What Are Cigarette Jeans? {and Why I’m Embracing Them This Fall}

Ever since I fell in love with these AG Prima cigarette jeans at the #NSale, I’ve been getting two questions a lot, “What are cigarette jeans?” and “What is the difference between cigarette jeans and skinny jeans?”

outfit details

I thought those questions deserved a dedicated post, and I also wanted to share why I think they’re a great option for those of us who are stuck on our skinny jeans.

What are cigarette jeans?

Cigarette jeans have a slim silhouette and are cut straight from knee to ankle (like a cigarette), and they are typically ankle-length. (Ankle-length jeans end just above or below the ankle bone.)

cigarette jeans

Which begs the question…

What is the difference between cigarette and skinny jeans?

While cigarette jeans are cut straight from knee to ankle, skinny jeans follow the line of the leg and fit snugly from hip to ankle.

cigarette jeans // skinny jeans

Given that information, you may be wondering how cigarette jeans and straight jeans compare.

What is the difference between cigarette and straight leg jeans?

There isn’t much difference, but straight jeans are generally cut straight from hip to ankle, and cigarette jeans may be more fitted in the thigh area and are cut straight from knee to ankle.

Also, while cigarette jeans are usually ankle-length, straight leg jeans come in cropped, ankle-length, and full-length styles.

Basically, cigarette jeans are in between skinny jeans and straight leg jeans. 

What is the difference between cigarette jeans and skinny jeans?

skinny // cigarette // straight

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Women’s Pant Styles and Hem Lengths Demystified

Why am I embracing cigarette jeans right now?

Trends are a funny thing. A few years ago, when we were seeing the shift from bootcut and full-length straight jeans to skinny jeans, many of us were in an uproar over skinny jeans and perplexed as to how to wear them.

At the time, I slowly transitioned into wearing cigarette jeans because I couldn’t seem to embrace the skinny jeans that are tight all the way to the ankle.

Of course, my eye eventually adjusted, and I’ve been loving and wearing skinny jeans almost exclusively for a few years.

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Now that the pendulum is swinging back toward straighter styles, and straight crop jeans are trending, I find myself once again balking at a “new” silhouette.

Straight crop jeans don’t seem to flatter my particular body type, or maybe my eye will eventually adjust and I’ll be able to embrace them… but for now, the cigarette jean is a great way to transition into that new silhouette without going all-in.

cigarette jeans

outfit details

Now, before I get the comments about ignoring trends and wearing what looks best on you, let me say that I fully endorse each woman wearing what looks best on her individual body. Absolutely.

But, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the trends.

Many trends that seem far out and unrealistic at first end up being the mainstream style of the day in a few years.

I take trends with a grain of salt, and I’m selective about which trends I wear and how I incorporate them into my life, but ignoring trends is a sure way to look dated and out of touch fast.

I’ve always enjoyed staying a little ahead of the trends, but now that fashion blogging is my profession, it’s part of my job to watch the trends and determine which ones are going to have some staying power.

And I’m here to tell you, this one is going to stick around.

Pant styles and silhouettes are always evolving, and for the past few seasons, I’ve watched the straighter styles becoming more and more mainstream.

This year, I’m finally seeing straight crop jeans more than skinnies on the wearable fashion blogs I follow. It took a few years for them to firmly take hold, but now they’re definitely here.

So while I love (and still plan to wear) my skinnies, I’m also feeling the need to incorporate the straighter silhouette into some of my outfits to keep my style current.

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I’ve been experimenting with various styles of straight leg jeans for some time, and at the moment, I like how cigarette jeans can be cuffed to play into the cropped straight trend while maintaining a slim silhouette.

Or, better yet, look for crop cigarette jeans.

I recently found (and purchased) a pair of AG Prima crop jeans, which eliminates the need for a cuff. Even better!

What are cigarette jeans and why I love these cigarette crop jeans.

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Yes, I know I said that cigarette jeans are usually ankle-length, but I’ve started seeing jeans labeled crop cigarette, which is basically just a slimmer straight crop jean.

I know, it is confusing! I compare leg opening measurements when shopping online, to tell the difference. Typically a cigarette leg opening is around 12″ and a skinny jean is 10″.

Straight jeans are anywhere from 13″ to 16″, depending how wide they are in the knee. These jeans below are straight crop jeans from Gap.

outfit details

I’ve been trying a bunch of different denim styles, and I’ll share more in Thursday’s try-on haul.

Also, stay tuned for my post on how to wear the straight crop trend! (Or, crop cigarette jeans, if you prefer.)

