Denim Decoded | All the Different Types of Jeans

What is the heck is the difference between boyfriend and girlfriend jeans?

That is just one of the many questions I get regarding types and styles of jeans.  Others common denim questions are:

Can I still wear flared jeans?”
Should I buy skinny jeans or are they on the way out?
I’m petite. Can I wear cropped jeans?

I created the video and post below to define denim styles a little more clearly… so you no longer have to wonder.

What’s Denim Types are In Style?

Here’s the really fun part…basically ANYTHING goes with denim right now. Cropped, flared, straight, high rise, low rise, distressed, faded, zippers, lace-up detailing… and so on, and so on! I break down the types and trendy details below that are currently in style…to help your pick out the perfect jeans for you.

Before you head to my Denim Decoded guide, I just wanted to say that by no means do you have to wear any of these trendy jeans. You should wear what fits and flatters your body, and what you feel confident wearing. When in doubt, leave it out.

Denim Types, featuring the different styles of denim that are on trend, with fashion blogger over 40, Erin Busbee of


Denim Types


Flared jeans, also known as bell bottoms… are fitted from the hips to the knees. They flare from knees to the hemline, forming a bell-like shape.

Kickflare Jeans:

Also known as the cropped flares or crop flared, they are simply flared jeans (see definition above) with a shorter hemline, usually falling between the shin and ankle bone.

Cropped Jeans:

Cropped jeans have a shorter hemline falling between the shin and ankle bone. Any style of jean can be cropped.

Skinny Jeans:

Skinny jeans are tight fitting jeans with narrow legs

Boyfriend Jeans:

These fit as though you are wearing your boyfriend’s jeans, lower on the hips and baggy throughout the hips and legs. There are also slim boyfriend jeans that fit a little tighter through the legs.

Girlfriend Jeans:

Girlfriend jeans are higher rise, tighter through the hips and legs, usually with straight or slightly tapered legs, made out of traditional, rigid denim… without a lot of stretch.

Mom Jeans:

Mom jeans are SUPER high rise, with long back pockets, slightly loose fitting through the hips, and made out of traditional, rigid denim.

Trouser Jeans:

Trouser jeans look and fit like pants, but instead of traditional trouser fabric, they are made out of denim.

Bootcut Jeans:

Bootcut jeans are fitted from the hips to the knees and flare slightly from the knee down, forming a baby bell. They are a less exaggerated version of flared jeans.

Straight Leg Jeans:

Straight leg jeans are…well…pretty straight forward. The leg is straight down. It is neither tapered, nor flared.

Wearing Boots with Jeans | Black sock boots with split hem jeansThese are split seam jeans

Stylish Details

Frayed and/or Undone Hem

The hem of the jeans is frayed or looks like the seam has been let out


Your jeans have holes or rips


Stripes along the side of the jeans can create a very flattering, slimming effect


The hemline of the jeans has fringe, basically long, loose, thin strips of denim at the bottom

Split Seam:

The hem is split either on the side, the front or the back. This detail can frame a pair of shoes or boots beautifully


Your jeans have pearls, studs, crystals or some type of embellishment attached


Thread creates a pattern or print… on your jeans

Zip Hem and Zipper Details:

Zippers on the hips, back pockets or at the hemline are very popular

Patchwork or Contrasting Panels:

Different pieces of denim in varying colors are sometimes sewn together to create a unique pair of jeans. A vertical contrasting panel can create a slimming effect.

Ruffle Hem:

The hemline of your jeans is a ruffle, or a gathered piece of denim.

Step or Uneven Hem:

Step hem jeans are shorter in the front and longer in the back which frames a pair of shoes beautifully. An uneven hem can be a step hem, or more of a haphazard unevenness like zig zap or pointed

Lace Up:

Lace up is very popular. Look for a lace-up detailing at the top, or at the ankle of the jeans

My favorite, most slimming jeans, by mother denim, in kitty racing stripe, with white top, Reward Style Blogger Conference // What I Wore // In this post, I feature 5 outfits that I wore to RStheCON including jeans, dresses, gowns, etc.!


Let’s talk about the rise of the jeans a little bit. That’s the length between the waistband and the crotch seam (for lack of a better word) who created the word, crotch. It’s so awful….I digress.

Before ordering a pair of jeans, be sure to check the rise in the description, so you know what you are getting. As a mom with young kids over 40, I can’t wear low riders anymore. No one needs to see my butt crack. Just say no…to crack! 😉 However, you may have older kids, be younger, or maybe low rise is much more comfortable for you… this is all about personal preference. I delineated the rises below.

Low Rise:

If the rise is listed in the description at 7″ or less…the jeans are low rise and will traditionally sit just above your hip bones.

Mid Rise: 

Look at the description of the jeans. If the rise is listed at 8 inches or 8 1/2 inches, these jeans are considered mid-rise.

High Rise:

If the rise is 9″ or higher, the jeans are high rise, think belly button high. I have a couple of 10-inchers that come just above my belly button. Women’s bodies are all different so they may fit you differently.

Other Posts

You might also like this post featuring five essential winter boots. “It” designer bags and look-a-likes for less hereAnd the only shoes you need for your beach vacation here

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Join the Conversation

5 thoughts on “Denim Decoded | All the Different Types of Jeans

  1. Hi Erin, in the picture with the cropped jeans, can you tell us anything about the jacket and purse … both are lovely. thanks

  2. I love all different styles of jeans but right now I’m really loving the cropped flare jeans. They look good with so many different shoe styles. Loving them with pumps and booties, looking forward to wearing them with wedges and sandals. I’m also loving cropped/ankle wide leg pants. Being only 5’2″, that typically wouldn’t be the style I should wear but I feel like it totally works as long as there are heels involved! Great video/article…you really covered a lot!!

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