Flared vs. Bootcut Jeans: The Differences

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flared vs bootcut jeans

Regarding denim jeans, there are numerous styles to choose from, each with unique characteristics. Flared and bootcut jeans are two popular options that often confuse people due to their similar appearance. While both styles feature a wider leg, they differ in key aspects such as silhouette, leg opening, and overall style. In this article, we will explore the differences between flared and bootcut jeans, delve into their history and popularity, and provide tips on how to style and care for them.

Definition of Flared Jeans

flare jeans

Flared jeans, also known as bell bottoms, are characterized by their wide leg that flares out from the knee down, creating a distinct bell-like shape. This style originated in the 1960s and became a counterculture and bohemian fashion symbol. Flared jeans are often associated with a retro aesthetic and can add a touch of nostalgia to any outfit.

Definition of Bootcut Jeans

bootcut jeans

As the name suggests, bootcut jeans are designed to be worn with boots. They have a slightly wider leg opening than straight-leg jeans, but the flare is more subtle than flared jeans. Cowboys initially popularized bootcut jeans, allowing them to quickly wear their boots over the jeans while maintaining a fashionable look.

             Flare Jeans

         Bootcut Jeans

Button/ Zipper closure

Zipper closure

Machine Wash

Machine Wash

Perfect rise

Low/medium/high Rise

9.75 oz ultra stretch denim

Stretch Denim

Slim through hip and thigh

Fitted seat and thigh

Flared leg opening

Sits below waist

4.1 Silhouette

The silhouette of flared jeans is dramatic and eye-catching. They accentuate curves and create a more pronounced hourglass shape.

On the other hand, bootcut jeans have a more relaxed silhouette. They provide a straighter line from the hips to the leg opening, offering a versatile and balanced look.

4.2 Leg Opening

The leg opening is a defining feature that sets flared and bootcut jeans apart. Flared jeans have a significant flare from the knee down, often extending several inches wider than the knee. This exaggerated flare draws attention and adds a touch of drama to any outfit.

In contrast, bootcut jeans have a subtle flare that allows them to accommodate boots while maintaining a streamlined appearance.

4.3 Style Variations

Both flared, and bootcut jeans come in various style variations to suit different preferences. Flared jeans can be found in high-waisted and low-rise options, with variations in the width of the flare.

Bootcut jeans also offer further rises and bursts, allowing individuals to find the perfect fit and style for their body shape and personal taste.

Popular Uses and Trends

Flared and bootcut jeans have experienced fluctuations in popularity over the years. Flared jeans peaked in the 1970s during the hippie movement and have made comebacks in subsequent decades. They are often associated with a retro or bohemian style and can be dressed up or down for different occasions.

On the other hand, bootcut jeans have remained a classic choice for those seeking a more versatile and timeless denim option. They are often favored for their ability to be worn with various shoe styles.

Flattering Different Body Types

Both flared, and bootcut jeans can be flattering for different body types. Flared jeans, with wider legs and emphasis on curves, are particularly suited for individuals with an hourglass or pear-shaped figure. They can help balance out wider hips and create a more proportionate look. With their more relaxed flare, bootcut jeans can suit a wider range of body types, including those with athletic or straight figures.

Choosing the Right Style

When choosing between flared and bootcut jeans, one must consider personal style preferences, body shape, and the occasion. Flared jeans are ideal for those looking to make a bold fashion statement or embrace a retro aesthetic.

On the other hand, bootcut jeans offer a more versatile and understated option that can easily transition from casual to semi-formal settings.

Fashion History

Flared and bootcut jeans have played significant roles in fashion history. Flared jeans were iconic in the 1960s and 1970s, representing rebellion and free-spiritedness. They came back in the 1990s and are worn by fashion-forward individuals today. Bootcut jeans, associated with cowboys and the Wild West, have a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. They have remained a staple in denim fashion, with minor style variations, throughout the years.

How to Style Flared and Bootcut Jeans

Styling flared and bootcut jeans allow for creative expression. Pair them with a flowy blouse and platform shoes for a retro-inspired look with flared jeans. Combine bootcut jeans with a fitted top and ankle boots to achieve a more modern outfit. Experiment with different cuts, washes, and accessories to create diverse looks that align with your style.

Taking Care of Flared and Bootcut Jeans

Proper care is essential to maintaining the longevity of flared and bootcut jeans. It is crucial to adhere to the care instructions given by the manufacturer., as denim materials can vary. To keep the color of your jeans intact and prevent fading, it’s best to wash them inside out in cold water. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach. Air drying is preferable to avoid shrinking or distorting the jeans.

Sustainability and Ethical Considerations

The fashion industry has increasingly emphasized sustainability and ethical practices in recent years. When purchasing flared or bootcut jeans, consider brands prioritizing sustainable materials, fair labor practices, and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. Choose durable jeans to reduce fast fashion’s environmental impact.

Celebrity Influence

Celebrities often shape fashion trends and flared and bootcut jeans have received their fair share of attention from the stars. Flared jeans have made a trendy comeback, thanks in part to the trendsetting celebrities who wear them both on and off the red carpet.

Bootcut jeans have remained popular among celebrities due to their timeless appeal and capacity to flatter diverse body shapes.


In conclusion, flared and bootcut jeans may share some similarities, but they possess distinct differences that make them unique. Flared jeans are dramatic and retro, while bootcut jeans are versatile and subtle. Understanding each style’s silhouette, leg opening, and various style variations allows individuals to make an informed choice based on their preferences and body type.

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