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Bootcut and straight leg are two distinctly different styles of jeans. To choose which one is best for a particular look, it is important to understand their differences and the style of each of them. You should also know which shoes and tops look best with each. Both bootcut and straight leg jeans can be worn for several different occasions, so you might want to have several pairs of each.

Straight Leg Jeans

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Straight leg jeans are exactly what the name claims they are: jeans that are perfectly straight throughout. They can either be low-waisted or high-waisted and are typically straight through the thigh, which means that they do not cling. At the knee, the jeans remain hanging straight, without any taper or flare at all.

Bootcut Jeans

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Bootcut jeans can be either high- or low-waisted. They fit well through the thigh. At the knee, they begin to taper outward slowly, until they are a slight flare at the opening. They do not flare out as much as flare-style jeans. They are only wide enough to accommodate a wide boot or shoe at the bottom; it falls between the width of a straight leg and flare jean.

Shoe Styles

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Clunky shoes and boots fit underneath bootcut jeans, while they do not fit underneath straight leg jeans. Tennis shoes might look good with straight leg jeans because the taper of the jeans will fit neatly with the top of the tennis shoe. Many women wear high heels and high-heeled boots with bootcut jeans. Straight leg jeans are usually more casual, while bootcut jeans are less so.

Top Styles

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The top styles that you wear depend more on the rise of the waist of your jeans than on the cut of the leg. Both bootcut and straight leg jeans have high- or low-cut waists. Typically, however, straight leg jeans are more likely to have a higher waist, which means that the shirts you wear should either tuck into the jeans or flow over the top of them. Bootcut jeans that typically have a lower waist can be worn with tops that meet the waist of the jeans.


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You should wear bootcut jeans when you want a more formal or fun style--for going out to a club, casual day at work or meeting with friends for dinner. Bootcut jeans are also great for school and weekends. Straight leg jeans are more often found in working situations, such as doing yard work or cleaning the house. However, it does come down to a style choice, and many women like their straight leg jeans for all occasions.


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