Five Denim Jean Styles and Tips on How to Wear

Working in ladies’ retail, I am exposed to the latest fashion styles and trends. 2022 has seen a variety of denim styles, and the post, five denim jean styles and tips on how to wear them will review five denim styles other than skinny!

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Vintage 90’s Jean Style and tips on how to wear

90’s denim was loose and slouchy and one of the Fall trends in 2022. Different variations are selling based on the “loose” or “slouchy” style trend.

#1 Levi’s Slim Slouchy Denim Jean

It has been a long time since I have worn the Levi brand. However, back in the day, my go-to jean was the Levi 501 classic button-fly 100 % cotton (spandex hadn’t been discovered yet) denim jean.

Levis 501 Jeans
Levi wedgie denim jean blog post image

I stumbled on too Levi’s Wedgie style jeans on the Nordstrom website. Umm, I wonder why they call it wedgie? Anywho it has a 90’s vintage look and feel and sits at the high waist. And, if you want denim with less spandex, the wedgie is an excellent option. With 99.9% cotton and 1% elastane, the wedgie feels like authentic vintage 90’s denim! Did I also mention the button-fly closure, just like in the old days?

One caveat is I didn’t see a petite size option for this style. At 5 feet tall the inseam (28″) was a tad too long, but the rest of the fit was fantastic. I washed and dried them and took them to the cleaners for a hem.

What to wear with the Wedgie

Pair the Wedgie straight leg with a pair of booties, flats, or a trendy pair of sneakers. Tuck a white button-up for a classic look, and top a classic Houndstooth blazer.

#2 The Nordstrom ex-Boyfriend Denim style

Next up in our series of Five denim styles is the Boyfriend/Girlfriend and now the ex-boyfriend! You might be wondering what the difference between these styles is.

Generally speaking, all three of these styles are going to have similar style traits. For example, these three styles have a loose and a bit of a slouchy look. However, the Girlfriend is a slimmed-down version of the Boyfriend. However, they are not meant to be worn fitted Furthermore, the boyfriend, girlfriend, and ex-boyfriend typically run big. If you are considering this style and have not worn it before or it’s a different brand, come into the store and try them on; if possible

What to Wear with the ex-Boyfriend

Minimize the frump factor by avoiding baggy loose tops with the ex-boyfriend. Instead pair your ex-boyfriend’s jeans with fitted tops, sweaters, a utility jacket, and a utility jacket.

# 3 The Barrel Denim Style

barrel pant leg

The Barrel is a relatively new style and I first saw it at the Banana Republic last summer. The Barrel denim jean is typically a high-waisted style. And is fitted through the hip with a straight leg that is rounded (like a barrel) and tapers to the ankle. May also be called a balloon style.

The Barrel jean comes in a variety of washes and distress levels and is considered a wide-leg denim style.

What to Wear with the Barrel Jean

Similar to a trouser, style the high-waisted Barrel leg with fitted shirts, blazers, or belted jackets and sweaters. Heels look fab paired with a Barrel leg, but flats are okay too!

#4 The Flare Denim Jean Style

The Flare leg is distinctly 70’s and is going to be the primary or focal piece of your outfit. You have to decide if you want to enhance the 70’s theme with other pieces that accentuate the 70s. Or, alternatively, you could downplay the ’70s vibe with a classic button-up shirt and fitted jacket or blazer.

Pottery World, Rocklin, CA

What to Wear with the Flare Jean

The Flare leg is typically fitted through the thigh with the flare starting below the knee. The Flare leg looks great draped over a chunky boot or platform. Furthermore, full-length flare styles are worn long and cover the shoe and may even drag on the ground!

#4 The loose Wide Leg Denim Jean Style

Wide-leg denim and pants are still going strong in the shops. And this year the wide leg is loose and baggy. I was curious enough about this style to head to the Roseville Galleria in Roseville, CA, and research.

With few petite offerings available in the mall, it doesn’t take me long to shop. However, I was in luck this day, I walked into The Banana Republic and found a petite version of loose, slouchy, wide-leg denim jeans. Banana Republic labeled these jeans are labeled as a stovepipe version which is basically a wide-leg. I am wearing a petite, double 0 and the rise fits great. However, the waist is a bit loose and a belt may be necessary. I believe this jean runs large as many wide-leg styles often do. You may need to size down.

What to wear with the Loose, Baggy Denim Jean

The loose, baggy pant leg is a wide straight leg and stacks softly over a pair of combat boots. Pair a high-waisted style with tucked or partially tucked tops. Choose cropped or hip-length jackets and blazers.

Don’t wear loose or baggy clothes on both the top and bottom; it is not flattering!

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Beth (

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