The Different Types of Men’s Jeans Explained

Last updated: February 13, 2022

Finding the right pair of jeans can be extremely difficult. At this point, there are so many different fits, cuts, and colors that it can be incredibly overwhelming to know the difference between different pairs of jeans — much less knowing which jeans are right for you. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here is our list of the main types of jeans for men.

Straight Leg Jeans

Straight leg jeans are one of the most common styles of jeans, and they fit pretty much like the name describes. These types of jeans are cut straight down the leg, which automatically makes them a bit looser at the ankles. However, since they are cut straight, the bagginess at the ankles does not give them a flared look, keeping these jeans simple and versatile for any look.

Boot Cut Jeans

Boot cut jeans also lay similarly to how their name suggests. These jeans are designed for when you wear boots, but don’t want the discomfort of your jeans being too tight with bulky boots. The opening at the end of the leg is much wider than other styles. Boot cut jeans give you just a little more room at the ankles for bigger shoes without sacrificing comfort or style.

Relaxed Jeans

Relaxed fit jeans are commonly mixed up with straight leg jeans, but there is a slight difference. Relaxed jeans are a bit looser and hang slightly lower on the hips, making them a little easier to move around in. Additionally, relaxed jeans are very slightly tapered at the ends, which gives a small, rounded look to them, and therefore makes you a little more comfortable (or relaxed!).

Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans are another classic type of jean that seems to always stay in mainstream trends. These types of jeans are tight all throughout the leg, although different kinds of skinny jeans have different fits, so some might be tighter than others. That choice is up to you. The leg opening is much smaller than other types of jeans. They hug your legs and usually have a relatively tight fit at the hips or waist, depending on if you opt for low rise or high rise.

Tapered Jeans

Tapered jeans are not to be confused with skinny jeans or relaxed fit jeans. These are much looser than skinny jeans, but not as loose as relaxed fit. They have that tapered look at the ankles, but it’s much more subtle, giving you a casual look. These jeans usually have some extra fabric towards the bottom, giving a bit of a ribbed or scrunched up look (often called stacking your jeans). You can opt for different kinds of tapered jeans depending on how much you want that stack at the bottom.

Slim Fit Jeans

Slim fit jeans are like skinny jeans’ older sibling. They are a bit looser, more relaxed, but still have a similar look and feel. Slim fit jeans are perfect if you want jeans that hug your legs, but without the occasional discomfort that tight skinny jeans give you. Their leg opening is a bit larger than those on skinny jeans, and they might have some extra fabric at the ankles.

Dad Jeans

Dad jeans have risen in popularity in recent times, and they are a great casual staple. When thinking of dad jeans, follow exactly what the name suggests: What would your average suburban dad wear to a barbecue, or his kid’s basketball game? These are it. Dad jeans hit a bit higher on the waist, and are loose throughout the leg, with a slight taper at the end. This gives it a rather baggy, casual look.

Skate Jeans

Skate jeans are designed for skateboarders, which means that they are functional for movement, and you might be a little less likely to fall off a moving board in them. They are one of the baggiest kinds of jeans, and skateboarders wear these because they have more structure than other kinds of baggy pants, such as sweatpants. Skate jeans have large leg openings and fit loose on the hips.

Vintage Jeans

Vintage jeans are a classic type of pants that will never go out of style. While jeans can be vintage simply because of their age, usually they adhere to a style from the 80s or 90s that was popular. These kinds of jeans are usually a bit baggier and may have wider leg holes. They differ from skate jeans because they are slightly less form fitting on the hips and waist.

Biker Jeans

Biker jeans are meant to imitate jeans that motorcycle riders would wear, meaning they are equipped with extra padding or ribbed material, especially in the knees. These jeans had their time in the spot light but have quickly become a fashion faux pas.

True Religion Jeans

TR, commonly known as True Religion, is an upscale brand of jeans that was incredibly popular in the early 2000s and is known for making a comeback one year and quickly fading into fashion purgatory the next. These jeans are easily identifiable with the horseshoe stitching on the back pockets and have a distinct shape. They hang loosely on the hips and give a very casual slouchy appearance. The leg openings are fairly wide, which gives them a loose flare look at the bottom.

Painted on Jeans

Painted on jeans are so fitted that they look “painted on” your body. This is the ultimate skinny jean, and very popular in the UK and Australia. Never quite caught on in North America. They are still a popular look in some areas, but as a general rule, stay away from them.