Shop Cigarette and Straight Crop Jeans:

For the Pinners…

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41 Responses

  1. Well it sounds like you are all getting back into the swing of things and settling into a new school year. That’s different around here now as our daughter graduated university two years ago, and our son is on year 3 starting after Labor Day. He lives at home while traveling in… so yeah but for some reason I still get those butterfly feelings when I see the school buses lined up . I do like those jeans on you and they look way better than the Gap ones for sure. I don’t know that I’ve heard that term here yet or maybe just missed it. Will it say that on the jean tag? I buy pretty much all my jeans in store so I can try on. I still love the skinny style but I also have some straight style as well that I haven’t worn in awhile so may start putting them back into my wardrobe. I need to watch the length as I’m 5’3 and often the ankle hits at a normal length for me so I try to buy short or ankle if I can.. thanks for letting me know about this new cut as it may be a win win for me… 
    Have a great day 

  2. I am loving this look! The shape/length of the AG Prima, in particular, speaks to me. I wonder if they’ll come out with a little darker color as I tend to wear darker colors in the fall and winter. Great post!

  3. Happy first day of school to your kids and I hope they have a happy and safe year. My daughter will start her first day of her last college semester tomorrow and will graduate in Dec. Trust me when I tell you how quickly time in flying by and before you know it, your son will be graduating too. 
    Great post on the jeans today and especially liked that you said to wear what fits your body best. Trends will come and go but you only have one body and I am petite so skinny jeans seem to look the best on me and I have tried others. Jeans with too much fabric seem to overwhelm my body type but I have to say that I work in a senior community and some of the ladies do look at my skinny jeans with a discerning eye. But I know its because they weren’t in fashion during their era so I only wear them on Fridays. The Prima crop jeans do look best on you and definitely a good example of the difference. 

  4. It seems like cigarette jeans are what skinny jeans looked like when they first came out.  And today’s skinny jeans look like what used to be called jeggins. I’m glad to see the trend go away from such tight styles. 

  5. I just so appreciate that you share clothes that are wearable for the average person. We all want to look fabulous and keep our lifestyles in mind. You do that!

  6. I really appreciate this post, and I appreciate those that have asked you to explain what cigarette jeans are!  I definitely see the difference in fit, on you, between the cigarette jeans and the GAP straight legged jeans.  I agree that the cigarette jeans are much more flattering.  I have decided that I don’t like how I look from the back when my jeans are baggy below my bottom.  They make me feel and look really old.  From what you wrote, it sounds like a pair of cigarette jeans would be a great and simple option to pair with my booties.  Am I correct?  I am not good at cuffing my pant legs and having them look right.  I know you enjoyed the time with your friends this morning.  Have a great day!

    1. Yes, I think they’re going to be great with booties this fall. Don’t overthink the cuff. It can be neat or sloppy, depending on your style aesthetic. Just experiment to get the right length.

  7. This is so helpful. I’ve tried a few pairs of the straighter leg jeans over the past year and haven’t found ones that work on me and my short, thin legs. This silhouette, especially a cropped version, looks like it’d be fun to try. Thank you!

  8. I’m having trouble seeing how these crop/ankle length cigarette styles are going to transfer over into winter! A solid 3 months here in the Midwest require that ankles be covered or else they are frozen going to/from the car, etc. My skinnies fit into my calf/knee height boots and settle nicely at the top of my booties. I’m 5’7″ and long legged so the ankle heights seem to be even shorter on me and expose so much skin. Guess I just need to experiment with bootie/jean combos.

  9. I’m going to admit that I actually like those Gap jeans on you. It is a different look to be sure, but it’s cute. Not saying I don’t like the skinnies and the cigarettes (and I still love those citizen jeans on you), but there is something about the Gap jeans I found appealing. I know at least for me, I like the light wash when the leg is wider, so there’s that. Is there a slight taper to the leg? Or maybe the illusion of a slight taper because they aren’t cuffed? Anyway, don’t toss the look too quickly! I know it can be hard to see yourself in new looks. I have loved skinnier jeans and ankle length – had a hard time with bootcuts and flares (and pants dragging on the ground) – so I hope something slim stays reasonably in. That being said, while it’s important to be true to yourself, trying something every now and again is a good thing, even if it takes some getting used to.

  10. I’ve bought two pairs of straight leg jeans. They do take some getting used to. They have been hanging in my closet for three weeks. I’m still wearing cropped slim or cuffed skinnies with my sandals. Perhaps, once it’s closed toe shoe or bootie weather, they’ll feel good wearing. I’m slow to trends. Your detailed comparison was very helpful. I walk into jean  stores and feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. 

  11. I love the new look. I have every conceivable look in jeans over the years as they seem to come and go – these will and do fit right in. I know you hear this all the time, but I really appreciate how you put together outfits and keep us updated. And then there’s this, enjoy your young family and this time of their lives. It all goes by so fast. sniff sniff

  12. FYI – Loft has Free Shipping and 50% off today. I believe it is for today only.

    Thanks for explaining about cigarette jeans. I like straight jeans and ankle jeans (no hemming) so I should like these!

  13. HI! You do a tremendous job, Jolynne! I love the outfit at the very top of this page – the off-white top underneath the 3 colored cardigan. I did not see it listed anywhere (forgive me if you have posted it). Can you tell me where they are from and what they are called? THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! Carol

  14. Very timely post- thank you for explaining! 
    I will definitely be going the cigarette jeans shape – I am slightly tiring of the skinny look albeit very comfy and convenient.  The cigarette jean is slightly more sophisticated with all the advantages of the skinnies!
    Best wishes 

  15. Great explanation – thank you! I really like these cigarette jeans. Glad to see skinnies go – or at least have alternatives! 

