We know skinny is in, but there’s another cut on the market that is quite versatile for both styling and body types—boyfriend jeans.
Boyfriend jeans are a favourite among denim fashion houses so you’re bound to find the perfect fit to treasure in your jeans collection forever. Denim is the most durable fabric that exists in textiles today. You can continuously wash it into a glorious broken-in fade that remains timeless. Even as holes and distressing peek through, there’s no need to toss denim pieces out, because they can still be styled well. If there’s anything we have learned about jeans it’s their ability to transcend through decades of fashion.
When we examine what is being created by some of the major powerhouses in the denim industry, we never forget those 90s denim fashion campaigns that created major supermodels at the click of a shutter. Even the famous Marciano brothers, Georges and Armand, continue their decades long reign on denim and have segwayed into their newest high-end luxury line GM Studio. The fabric will live on forever, so here’s how to work those boyfriend jeans into your daily rotation.
What Are Boyfriend Fit Jeans?
Definition And Fit
Borrowed from the boys, these relaxed fit jeans are cut loose around the waist down through the ankle. Most aren’t made to stretch like our skinny pairs. Generally made of a cotton blend with little elasticity, they’re not the same as the blend you find in ultra slim jeans. As menswear continues to inspire women and their styling, boyfriend styles don’t have to be as baggy as men’s jeans. You’ll find that plenty of brands are creating more feminine fits with straighter and slimmer hips.
On many, the front rise and hips are cut to be much more flattering. Cropping the inner seam to a slimmer ankle opening gives a more tailored feel, but still spacious enough to be considered a boyfriend fit. High rise waist lines are back on trend and create the perfect partner to cropped tops and blouses.
Looking at the slimmer boyfriend styles, they generally have a mid to high rise waist. You’ll get the perfect of jeans that will sit higher on your hips, no belt needed, and won’t look like you’re drowning in fabric. The idea is to find a contemporary, modern fit so it looks feminine, yet masculine at the same time. Boyfriend jeans are about balance—comfort and fashion combined.
Key Style Tips
Not all boyfriend jeans are designed the same. Here’s a few things you should look at when buying a pair and why some work with certain tops better than others.
- Save yourself a trip the seamstress for inseams that run long on you and just turn them up a few times. Turned up cuffs breathe casual street style cool. They make your plimsolls and trainers look fabulous. Showing a bit of ankle actually looks quite chic. You’ll also find your favorite ankle boots look amazing when you roll up the hems a bit. It’s actually a great way to show off shoes.
- Fringe is in. Shorter lengths with a bit of fringe at the edge adds raw appeal. Right now you’ll find great styles with threading edges and fringe for a bit of that boho flair. They’ll look fabulous with cold shoulder tops and ruffled blouses.
- Destroyed boyfriend jeans brings you back to the 90s grunge scene. Take it to a more modern and feminine side with a silky blouse and classic high heels. Just because their cut up doesn’t mean you have to look sloppy. You can do a plaid shirt, but try a cropped top under and a clean pair of sneakers. Or opt for a silky plaid fabric, and you’ll get a prettier flow.
- Understanding what goes best with lighter to darker washes helps keep you looking fashion forward. Dress up your dark washes with cool printed tops, go monochromatic with all-black or all-white. There are plenty of white boyfriend jeans out there, so don’t shy away from trying out white denim. Light washes look lovely with floral prints and white shirts as well.
What About Wearing Actual Men’s Jeans?
If you really want to experience this menswear-inspired trend, women wearing men’s jeans is a possibility. How should men’s jeans fit? They’re straighter around the hip, looser and if you want to give it a try, just grab a favourite belt. Honestly, men shop in the women’s jeans department and vice versa. Never hurts to give it a try. Sometimes the menswear designers do it better.
What Shoes To Wear With Boyfriend Jeans
Boyfriend jeans and shoes are a match made in heaven. Almost any and every shoe style out there will work with the cut. It’s a matter of deciding what goes with certain washes, lengths and ripped boyfriend jeans.
- Plimsolls and trainers: Extremely comfortable, and quite fashionable, these shoes make you look seriously street ready. Urban wear brands have found ways to make the practical plimsoll trendy with cool patterns, pony hair, sleek leathers and metal details. Classic Converse and Vans will always be a hit with cuffed boyfriend jeans, and no one can go wrong with the Adidas Superstar.
- Flats: Flats are perfect for work. Looking for bold colours help them from appearing on the plain side. They’re also great for casual weekends in your favourite boyfriends. Another major hit for flats are laced up styles.
- Block Heels: Block heels allow you to walk for miles. You can dress up your loose fitting jeans with a pair of pumps or sandals. The height and width of the heel looks contemporary, a great #ootd shot. Go for vibrant colours like neon yellow or coral to keep it fun.
- Classic Heels: Break out those Manolos or Choos, because a sleek, pointed toe pump brings major elegance to boyfriend fits. They elongate your legs with the pointed toe design. Neutrals are gorgeous go-tos; black, nude and white are easy to pair with bolder accessories and tops.
