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The best denim styles for your long legs

The best denim styles for your long legs

There are some items of clothing – a good pair of boots or a quality winter coat, to name a couple – that you just know will work regardless of your shape or size. But sadly, not all shopping is that simple. And when it comes to buying jeans that truly suit you, there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all approach. On the bright side, if you start by considering your body type, you can easily whittle down the various fits, styles, and washes to land on the pairs that work best for you a little quicker. Still sounds complicated? We’ve got you covered.

You told us upon signing up that you have long legs, which means, quite simply, that a wider range of cuts and silhouettes will work on you. So you can go ahead and experiment with bolder shapes, play it safe with classic styles, or find your sweet spot somewhere in between. Just don’t panic when it comes to all that choice – we’ve picked out the five best jeans that will look particularly good on you, so all you have to do is decide on your favourite pair (or three).  

Tapered-leg jeans

Photographed: Nudie Jeans Nudie Lean Dean Jean ($167)

If you’ve been met with some denim deja vu, that’ll be because you’ve been seeing this style everywhere. Tapered-leg jeans are one of the few denim styles that generally flatter everyone. But they’ll come in particularly strong for you because the straight thigh and slimmer calf provide a tailored silhouette that’s far more flattering for your shape than slim or skinny fits. The skinnier your jeans, the closer they follow the line of your legs which makes them appear even longer and can leave a long-legged guy like you looking like a Tim Burton character (which is a look we only recommend on 31st October). 

Although they’re a great alternative for the guy who favours a slimmer cut, tapered jeans aren’t actually skinny, so they’re more likely to suit a wider range of dress styles. The looser thigh and tailored calf fits easily into smart casual outfits as it feels a little more clean-cut than a straight leg, and less trend-led than a slim leg. So if you’re looking for a pair of jeans that go just as easily with a shirt and blazer as a sweater and trainers, these should be your go-to.

Straight-leg jeans

If you tend to buck trends and favour the classics, you’ll want to meet (or reacquaint yourself with) the straight-leg jean. This style is the platonic ideal of denim, and it’s especially great for the longer-legged guy because the straight-up-and-down cut doesn’t alter your natural silhouette – it’ll suit you in all your long-legged glory.

Because the straight line of these jeans doesn’t accentuate any particular feature they tend to flatter a wider range of body types, so if finding jeans that suit your shape has been a point of contention, these could be your answer. The only downside? Since jeans are classically casual, and this is the ultimate classic pair of jeans, they’re harder to dress up. Sure, you can wear them with a shirt and boots for slightly more considered occasions, but if you need to go for a textbook smart casual look, you’ll need a slightly slimmer cut.

Relaxed-fit jeans

Sometimes the style gods bless us with clothing that’s both on-trend and comfortable, and right now relaxed-fit jeans are one of them. Why do they work best for long legs? Well, trousers with more fabric can bunch up around the ankle if they’re too long, which will make you appear shorter and unkempt (to put it kindly). But since that’s unlikely to be an issue for you, you can get away with a wider silhouette without it tampering with your stature. 

Relaxed-fit jeans hit that mark of feeling both contemporary and vintage-inspired all in one. Take a leaf out of the ‘70s stylebook and stick to slimmer cuts on top when you’re wearing wider-fits on the bottom. And don’t try to dress these up – while wide-leg trousers of a lighter fabric can feel smart in a contemporary way, the same rule doesn’t apply when it comes to denim. So unless you have a very specific personal style, save these for off-duty days – they run the risk of looking scruffy and out of place in smart settings.

Wide-leg jeans

Photographed: COS WIDE-LEG JEANS ($83)

Good news for long-legged guys who like to experiment with their style: wider silhouettes look great on you. Consider it a more interesting extension of the relaxed-fit jean that can work for you whether or not you like to emphasise your leg length. Wide-leg jeans are a pretty style-specific choice that might not be for everyone right now, but if you like to play with new looks, we’re betting on this one for 2021, and you’re lucky enough to have the legs to pull it off. Just bear in mind that wider cuts can make you appear slightly shorter, but you can always offset this with a touch of vintage style and opt for a higher waistband. 

Cropped or turn-up jeans

As well as the different cuts that suit you, there are also a few style hacks that can be applied to any of your favourite denim cuts. A cropped or turned-up ankle has an elongating effect when you leave a gap between your trouser hem and your shoe. But since your legs are already long, you can get away with closing that gap with a higher shoe like lace-up boots or hi-top trainers, and it won’t affect the appearance of your height. Selvedge jeans with a turned-up hem are one of the best ways to pull off this look, especially if you’re into workwear-inspired dressing.

Words: Ella White