When shopping in stores or online, it seems that so many articles of clothing come with funny names. Sometimes it’s just the store that decided to call a certain item “The Amanda Blouse” or “The Megan Dress,” but other times, these names actually come with meaning. Jeans often have names that are universal, such as “The Boyfriend,” “The Skinny” and “The Boot-Cut” that reference the way the jeans fit. In this article, we’ll review a brief history of boot-cut jeans and define what makes jeans boot-cut jeans.

History of the Boot-Cut

When jeans were first invented in the 1870s, they were relegated only to cowboys, coal miners and other manual laborers. Back then, the very idea of “nice jeans” seemed a complete oxymoron. However, in the 1950s, jeans became a form of rebellion for America’s youth and society began to see them on teenagers of white-collar workers.
The boot cut, specifically, became part of the working outfit for American sailors during the 20th century, but were later replaced by the bell bottom. Boot-cut jeans were worn to perform menial tasks so that the sailors could get them dirty without worrying.

Evolution of the Boot-Cut Jean

Boot-cut jeans were born out of the flower children of the 1960s and 70s and their ultra flared leg jeans. As the 1980s rolled in, bell bottoms were tossed aside for tapered and skintight jeans. However, in the late 1980s, the bell bottoms were back, but this time known as flares. The boot-cut jean was introduced in the early 1990s.

Men’s vs. Women’s

The boot-cut jean has now become acceptable wear in the casual office and men and women alike now wear them. As with other styles of jeans, the menswear boot-cut jeans are somewhat baggier all the way down, with a slight flare at the bottom. The female version boot-cut jeans are typically tight at the knee and flare out at the bottom.

The Fit

A boot-cut jean is traditionally defined as a jean that tapers at the knee and then loosens at the ankle so that a boot can be worn underneath the jean. It is not to be confused with its cousin, the bell bottom or the flare, as those flare out much more than necessary to accommodate a boot.

Where to Buy

Today, boot-cut jeans can be found at almost any clothing store at any price point. If you’re looking to spend less than $20, you’re sure to find the right boot-cut jeans at a discount retailer or big-box store. If you’re looking to spend a fat wad of cash, high-end department stores can accommodate with designer labels of jeans from $100 to $1,000. Remember, its not the price of the jeans that counts, but how they look and how comfortable you find them.