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You can pull off barrel jeans! Here are classy ways to style them for summer

Barrel jeans might get a bad rap, but you can style them up to look amazing.

We’re jumping straight into summer style, mom style, style in general… because a surprise style has taken over the fashion landscape. It put even the professionals on their heels a little bit. Even if you wanted to, this particular silhouette is impossible to ignore. Barrel leg jeans are officially the denim shape of 2024.

Studio 5 Style & Fashion Contributor Casey Matheny shared strategies to try barrel jeans yourself and what to look for in a good pair.


Why Barrel Jeans

These jeans are characterized by their distinct tapered leg, slim ankle, and slightly baggy knee area. This combination of relaxed and sleek makes them a perfect choice for the spring and summer seasons.

You might see this trend and think, “this is for the 20-somethings.” Casey sees it differently. She believes that barrel jeans are the new go-to jeans for moms. “I feel like the way they are described, it’s like, ‘I don’t want to wear those.’ But you know what? They are fun, they’re a little different, and they are comfortable and loose,” Casey emphasized.

The Versatility of Barrel Jeans

Despite the unconventional shape, barrel leg jeans are surprisingly versatile. You can find them in a variety of materials, including denim, twill, and canvas, so there’s a pair for every preference. Even if you’re not a fan of traditional denim during the summer, you can choose a different fabric and still enjoy the unique silhouette of barrel jeans.

How to Style Barrel Jeans

The Rule of Proportions

When it comes to styling barrel leg jeans, it’s all about balance. Casey said to follow the rule of proportions. “This is when you have a baggier pant that is more voluminous on bottom, stay tighter on top,” Casey explained. “It’s going to show off your waist, give you a nice silhouette, and then flare out.”

Similarly, if you’re wearing a tighter bottom, opt for a looser top. This rule of proportions helps create a balanced and stylish look.

For tops, cropped styles can be quite flattering. Cropped doesn’t mean you have to bare your belly. It’s all about showing off your waistline. “You can get the coverage that you want by doing a cami, or you can do a little tuck to hold it in place,” Casey advised.

Choosing the Right Accessories

Casey also helped us accessorize barrel jeans. She has loved layering a cardigan over shirts lately. “It just adds that third element… a little bit of visual interest,” she said. “When you’re doing that, try to stick to a color that feels more springy-summer.”

For shoes, she said to go for a sleeker silhouette to complement the jeans’ wider leg. “You don’t want the big dad sneaker with these. It’s just going to feel a little too bulky on bottom if you do that,” Casey advised. A pointed-toe flat would also work well.

Have Fun with It

Don’t be afraid to have fun with this trend. Pair your barrel jeans with a fun graphic tee or a bright cardigan. You could even try combining two trends by wearing overalls with one shoulder exposed. The key is to embrace the trend and make it your own. “We can all do hard things. Just have fun,” Casey said.

Barrel leg jeans are a fun, comfortable, and stylish addition to any summer wardrobe. They’re versatile, affordable, and can even transition into fall.

Find more style advice from Casey on her Instagram, @caseymathenystyle, or at

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