Trousers and jeans come in many different styles. Boot cut and straight leg are two of the most common styles and are versatile enough to be worn for a variety of occasions. Understanding the distinct differences between boot cut and straight leg style trousers and jeans will help you better pair them with shoes and tops.
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Boot cut trousers and jeans come in either a high or low waist. They are tight fitting at the thigh and gradually taper outward at the knee, ending in a flared opening at the ankle. Boot cut trousers and jeans were designed to fit over a wide boot, so they are a bit longer than straight leg cuts. The hem will typically skim the floor in the back and cover the top of the boot in front. The tapering in men's boot cut trousers and jeans begins at the crotch, whereas the tapering in women's begins at the knee.
As the name implies, straight leg trousers and jeans are simply that: straight legs from the waist to the ankle. Straight legs come in either a high or low waist and the leg circumference is the same from the thigh to the ankle. The hem normally ends 1 to 2 inches below the ankle and there is no taper or flare. Straight leg cuts are the same in both men's and women's trousers and jeans.
Wider shoes and shoes with heels work best with boot cut styles because the additional tapering and length will fit over and cover the shoe. Tennis shoes can be worn with boot cut styles, but the hem will drag on the floor. Flats, sandals, low heeled and tennis shoes work best with straight leg styles.
Both boot cut and straight leg trousers come in a variety of materials. In black or khaki, both can be worn to social and semi-formal occasions. In denim, boot cut is considered less formal and is typically worn in more relaxed social settings. However, paired with a nice top and high healed shoes, boot cut jeans can be worn to parties, clubs and other social events. Straight leg trousers and jeans give the illusion length and are ideal for short legged women, whereas the tapering in boot cut jeans acts as a good disguise for curvier hips.
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