Jessica Simpson, jeans

Women show off different styles in the Jessica Simpson jeanswear collection. The type of jeans you wear can say a lot about you.

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Think your jeans utter nary a word about you? We beg to differ.

Take bell bottom jeans, for example. These pants -- with their iconic bell-shaped hems -- were introduced innocently enough (sailors in the U.S. Navy first wore them in the 19th century). By the late 1960s, however, these exaggerated flares had been adapted by fashion-forward teenagers, not only as adolescent garb, but also to show a generation's counterculture sensibilities. Even today bell bottoms speak so symbolically they've become a key emblem of the 1970s, as much as a tie-dye headband.

Sporting bell bottoms in modern times is either retro-chic or simply out of date, depending on your overall sense of style. Luckily, you've got plenty of other denim options -- from skinny jeans to boyfriend jeans -- that speak volumes, too.

So what are the new fashion rules for wearing denim? Just one: Denim rules!

Jeans, in all their body-contouring comfort, can be worn everywhere -- from the office to girlfriend luncheons to after-work cocktail parties. Whether you want to live in denim at work or play, the key is adapting jean-altering trends to suit your own style.

What do your jeans say about you? From revealing classical leanings to trend-spotting clues, we'll tell you how your jeans are spilling the beans. But first, we'll look at the different types of jeans out there.