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What Are Girlfriend Jeans?

Get It, Girlfriend: Your Guide to Girlfriend Jeans 


Don’t feel surprised if you weren’t aware that girlfriend jeans existed until recently. They’re a relatively newer style on the denim scene and vary from boyfriend jeans in rather subtle ways. 


You may have tried boyfriend jeans but just couldn’t seem to find a cut and fit that works for you. In some cases, you might have better luck with a girlfriend jean instead.  


And if you are utterly confused about the whole “family” of womens jeans—mom jeans, dad jeans, and boyfriend jeans—you’re not alone. Let’s break down the features of the girlfriend jean and how you can style them for your body type. 


So What Are Girlfriend Jeans? 



Think of girlfriend jeans as the Goldilocks of womens denim. They’re not too high rise and don’t hit too low on the hip. They’re not skin-tight like jeggings but also aren’t as loose as mom jeans. Many women rave about girlfriend jeans because they are just right.  


Here are some of the essential elements you’ll find in girlfriend jeans:


  • An easy but tailored fit
  • Typically mid rise on the waist (select styles available in high waist)

  • Tapered legs or straight-cut legs
    • Curved hip
    • A bit of stretch in the denim blend to flatter hips and curves


      With the girlfriend jean, you get a more hip-flattering cut with legs that taper but not sharply. You’ll find girlfriend jeans in sturdier denim than most jeggings and skinny jeans in just about every wash and color. They often have some distressing, although the wear is usually slightly different than what you see in boyfriend jeans. 


      How are Girlfriend Jeans Different from Boyfriend Jeans? 


      Speaking of boyfriend jeans, what are boyfriend jeans? Why are there both girlfriend and boyfriend jeans and what are the true differences between the two? 


      All good questions. Let’s compare girlfriend and boyfriend jean features. As mentioned above, girlfriend jeans have a more curved and fitted hip. There’s some room in the leg, but not enough for material to sag. The legs taper to the ankle, but there’s enough of an ankle opening that you can cuff them.  


      Boyfriend jeans often seem very similar; in some cases, the line is fairly blurred. Although slim boyfriend jeans exist, generally boyfriend jeans have these features:


      • A straighter waist to hip line
      • Some room in the crotch area
      • Worn, distressed look
        • Longer back pockets (and decent-sized front pockets!) 

        • A lower rise than girlfriend jeans


          The differences may seem minor, but they add up to create an entirely different look. If you are curious about this style and other types of jeans, see our denim blog articles on:



          So, where did girlfriend jeans come from?



            The History of Girlfriend Jeans 

            Girlfriend jeans are new on the scene, and began as an offshoot of boyfriend jeans. The boyfriend jean has been around for decades now, although it grew exponentially in popularity in recent years. However, many women struggled to find a boyfriend jean that flattered their figure or felt right. Thus, the girlfriend jean was born. 


            Sometime in 2014, retailers began offering the girlfriend cut and silhouette. The updates to the boyfriend jean concept of relaxed, lived-in comfort were tweaked to create a look that still prioritizes comfort, but not at the expense of structure and style.





            What Body Types Look Good in Girlfriend Jeans 


            We’ve watched denim waistlines rise and fall over the years, but girlfriend jeans really do emphasize the middle ground. This mid rise style seeks to offer a waist low enough for comfort but not so low that bits and pieces go on display whenever you sit. And the waist doesn’t creep up so high that when you bend, it pinches your tum.  


            A more curved hip than the boyfriend jean means you also get a curve-flattering fit. And legs that taper without squeezing allow easy movement without losing the leg line. A bit more tailoring in the bum does an excellent job of highlighting your assets as well. Girlfriend jeans truly flatter all body types, from apple to athletic. The girlfriend’s goal is balance. 


            How to Style Girlfriend Jeans 


            One of the reasons why girlfriend jeans are likely to stick around for a long time is because they are just as easy to style as boyfriend jeans. You can grab some girlfriends in a worn, faded blue wash and pair them with an oversized t-shirt and sneakers. Because the jeans are more fitted than boyfriend jeans, the overall look is less slouchy.  



            A big part of the appeal of girlfriend jeans is how easy they are to dress up. The cut of the hip helps to create or accentuate the curve, so you can get a great look by pairing them with a boxy top if you want something loose but structured. And if you grab a pair with some stretch or give, you can go with a more slim-fit top since you won’t have to worry about unwanted cinching at the waistline.


            What Shoes to Wear with Girlfriend Jeans 


            When thinking about shoes to pair with your girlfriend jeans, consider the length of your leg and whether your goal is more casual or sophisticated.


             You can wear many of the same shoe choices with boyfriend and girlfriend jeans, including:


            • Heeled booties
            • Heeled sandals
              • Platform sandals and sneakers
              • A classic, pointed pump
              • Loafers


                Keep in mind that platform sandals will lengthen the leg in a casual way, whereas pumps and booties add sophistication and dress the outfit up. Loafers look amazing with a cuffed leg and bare ankle. And you can pair a cropped leg and a more distressed look with both low and high-top skate shoes. Finally, take your girlfriend jeans on a date with chunky heeled sandals or platform espadrilles. 



                Give Girlfriend Jeans a Try 


                If you’ve struggled to find a perfect fit with other jean styles or want something that will deliver a flattering look that isn’t trend-based, then girlfriend jeans are the ticket. You may even want to have several pairs in different washes and levels of distress. More ripped and worn pairs work great for everyday, effortless style, while darker wash versions with few or no rips work perfectly for dates and business casual. If you thought that denim wasn’t for you, then it’s time to give girlfriend jeans a try. 














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