I've been following some amusing discussions about boyfriend jeans at the moment. I know they're the latest fad in the jeans arena but to be honest, they have actually been around like forever. Whilst browsing through endless pictures of celebrities running around in their boyfriend jeans, I was quite surprised to find that some of the pictures were from 2008 and not 2012/13. But gosh - don't they look and feel so current?

 
Picture Credit : Coolspotters.com                       Picture Credit : Denimblog.co
Reese Witherspoon                                           Gwyneth Paltrow

I wore my boyfriend jeans all last summer and the best part of autumn. You couldn't prise them off me except when they needed to go in the wash. However, there are a few people out there who are not so keen. People who are not so sure because to them, boyfriend jeans are not that flattering. They're not smart, they add bulk unnecessarily and in some cases you end up with saggy bot. For the time being, they're going to sit on the fence in their skinnys whilst they get their head round them (yes I'm talking about you Avril :o)). But hang about, it shouldn't really be thought of as a boyfriend vs skinny jeans war - it's not. It's just another style option. I have skinnys and I have boyfriend jeans. Different jeans for different occasions for different moods and for different purposes.

So what constitutes a pair of boyfriend jeans then? To me they're just a looser fit jean which you turn up at the bottom. Like the jeans you quite often find me in .......


New Look Straight Leg Jeans Rolled Up                        New Look Straight Look Jeans Rolled Up

 
    New Look Slim Boyfriend Jeans                                 Falmer Heritage Skinny Jeans Rolled Up

The surprising thing about the jeans above is that only one pair is actually labelled "boyfriend" jeans. The other two pairs comprise of a straight leg pair and a loose'ish pair of skinnys which have been turned up. All give the same look roughly. If you go with this notion, you've probably already got a pair in your wardrobe and you really don't need to tear your hair out like so many people seem to be doing currently trying to find the perfect pair. Have a rummage in the wardrobe, dust down that old pair of jeans (not bootlegs) and turn them up a few times to suit. Instant boyfriend jeans in 10 seconds. Ta dah! That's all I do. It will save you time, money and your sanity. 

However, it's not all cut and dry because it does depend on how you want your boyfriend jeans to look. 

The ones I wear are what I call the MOR version. Middle of the Road. They fit in between the Very Distressed and the Not Very Distressed (At All) boyfriend jeans. Obviously.


Very Distressed

There is the extreme option which look a bit like the ones in this magazine :


Practically falling apart and falling off you. We can't all work that look and not all of us want to work that look. This look is for the serious fashionistas - not really for the regular Joe or Sue out there. This look has the biggest potential for saggy bott but that's okay if that's the look you're going for. You can tell this is not my favourite and it is also not becoming a woman of my age. If it was, I would find more nice things to say about it. I can imagine it's also quite draughty. But it makes for excellent visual imagery on the very fashion led blogs.



Middle Of the Road

This is where most of my boyfriend jeans fit. In the MOR category. These are probably the easiest pairs to find in the shops. Usually a mid-blue hue, lightly distressed and with just a few rips. I favour these because I am Mrs MOR when it comes to dressing. I like fashion and if I take up on a trend - I tend to do a slightly sanitised version of it. This is because I have this horrible fear of people talking about me behind my back and thinking "what on earth ....?". I'm not an attention seeker. Honestly I'm not.

My "boyfriend" jeans.

I personally don't mind a little bit of slouchiness and a bit of distressing on my jeans and this can vary from a few distressed patches to full rips across the knees. The ones with the rips across the knees are my New Look slim boyfriend jeans. When I bought them, they didn't actually have any rips across they knees - they just had some distressed patches near the knees but everytime I bent down, the distressed patches ripped a little until eventually they went straight across the knee. Whoops. However, I can now channel Gwyneth and Reese with this pair. 

Splendid Grey Tee
New Look Slim Boyfriend Jeans
Purple Jack Wills Cotton Cashmere Cardi

I was going to ebay the cardi but have given it a second chance after seeing Gwynny in hers - I think it may come in to its own this summer. Is this what they mean by shopping your own wardrobe?


