Greetings, friends! Yesterday I posted about what jeans are in style for 2021, and today we’re taking a deeper dive into how to style bootcut jeans this fall. Full-length straight and relaxed bootcut jeans are making a comeback, and I recently added this pair of high waist ripped bootcut jeans to my closet. I’m really liking this silhouette!
These aren’t the bootcut jeans of the early 90s — low-rise and fitted through the hips and thighs. As much as I loved those at the time, this pair looks more modern and fresh to my eye with the high rise and relaxed fit. They have a 30 1/2″ inseam, so they require a bit of a heel or a seamstress, but I like the longer length with the relaxed fit because it’s slimming.
Also notice how they’re not as long as we were wearing them before. It used to be that bootcut jeans should end 1/2″ from the floor, with shoes on, and that’s still fine. But you definitely do NOT want to see them touching or dragging on the floor, and I actually think an inch or two off the floor looks a little more modern. I didn’t measure but I’d say these are somewhere in that range.
These are very subtle differences, I realize, but as they say, the devil’s in the details! Okay, maybe that’s not the right expression, but you get the point.
One of the best things about full-length bootcut jeans is that it opens up a whole world of shoe options. Almost any bootie works with these jeans because you don’t have to worry about the shaft height or width interfering with the hem of the jeans.
These are the Marc Fisher Gadri boots from the Nordstrom sale, but they’re back to full price for the time being. DSW has a very similar pair for under $100, and I’m sure there are other alternatives out there.
I prefer a bit of a heel with bootcut jeans, but it depends on your body type. If you have long legs, you can probably get away with a lower heel. You can also play around with the length of your top — a shorter top generally looks better when wearing a low heel because it lengthens the line of the leg.
In this case, I’m not wearing a particularly short top, but it’s not long and baggy either. This sweater vest (unfortunately low inventory) is about 24″ long. It’s also somewhat fitted, which is figure-flattering and helps off-set the extra volume in the jeans.
I also styled these jeans with a t-shirt and utility jacket. Because they have such a high waist, I front-tucked my t-shirt but bloused it out a bit over the waistband. The addition of the jacket on top helps keep the overall proportions in check.
These boots also have a 3″ heel, but with an additional 1″ platform, so the jeans are definitely a good 2 inches off the ground. I like how the hem of the front of the jeans barely touch the top of the boot.
And then I played around with these jeans in my bedroom a few weeks ago. Here’s how they look with a fashion sneaker. I don’t love the way the jeans buckle on top of the shoe in front, but they’re okay from the back — they aren’t dragging on the ground or anything. It’s definitely a sloppier look than with the boots, but it might work for casual wear.
And this is a bootie with a 2 1/2″ heel. They definitely work with these, so they will probably work with a 1″ or 1 1/2″ heel just fine. This 30 1/2″ inseam is pretty versatile!
It will be interesting to see how this trend plays out as we get into the fall season. I’m still seeing a lot of straight crops on the websites (see how to style crop flares for fall) but I think we may start to see the return of longer jeans when cold weather arrives.
What say you? Are you on board with this trend, or are you going to sit this one out?
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photos: Alison Cornell