What Are Straight Leg Jeans? (Explained)

A great option for nearly all body types is the straight leg jean. Straight-leg jeans are renowned for being comfortable, casual, and sporting a fit that compliments a variety of shapes and styles.

With a variety of denim styles to choose from, picking the right fit for your body is essential to creating a well-rounded and current wardrobe. What are straight leg jeans?

Straight leg jeans are jeans that maintain a consistent leg width from top to bottom. The legs do not taper near the ankle.

It is important to understand that the term “straight” refers to the type of cut, and not the fit. For example, you can have both a relaxed straight fit and a slim straight fit. Straight just means the leg is cut straight and does not taper below the knee.

You’ve more than likely heard of straight fit jeans, but perhaps you are unsure if they would be right for you. In this article, let’s take a closer look at straight fit jeans so you can find a style that meets your needs.  

What are Straight Fit Jeans?

They are a wide variety of denim cuts, many of which are designed to fit the shape of a human leg. Just like our leg gets more narrow the closer we get to the ankle, many cuts of denim will taper near the ankle to help show the shape of your leg.

Straight leg jeans are different. They are the same width at the leg opening as they are at the top of the leg.

The benefit of this straight cut is it creates something that looks clean and more fitted above the knee, but has a looser cut below the knee. This type of cut is good for those who don’t like skinny jeans.

How do They Fit?

Most straight fit jeans come in a looser, relaxed cut, but it is important to understand that the term straight fit does not necessarily refer to the fit.

The term “straight” refers to the shape of the cut, but not the width of the cut. For example, you can have both relaxed straight jeans and slim straight jeans.

A straight cut means the denim is cut straight from the top of the leg to the bottom of the leg. It will not taper in below the knee. This can be done in both slim jeans and loose jeans.

Most typically, straight leg pants come with a relaxed fit that isn’t too tight, but it can vary. Most slim fit jeans that use a straight cut will identify the jean as a “slim-straight fit”. So if you just see “straight fit”, this usually means the jeans are not a slim fit.

Do They Make Straight Leg Jeans for Both Men and Women?

Yes, they make straight fit jeans for both men and women. The straight leg jean has stood the test of time, and is a classic design popular among both genders.  

Straight Leg Jean Fit for Women

Although many women’s jeans have a fitted shape, some women prefer the increased comfort and relaxed cut, so they opt for straight leg jeans instead.

Although they usually have a more relaxed fit, straight leg jeans, when tailored and styled correctly, can be very flattering while still offering a comfortable and casual look. 

Straight Leg Jean Fit for Men

As for men, straight leg jeans have often been hailed as the classic fit for men, when compared with boot-cut or skinny jeans. Their relaxed but tailored fit can be worn in both casual and more formal environments and help to accentuate a fitted waist and long legs. 

Here’s a look at a popular style of Levi’s Straight Leg men’s jeans:



Straight leg jeans can work for most every male body type, whether it be slim, athletic, muscular, or plus-sized. The rise of the jean will depend on your preference and body type. 

High-rise is a better option for plus-sized men, while low-rise can provide a more casual and laid-back look. Mid-rise will suit most body types and is the best option for men who prefer to tuck-in their shirts. 

Who Should Wear Straight Leg Jeans?

The beauty of straight leg jeans is that they are incredibly versatile and meant for anyone. Men of any body type will find that straight leg jeans help to elongate their legs and are easy to style up or down. 

Straight leg jeans are ideal for those of you who prefer something that is clean and professional, but not slim and tight. Straight leg jeans have a nice way of providing a comfortable fit without seeming too baggy or sloppy.

Who Shouldn’t Wear Straight Leg Jeans?

This comes down to a question of preference. Straight leg jeans are generally okay for all body types, but it just depends on what makes you feel most comfortable.

If you prefer a sleeker look, then a slim fit might be a better option for you. 

If you have skinny legs and prefer to show some shape, you may need a slimmer cut.

Ultimately, fashion is all about your expression. If you feel most comfortable in straight leg jeans, then that comfort and confidence will radiate from you and help pull your look together. 

Is Straight Fit the Same as Slim Fit? 

No, straight fit and slim fit are not the same.

The difference between slim and skinny jeans can be dramatic. Here’s a pair of Levi Slim Jeans sitting on top of a pair of Levi Straight Jeans:


In general, slim jeans will taper below the knee and have a much slimmer leg opening than straight jeans. To read more how these two styles compare, visit our article about Straight vs Slim Fit.

Straight Leg Jeans Conclusion

Straight leg jeans are jeans that maintain a consistent leg width from top to bottom. The legs do not taper near the ankle.

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

Straight leg jeans are one of the most versatile, classic cuts you can buy. They can be worn both professionally and casually. They rarely look out of place. That versatility drives their popularity. 

Straight leg jeans usually work best for those who prefer a clean cut of denim, but don’t want anything that is too tight. If you prefer a sleeker look, slim jeans may be a better fit.

Although there’s some variance between brands, straight leg jeans are usually a great starting point when you’re shopping for a new pair of 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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