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Denim comes in so many styles, colors, washes, and sizes these days, you practically need a degree in jeaneology just to keep up! Before you shop, consult our guide to help you make an educated purchase.Denim Glossary
Rise: The length between the waistband and the inseam. High-rise sits 1/2 inch above your navel, minimizes curves, and holds in your tummy. Mid-rise sits at your navel or 1 inch below and enhances curves in your hip. Low-rise sits 2 inches below your navel and flattens a larger bottom.
Inseam: Measurement of the inside of your leg, from the middle of the crotch to the bottom of your jeans.
Band: Waistband of the jeans. Also, the measurement of your waist.
Bootcut: Widely known as the favorite (and most flattering) cut for most women, bootcut jeans give your legs a longer, slimmer appearance, due to the slightly wider cut below the knee. Generally fit close to the body.
Flared: Modern version of the bell-bottom; generally fitted through the hip, knee, and thigh area, then cut wide below the knee.
Classic Five-Pocket: Skims the hip and thigh; slightly tapered with a roomy cut in the seat to allow easy movement.
Loose: Most comfortable cut; extremely roomy in the hip, seat, and thigh area.
Straight: Cut the same width from hip-to-hem, best for toning down curves in the hip area. Generally not fitted, but body skimming.
Tapered: The ankle is cut very slim, which creates the illusion of smooth curves in the hip area.
Relaxed: Fit with the most room in the seat area, typically with lower-rise waist.
Wash: The general color and texture of your jeans. Dyes, enzymes and stones are used to achieve desired look.
Whiskers: Bleached marks and crease lines across the hip and knee -- looks similar to cat whiskers.
Distressed: Jeans have a worn-in appearance; holes and fraying most common.
Tint: Jeans are dipped into diluted dye of various colors; gold and brown are popular denim tints.
Sand-Blasted: Denim is washed with sand to fade material into a lighter shade.
Corded: Cross between denim and corduroy pants.
Frayed: Edges are loose strings of denim fabric, generally around the waist and ankle.
Generally, American jeans will fit according to these standards:
|20/22||XXL||Extra Extra Large|
Some brands use the waist measurement as the size:
Measurement (in inches)
Finally, here's how to convert international jeans sizes:
Originally published on LHJ.com, July 2006.