Shopping·7 min read

10 Pairs of Jeans for Every Denim Dilemma

Design: theSkimm | Header: American Eagle, Madewell, Everlane
September 9, 2022

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Jeans are one of the few wardrobe staples that everyone can get behind. That is, if you can find the right pair. Great strides have been made toward a more pleasant denim-buying experience. Sites that actually show what they look like on models with different body types, for example. But aside from taking measurements on that one trusty pair that’s fraying on the edges and inner thigh seams, sometimes we all need a little help navigating specific denim dilemmas — especially when shopping for a pair online. That’s where we come in. We’ve done the (wide) leg work for you, and rounded up jeans for every fit issue. Time to find your new fave pair. Psst…this is part of our Relatable Fashion Week series. For more recs on how to find the best pieces that’ll fit ya like a glove, click here.


A beloved dad jean that fits on the hips and waist…

Abercrombie’s Curve Love line is made with an extra 2 inches in the thigh and hip, simultaneously eliminating waist gap and the whole ‘too tight in one spot, too loose in the other’ thing. The slightly stretchy jean comes in eight washes, four lengths, and sizes 23–37. This is not your ’90s Abercrombie, people. ($99, Abercrombie)

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A straight-leg jean that actually hits tall folks at the right spot… 

Too often when you’re tall, standard full-length jeans end up being just…kind of awkward-looking culottes. Madewell’s Tall section — designed for those who are 5’9” to 5’11” — has plenty of great options to choose from, but these classic “comfort stretch” category straight-legs take our top spot. Designed to feel and look broken in, they’re produced at a certified fair trade factory and come in sizes 23–33. ($128, Madewell)

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A curvy jean that comes in two inseam lengths…

These Everlane jeans, available in either a 27-inch or 29.5-inch inseam, will save you a trip to the tailor. Sustainably made with organic cotton, they come in four washes and 13 different sizes. ($98, Everlane)

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Universal Standard

A classic straight leg shown on different bodies so you can avoid the fitting room…

We love that these Universal Standard ’90s-esque jeans are shown on many different-sized models — and that the site gives detailed instructions on how to find your perfect size, from 00–40. Plus, they offer two inseam lengths and come in both classic and lightweight fabric, meaning there’s a pair for every season. Psst...use code SKIMM15 at checkout for 15% off this style through October 1. ($118, Universal Standard)

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A wide-leg jean that gives you plenty of space…

If you’re looking for a pair that makes good on its promise to go wide or go home, these jeans are for you. Reviewers call them “true” wide legs, with the only complaint being they don’t come in more colors. ($99.95, Eloquii)

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An anti-waist-gap powerhouse…

The dreaded waist gap can ruin an otherwise perfect pair of jeans. This pair from Target is made with a “sculpting, high-rise waist,” and has a chic, vintage feel at a great price point. And if ya love ’em, you can pick up a pair in light blue, dark blue, and off-white. ($35, Target)

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Old Navy

A secretly stretchy pair of skinnies that will define smaller hips…

The idea of a straight-leg ‘90s jean with a crisp white button-down is the stuff our rom-com-loving dreams are made of. Except when you consider what a nightmare those stiff, zero-stretch jeans must have been to get on. This pair has the same look, with stretch to boot. Made as part of a program that uses 20% less water than conventional denim, they come in an impressive range of 17 sizes. ($49.99, Old Navy)

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American Eagle

Distressed denim that hugs a strong set of calves…

We should be celebrating our strong legs, not suffocating them in a pair of too-tight jeans. This midweight pair from American Eagle’s curvy collection with more room through the hip and thigh are roomy enough to let those babies breathe. ($48.96, American Eagle)

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Free People

A pair for anyone who’s been living in leggings for a while now…

After two-plus years of all athleisure, all the time, we don’t blame you if you’re not ready to go back to full-blown button fly every day. This pair, with a drawstring waist, is a solid compromise. The 100% cotton pants pull right on and off and would look great with a tucked-in tank. ($168, Free People)

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An antidote to the dreaded low-rise jean movement…

Just because the ’00s style is back doesn’t mean we have to succumb to the era’s less-comfortable standards. If you’re team ‘the higher the jean, the better,’ this pair is for you. With the word ‘ribcage’ in its name, you know these are going to stay way up — and with so many washes to choose from, there’s something for everyone. ($108, Levi’s)

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