  16. Thank you for this post! I’m not a fan of the crop style, but love my skinnies the cigarette style looks awesome and I can’t wait to go shopping.

  17. Thank you! I’m laughing because I have slender legs and very thin ankles and I have yet to find skinny jeans that actually fit like they do on others. Now I can just say they’re cigarette jeans and be more trendy!

    I always appreciate your posts. Thank you for encouraging us to keep our style current, not necessarily trendy.

  18. Great informative post. I was wondering the difference between cigarette and straight crop.  I think I’d like the cigarette now that you explained it. I’m having a hard time embracing the new trend after loving my skinnies.  I wish they’d make jeans with less whispering. I just want solid color.  

  19. I wore enough of those jeans when I was a teenager and we called the high waters. Never again will I wear those types of jeans.

  20. Here’s to another school year.  Loved yesterday’s pics of your son. So typical. Took me back a few years & put a smile on my face.  Two of my grandkids started today. It was pouring buckets and they stood for their annual pic in their hooded rain gear.  My granddaughter had been upset that she had gym her first day and needed to wear shorts, ruining her first day photo. (Problems of a 2nd grader). Well, under all that rain gear who knows what she had on. 
    Picked up my first pair of AG’s & got the Prima ankle. They are my reward for hitting my goal weight and maintaining it. Fit like a glove. I’ve grown fond of skinny jeans but I like the cigarette leg. It doesn’t feel baggy like so many other leg styles do, even most straights are baggy on me.  I’m looking forward to getting a lot of wear out of my new cigs.  Another great tutorial, J-Lynne. Thanks!

  21. The problem I’m having is finding straight crop jeans or cigarette jeans that are the right length on my long legs. For a good ankle length on me I need around a 29” inseam. The AG, Paige, and Agolde are all too short on me as are the less expensive brands. Mother is my favorite denim brand at the moment but I haven’t found any of theirs in a flattering cigarette style that could be worn with a blazer or nice blouse for work. 

  22. Informative post!  I think cigarette jeans will be a good style for me once I find one with a rise I like.  I like how skinnies look on me, but they are too hot for me in the summer (and I’m usually always cold?).   

    Thanks for breaking it down and showing examples.  I’m going to keep searching and be thankful for Nordstrom’s free shipping & returns in the mean time. ; )

  23. When jeans start becoming wider, do I keep my skinny jeans to wear so I can tuck them into my boots? My knee high boots are snug in my calf like they should be. I worry I won’t have room to get wider jeans into the boots…. Or, will boots go out of style as well?

    1. I’m curious to see how that plays out. For now, I’m not giving up my skinnies — I’m wearing both silhouettes. But I expect over time the skinnies tucked into boot trend will go out of vogue, as it did before.

  24. Jo-Lynne…suggestions on some petite length brands of cigarette jeans that would work on those of us who are “vertically challenged”? I’m barely 5″1 and think most of these would be too long on me.

  25. Thank you for writing this! I’ve always loved the cigarette cut pant (a lot of what they wore in the 50s/60s) and have been so happy to see it coming back. Trying to explain the cut though has always been a bit of a challenge. Explaining where the pant straightens out at (hip vs. knee) was the best explanation I have heard.

  26. Great explanation especially like the side by side pics. I came here after reading the current Vanity Fair article about Catherine O’Hara article that says:

    (She) steps out onto her cheetah-spotted doormat to greet me. O’Hara wears a simple white blouse and black cigarette AG jeans, her feet in children’s pinstripe socks and black loafers. 

    I immediately had to figure out what cigarette jeans are. Your blog is great. 

    I am going to search but do you have any articles about pocket placement on jeans? I bought a pair of American Eagle jeggings which fit great but the pockets are unbelievably low. 

  27. But i guess straight jeans quite look better than cigratte jeans as cigratte jeans look like almost skinny jeans type. But however it was awesome to read yours blog and i got to know the difference between them. As am planning to start my own blog….. I was just searching for some ideas that how to start….. And i got the idea from you.

    Thank you.

  28. Now that we’re going into the 2022 fall/2023 winter do you think we could still get away with cigarette jeans? And if so where do I buy them?

    1. Definitely. They’re really a classic style that always works if they suit your style, but they play into the slim straight leg silhouette that is on trend right now.

      Madewell has a cigarette leg jean, although they call them Stovepipe: https://shopstyle.it/l/bM5H2

      The AG Prima is their cigarette style. These are on sale at Bloomingdale’s: https://shopstyle.it/l/bM5F8

      And Joe’s has this light wash pair on sale at Nordstrom: https://shopstyle.it/l/bM5Gc

      Evereve has a few pairs too: https://shopstyle.it/l/bM5GT

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