Men’s and Women’s Designer Jeans Making Sense of All the Options in Jeans Styles

When buying men’s or women’s designer jeans, you are not only selecting a specific cut with which you feel comfortable, you are choosing a “style” with which you should identify. Make this decision with knowledge of styling options and an understanding of the best fit for your body type, and you’ve enormously simplified the men’s and women’s designer jeans buying saga!

Designer blue jeans offer an enormous variety of options. Americans own an average of 7 pairs of denim pants, yet buying the right jeans style has become a frustrating experience. The choices in the market increase every season and offer us more and more hope of finding the “perfect pair”.

Let’s Do a Little Math….

If we have the following variations to work with (and there are lots more):

  • 4 different fits
  • 6 leg styles
  • 10 washes
  • 6 waist types
  • 3 pocket types
  • 5 denim options

These options alone give blue jean designers more than 21,600 possible permutations, and that’s before their personal creativity comes into play!

To make matters worse, there is no clear classification system to understand all of the variables. Some manufacturers as well as major retailers misuse the terminology in their own guides. They mix fit, leg cut, rise and other features in an effort to simplify things, but usually manage only to further confuse us.

A Simple Way of Classifying Men’s and Women’s Designer Jeans

I think that, like any other subject, it becomes clearer if we step back and simply identify the variables and keep them in order. I hope this makes it easier for you to understand.

The major choices available at any one time will vary with the current fashion trends and the market a particular manufacturer caters to (teens, juniors, action, urban, etc..). Women’s designer jeans, as well as men’s designer jeans, come in a variety of different:

  • Fits:  This refers to how tight, how close to the skin the pants should be worn
  • Cuts:  This refers to the actual shape of the pants (Leg, waist and pocket types)
  • Washes and Finishes:  Usually with the purpose of achieving a soft, worn in look
  • Fabric Options:  Different weaves, weights and compositions
  • Embellishments:  Anything goes here, but embroidery and rhinestones are the favorites

Choices in all of the above can lead to the creation of specific “styles”. Some combinations become fashionable for a period of time and then fall “out of style”. Other combinations are classic, meaning that the style outlasts any seasonal changes. For example: Low rise jeans that are so fashionable today can be referred to as a jeans style. This syle can easily be broken down into the following traits:

  • Fit: Tight
  • Cut: Usually flared, low or ultra-low rise waist, 5 pocket (varies), belted (varies)
  • Washes and Finishes: Varies, but usually pre-washed
  • Fabric: Varies
  • Embellishments: Optional

New Name, Sixties Style

This style is not new. It was fashionable in the 1960’s and was referred to as hip-huggers. These low rise jeans were used by men as well as women. This was before the term women’s designer jeans had even been coined. It was essentially the same style as todays low rise, except that back then the flare was greatly exaggerated and called “bell bottom”. Other hip-hugger options included very loose fitting legs (baggies). Washes, fabrics and embellishments have enormously expanded designer’s options since the original bell bottomed hip huggers of the sixties.

This fashion trend is clearly defined, yet open to a seemingly unlimited amount of variations, depending on each designers interpretation, taste, market and talent.

I have found it very easy to deal with the women’s designer jeans market by understanding these simple classifications and limiting my options on the basis of correct measurements and my specific body type. Believe me, in the hot jeans market that we are living today, you will still have an enormous amount of variants to choose from when shopping for men’s or women’s designer jeans.

Remember that it is this variety that gives us the hope of finding that perfect pair, so enjoy the hunt!


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