Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best Jeans

The Best Jeans

Today I'd love to show you some of my favorite places to buy jeans. Some might surprise you, others will be easy on your wallet, others are aspirational if you really love to spend on jeans. If you love the jeans that you have, check back in tomorrow for fresh ideas for wearing jeans!

Best places to start

Old Navy

I know, some of you are going to wonder about this choice. Here's the thing: I think any woman looking for a new pair of jeans needs to get out of her comfort zone. Unless you LOVE the way your jeans look on you-and everyone around you does, too-then step away from the store where you've been buying them. Step into a store, like Old Navy or a department store, that has lots of options. Old Navy has the Rock Star (slightly lower rise and skinny legs), the Sweetheart (curvier fit), a good boyfriend style, and others. Since they're not particularly expensive, you might try a style that you're testing out without feeling so worried about the price that you won't go for it. Department stores like Macys, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales tend to have a good selection of sizes, too. If you're a 00-2, start at a department store because you'll be more likely to find styles made for adults rather than the low-rise, whiskered styles you'll find at stores geared toward teens. The same if you're a 14-16 because you might fit in multiple departments and can try on a variety of styles in the same place. Now is the time to get in some good jeans, too, because a lot of department stores have big after-Christmas sales!

Another great place to start? Eddie Bauer. That's right, along with Levi's (which makes sizes 2-24), Eddie Bauer recently released a line of jeans made to accentuate different body types. Oprah loves their jeans made to avoid the gap that sometimes happens when jeans can't accommodate a waistline that's smaller than the butt. And read Marian's review here.

Eddie Bauer


Best Expensive Jeans

Most of my jeans come from the following places: The Gap, Target, TJMaxx, and Levis. Clearly, I don't value spending a lot on jeans. But I think I am comfortable shopping in those stores for jeans while others might not be. Here's why: I follow a plan (more on that below) to find jeans that I love, and I like to have a few pairs. I'd rather spend less on a few than more on one, basically. What I look for is a consistent wash (no whiskers or heavy fading), a flattering shape for my body, and a higher rise (helps flatten my stomach).

But, if you want to spend more money, Rag & Bone are some of the most flattering jeans I've ever tried on. And J Brand. However, I'd also list Zara and H&M as the two best places to find knock offs of expensive jeans. No, the fit won't be as good, but they're often, oh, an eighth of the price so in my mind, it's worth it.

Another great mid-range expensive (but not designer expensive) jean is at Madwell.

Madewell's jeans fit well, wear well, and have nice adult washes (nothing too wild, no rhinestones pockets). Don't get nervous if you look at their website and see all of the skinny jeans. Scroll down for straight legs, boyfriends, and bootlegs.

The Best Skinny Jeans

Abercrombie and Fitch
Yes, Abercrombie and Fitch. I know, I know! They're such a teenage store. Go in, hold your head high, don't ever breathe in any of their too-much-cologne-air, and bring back your size and two sizes up in with you to try on. That, or order two pair to try on at home. These skinny jeans are great for adult women for a few reasons: A&F jeans hold their shape so you don't have to wash them every time you wear them, they fade well, they come in a dark wash, they are a mid rise, which helps with good posture and shape, and they have ankle length for those on the shorter side. As of my writing, these are on big-time sale.

Asos Curve

Asos Curve
These have a lot going for them: they're soft, they have a higher rise (very flattering, just don't tuck your shirt into it all around the waistband, a front tuck is ok), and the black denim instantly toughens up any top you put with it from a t-shirt to a casual sweater.

The Plan

Grab your size and two sizes up and down in every style you might consider in a dark or medium dark wash and try them on with a flattering shirt that you like. Do not try them on without a shirt. Do not try them on staring just at your butt. Try them on with a shirt (preferably one that you own) that you would normally wear with them (longer with skinny jeans, for example) and shoes. Don't let me see you in there with your white socks on talking about how they make your legs look short. Put your shoes on, pull your shirt down and determine whether they look and feel better than what you came in. Those should go in the "maybe" area of the dressing room. The ones that feel less good than what you arrived in go in the "not for me" pile. Continue until you've tried them all on-and gone back for different sizes if needed. The goal is a pair that you love the way they look and feel. Better to much better than how you arrived is also acceptable.

Come back tomorrow for more ideas on how to style jeans!

Also, how to make white jeans cooler and tips from a "40 something" blogger on buying jeans.


  1. I have to tell you that I love the Loft Curvy jeans. They fit every time for me...better than Eddie Bauer Curvy jeans. :)

    Love your blog.

    1. Oh, do you? I'm so glad to hear that! I've never had success with Loft jeans-their rise is too long for me, but the petites don't fit quite right, either. I'm glad to know you've liked them! I love Loft in general, just not their pants.

  2. Recently I have purchased Samurai Jeans. it is really stylish and comfortable.

  3. I think I am comfortable shopping in those stores for jeans while others might not be. Here's why: I follow a plan (more on that below) to find jeans that I love, and I like to have a few pairs. I'd rather spend less on a few than more on one, basicallyIndian sharee