Choosing a pair of jeans used to be a much simpler process back in the day when there were just a couple of mainstream styles to choose from. In current times, with so many different fits and washes, you probably find yourself wondering each time you shop, how long should men’s jeans be?
The basic rule of thumb when it comes to finding jeans that fit you properly, including their length, is that they should fall just on top of your foot. What alterations or style changes you make from that point will be up to you, but keeping that starting point in mind will help you have a smoother search.
Does Length Depend on Style?
Obviously, jeans do not come in just one format. So when asking the question: “how long should men’s jeans be?”, you will need to consider the style of the pair of jeans in question.
There are a few common jean styles that you are likely to come across:
- Skinny: the name says it all. This style of jeans gives an especially tight fit that hugs your legs all the way down to your ankles.
- Slim Fit: while not as tight fitting as skinny jeans, these jeans still create a neat and slimmer silhouette.
- Classic Fit: this style of jeans is probably the kind that you’re most familiar with. There’s nothing too much to fuss over, it’s a style of jeans that should fit well at your waist, or with a belt, and will fall around your legs, not touching your skin at all times. I recommend Lee Classic Fit Jeans (click to see current pricing on Amazon).
- Straight Leg: when you choose straight leg, you get a style close to classic fit, that provides a slightly more put together look, in terms of clean lines.
- Athletic Fit: this style is the fancier description for baggy jeans. They’re loose all around, possibly even at your waist. I recommend Levi 541 Athletic Taper Fit (click for current pricing on Amazon).
- Boot Cut: this style tends to fit not tightly, but snugly around your thighs, keep a straight line down the rest of the leg, and have a bottom shape that is wide and round enough to fit over boots.
Each of these styles gives a specific look and may be worn for certain reasons. When you try on the different styles, you will see how they fit on your body and have ideas about how long they should be.
Where should Jeans sit on Shoes?
Noticing where jeans fall on shoes is one of the simplest ways to determine if they are the proper length. As a rule of thumb, your jeans should sit on the top of your shoes, without covering too much of them. This also depends on the style and whether they are cuffed or not.
Just keep in mind that proper fitting jeans do touch your shoes (they don’t end before shoes), but they do not remain bunched up and covering a large part of your shoes.
To Cuff or Not to Cuff
Unless you’ve been living under a rock without going out or looking at the people around you, then you have probably noticed that it has become the popular fashion for men to roll up the cuffs of their jeans. This is obviously a personal style choice, but if you are interested in wearing the look, you want to make sure to do it right.
Deciding whether to cuff jeans and how to cuff them depends wholly on the style of jeans. The best type of jeans for cuffing purposes are skinny and slim fit jeans. Wider fits tend not to look as good when cuffed and will sit strangely on the leg.
How Long should Jeans be when Sitting?
When you’re trying on jeans in a fitting room, you may forget to consider one factor, which is how the jeans will lay on your legs when you’re sitting down. If there’s no stool or bench in the fitting room, you can put yourself into a sort of squat position to observe how the jeans will rise because that is a factor that will influence your overall satisfaction.
First thing’s first, you never want your jeans to be too long. For example, if you sit down and the jeans are still bunched up by your feet, then you know you have chosen a pair that is too long for your legs.
The basic rule of jeans falling just on top of your feet refers to the length when your standing. That means that when you sit down, properly fitting jeans will naturally pull up just a bit over your shoes.
Depending on the shoes you’re wearing, you will be able to see your socks when you’re sitting down. An indication that the jeans are too short, will be if they rise so high that you can see all of your exposed sock and some of your skin.
Jeans Length Guide
There are a few simple things to keep in mind when searching for jeans and deciding on the proper length:
- Body Type: your body type will play a big role in the way different styles of jeans fall on your body. So pay attention to which styles are a good length for you, naturally.
- Style: there are styles which are meant to be worn in the standard fashion, touching the tops of shoes, and styles that can acceptably be worn falling above your feet and shoes.
- Cuffing: when you choose to cuff your jeans, it gives you more flexibility in the length you choose to keep your jeans.
- No Extremes: the most important thing to remember, is that you don’t want a pair of jeans that are too short or too long.
- Alterations: that being said, if you find your ideal pair of jeans, and it happens to too long and bunchy by your feet, you can hem them to get the right length.
Follow this basic guide for choosing the right length of jeans for you.
It all comes down to your personal style. Your jeans may be different lengths depending on the season and occasion.