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For the past decade, skinny and straight-leg jeans have reigned supreme. Everyone and their moms wore second-skin bottoms with tapered or semi-tapered hems that weren’t exactly the most comfortable—or forgiving—bottom of choice. Well, the skinny jeans trend eventually evolved and shifted into mom jeans (high-waisted denim with a more relaxed fit), which have now bowed down to a new denim trend: dad jeans.
Dad jeans, in case you’re not familiar with them, are a little like mom jeans—but just different. Both have a more relaxed and comfortable fit and a high waist, but dad jeans have more of a straight-leg fit with a looser leg profile, while mom jeans are usually tapered around the hips and thighs. Consider dad jeans the denim cousin of your pandemic sweats: They’re here to support you in whatever you want to do and have zero plans to constrain you along the way.
Like all jeans, there’s some variation in the overall fit of dad jeans depending on the brand and style. And, of course, some dad jeans are better than others. These are the ones that would make your old man proud.
For a summer-friendly spinoff of the dad jean trend, try mixing up your color palette with these ultra-flattering off-white jeans (also available in a slew of other colorways, too).
Back in the ‘90s, your dad probably rocked his own Levi’s. Pay homage to his original look with this roomy pair. It comes in six different washes, allowing you to find that just-right look. A mid-rise and straight leg give a sleek look (as far as dad jeans go) with a little extra room to spare.
These slouchy, oversized jeans give off a casual-cool vibe. Made from 100 percent cotton, they’re incredibly soft to the touch, with a worn-in look and feel. The jeans have multiple rips at the knee, making them perfect for laid-back off days (read: not work). Just a heads up: Madewell notes that they have “zero” stretch. But with a silhouette this baggy, you really don’t need it.
We Wore What High Waisted Dad Jeans
Looking for dad jeans with a little something extra? This pair from We Wore What features a removable chain to show off the high waist. Straight legs and a dark wash give off a serious ’90s vibe. Pair it with a V-neck or form-fitting sweater for an effortless look.
If lazy Sundays were a pair of jeans, these would be it. These distressed dad jeans feature a comfy, baggy silhouette and ripped knees for an effortlessly cool look. A light wash and soft fabric only add to the vintage feel.
For just $35, H&M’s wide-high jeans are some of the most affordable dad jeans out there. Choose between three pale washes, including one distressing at the thighs. These jeans look great with a plain t-shirt or a silky going-out top.
Gap High Rise Loose ’90s Jeans
Gap’s dad jeans are crafted with 99 percent organically grown cotton that’s good for both you and the environment. They feature slightly stretchy denim and five pockets so you can keep all your stuff close at hand. Customize your length and inseam—choose between short, regular, and long—for the look that’s right for you.
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