The Difference Between Lee's Regular and Relaxed Jeans

by Chance Henson

The right jeans -- whether relaxed or regular -- are both comfortable and flattering.

Caroline McCredie/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Years ago, choosing a pair of jeans was no more difficult than choosing a pair of socks; they either fit or they didn't. Times have changed and, like many modern jean companies, Lee manufactures a wide variety of styles. Among the most popular Lee jean styles for men are the regular and relaxed fits. Although these two fits have similar elements, they are each designed with a number of distinctive characteristics.

Backseat

The seat of jeans is an important part of the fit and in deciding if the pants are right for your body type. Relaxed fit jeans offer a non-constrictive seat. They are designed to rest against the rear and provide ample breathing room. Regular fit jeans, however, provide a sense of conformity to your physique. Although they are designed to hug the rear comfortably, they are not as form fitting as Lee's slim fit jeans.

Thigh

The way that jeans fit and feel around your thighs is an important factor to consider before committing to a purchase. Although the relaxed fit is designed with a wider leg than the regular or slim fit, it is not as spacious as the loose fit Lee jeans. The relaxed fit jeans should be loose without swallowing your thighs. Regular fit jeans provide some space between your thighs and jeans but conform more closely to the shape of your legs.

Leg

Although Lee manufactures relaxed and regular fits with both straight and bootcut leg styles, only the relaxed fit is made with a tapered leg. Straight leg jeans use a consistent leg width from hip to hem, while bootcut jeans measure slightly wider at the ankle than they do at the knee. Conversely, tapered jeans measure slightly less at the hem than they do at the knee. Straight leg jeans are the most versatile because their smooth, clean lines allow them to easily be dressed up or down. Bootcut jeans are most appropriate when worn with bulky shoes or boots. A tapered leg will prevent your jeans from dragging along the ground and allude to the slim fit design without being constrictive.

Body Types

While relaxed and regular fit Lee jeans are comfortable for many men, they can appear unflattering for certain body types. Men who are thick in the midsection and muscularly bulky men will find that relaxed fit jeans are both comfortable and provide proportion to their physiques. Bootcut jeans create linear proportion from hip to hem for body types with large midsections and average legs. Men with thin to average body types or slender legs should avoid relaxed fit jeans, as they may appear billowy or sloppy. These men will find that straight leg regular fit jeans are often the most flattering.

Photo Credits

  • Caroline McCredie/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.