In recent years, women wearing men’s jeans has become an increasingly popular fashion trend. While men’s and women’s jeans have some key differences in their fit, cut, and style, many women find that men’s jeans offer benefits like comfort, durability, and ample pocket space.
This article will explore the history behind women wearing men’s jeans, the main differences between men’s and women’s denim, tips for finding the right fit, how to convert sizes, and styling advice.
History of Women Wearing Men’s Jeans
Jeans were originally created in the late 1800s as durable workwear for manual laborers, predominantly worn by men. However, women began adopting men’s jeans as early as the 1930s and 1940s, often rolling or cuffing them to adjust the length.
During World War II, more women wore men’s jeans out of necessity while working factory jobs. The loose, casual fit provided comfort and ease of movement. Throughout the 1970s, women continued to wear men’s jeans for the relaxed look and practicality.
In the 1980s and 90s, oversized men’s jeans became a popular antithesis to the tight, skinny jeans prominent in women’s fashion. The baggy silhouette hid curves and gave women a more androgynous appearance.
Comparing Men’s and Women’s Jeans
While made from generally the same denim fabrics and manufacturing techniques, several key differences exist between jeans tailored for men versus women.
- Men’s jeans are sized by waist and inseam measurements in inches, like 32×30. Women’s jeans use numbered sizing systems that vary by brand.
- To estimate a men’s size, add 21 to your regular women’s size. However, the fit can vary depending on your body shape.
Fit and Cut
- Men’s jeans have straight legs and looser fits through the hips and thighs. Women’s jeans contour the hips and rear with stretchier fabrics.
- Men’s jeans sit at the natural waist or hip. Women’s come in low, mid, and high rises to flatter different figures.
- The crotch seam is longer in men’s jeans to accommodate anatomy. Women’s jeans have a shorter rise between the legs.
- Men’s jeans typically have simpler, functional front pockets. Women’s may have embellished, contoured back pockets.
- Men’s jeans often use sturdier, heavier denim compared to stretchier fabrics in women’s jeans.
- Men’s zippers are longer than women’s, which helps differentiate them.
Finding Your Perfect Men’s Jeans Fit
Finding well-fitting men’s jeans with the right proportions for your body can take some trial and error. Here are some top tips for women:
- Focus on the waist measurement for a secure fit. Measure your natural waist or where you want the jeans to hit.
- Size up or down depending on your hips, thighs, and rear. Curvier figures may need to size up for the right fit.
- Account for extra roominess through the hips and legs. Men’s jeans have a boxier, straighter fit.
- Try different brands and cuts to find the right match for your shape. Fits can vary widely.
- Shop in men’s or boy’s sections for smaller waist sizes. Juniors sections also work for women’s figures.
- Thrift and consignment stores allow you to experiment with more sizes and fits.
Converting Your Size
To estimate your men’s jeans size, here is a rough conversion chart:
- Women’s 0-2 = Men’s 28
- Women’s 4 = Men’s 30
- Women’s 6-8 = Men’s 32
- Women’s 10 = Men’s 34
- Women’s 12 = Men’s 36
- Women’s 14 = Men’s 38
However, this varies across brands. Your best bet is to always try them on in store. Measure your natural waist to determine your ideal men’s size.
Styling Men’s Jeans
Men’s jeans offer women a relaxed, casual look. Here are some styling tips:
- Tuck in a fitted top to show off your waist. Crop tops work well.
- Balance the loose fit with heels or wedge booties. Add platforms to prevent pooling at the ankles.
- Cuff or roll the bottoms for a polished, tailored effect. Or leave them long for a slouchy vibe.
- Try straight leg or relaxed fits to avoid an overly baggy silhouette. Skinny men’s jeans also work.
- Accessorize with belts, jewelry, and handbags. Lean into feminine accents on top.
- Pair with oversized blazers, flannels, or pullover sweaters for ’90s grunge vibes.
- For business casual looks, tuck in a button-down shirt. Add loafers and a blazer.
More women are embracing the comfort and cool factor of men’s jeans. While sizing can be tricky, focus on the waist measurement and trying different fits. Style with cropped, fitted tops to balance the loose silhouette.
Cuffing the hems and adding heels gives polished looks. With the right fit and styling, men’s jeans offer women versatility and a relaxed aesthetic. The key is experimenting to find your perfect pair.