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JEAN-eology: Finding the Perfect Cut of Big and Tall Denim

We all wear jeans. They are a staple in every man’s wardrobe. From the classic worn pair you’ve had forever, to the new dark wash jeans you only wear for a night out, these simple denim pants are a standard for many occasions. In our ever-changing world, the blue jean of the past has evolved into an array of fits, washes, colors and cuts, and you need to know what’s what. More importantly, you need to know what will look good on you. Here is a beginners guide to the standard big and tall denim jeans of today.

Straight leg jeans

Cut 1: Straight Fit:

Straight-cut jeans are the original. The classic. They sit at the waist and are fairly slim through the backside and the thighs. They work well with anything, if you can pull them off. For guys that have more generous backside or upper legs, these might not be a comfortable fit. Straight cut also tapers slightly at the ankle. These aren’t anywhere near the more noticeable taper of a skinny jean, but they so narrow as they reach your feet. This cut will accentuate long legs and look best when they aren’t overly snug. Shop straight leg jeans to size 60 at

Big and tall wide leg jeans

Cut 2: Wide leg:

These jeans are true to their name, and offer a wider, more generous seat. They sit at, or just below the waist, and give a comfortable amount of room to move. Wide leg jeans taper slightly from the waist to the ankle, but have a very loose fitting leg. This style works well for guys with a little extra meat on their bones, but doesn’t always present a structured, tailored look. Some brands tend to go a little too wide on this cut, which can lead to an ill-fitting, sloppy appearance, so be sure to try and make sure these jeans are cut well for your shape. Look for styles with larger back pockets that make you look more proportionate from behind. Shop wide, relaxed, and loose fit jeans to size 60 at JC Penney.


Cut 3: Boot Cut

These jeans are made for walking, in boots that is. They are flared slightly below the knee to allow for bulkier footwear, but have a pretty traditional cut up top that can be snug. This might be one to avoid for fuller figured guys, but give them a shot if you carry most of your extra weight up top, as they create the appearance of a straight line from the hips to the foot which can actually be slimming. Find boot cut jeans in your size at Macy’s.

Skinny Jeans

Cut 4: Skinny Jeans

The Skinny Jean has become the latest addition to the standard cut list. These jeans fit tighter than the straight cut, and are especially clingy in the lower leg. They are typically purchased longer than necessary and worn with the bottoms bunched up above the shoeline. For bigger guys, this might be a tough look to pull off, The extra tight fit isn’t always flattering. If you want a tighter fit, consider sticking with a straight fit to get a more flattering look. Pick up skinny jeans to size 46 from

Big and tall athletic fit jeans

Cut 5: Athletic Fit

This newer hybrid cut is a recent addition to the field. Athletic Fit is harder to find, but combines some of the best traits of the other cuts, including a roomier leg, a flared leg opening for larger footwear, but a more snug fitting seat. For huskier guys with thicker legs, this might be the cut for you. it will accentuate a lot of the best features from top to bottom. Shop jeans to size 58 at Nordstrom.

The best advice for any guy looking for that perfect pair is to go try on the cuts and brands that you are interested in. Every brand is shaped just a little differently and sometimes have different names for their cuts. Wide leg can often be called Relaxed Fit or Easy Fit, and may be cut differently in one store than it is in the next. Choose your jeans based on what looks good and feels good on your body. There’s a cut out there for every body type – you just have to find it. Happy Hunting!

Which cut of big and tall denim do you wear? Share your tips in the comments below.