As one of the most democratic items of clothing, jeans are a wardrobe staple for nearly everyone. There are only a few situations in which jeans wouldn't be welcome (save for weddings, maybe, or black tie dress codes) and they go with pretty much everything. While they can be brilliant once you've identified which styles fit and feel good, shopping for denim, it's got to be said, can be a nightmare.
How Do I Find the Right Size Jeans?
The person who finds shopping for the perfect pair of jeans enjoyable is rare indeed. Sizes can vary wildly, depending on where you shop, which can feel really disheartening. This is when you need to dismiss the numbers on the label. Instead, just go for what feels the best because ultimately this is what is going to make you feel more confident in the long run. Remember: different brands use different fit models to determine sizes so sizing is, at its essence, an arbitrary thing anyway. Trying on jeans in person is always a better idea than buying online to give you a better idea of fabrication and fit, as well as sizes between brands varying, the style of jeans plays an important role in knowing what works best for your body
How Do I Find The Right Style Of Jeans?
Sizing aside, jeans can also be a bit overwhelming, given the fact that there is so... Much. Choice. There are the trusted speciality brands – Levi's, Wrangler and 7 For All Mankind for example, as well as the high street names renowned for their excellent denim selection. Perhaps the best place to start is considering what you already have and how you like to wear them or let our guide to the top styles help you narrow down the options...
The Best Skinny Jeans
Whether low-rise, mid-rise, or high-waist, the skinny jean is a super chic, bodycon fit, that hugs your leg and finishes at the ankle. Made popular in the indie noughties, this staple in every off-duty model’s wardrobe is best for elongating legs, and stretch-denim versions are comfortable for every size.
Designed as part of Marks & Spencer's 'best ever jeans' range, the Magic shaping skinnies are crafted from cotton-rich denim with premium stretch technology to give you ultimate comfort while enhancing your shape. They're cut to a slim fit with a modern high-rise waist, and a gap-proof waistband and they've added hidden front pocket technology that flatters the tummy, too.
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The Best Straight Leg Jeans
The classic straight-leg jean is a fashion editor favourite and loved by the likes of Sienna Miller, Emily Ratajkowski, and Hailey Bieber. Although roomier than the skinny, the straight leg has a more formally tailored shape that can be dressed up or down and works for any body type.
With a cool throwback feel, Agolde's '90s 'Pinch Waist' is the perfect vintage-inspired straight (wait until TikTok find out how good these are). Designed with a close-fitting high rise and made with non-stretch denim that's soft to the touch.
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The Best High Street Jeans
There always seems to be a weird pressure to drop a decent amount of money in order to get quality denim - but that couldn't be further from the truth. The high street has some of the best jeans out there, built to last and with stretch for ultimate comfort.
Topshop, now available on ASOS, is a firm favourite when it comes to the best range of denim styles on the high street (didn't everyone have a pair of the Jamie Jeans in their wardrobe at some point?!). Their full range of mom jeans in different washes and distresses will cover your every denim need, and they come in a softer cotton that isn't too stiff.
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The Best High-Waisted Jeans
High-waisted jeans might sound like something your mum used to wear with shoulder pads and door-knocker earrings but don’t relegate them to the '80s fancy dress box just yet. They’re super flattering, thanks to their high-rise waistband that cinches inwards.
The Ribcage is the highest rise yet from Levi's, nipping you in at the waist and offering a slim cut through the hip for a narrower leg silhouette. Not only are they available in boot-cut, straight, and cropped, but they are made with support from the Better Cotton Initiative to support sustainable global cotton farming.
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The Best Wide-Leg Jeans
Feel the freedom in wide-leg jeans, as these often high-waisted styles are great for holding in tummies but are less constricting than the skinny - while some might prefer the slouchy feel of a low-rise wide leg.
A soft, low-rise pair of wide-leg jeans is one of the most comfortable ways to wear denim. This super slouchy Raey black pair are an easy swap for your best-loved sweatpants.