Not Very Distressed (At All)

These are more for those people who actually like to look like they made an effort (yes you - Avril). I would regard these type of boyfriend jeans as the dipping your toe in the water type of boyfriend jeans - not too obvious yet have that little nod to keeping in with the fashion brigade. No rips, snugger fit up top, less slouchy, a bit smarter all round. 


 
Photo Credit : Boden Photo                          Credit : TheFashionPatrol.com
Avril - you can do these looks! You can take or leave the hat though.

Actually, my latest pair of boyfriend jeans fits into this category perfectly. These are the Premium boyfriend jeans from the Gap Outlet and are a darker shade than my existing ones and shock horror with no rips or distressing. I purposely chose some with no distressing to give some of my outfits a "cleaner" feel. I sized down in these to give a neater fit around the top half which I found more flattering than the size up. Please excuse the butt shots but I was trying to illustrate the not so baggy bot look and how the waistband fits.


This is sooo embarrassing but I'm doing it for you!

I also picked these over some much lighter ones which I thought would be great for the summer because I already have light ones sitting in my wardrobe and the whiskering around the crotch on the lighter pair was a bit too fake which is one of my bugbears. Do watch out for details like how the whiskering is done as it can really cheapen the look of a pair of jeans.

Well that's it really - I've nothing to add about boyfriend jeans which hasn't already been said. But if you want me to recap :

  • Look in your wardrobe and see if you have some jeans which you can turn up to give you the look.
  • If not - go to the shops and try lots on. Every shop is different. One shop's boyfriend jeans is another shop's skinnys.
  • Size down if the style is just a little too baggy. It might just make the difference. Fab for the ego too!
  • It doesn't have to have boyfriend on the label to be a boyfriend jean.

And last but not least ....

  • If you don't like them - don't wear them. Stick to what works for you and what you feel comfortable in (this is your get out clause Avril).

So to all those who are about to embark on their search for boyfriend jeans - good luck. If and when you find them - you will wonder how you ever managed without.

To all those who are not keen - that's fine. Everyone has their own comfort zone. I like them because I can bend my knees comfortably in them and they don't show my shape off too much. I'm not good with bodycon which is why you don't see me in skinnys a lot.

To those who already have them - cool. You can be in my gang.

--------------------------------

Last Note 

I'm a lazy moo about finding nice alternatives and providing suggestions for people to shop but there is a nice lady callled Kat over at Does My Bum Look 40 In This who has done some excellent research in  to the boyfriend jeans .....

Read her two posts where she researches her jeans to investigate and the results




48 comments:

  1. Great post Sue,you are the boyfriend jean queen! I did exactly this yesterday and just turned up a pair of straight legs jeans I was going to eaby and I love them. They have a nice neat fit on crotch and bum which was exactly what I was looking for. I also did a bit of DIY distressing too.

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    1. So no more looking for boyfriend jeans for you then? DIY distressing cool - did you take before and after pictures and will there be a post soon Trea? I hope so!

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  2. Excellent post and round up! I went for the skinnies first of all and always size up because I really hate the very tight, spray on look. I thought I needed to size up with the bf jeans but in reality my usual size was fine once they loosen up slightly through wash and wear, the fit is just how I like it to be - not too loose. [Slightly off topic, I wish one of my jeans were white, have been looking for white jeans forever and a day. I know it's another topic that can divide folks!]

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    1. I don't like my jeans too tight either. Squished is not my thing. I did a post on white jeans last year http://susiesoso.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/white-jeans-finally.html after going through a myriad of white jeans to finally find a pair which weren't too unflattering. However having done that - I found that I didn't really get on with them - I'm too much of a mucky pup. It will be interesting to see if they come out this summer. Watch this space!

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  3. I love boyfriend jeans but on me they just make my rear end look ma-hoo-sive (I've tried all styles trust me!) I did mention you being Queen of the boyfriend jeans to Kat though when she was on her quest for the perfect pair!

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    1. Aww thanks - I can't really help Kat - we're chalk and cheese size wise but I bet she'll get there - she's like me - never give up, never surrender ... all in the name of shopping!

