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How to Shop the Most Flattering Denim Silhouettes for Your Body

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Fashion's crushing hard on denim right now, turning old silhouettes new with exaggerated frayed hems, patches, and unexpected cuts. Good jeans are always worth the investment, but now there are jackets and skirts and tops and even luxury denim pieces vying for your attention, so we've rounded up a few of our favorite styles this season to help you make tough choices.


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Flared Jeans

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Flared jeans made a huge comeback a few season ago thanks to brands like Gucci and Kenzo — overtaking the fashion world and making street style photo galleries look like '70s throwbacks. Anyone under 5'4 has traditionally considered their exaggerated fit to be a problem, but it's not.

Flares can be remarkably flattering on everyone, not just 6'0 ft. tall babes with legs for days. Fashion-forward shorties out there can nail the trend by paying attention to the knee-break and the length. Make sure the flare starts around the knee rather than the calf or ankle. And stick to a skinnier silhouette, because the bigger the bell on your bottoms, the wider you'll look.

Amapô, $118; Citizens of Humanity, $240; FRAME Denim, $271; Paige Denim (Petite), $199.


Cropped Flare Jeans

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You're getting the best of both worlds with the cropped flare. As its name suggests, this pant is the chic offspring of both the flared pant and the cropped one. This abbreviated pant length, which hits right above the ankle, was co-singed by designers like Mary Katrantzou and Tibi this past fall, but you can find them just about anywhere that specializes in denim.

Their best attribute? You can wear them with almost any shoe. For a chill, laid-back brunch date, pair them with Adidas sneakers or dress them up with sleek mules for a night out.

Victoria, Victoria Beckham, $395; Joe's Jeans, $179; DL 1961, $178; MiH Jeans, $270.


Denim Cut-Offs

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Denim cut-offs may already be on your running list of #Basic things to phase out in 2016, but hear us out. Not only do they encompass the three C's (cute, convenient, and classic), they're also pretty damn comfortable, especially when the weather warms up.

If you're really worried about looking like everyone else, add a few personal touches by customizing them with pins or patches. And choose a pair that's long enough to cuff if you're looking for a little extra coverage back there.

Zara, $40; Levi's, $98; Alexander Wang, $200; Rag & Bone, $175.


Frayed Hems

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Brands like Marques' Almeida and 3x1 popularized exaggerated frayed hems last year, offering a refreshing alternative to the usual ripped and distressed jeans we've come to know and love. If you're going to opt for a frayed hemline on your denim, make sure your shoes are just as eye-catching. Try a patent leather glove boot or a stack heel in an unexpected pop of white.

3x1, $295; Marques' Almeida, $172; Vale, $220; MSGM, $189.


Denim Jackets

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Donate the worn-out one your mom bought you in middle school, and invest in a denim jacket you actually love. Levi's may still be the best in the game when it comes to these, but high-end brands like Off-White and Diesel offer some nice takes on the admired classic as well.

Diesel, $168; Off-White, $536; Levi's Made & Crafted, $225; AG Jeans, $168.


Boyfriend Jeans

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Everyone loves to hate on the boyfriend jean (insert corny joke about not needing a boyfriend to pull them off, here), but they're less scary than you think.

Ideally, your BF denim should fit true to size at the waist and the waist only. Everywhere else should look a size bigger than what you'd normally go for. Don't be afraid of rips or distressed patches, and don't forget to cuff those hems.

(Side Note: If you can actually wear your boyfriend's jeans, and he's okay with you swiping them every once in a while, your life is literally a romantic comedy, and we're all insanely jealous).

Current/Elliott, $225; Topshop, $75; Lucky Brand (Plus), $99: Calvin Klein Jeans, $126.


Mom Jeans

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Made to fit high on the waist with a tapered leg, mom jeans are the quintessentially '90s denim trend we just can't seem to let go of. Remember the normcore trend that took off in 2014? LOL, me neither.

That said, if you're searching for a way to modernize the silhouette for 2016, wear yours with a pair of heeled loafers or lace-up ballet flats instead of plain white sneakers.

Topshop (Petite), $75; ASOS, $59; Free People, $78; BDG, $59.


Bootcut Jeans

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Bootcut jeans are back — again. The curve-hugging denim with a moderate flare may conjure up images of '60s style icons like Jane Birkin or Françoise Hardy, but they're also associated with the not-so-distant past we pretend to forget. I'm talking about their early '00s revival — seen in low-rise form on everyone from Paris Hilton to Britney Spears.

Opt for a pair in a darker rinse for an added slimming effect. Then toss on a white button down or a denim shirt in a lighter wash to streamline the whole look. And don't forget your cowgirl boots. The Western trend is back, too, so why not?

Hudson (Petite), $189; Joe's Jeans, $179; Wrangler, $59; Lucky Brand, $129.


Denim Mini Skirts

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Denim mini skirts are about as early '00s as it gets, but thanks to a handful of designers from Vetements to Louis Vuitton, they received a much-needed update for spring. To avoid looking like a "Mean Girls" extra, resist the urge to wear them with other notable trends of that era. You know, rhinestone tanks, frosted lip gloss, the Von Dutch trucker hat you're secretly still holding on to.

ASOS, $59; Vetements, $1,160; Étoile Isabel Marant, $280; Mother, $188.


Skinny Jeans

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I'm 99% sure you don't need to be introduced to this slender denim silhouette because you probably have about three to four pairs in your closet right now. But for new skinny jean converts, or for those looking to find the "perfect pair" for their body type, we've got you covered.

The key to finding the right ones for you lies in the stretchiness. Denim with a bit of an elastic stretch can be flattering on just about everyone.

R13, $325; Two by Vince Camuto (Plus), $99; L'Agence, $225; Madewell, $128.


Straight Leg Jeans

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Straight leg jeans are exactly what their name suggests. They differ from the skinny or bootcut fits in that they remain the same width down the entire leg. Most are worn high on the waist, too, which makes them sort of resemble the mom jean. Keep a clean line all the way down by making sure the hems don't venture past your ankle.

The Row, $550; Topshop, $75; Vanessa Seward, $280; A.P.C., $195.

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