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Guide to Kids' Jeans

Understanding Wash, Rise, Cut and Fit


7 For All Mankind

Dark Wash, Classic Rise, Bootcut Jeans by 7 For All Mankind

Jeans. They are a staple of the modern wardrobe. Everyone wears jeans, especially kids. Parents love them because they match just about everything, making it easier to get kids dressed. Kids love them because they are comfortable and durable. Jeans are the perfect trousers for going to school, playing outside or just hanging out.

These days, however, jeans come in a multitude of washes, rises, cuts and fits. Reading the labels on jeans can get confusing. What does it all mean?


Wash refers to the color and finish of a pair of jeans.

  • Dark Wash
    Dark washed jeans are the original denim; they are a deep indigo color and are often a bit stiff.
  • Stone Washed
    These jeans are pre-washed and weathered to create a softer look and feel. The color is faded and the cotton in the jeans has a worn appearance.
  • Dirty Wash
    Dirty washed jeans are like stone washed jeans in that they have been pre-washed to make them softer and to give them that worn-in look, but they have also been treated in a way that makes them appear dirty, or tinged beige, brown or khaki.
  • Distressed
    Distressed jeans are highly faded and are finished off with holes, rips, tears and often fraying hems.


The rise on a pair of jeans determines how high or low the jeans will sit on the waist.

  • Classic Rise
    This traditional denim look is quickly coming back in fashion. A classic rise comes right below or at the belly button.
  • High Waist
    High waist jeans have a rise that comes above the belly button. For 2008-2009 we are seeing a few trouser style jeans with a high rise and wide pant leg.
  • Low Rise
    Low rise jeans sit well below the belly button, above or just at the hip bones.
  • Ultra-Low Rise
    These jeans sit even lower than low rise jeans, usually below the hip bones.


The cut of a pair of jeans refers to how the garment is shaped; this usually refers to the legs of the jeans.

  • Straight Leg
    Straight leg jeans have a uniform fit from the top of the pant leg to the bottom. The bottom does not flare out, nor does it come in at the ankle.
  • Boot Cut
    Boot cut jeans are slim in the thigh area and begin to angle out below the knee to make a moderately wide hem at the bottom.
  • Skinny
    The skinny jean is tight throughout. These jeans usually have a higher percentage of elastic in the denim to keep them slim yet comfortable.
  • Flare Leg
    Like boot cut jeans, flare leg jeans angle out below the knee, but much more so, creating a bell-like shape at the hem.


The length of a jean determines where on the leg the hem will hit.

  • Classic Length
    The hem on a classic length pair of jeans should come below the ankle and stop at the heel.
  • Ankle Length
    Ankle length jeans should fit with the hem coming down to above the ankle bone.
  • Capri Length
    Capris are short jeans, with the hem stopping at mid-calf level.


The fit of a pair of jeans refers to how the garment sits on the body; it especially refers to the seat and thigh area.

  • Slim Fit
    Slim Fit jeans are tight in the seat and thigh area.
  • Regular Fit
    Regular fit jeans are slim in the seat and thigh area, but are roomy enough to be comfortable.
  • Relaxed Fit
    These jeans are roomy in the seat and thigh area, but not baggy.
  • Loose Fit
    Loose fit jeans are very roomy and often baggy throughout.
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