17 Jeans for Women That Are Actually Worth Buying
It's safe to say that denim is a closet must-have. And with so many jeans on the market, it can be a little intimidating shopping for the perfect pair. You want them to look good and feel good and fit within your budget. But even with those parameters, the options are endless.
That's where we come in. To save you countless hours, we spoke to celebrity stylists and researched the best jeans for women based on fabric quality, size range, style, and fit. Included are a variety of styles, ranging from skinny, cropped, straight, boyfriend, and beyond — so you can buy one, two, or three of your favorite styles.
Ahead, the best jeans for women you'll want to wear all of the time.
- Best Overall: Everlane The Original Cheeky Jeans
- Most Comfortable: Wit & Wisdom Jeggings
- Best Value: AE Stretch Mom Jeans
- Best Splurge: Mother The Hustler Ankle Fray Jeans
- Best Skinny: Good American Good Legs Ankle Skinny Jeans
- Best High-Waisted: Levi's Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans
- Best Crop: Topshop Raw Hem Crop Straight Leg Jeans
- Best Boyfriend: Old Navy Mid-Rise Boyfriend Straight Jeans
- Best Mom: Madewell The Perfect Vintage Jean
- Best Distressed: AE Stretch Ripped Crossover Highest Waist Mom Jeans
Best Overall: Everlane The Original Cheeky Jeans
Most Comfortable: Wit & Wisdom Jeggings
Best Value: AE Stretch Mom Jeans
Best Splurge: Mother The Hustler Ankle Fray Jeans
Best Skinny: Good American Good Legs Ankle Skinny Jeans
Best High-Waisted: Levi's Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans
Best Crop: Topshop Raw Hem Crop Straight Leg Jeans
Best Boyfriend: Old Navy Mid-Rise Boyfriend Straight Jeans
Best Mom: Madewell The Perfect Vintage Jean
Best Distressed: AE Stretch Ripped Crossover Highest Waist Mom Jeans
Best Straight: Everlane Way-High Jeans
Best Wide-Leg: BDG The A-Wide Jean
Best Plus-Size: Universal Standard Seine Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans
Best for Petites: Good American Good Petite Straight
Best Tall: Gap High Rise Vintage Slim Jeans
Best Maternity: Old Navy Maternity Rollover-Panel Skinny 360° Stretch Cut-Off Jeans
Best Low-Rise: American Eagle Low-Rise Skater Jean
What to Keep in Mind
Both ends of the jean rise spectrum have their shares of pros and cons. High-rise jeans are beloved for their ability to highlight the smallest part of your waist as well as create the illusion of long legs. They go great with crop tops and can even convert a bralette into a blouse. However, they can be tricky to style with longer tops and sweaters, especially if you can't easily tuck the top into the jeans. And some folks just aren't a fan of the look and feel of a pant that goes above their belly buttons.
Low-rise jeans are slowly making a comeback after what feels like a decade of being canceled, and celebrities are here for it. "I love a low-rise moment, and everyone is going to realize that low-rise jeans are superior in the near future," Rae once told InStyle. Rae recommends pairing a tank top with a low rise pair to show a some skin while celebrity stylist Karla Welch suggests pairing them with sneakers. As for the low-rise jeans themselves, Welch says "the baggier, the better."
If you can't decide between the two extremes, a mid-rise jean is a good compromise. You won't feel like you are drowning in a high-rise or baring it all in a low- rise. Plus, a mid-rise goes with just about any top.
It's smart to have jeans in different washes to go with different occasions and seasons. Dark wash jeans tend to look more sophisticated, so they can be easily dressed up for the office or for a date night. They also tend to be more slimming, so it's no surprise that black jeans are models' go-to for their off-duty uniform.
If you like to wear jeans in warmer weather, having a few light wash pairs is a must. They give off a casual, laid back vibe that's perfect for vacations and weekend plans. White jeans are the quintessential summer denim, but there are plenty of ways to style them all year long. And like the mid rise, a medium wash jean is the perfect in between shade that can be worn regardless of season and occasion.
Not all denim is created equal, and when it comes to its make up, there seems to be two camps — those who want some stretch and those who want no stretch at all. If you prefer the look and feel of rigid denim, go for styles made from 100 percent cotton. Overtime, these jeans will stretch out to your body, achieving that customized fit you often find in thrifted jeans worn by previous owners.
If the thought of breaking in your jeans does not sound fun, go for blends that have a little bit of spandex or elastane. They will be comfy on the spot, and offer stretch and recovery throughout the day. Paige Adams-Geller, co-founder and creative director of Paige Denim, once told InStyle that jeans made from mixed materials are better at holding you in and retaining their shape.
Your Questions, Answered
How do I find the right fit while shopping online?
Finding jeans that fit right is hard enough in person — shopping online is a whole different feat. To make it easier, Welch says it's important to look at the inseam, rise, and model's measurements. The inseam tells you the length of the jeans from the base of the zipper to the leg opening. The rise is the distance from the waist band to the crotch seam. In other words, the inseam tells you where the jeans will hit your legs while the rise tells you how high they will go up your torso.
To conceptualize these numbers, many sites list the height of the model and the size they are wearing. Based on how the pants fall on the model, you can decide what size to choose and if you should consider a short or long version.
How do I take care of jeans to make them last?
Once you find the perfect pair of jeans, you want them to last forever, right? The secret to extending their life is not to wash them too often. In fact, Levi's recommends that you only wash denim every 10 wears at most.
When you do wash your jeans, follow these rules: "Wash jeans inside out, then hang them up to dry," says Adams-Geller. "If you don't like the crispy texture that results from air-drying, throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes on the tumble setting. It's not hot, so it won't blow out the Lycra and cause stretching." To prevent the color from fading, especially black jeans, always use cold water and the gentle cycle.
How do I dress jeans up or down?
These days, jeans are as acceptable in the boardroom as on the beach. For more casual outfits, Welch suggests going with distressed styles and pairing them with sneakers. To dress up a pair, switch to heels or sandals and add a belt.
The top you wear immediately changes the formality of an outfit. Nothing says casual more than a simple tee paired with jeans. For a night out, consider tucking in a bodysuit or corset with some jeans. Throwing on a blazer or leather jacket can instantly elevate the look too.
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