Straight fit. Regular fit. Low rise. What do these words mean, and what is the difference between them? For the casual shopper, it can become quite frustrating when seeing this terminology that seems to have no real differences between terms. It might seem a total mess, so we have put a guide together to help you sort out these confusing terms to buy the best fitting jeans!
Regular Fit Jeans
The shape of jeans can be quite confusing at first. In order to see what the difference means, we’ll have a look at the first batch: regular versus relaxed versus slim fit. They are quite different, so it easier to understand the terms through comparison.
When you see ‘fit’, you need to think about thighs and the seat. It might be easy to mistaken a skinny leg with a slim fit – the fit refers to the thighs and buttocks. A regular fit is what most people wear. The sizing is likely to differ a bit from one brand to another, but they are what most people call ‘traditional’ jeans.
They are often preferred due to the ‘close’ fit to the buttocks, with a little extra room to spare. Unless you have some additional weight in the thighs or the buttocks, this might be the shape you need.
As compared to regular ones, skinny jeans hug your body, following your body shape closely. They are very tight in the rear and thighs. If you have an athletic body type with strong thighs and glutes, you might need a relaxed fit.
Relaxed fit jeans are on the opposite side of skinny jeans and a bit more than regular fit. They have some added fabric around the thighs and the buttocks with a tighter fit for waist and calves. Most athletes or overweight people choose a relaxed fit.
Therefore, regular fit is somewhere in between the skinny shape and the relaxed fit – just what most people need to look great and feel comfortable.
Straight Cut Jeans
Once we have established that the ‘fit’ refers to the area around the seat and thighs, there is one more term that refers to the ‘leg’ shape: straight, taper, or boot cut. Straight leg or regular leg usually has the same length around the waist as they have around the ankle – that’s where the ‘straight’ terminology comes from.
Similar to regular fit, they are seen as the ‘traditional’ type of jeans. When everything was done by hand, joining two tubes of fabric together was easier than ‘customizing’ the shape. Thus it is commonly associated with the first jeans on the market.
On the other side of the straight leg cut, there is the boot-cut – this means that they are wider around the ankle than they are around the thigh so that you can pair them with boots. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is the taper or skinny leg fit: this means that the fit of the jeans around the ankle is narrower than the straight leg cut.
As we’ve seen above, most jeans are called by a mix of the fit and the size of the leg. The fit can be either regular, skinny, or relaxed, while the leg is called straight, boot-cut, or skinny. Other marketing terminology might also include the rise – this means that the jeans sit high on your waist.
A high-waist size means that you should buy a smaller waist size than you usually do as the area closer to the hips is wider than the small of your waist. Some ‘relaxed’ or ‘loose’ fits follow this pattern, and they are considered quite comfortable by most people.
You might also find jeans that are considered ‘low rise’. If you usually buy high rise or medium rise, you might need to find a bigger size for your new pair. This is because ‘low rise’ jeans are quite low on the hips, an area that is generally wider than the waist. Low rise fit is quite popular among women’s jeans, not men. For men, they usually have quite a large sag, similar to rapper’s pants.
What is the Difference Between Regular and Straight Fit?
Putting all this information together, regular fit refers to the wider jean shape around the seat and your thighs. The straight fit is in regards to the size of the leg. A straight fit means that the shape of the leg is similar to a tube – the same dimension from the thigh to the ankle.
Therefore, the two types are somewhat similar. The only noticeable difference is that regular fit follows the natural or ‘regular’ shape of the leg, which means that the jeans are somewhat smaller around the ankle compared to the straight type.
So, regular fit vs straight fit jeans: what is the difference? Overall, different types of jeans are defined in terms of their fit regarding the buttocks and the thighs, or how they will ‘fit’ these areas, and the type of the leg. Different brands can differ slightly in how they call different shapes, so most people prefer to try on their new jeans before purchasing.
If this is not possible, make sure you measure an existing pair of jeans that fit you well or simply use a measurement tape. Based on your preference regarding the fit, you might need to adjust the area of measurement – for instance, for a high rise, you’d instead measure the small of your waist. In contrast, a low rise needs to suit the area closer to your hips.
Regardless, the measurements need to be paired with the fit style and the leg cut. It is also important to acknowledge that the best way to choose the right jeans for you is to go to the fitting room. Or, if buying online, choose the stores that allow you to return the product at no further costs. Brands are not consistent with each other, so you still need to try your clothes on!