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  4. Oh Sue I'm in your gang. I wore my straight cut vintage wash (MOR) jeans rolled up the whole of last summer (not realising I was working the lates trend!they just suit me better than skinnies). I agree with you (and Kat) that the boyfriend jeans in shops now are too bulky and if you're short like me you really don't need extra bulk so the slim fit rolled up works better. Great post.c

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    1. Thanks Claire. Do we need a secret handshake and a password for the club?

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    1. Thank you very much and thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  6. Same here - rolled up straight legs do me! I may go for a looser version with distressed look in the summer when I can cope with air around my legs! Need warmth at the moment . ha ha You are indeed the Boyfriend Jean Queen.

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    1. Oh gosh - am I worthy of such a title? Maybe - I just thought back to when I used to wear the Boy fit jeans in Gap and that was in the early 2000's. I am soooo old.

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  7. Ha we were all inspired by the boyfriend jeans today! Funny cause I've had mine eons too - I tend to wear mine on 'comfy' days but feel inspired to try them with heels now:) x

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    1. Exactly - they can be very much a mood thing. If you're having a fat day - can't beat a pair of loose jeans to create that false illusion in your head that you are a svelte nubile young thing who can't even fill out a pair of jeans. I've not been drinking. Promise.

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  8. OMG - I'm so honoured to get a post practically dedicated to me! You've definitely got the measure of me. I'm loving the ones in that Boden image - exactly the look I'm wanting. So I'm not going to do the boyfriend jean as such - I'm going go down the straight leg or looser skinny rolled up. Thank you for a wonderful post and for all your lovely mentions! Avril xx

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    1. I saw the Boden image and I thought exactly that you could do that look and that you would have something similar. But the Rachel Bilson look is achievable too with your River Island Biker jacket? Go on - dip your toe in!

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  9. Remember how I spent half of last year looking for a pair of boyfriend jeans? Totally obsessed. Now, I can't seem to stop wearing them with the exception of the past week where the snow was thick enough to warrant skinnies and high knee boots.

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    1. But are you now worried that your favourite pair of boyfriend jeans will wear out? I am obsessed by the fact that my New Look straight legs have just started to go at the knee and I daren't wear them incase I make it worse! And they are my favourites for comfort and look. They've been broken in beautifully and now they're on their way out! Nightmare. By the way, I'm in my skinnies too - best thing for boots.

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  10. Sue, what a brilliant post! Everytime I see boyfriend jeans mentioned on magazines or blogs, I think of you. You are indeed, as everyone has said, the Boyfriend Jean Queen. Very very clever to turn up straight jeans. I might try that. My issue is that with psoriasis, the ankles aren't fit for display, so I'm wondering what your thoughts are on just leaving the straight legs unrolled ... elongating the leg at the same time? Or maybe I could roll up with boots as you have done on your last pic? And explain to me please how you don't look remotely like a short ass when you roll up your jeans? See on me (and I think I might have an inch on you, lol!) I think it makes me look short and dumpy. What's your secret??

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    1. Helen, are you sure it's not all in your mind about being short and dumpy? You most certainly are not from the pictures I've seen. I think it depends a lot on what boots you wear with the boyfriend jeans. I definitely wouldn't put black with them especially if your jeans are mid to pale blue. I'd go for the soft tans as they are easier on the eye and don't cut you off like dark boots do. Try something like the Marant Dickers or the Ash Jalouses in style but not the Jalouses as they dip too far down the front and will expose more leg than you would like. Or try a tighter fitting ankle boot which goes a little bit higher up so they sit just under the cuff - no skin. But straight legs are good too and would do exactly the job you need them to do. And Helen you are too kind - I am and do look a short ass - you just haven't seen me in the flesh. Marlene is very tickled by the fact that I am even more of a midget than her!

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  11. Hi Sue-I so enjoyed this post-being a denim addict I enjoyed seeing your different boyfriend jeans-the washes and cuts that you have are so on trend and look fabulous! I agree with you in that its great to have different styles for different moods and days-I love my skinnys, my boyfriends and my flares which are all in a variety of different washes and cuts, ensuring I have a versatile and varied wardrobe of jeans. You are quite right about straight jeans too, a turn up instantly makes them boyfriend style. I have the premium boyfriend Gap ones in the distressed style, ideal for Spring and Summer xx

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    1. So am I in your gang then? Or are you in mine? Just joking. Have you posted about your Gap boyfriend jeans yet?

