s our style guide to help you buy the perfect pair while on your next denim haul…


Walking into a denim store can be a tad intimidating because of all of the different ‘cuts’ or styles. The fact is, most of the denims fall broadly under four categories: Straight, bootcut, skinny and tapered or a combination or variation of one or more styles/cuts. The key to finding a good cut is to balance the style you are comfortable with, the best fit for your frame, and the current trends.


The OG of denim, this style of jeans has been the mainstay of the denim world since its origins. The straight-leg jean is for the guy who loves all things classic and fuss-free. This timeless silhouette works for a variety of body types and a host of different style tribes. Straight-leg jeans get extra points for ease and comfort with room in the seat and thigh, meaning—you can practically live in them!
Ideal for: Men who don’t skip ‘leg day’ at the gym.


For a few years, skinny jeans ruled the roost in men’s jeans. Today, they have stiff competition from other loose/baggy cuts.  Having said that, if you have long, thin legs, you should definitely own a pair of skinny jeans. A slouchy tee and skinny jeans paired with loafers give off serious cool-guy vibes. Narrowly-cut and close-fitting with a healthy amount of stretch, skinny fit jeans are best when they are NOT skin-tight, no matter your build!
Ideal for: Skinny fits works well on tall and lean men. Hey, don’t let it stop you from wearing one even if you aren’t!


You need a pair of slim jeans in your closet! A looser version of the skinny jeans, the width of the leg, tapers from the thigh to the ankle. This style is perfect for men who don’t like the clingy, skin-tight feel, but prefer the slim and trim look. Perhaps the most versatile style, slim jeans work perfectly well for a date night as it does for a casual day at the office: A light blue one paired with a basic white tee will look great for the weekend. For an evening soiree, wear one in a darker shade (black/navy) with a button-front shirt and maybe even an unstructured blazer. The latter will take you from office to after-hours in style!
Ideal for: Those with chunkier quads, as the narrower ankle works to elongate and slim the silhouette.


A tapered jeans gradually narrows towards the ankle. According to Levi’s, the brand that gifted the world its first denim: ‘To taper a jean means to ‘bring in’ the leg for an inverted shape that feels loose and comfy on top, but still looks clean and sharp thanks to the subtle alteration of the leg opening! It’s definitely flattering than a skinny fit and also more sculpted than the straight leg.
Ideal for: Athletic/muscular guys 


Originally, bootcut jeans, as the name suggests, were created wide enough to be worn with boots! Straight through the thigh and slightly flared at the ankle, bootcuts channel 1970’s bohemia!  Think, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood! Or Amitabh Bachchan from his earlier films.
Ideal for: The more adventurous fashion fans

Apart from these, there are also ‘cropped jeans’ and ‘wide-legged’ denims that are in trend, but these are not for the faint of heart! Understanding fit and cut are essential to help you decide on a pair of denims that enhance your personal style and works for your body type. Once you hit the denim jackpot, you’ll look oh-so-good—whether you’re on a coffee run, heading to a sundowner or simply, walking your dog!


[Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock]