Shopping·10 min read

15 Pairs of Jeans That Belong in Every Wardrobe

Design: theSkimm | Photos: Good American, Nordstrom, Abercrombie & Fitch, Revolve
September 6, 2023

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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 — for example, lots of sites actually show what they look like on models with different body types.

And yet, 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 legwork for you (wink, wink) and rounded up jeans for every body type and personal style. Time to find your new favorite pair.

Psst…for more recs to wear to work, when going out, and while at home, check out Fashion You’ll Actually Wear Week, our destination for affordable, stylish, and practical clothes.

Abercrombie & Fitch

A high-rise pair from the brand that defined our teens…

Abercrombie is back and chicer than ever. The moment we slipped into these ’90s jeans — that hug our waist while giving our legs room to breathe — we knew we found a new favorite pair. They come in 25 unique washes, so no one will know if you have multiple pairs. ($90, Abercrombie & Fitch)

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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. If you love them, you can pick up a pair in both light blue and dark blue. ($35, Target)

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A cropped pair that goes with every shoe…

We call these our weekend warriors. Whether you’re dressing them up or down, the flare at the ankle highlights pretty much any shoe perfectly. Pair them with a heeled, pointed-toe bootie for classy vibes or your favorite sneaker for running errands. ($228, Nordstrom)

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American Eagle

Distressed denim that’s designed for those with curves…

We should be celebrating our bodies, 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 accentuate what your mother gave you without being uncomfortable. ($34.96, American Eagle)

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A pair if you’re ready to get into the low-rise trend…

If you’re ready to take the plunge (literally), stick to a tried-and-true brand like AGOLDE so you know the fit will be good. We have these and can assure you that they’re definitely not the low-rise jeans we wore as teenagers. They can fit like more of a mid-rise, depending on the size you go with. Size up if you want a true low-slung look. ($228, Revolve)

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Good American

Skinny jeans you’ll never get tired of…

If you’re over the baggier, the better trend, you’ll be happy to know that skinny jeans are making a comeback. These are high-rise with a nice amount of stretch that never sags under your butt (the worst), and they’ll bounce back to their original shape after each wear. They come in three washes and up to size 32. ($149+, Good American)

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High-waisted flared jeans that will never go out of style…

The perfect jeans do exist. Made by one of our all-time favorite denim brands, these come soft, worn-in, and creased, so they look like you’ve had them for years. Plus, they have a wide leg that looks good with any kind of shoe, from heels to loafers. ($239, Nordstrom)

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Mott & Bow

A boyfriend-style jean that still looks polished…

Other boyfriend jeans, step aside. We love that these have a slim leg, so they won’t look sloppy or overwhelm smaller frames. We also love the three inseam lengths and would wear any of the three washes. In a word: perfection. ($129, Mott & Bow)

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A wide-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 wide-legs take our top spot. Designed to feel and look broken in, they have just the right amount of stretch and come in sizes 23–33. Psst...use code SKIMM20 for 20% off your order. ($128, Madewell)

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A curvy jean that comes in two inseam lengths…

These Everlane jeans, available in either a 27.5-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. ($118, Everlane)

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Universal Standard

A classic skinny pair to fit everyone…

We love the fit of these Universal Standard jeans, from the high waist to the built-in stretch. What we love even more is that you can grab them for free with our exclusive discount. Just select your color, inseam, and size, add to cart, and use code FREEJEANS-SKIMM when you check out. All you have to do is pay $15 for shipping, and voilà, you’ve got your next go-to pair. ($98, 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, and the cute belt is just an added bonus. ($39, Eloquii)

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Old Navy

A secretly stretchy pair of skinnies with a classic vibe…

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 and three inseam lengths. ($49.99, Old Navy)

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Free People

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

After years of all athleisure, all the time, we don’t blame you if you’re still not ready to go back to a full-blown zipper every day. This pair, with a pull-on closure and a drawstring waist, is a solid compromise. The 100% cotton feels soft, too. These would look great with a tucked-in tank. ($168, Free People)

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A high-rise pair that looks vintage…

These look like you found them in the cutest little vintage shop in that one city. Don’t worry, we won’t tell. 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. Just how we like them. ($98, Nordstrom)

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