Slim Fit vs Regular Fit Jeans Compared & Explained


Finding jeans that fit your body perfectly can be quite a task, but not impossible. Knowing the different styles and how they are designed to fit can help you narrow down the choices.

For example, if you’re trying to choose between slim fit vs regular fit jeans, it’s important to understand the differences because these two types of jeans are very different. What is the difference between slim fit and regular fit jeans?

  • Regular Fit Jeans – Regular fit jeans are jeans that give you a normal range of movement. They aren’t too tight or too loose. These jeans are designed for average men’s and women’s body sizes. Simply put, they are just “normal” jeans.
  • Slim Fit Jeans – Slim-fit jeans are tight across the hips, thighs, and buttocks. There will not be much, if any, wiggle room above the knee. These jeans are designed to show the shape of a leg.

Slim fit jeans will be best for those who like to show their figure and don’t like a loose, baggy design. Although regular fit jeans won’t be extremely baggy, they will be loose enough to provide wiggle room through the hips and thighs. Most regular fit jeans do not fit close enough to the leg to show much shape.

For example, here is a pair of Levi’s slim fit jeans sitting on top of a pair of Levi’s regular fit jeans:

slim-fit-vs-regular-fit-jeans

Choosing the right pair of jeans is often a product of the shape of your body and how you want the jeans to fit. If you know that slim-fit jeans are a little bit tighter across the hips than the regular-fit, you can make an informed decision about whether or not that’s what you want.

In this article let’s take a closer look at slim fit vs regular fit jeans so you can decide which option might be best for you. Let’s also discuss several things to consider when choosing between these types of jeans.

Slim Fit vs Regular Fit Jeans

What Are Slim Fit Jeans?

Slim fit jeans are designed to be tight across the hips, thighs, and buttocks. There will not be much, if any, wiggle room above the knee. These jeans are designed to show the shape of your leg.

  • For men, slim fit jeans generally look the best on someone with muscular legs, but can also be beneficial for skinny, slender men who feel like regular jeans swallow their legs whole. Slim jeans often have some stretch to them, so they will fit snugly across your legs.
  • For women, slim-fit jeans are going to look best on a slender figure. They are cut in the same basic way that men’s jeans are, so they will be tight across the hips and buttocks.

What Are Regular Fit Jeans?

Regular fit jeans are the traditional cut that most people think of when they think about jeans. They are not overly baggy but are also not skin-tight. They will follow the curves of your body without hugging the skin too much. Simply put, they are just “normal” pants.

  • In men, regular-fit jeans will be a little loose around the hips and thighs without sagging. The cut below the knee is usually similar in that it is loose, but not too baggy. Many regular fit jeans will taper slightly near the leg opening to reduce bagginess, but some will have a straight cut.
  • Women’s regular-fit jeans are similar, but generally fit a bit tighter than men’s regular fit jeans. However, they will not be snug like slim-fit jeans. They will fit straight across the hips and will often be straight in the legs.

Should You Wear Slim Fit or Regular Fit Jeans?

Your style and choice of jeans is a personal decision, but there are some things to consider when choosing between the two. Keep reading, and we’ll break down the difference for both men and women. 

Men’s Slim Fit vs Regular Fit Jeans

There are four basic features of men’s jeans that will define your look. Take each one into consideration and decide whether or not they fit your body type. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • The shape of the leg is going to define the style of the jeans. It is created by a combination of three different measurements. Those measurements are the thigh, knee, and leg openings. They are all measured while the jeans are lying flat and then doubled to account for the full circumference of the leg.
  • The rise defines the style of the jeans by impacting where the jeans sit on your torso or hips. It is the distance from the bottom of the crotch to the top of the waistband. This is what determines if the jeans are low, medium, or high-rise. Additionally, the rise on the back of the jeans is generally curved, while the front is straight. This allows room for the jeans to hug in the back.
  • The leg opening can greatly affect the appearance of jeans. Slim jeans will have a tighter leg opening that might not fit over all types of boots and shoes. Regular fit jeans will usually have a wider leg opening when compared to slim fit, but will also be baggier around the ankle.
  • 100% cotton vs stretch fabric can make or break the comfort of your jeans. It also can greatly affect the amount that your jeans will shrink during wash cycles. Traditional jeans were made with 100% cotton and had little or no “give”, and are known to shrink. Present day, many stretch jeans have entered the market, and provide a more comfortable, flexible fit.

Women’s Slim Fit vs Regular Fit Jeans

Choosing the perfect jeans for your body type can be challenging. There are so many different styles, sizes, and fabrics that it can be overwhelming. If you want to read more about choosing the right fit for women’s jeans, I’d recommend checking out this guide made by Lands’ End. Here are a few things they discuss:

  • Invest in classic cuts if you want your jeans to outlast the trends. Jeans can be an expensive investment in your wardrobe, so you’ll want them to last. Consider classic, regular-fit jeans if you want a timeless style that will outlast its counterparts.
  • Consider what else is in your closet. Different styles of jeans look better with different tops. If you’re a huge fan of a simple tee with a blazer, skinny jeans are a perfect choice. If you prefer slim-fitting shirts, then regular-fit jeans will loosen up your style.
  • Find your size and rise by trying on a few different sizes of the same style and brand. You may think that you’ll love low-rise jeans but end up falling in love with medium-rise. You’ll never know unless you try on several pairs and pay attention to those measurements. There’s nothing better than feeling confident in who you are.

Leg Opening of Slim Fit vs Regular Fit Jeans

Below is a look at the fit below the knee of Levi’s regular fit men’s jeans (505) compared to Levi’s slim fit men’s jeans (511). The leg opening for regular fit jeans will be looser and wider than slim fit jeans.

Slim Fit

leg-opening-511-boot

Regular Fit

505-levis-leg-opening-boot

To read other fit articles, visit our resources linked below:

Before you start shopping for your next pair of pants, make sure to carefully measure and follow the sizing charts for whichever brand or designer you’re choosing.

Sizing varies quite a bit by brand but can also be inconsistent within the same brand with different fits. So, keep that in mind when considering slim fit vs regular fit jeans.  

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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