- Ankle Boots: Flat or heeled ankle boots pull through rainy springs and colder falls the best. They’re the best shoe for transitioning the seasons, so wear them with cuffed denim or raw-edged hems.
How To Wear Boyfriend Jeans In Summer
Look through some of our favourite finds for boyfriend jeans outfit inspiration. These gorgeous tops and accessories will go with almost every boyfriend style jean out there. From asymmetry to fringe, work in some of this year’s top trends. Plus why not mix it up and throw in a staple pair of white boyfriend jeans and white t-shirts – nothing says Summer has arrived than a nice fresh white look!
- Neon Rose Blue Cotton Wrap Layer Top for £30.
- Neon Rose Raw Cut Jeans for £38.
- Christian Siriano Ruffle Top for £715.
- Faith Tassel 2 Part Sandals for £55.
- Vero Moda Floral Sateen Cold Shoulder Top for £20.
How To Wear Boyfriend Jeans In Winter
Luckily, you can wear boyfriend jeans all year round. From biker jackets to slouchy knits and oversized sweatshirts, we take a look at some pieces that will have you looking sharp for winter. Each made to match all your boyfriend jeans perfectly.
- AllSaints Gidley Leather Biker Jacket for £358
- Adam Lippes Turtleneck Jumper for £1982.
- Vila Zip Detail Bomber Jacket for £50.
- Oasis Emily Strap Boot for £69.
- Hudson London Crispin Ankle Boot for £150.
The Best Boyfriend Jeans
Now you know how to style your denim for any season, we take you through our five must-have pairs. Pick and choose through your favourite washes, ripped fabrics and an edgy leather fit. Affordable finds to splurges, we’re sure you’ll love what each has to offer in terms of style and quality.
- Jessica Alba x DL1961 No. 6 Slouchy Skinny for £145.
- GM Studio LA The Paper Boy for £169.
- ASOS Petite Kimmi Shrunken Boyfriend Jeans for £32.
- Paige Jimmy Jimmy Black Leather Crop for £690.
- Zara Relaxed Fit Jeans for £29.99.
How To Dress Up Boyfriend Jeans
Boyfriend jeans have a down-to-earth look, however you can actually take them up a notch with the right pieces. You can add a lot of elegance to your look, because it’s just a matter of confidence, figuring out complementary colours and using accessories to your advantage.
Heels will help you achieve sophistication. They don’t have necessarily be the highest pair you own, but rather your classics. Almond or pointed toes to help elongate, and it’s probably best to stick to a neutral palette or lighter pastels. Wearing a nude or beige pump will add length to your legs as well.
Structured tops and blouses with a blazer take away the natural relaxed appeal that comes with boyfriend style denim. They will actually balance well with the looser jeans. Wearing clean jewellery and carrying a sleek clutch or handbag together will finish your outfit nicely. You’ll be dressed up and ready for date night.
Celebrities Wearing Boyfriend Jeans
Celebrities make boyfriend jeans look easy to wear, so if you are hunting for styling inspiration look no further. We gathered a few celebrities wearing different styles and washes, and each look absolutely flawless.
We do notice that celebrities are in love with distressed designs currently. Between the heat and the 90s grunge throw-backs, it’s definitely the most worn pair of boyfriend jeans. They’re easy to dress up and down despite its ripped appearance, which is ideal in a daily closet staple.
Kate Hudson takes on a beach-ready side in her cropped t-shirt and sandals. Her weekend casual appearance is the perfect way to run errands or hang out with girlfriends.
Lily Aldridge dresses her light wash boyfriend jeans up with a pair of minimalist white heels and a stunning bomber jacket. The elaborate print and embroidery on her jacket stand out well against the muted appearance of her denim wash and shoes. It’s an outfit perfect for night time or standing out in the crowd.
Ashley Benson opts for a head-to-toe all black look. Though hard-edged with leather details and boots, a little lace in her bralette adds a nice touch of romance. Keeping the bad girl look going with large knee holes, we love her daring stance on boyfriend jeans.
Your Quick Guide To Wearing & Styling Boyfriend Jeans
Here’s some key tips summarised for your ease.
- Go for cuffed or turned hems on too-long boyfriend jeans.
- Try raw-edges for a cooler appeal.
- If you don’t like them too loose, look for slimmer fitting legs and straighter hips.
- It never hurts to have multiple washes to fit all your tops and shoes.
- Dress up boyfriend jeans with classic heels or block heeled sandals, and silky tops with a blazer.
- Try ruffle or cold shoulder tops for summer, and leather bikers with ankle boots for winter.
- For casual looks, plimsolls and trainers are a solid must-have for boyfriend jeans
- Distressed denim is highly favoured by celebrities right now.
On That Note
Definitely take this looser, more comfortable denim design and run with it. There’s a multitude of ways to style and maintain elegance with boyfriend jeans, so don’t underestimate their worth. Completely on trend, we hope you take a chance on our must-have tops, shoes and jeans.
Be sure to check back with Alexie.co for more fashion and styling advice from our experts.
Still looking for inspiration, then checkout this blog post about how to wear boyfriend jeans
Last reviewed and updated on February 25, 2023