Close your eyes and think of a pair of jeans. What comes to mind is probably straight leg denim—the original, timeless jeans silhouette. Fitted at the waist, and cut to follow the contours of the thigh, the pant leg loosens a bit below the knee and maintains the same width through the ankle, creating a straight look.
Yes, indeed! The original Levi’s were straight leg, and jeans were tailored in this fashion until the mid-20th century, when the style was altered for function or fad. Boot cut denim, which is just a slight variation on straight, with a leg that is wider at the hem than the knee, was designed to fit over cowboy boots or work boots. Bell bottoms and flares hit the scene in the 1970s, with high waists, a skintight fit through the thighs, and extra wide or flaring below the knee. More recently, skinny jeans, which are fitted from waist to ankle, have become popular. But the original straight leg denim is an old standby, making a comeback with new designers, and reworked vintage jeans.
Despite the popularity of new silhouettes, women’s straight leg jeans are timeless and can be found in the collections of most designers. Variations on the original design are common, and so it’s possible to find high waists, embellishments, distressing, cuffs, stretch denim, and a rainbow of colors when shopping for straight leg jeans.
Straight leg denim is extremely versatile. The silhouette is lengthening, so your footwear options are wide open. A heel will make your legs go on for miles, but a flat won’t compromise your lengthening efforts if you’re going for comfort. As for tops, the sky is the limit! Dress up your straight leg jeans with a blouse and a blazer. For casual outings, layer a designer tee or tank with a sweater. No matter how you choose to rock this look, we recommend keeping this timeless style in your permanent wardrobe.