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    2. Hi again! No not yet,I reckon thats a future post in the making! x

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  12. Love this post, and thanks a mill for the pics. I was very late coming to the skinny trend, I mean only because they were going no where fashion so I had to bite the bullet. but I always wear long tops with them. My perfect jean is a boot cut, its the most flattering on me. But I am totally loving the look you have with the boyfriend jean. I really like them with heels. It's a bit cold at the mo for them but I am totally going to rock this look in warmer times.
    J
    http://lifelovesand.blogspot.ie/

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    1. Hi Joy. Thanks for stopping past. I was a late comer to the skinny trend when that happened but I did have the excuse of being pregnant at the time with Ben. I don't think this look is everyone and sometimes you just go with what suits you best and what you like. I probably suit bootlegs more and I still have one pair which I have parked to the side for that time when I feel it's right for me again. I agree though - it's a bit nippy for them at the mo. Skinnys and boots for me right now.

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  13. I cant seem to get into boyfriend fit, they look amazing in mags and on other people but I dont love them on me. I'm addicted to skinnies for the moment but might give them another go after reading this xx

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    1. Really? I know that you will have tried on the Gap boyfriend jeans by now - how could you not? But from what I've seen of you, you really suit skinnys. If I had long slim legs - it would be skinnys for me too. You probably suit the straighter legs rolled up more if you were wanting to try. By the way, the Outnet have just dropped a batch of Anya's on. Get going girl!

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    2. I've tried the gap bf's but they don't feel like me, I think you could be right, a rolled up straight leg might do it for me. I'll give it a go. The speed at which I just changed web pages must be a world record - Anya obsessed!
      Thanks for the tip x

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  14. Sue, great post as usual. I have to admit that the bf jeans are so not for me - I've never tried the look, but it's not something I personally am drawn to, yet it suits others (like you for example!). Perhaps I'm just not adventurous enough!

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    1. Jamie-lee. You have your own style but I could imagine you in a pair strangely enough especially with those beautiful Miu Miu jewelled pumps and a little short black jumper. Girly and a little French. But if you're not drawn, you're not drawn. It's like me, I don't do very girly yet other people look wonderful in it and so comfortable with that look. I've been known to cut bows off bras and tops because I found them too fussy.

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  15. Fab post Sue - I've been reading lots of boyfriend posts as well, so they are certainly on my mind to buy for this year. I am also a dedicated 'skinny' so I think I would fall into the 'not very distressed at all category!'

    I think the thing that puts me off going too 'boyish' is mostly because I have short hair and don't want to end up looking like a bloke lol and also because I am petite and would want to avoid the 'saggy nappy bum' look :-)

    I have spied a pair in the new Spring Wrap catalogue so I may just try a pair x

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  16. Hi Kitty. I think I would wear skinnys more if I thought they flattered me more. They've not got to be too skin tight on me at the bottom to give me a little balance with the calves or else it's really not pretty. I wouldn't worry about looking "boyish" - a nice lipstick will sort that out and lets think of it as "gamine" which is so much more charming :o)

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  17. I would like to wear that type of jeans but it just don't fit on my body type ... I love your outfits .

    Maybe we can follow each other ? If you are interested :) :*

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    1. Hi Maja, thanks for popping past - I'm sure you could pull off a pair of these - but it's all about finding the right pair. I'll pop over to have a look at your blog!

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  18. I have a pair of current elliott "dad" jeans, baggier even than a boyfriend cut, I love them for lounging around in but only wear this style in summer with flip flops. I think the older you get, you need to avoid the ripped styles, far too young looking in my opinion xx

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    1. My friend is in agreement with yourself as she has the same pair of New Look slim boyfriend jeans as me and she was feeling a little self conscious about the rips as well. I've seen your "dad" jeans I think on your Instagram. You had to go one better with "dad" jeans didn't you?

