Most people have one or more pairs of jeans in a drawer or in their closet. While jeans may pretty much look alike, no matter who wears them, there are differences between jeans made for women and those made for men.

Although the most significant differences between men’s and women’s jeans are the size and cut, there are also subtle contrasts some people may not notice. We are here to break down all the differences and help you understand them.

men and women wearing blue jeans

Key takeaways

  • Men’s and women’s jeans use different sizing.
  • There is a difference in the pockets.
  • Men’s jeans have flys that open to the right. Women’s jeans are to the left.
  • There are differences in material and sizing.
  • The inseam measurement is different between men’s and women’s jeans.
  • Men’s and women’s jeans differ in button placement and zippers.
  • Most times men’s jeans are longer in length compared to women’s jeans.

What Are the Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Jeans?

If you have ever tried to wear a pair of jeans made for the opposite sex, you may find they do not fit or look as expected. The following are some key differences between men’s and women’s jeans.

Men's vs women's jeans
Men’s vs women’s jeans

Differences in Sizes

One of the most significant differences between men’s and women’s jeans is the sizing. Men’s jeans tend to be sized the same universally. For instance, men’s jeans will have sizes such as 32, 34, 36, and 38.

These sizes mean the circumference of the waist in inches. For instance, if a man wears a size 34 in jeans, he has a 34-inch waist.

Women’s sizes are a little more complicated. For example, the United States uses a numerical sizing system.

There is no universal sizing, making it more challenging for women to purchase a pair of jeans without trying them on. What is a size 4 in one brand might be more like a 6 in another brand.

Another difference in the sizes between men’s and women’s jeans is the way they sit on the hips. Some jeans are meant to hug the hips and lay lower than the waist.

Jeans made to sit in this position will typically require a larger size than a woman normally wears for her waist.

Differences in the Pockets

If you were to try to differentiate between a pair of men’s jeans and a pair of women’s the pockets usually give you the answer. Men’s back jean pockets are usually square, while women’s are more V-shaped.

The pockets of jeans also reveal another difference. On most women’s jeans, the pockets are placed slightly higher than on men’s jeans.

women's jeans back pockets
women’s jeans’ back pockets

Differences in the Fly

The fly is another area of distinction, but it is not always reliable. Men’s jeans always have flys that open to the right. Women’s jeans may have flys that open to the left or right.

Differences in the Leg Openings

When comparing men’s and women’s jeans, you will also find that men’s leg openings are generally wider while a pair of women’s jeans are slimmer. Of course, this distinction does not prove true when comparing different jeans styles, like bell bottoms.

Differences in Material

Usually, men’s jeans have a more durable, thicker material and a distressed look, while women’s jeans are made from softer denim and have a smoother design.

women's jeans on wood floor
women’s jeans

Differences in Style

Women’s jeans often have feminine touches, such as decorative buttons, embroidered stitching, and other beautiful accents. Men’s jeans manufacturers often take a straightforward approach to designing jeans.

Differences in the Inseam

Generally, the inseam on women’s jeans is around 31 to 32 inches. The inseam on men’s jeans is around 34 inches. If you cannot tell the differences between the two in other ways, you can usually tell by the inseam.

men's jeans front and back
men’s jeans front and back

Differences in Button Placement

You can also determine whether a pair of jeans is men’s or women’s by the button placement. Most brands place the button on the right side for men’s jeans and the left side for women’s.

Differences in the Zippers

There are also differences between men’s and women’s zippers. For the most part, zippers are going to be at least one to two inches longer on men’s jeans than on women’s.

The zipper length is not a definitive way to tell them apart, but you will often find this difference present in men’s and women’s jeans.

Differences in Length

Women are usually at least four inches shorter than men, with some females much shorter. If you are comparing the differences between men’s and women’s jeans, you are going to find the length of men’s jeans to be longer.

Men’s jeans always have flys that open to the right. Women’s jeans may have flys that open to the left or right.

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How to Tell If a Pair of Jeans Is Good Quality

Now that you know the key differences between men’s and women’s jeans, you need to learn how to ensure you are purchasing a quality pair. After all, not all manufacturers take care to make sure their jeans are durable and well-made.

The following are a few things you can look for when shopping for jeans. If you find jeans with these attributes, you are sure to find a lasting and comfortable pair.

  • Look for a heavy weight of denim. If the denim is too lightweight, they are likely cheaply made and will break down quickly.
  • Check the stitching. Look for stitching that is strong and durable. Inspect to ensure there are no loose threads.
  • If you want jeans that are form-fitting, you need to look for stretch. Scrutinize for denim blended with spandex. Stretchy jeans will not only make your jeans fit and look better, but they will also give you greater comfort.
  • While most people want to save as much money as possible, you generally get what you pay for with clothing. While price should not be the only deciding factor, buying cheap jeans is not a good idea.
men wearing jeans against a red color wall

Men’s and Women’s Jeans Are Made Differently

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the distinctions between men’s and women’s jeans. It is especially helpful to understand the differences if you are purchasing used jeans because sellers do not always categorize them correctly. With the information above, you can always select the right jeans.

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