It’s time for a new pair of jeans. You head to your closet or to the hamper and double check the size in your beloved worn out pair. You stroll into your favorite store only to be met with more choices than you were ready for. They’re stacked on tables and up against walls from the floor to the ceiling. You are overwhelmingly blinded by denim and filled with anxiety.

Some of us have a favorite jean brand and that is where we normally start looking. For those of us who don’t, we can start by finding the right label. Let’s be honest, the labels on jeans can be confusing at times. Not all brands label their jeans the same, but a few simple definitions may relieve some confusion and anxiety the next time you’re on the hunt.

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There are three items you will find on the outer label of most jeans: the fit, the rise, and the leg.

Knowing three of the basic fits will help get you understand all of the different fits. A fit should be chosen based on your personal comfort and/or body type.

  • Relaxed Fit: This fit is roomy in the seat, thigh, and knee.
  • Slim Fit: The fit is slimmer in the seat, thigh, and knee. As a general rule, it does not affect the waist size.
  • Regular Fit: The cut is straight. The fit in the seat, thigh and knee are not altered.

Denim makers provide a variety of rises from ultra-super low rise to hi-rise. The rise is measured by the length between the crotch seam and the waist band. Not all body types are the same and the length of your torso will determine where each rise will hit. You don’t have to be in your early twenties to wear a super low-rise. It is all about where the rise hits you the best. Knowing three of the basic rises can help you decipher the difference between all of the rises.

  • Natural Rise: The waistband should sit right at the natural waist.
  • Mid-Rise: The waistband will sit just below the natural waist.
  • Low-Rise: This will sit below the mid-rise.

From a flare leg to a tapered leg, the leg opening refers to the width of the cuff of the jeans. Sometimes this will be measured from the knee down.

  • Straight Leg: The inner seam and outer seam are the same width apart from the crotch and hip down to the hem.
  • Boot-Cut Leg: The leg gets slightly wider from just below the knee down to the hem – allowing the jeans to easily fit over any boot.
  • Tapered Leg: The leg narrows from just below the knee down to the hem.

Knowing what fit is the most comfortable will help cut down some of the time you spend searching for your favorite fit. Sizing is not the same across the board for all brands, so don’t get discouraged if you move up or down in waist or length. Don’t be afraid to try several different styles and never be afraid to ask for help – there’s a knowledgeable ‘jean expert’ at any D&B Supply who will be happy to help you on your search.

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