How to Find the Perfect Jeans for Your Body Type (for Men)

August 25, 2022 5 min read

How to Find the Perfect Jeans for Your Body Type

Easily the most versatile wardrobe addition, jeans are the quintessential pants that every man should own. However, various factors play into choosing the right pair of jeans — leg shape, rise, fabric, height and body shape, just to name a few. Learn how to measure for men's jeans and pick the right pair for your body type in this handy guide.

What Determines How Jeans Fit?

Below are four main factors that determine how jeans fit. Later on, we'll help you choose the right jeans for your height and body shape based on these factors.

1. Leg Shape

Leg shape is determined by three measurements — thigh, knee and leg opening. The most common leg shapes for jeans include:

  • Skinny
  • Relaxed
  • Straight
  • Boot cut

Simply trying on a pair of jeans can ensure they're comfy and look good. You can also measure a pair of jeans you already own for reference. 

To determine the full thigh width, include a bit of fabric from the back of the leg instead of solely measuring the width of the front of the leg. The knee is measured 14 inches down the inseam from the crotch, while the leg opening is the measurement across the hem.

2. Rise

Rise is the distance from the crotch to the top of the waistband. It determines where the jeans sit on your body. The basic rises for men's jeans include:

  • High-rise
  • Medium or mid-rise
  • Low-rise

Unlike slacks and trousers, jeans have a curved back rise, meaning it wraps around to the front of the pants. This rise is what gives jeans a feature-hugging appearance. To ensure a rise that's both comfortable and flattering, your jeans should follow your contours. Similar to leg shape, brands generally have varying definitions for rises in terms of measurement, so you should use the rise merely as a guideline.

3. Length

With trends like cuffing, stacking and cropped legs, jeans length is largely based on personal preference. You can use length to your advantage to create optical illusions.

A good rule of thumb when choosing the length of your jeans is that the break — or where the legs end — should be just where your feet begin. Without wearing shoes, the front of the hem should rest on top of your instep while the back should just kiss the floor.

A helpful tip before shopping for jeans is to measure your inseam, which starts from the crotch and runs all the way down to the leg opening. You can also simply try on the jeans to determine if they're a good length, or compare them to a pair you already own.

Choosing Jeans by Fabric

4. Fabric

While traditional denim, or “rigid denim," is made from 100% cotton, stretch denim has grown increasingly popular in both men's and women's fashion. When it comes to movement, they're known for being more comfortable and less restrictive than their non-stretch counterparts. 

However, the main drawback with stretch jeans is that they're made from elastane — a synthetic, stretchy fiber also known as spandex — which often causes the jeans to lose some of their authentic denim appearance. In some cases, stretch denim can also become saggy with wear over time.

If you're looking for jeans with more comfort and movability, you might opt for stretch denim — however, make sure it still looks like denim! If you prefer a more authentic-looking jean, you could choose a more rigid denim with a looser fit.

You should also consider color when picking jeans. For optimal variety, you might choose one light-wash pair, one mid-wash pair and one dark-wash pair. However, dark blue tends to be the most versatile hue as it can complement almost any outfit in your wardrobe.

What Are the Best Jeans for My Body Type?

Now that you know some basic factors to consider when buying jeans, the following sections will explore the best types of jeans for different body features.

1. Best Jeans for Shorter Men

If you have an average build but a below-average height, we recommend avoiding anything low rise, skinny jeans and loose and relaxed fits. These styles tend to make the legs appear shorter than they are. Rather, try to opt for something mid-rise that balances out your proportions. Straight leg fits also tend to flatter shorter heights, as they help create the illusion of longer legs.

2. Best Jeans for Taller Men

If your height is above average, chances are you prefer jeans that don't make you look even taller. That said, it's usually best to avoid high-waisted jeans as they elongate the legs. Consider choosing something mid or low-rise instead. However, if it's your torso that's long instead of your legs, high-rise jeans can be a safer bet.

As far as leg shape, a regular or slim fit tends to work best. You can opt for skinny jeans if desired, but keep in mind that this style draws attention to long legs.

3. Best Jeans for Slimmer Men

While essentially any rise can work for thinner builds, low-rise is usually best for building up your stature. In terms of leg shape, we recommend avoiding wider legs as they can appear too loose. Skinny jeans can make the legs appear even slimmer, so you may want to avoid this style as well.

Instead, you might consider straight-leg jeans with a lower rise. They tend to flatter more slender builds without drawing excessive attention to thin legs. A bulky fabric can also divert attention from the legs if this is your goal.

4. Best Jeans for Bigger Men

When it comes to leg shape, you might consider a tapered fit — which gradually narrows toward the ankle — that allows for ample room in the thigh area. You don't want something too tight, but picking something loose can also make the legs appear wider. If you have a larger waist or thighs, we recommend something mid or low-rise and a tapered leg with a relaxed thigh. 

If you're a bigger guy with an athletic build, regular-fit jeans can also work. They provide a slimming appearance as they hug the thighs and rear while the legs remain straight. If your hips are narrower than your shoulders, regular-fit can be a good match.

Shop Men's Jeans at Penner's

Find the Right Fit for Your Body Type at Penner's

When it comes to choosing the right jeans, it's important to feel comfortable and stylish at the same time. At Penner's, helping every man find the right fit is our priority. That's why we specialize in men's clothing and accessories made by the finest designers and brands. 

Whether you're looking for trendy pants, sport coats or authentic guayabera shirts, you can get great deals without sacrificing quality or appearance. Browse and order men's clothing online at Penner's today. For questions about choosing the right fit, contact us at any time!