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  19. Fun! I guess boyfriend jean is a term that's open to quite a lot of interpretation, I'd always had a fairly strict definition in my head of what they are, but you've made a good case for other cuts falling under that umbrella. In my mind they are always saggy butt jeans, loose on the thighs as well, and slightly tapered from the knee down, rolled up to above the ankle. Pretty specific, right? I have to say though, even though I'm describing them as saggy-butted, I am a huge fan of boyfriend jeans. My favorites (and the only ones I'll even look at now) are from H&M, but they're getting harder ad harder to find among all their different skinny cuts now. But I've gone through a number of pairs and always try to have one on rotation. They're not only comfortable, but they make me feel pretty tough and cool, one of the guys. Plus I just think it's great to have a few different silhouette options, I'd hate to be in skinnys all the time!

    www.nomadicd.com

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    1. I know what you mean about the definition of boyfriend jeans - there are so many styles being banded around with the title of boyfriend and they are all so different in cut and styling from shop to shop that it's really hard to define what is a true boyfriend jean though I would say your specifications are pretty spot on for what I truly regard as a boyfriend jean. I would wear mine looser if it wasn't for the fact that they are truly unflattering on me that way. I need to wear them more fitted to carry them off. I looked at the H&M ones yesterday in store and I like them in terms of colour and style but not on me. I'm also having second thoughts about my darker neater ones already - I do prefer my jeans to look lived in (even a friend pointed that out to me about a couple of years back that my denim is always a little worn in and distressed - I wasn't even aware). I'm on the lookout for the perfect skinnys at the moment believe it or not! I know there's a pair out there for me somewhere.

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  20. I had those same Gap boyfriend jeans and LOVED them! I begrudgingly gave them to my mum after losing some weight and feeling like they looked too baggy - but I kind of wish I'd kept them and just belted up... I really like the 'boyfriend' fit (which often just seems to mean 'kinda baggy') because they're so comfy. I only seem to be able to wear them with pumps or sneakers though, they look dumb with my big boots.

    I'm definitely in the market for some new jeans, after clearing out the other day and realising I only have one fitting pair left (£6, peacocks sale, 7 years ago, tragic), and even those are looking terribly shabby. I love your New Look ones; never had jeans from there I don't think but will definitely give them a try :)

    adore the purple cardie - just like Gwyn !! :D x

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    1. I ended up with two pair of the boy fit ones from years back and I loved the fact that they were slouchy till they got too slouchy - could see my knickers front and back. I bought one pair and then had to buy another pair to size down. I wish I knew what I'd done with them - time to go and see if they ended up in any of my sisters' wardrobes!

      I also find that boyfriend jeans don't work for me with big boots - which is why I also have skinnys! I'm looking forward to pumps and Converse weather again so I have more options. And I always take a look at the New Look ones because they do a 28" inside leg for shorties like me. I've been lucky with a few pairs in previous years but didn't score any last year. I just keep an eye out as at around £20 a pair - I would say that was pretty good going given that my favourite pair cost just that.

      I liked'ish but didn't adore the purple card ... but I'm starting to like it again. So much cheaper when that happens!

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  21. Unfortunately I can't carry off the torn and tattered denim look. i will just end up loking like a beggar. ZZzz

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    1. Melody, even if you wore a pair, you couldn't look like a beggar!

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  22. i love my boyfriend jeans. they're from sass & bide and i found them at one of their warehouse sales in sydney for cheap. tried a few pairs after that and they are not quite the same. also, totally agree that they don't actually have to be boyfriend jeans to be boyfriend jeans.. also actual boyfriend's jeans may not actually work either i tried my boyfriend's jeans and they didn't look at all good on me. i would love to get more pairs of boyfriend jeans but have yet to find the right fit. ok i've typed the word boyfriend way too many times in this comment ;p

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    1. That's very funny! (I counted 7).

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  23. I actually roll up my boot cuts and I like the look. I have men's slim jeans too, so I don't have to buy anything new to get the look.

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Hi, I'm Sue.

Mum to Ben & George, married to the Grumps, living in suburbia, somewhere in the north of England.

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