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The best denim styles for your muscular legs

The best denim styles for your muscular 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 muscular 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 selected the best jeans that suit muscular legs –so all you have to do is pick 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. The beauty of tapered-leg jeans is that they flatter almost all body types, thanks to the looser thigh and slimmer calf. But they’re especially great for guys with muscular legs as they’ll complement your shape without feeling stretched. Thanks to the extra room in the thigh, tapered-fit jeans will comfortably fit the shape of your leg, while the slim bottom half will emphasise your muscles without feeling tight.

Tapered jeans are also the easiest denim cut to dress up, as they don’t veer into too-trendy territory. The tapered calf looks almost tailored (without the hassle of actually getting them tailored), making these jeans just as easy to pair with a shirt and blazer as a sweatshirt and trainers – ideal if you’re not into the typical straight-leg smarter trouser.

Avoid cuts that run slimmer than this, as they will pull too closely against your leg and highlight the shape in a way that feels bulky rather than flattering. Similarly, stretch denim made with elastane will hug your leg and emphasise the shape, while regular denim won’t be as clingy.

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 they’re particularly well-suited to muscular-legged guys that aren’t too fussed about either highlighting or hiding the shape of their legs. Why? Because the straight line of these jeans doesn’t alter your natural silhouette or accentuate any particular feature, meaning they suit 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. 

As the name suggests, this cut perfectly falls straight up and down without clinging or feeling baggy, which has helped straight-leg jeans secure their place as a timeless classic in the world of denim. The only downside? Since jeans are classically casual, and this is the ultimate classic pair of jeans, they’re harder to dress up. Sure, they’ll still work with a shirt and boots, but if you need to go officially smart casual 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 well for muscular legs? Well, if you want to conceal the shape – or just aren’t that interested in showing it off – trousers with more fabric are the best way to go. Relaxed-fit jeans hit that mark of feeling both contemporary and vintage-inspired all in one, which comes in handy when styling their interesting silhouette. Take a leaf out of the ‘70s stylebook and stick to slimmer cuts on top when you’re wearing wider-fits on the bottom. 

Relaxed trousers can bunch up around the ankle if they’re too long, which can make you appear shorter and unkempt (to put it kindly). But if you also happen to have longer legs, you can get away with a wider silhouette without it tampering with your stature. If your legs are muscular and short, stick to straight-leg jeans as your wide look. 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)

Like relaxed-fits, wide-leg styles work best for muscular guys with longer legs. Consider it a more interesting extension of the relaxed-fit jean. You can get away with the wider silhouette because the shape of your leg will fit under the fabric without getting lost in the length, so it’s not the top choice for guys who like to show off their gains. But if you don’t mind – or even prefer – your leg shape being concealed, then it’s a cool, contemporary take on vintage dressing that will emphasise your style rather than your muscles. 

It’s 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. 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. 

Words: Ella White