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The Best Mom Jeans
A vintage-inspired mix of straight-leg and boyfriend jeans, the mom is a high-waisted, looser fit that makes practicality and comfort this style's number one advantage.
Looser around the bum and thighs but tapering down the leg gives these jeans the '80s and '90s silhouette that gives the jeans their name, and is the ideal style for enhancing curves. This jet-black Zara pair will never go out of style.
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The Best Flared Jeans
The quintessential everyday jean shape, the slim kick-flare of the boot-cut has the leg-lengthening quality of the skinny jeans, with the comfortable ease of the wide-leg. Although the humble flare had fallen out of favour recently with straighter styles gaining momentum, sales have risen again over the last two years with shoppers looking for alternatives to flatter every figure (also, Kate Moss is still a fan).
Another great high street pair, these button-front flares will give you legs up to your chin. A surprisingly wearable style, the '70s flare is extremely flattering too.
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The Best Jeans For Tall OR Petite Women (Yes, We Said Both)
We all know the perils of finding jeans to fit your waist, but what about leg length?
The struggle is real for leggy ladies when looking for a trusted pair of jeans that don't look like peddle-pushers - and for petite women, avoiding looking like you've just borrowed a pair from your dad. Without having to trawl through endless Tall or Petite options on ASOS, ordering 50 pairs and returning 49, the simple answer is to find a high-quality pair that you can select the leg length (or in-seam) to suit you - tall or small.
Abercombie denim has been gaining traction thanks to TikTok - and these relaxed Dad jeans come in extra short, short, regular and long.
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The Best Investment Jeans
When looking for the perfect pair of jeans, we can't blame you for wanting to do a Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants and keep those babies going on rotation for years to come. But in order to do that, you need a pair that will not only stand the test of time and trends - but your washing machine too.
For heavy-duty denim, Re/Done's Stove Pipe jeans are ultra-straight, rigid and cropped at the ankles. There are jeans that are built to last (and not wear away at the crotch). The ripped knee and raw hem are subtle enough to look cool without being difficult to wear.
But also, it's important to not over-wash your jeans in the machine. For an instant refresh, a steamer will get rid of any bacteria and mean you don't have to put your jeans through the wash at all. For actual stains, try spot cleaning with a mix of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar (and elbow grease, of course).
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The Best Jeans For Curvy Women
Finding a pair of jeans that make you feel confident isn't easy - if you're concerned about finding a pair of jeans that are high rise, fit your curves (legs, bum and hips) but also don't give you a massive gap at the waist - we've scoured the internet and found the best pair to flatter curvy women.
Featuring the same extra-high rise, easy straight leg, and butt-boosting fit as their '90s Cheeky Jean, the Curvy '90s Cheeky Jean is specifically designed for hourglass shapes. That means they adjusted the hip-to-waist ratio to create a form-hugging fit through the hip and thigh. And in true '90s fashion, it's made from premium non-stretch Japanese denim for that vintage-inspired look.
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Finally, Can You Shop Sustainable and Organic Denim?
Yes! Even when shopping for denim, it's important to consider if you could be doing so in a sustainable way. The Made & Crafted line from Levi's is a great option for consciously created collections and organic denim, and cool-girl fave brand Reformation's clean jeans are made with fabric scraps from the cutting room floor (keeping denim in use and out of landfills). While Italian denim brand Candiani was the first to use BCI cotton to create biodegradable stretch denim.
For Alberto Candiani, who has supplied ecological denim to Stella McCartney, Boyish and Closed, the success of compostable denim sets a precedence for the rest of the fashion industry to follow. 'The biggest issues we are facing are excess and overproduction. My motto is: less is more if less is better. Awareness about more responsible production continues to grow, and in the denim world, we are trying to tackle our previous failings. As long as action is being taken to try and solve them then surely we are on the right path to a more positive future for all. '
Charlotte Pavitt is Grazia’s Fashion Assistant where she enjoys an on-set buffet, sports an array of printed midi dresses and preaches the importance of a well-organized desktop.