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Tapered jeans are jeans that have a narrow opening at the ankle. Their cut contrasts with boot-cut and flared jeans, which feature a wide ankle opening to accommodate boots or other bulky footwear. They can be designed with a relaxed fit or a tight, "skinny" fit. They are often constructed of denim but can instead be made from a denim blend that employs spandex or another material that lends stretch. Over time, tapered leg jeans have come into and gone out of style many times.
Materials from which tapered jeans are constructed range from 100% cotton denim to denim and synthetic fiber blends that give the jean additional stretch. Tapered jeans may be constructed with a high or a low waist, and because they are made with a smaller leg opening at the bottom than at the top, they tend to give the wearer an inverted triangle appearance, making the hips appear relatively wide. The cut tends to appeal to those who like to wear jeans with trendy boots, because doing so allows the jeans leg to be tucked in so that the boot can become a focal point of the outfit. These jeans are also sometimes worn with high heels.
Some notable fashion trends related to music have featured tapered-leg jeans. Perhaps one of the most famous male performers to ever wear tapered jeans was Elvis Presley. Later, these jeans became popular among glam rock and rockabilly aficionados in the 1970s. Punk fashion embraced the tapered trend, often opting for tapered jeans that were faded and torn. Acid-washed, skin-tight tapered jeans appeared in the 1980s, when heavy metal bands made them popular through music videos.
Some tapered jeans feature an ankle so slim that the manufacturer must place a zipper at the ankle so that the opening can fit over the foot. Skinny jeans are a type of tapered jean that features a tight fit throughout in addition to a narrow ankle opening. They are sometimes made so tight that they must be constructed with a spandex blend for additional stretch.
There are many different terms that can be used to describe tapered leg jeans. The use of any of these names usually correlates with age, since the terms relate to fashion styles that last no longer that one generation. Some people use the word "pegs" to describe jeans with a tapered leg, while others prefer the name "drainpipes." "Pencil pants" and "cigarette pants" may also be used to describe a pant with a slim ankle.