Article Line Long1
Design

Are We Wearing Jeans Again? An Honest Denim Review At Both High And Low Price Points

I’m not sure if we are ready for this but here goes. A couple weeks ago as we were shooting the bold dress roundup I realized that I had a lot of denim with me that I was showing Mal and Veronica. At the time I was doing a partnership with Rent the Runway and Madewell (both just for social not for here), and then my friend Annie (whose house we shot at) also had some jeans, too. So as I was giving a personal review session for Annie, Mal and Veronica, we were like – oh we should at least shoot this and post about it. I only bought one pair of jeans during quarantine and was looking for a new more modern profile but I can NOT do the baggy mom jean thing (???) So here are the ones that I had on hand that I like and wanted to share.

High Waist Straight Jean, $79

These were my first foray into the straight “mom” jean and are actually affordable (originally $79 but now on sale at $55). I really like how they hugged the thigh/butt but then loosened, rather than being baggy the whole way down. They are very non-stretchy so there isn’t a lot of give in them (similar to Levi’s) so they are better out and about pants than sitting at your desk pants. Brian thought that the ripped hole was a bit extreme but Mal and Veronica liked it. I liked these with heels but they are a bit long so I’d have to restyle them for non heels.

Relaxed Jeans in Springtide Wash, $128

These are your more straight jeans that are loose and stretchy. I would size down (always size down with Madewell). These were super comfy and decent cut but I love the front more than the back.

High-Rise Distressed Straight Cropped Jeans, $30

These are the Target jeans that I’ve written about a few times and they are just GOOD. I find myself opting for them all the time out of comfort and ease. I can dress them up and down (flip flops, sandals, and boots). I’ve also washed them a lot and they wear really well.

Baggy Tapered Jeans in Markwood Wash, $98

These are another straight cut that are super comfortable, but not particularly curve hugging or flattering. But I don’t think mom jeans are supposed to be flattering, right? 🙂

Relaxed Denim Shorts in Berriman Wash, $70

Now THESE. You know my love of Levi’s cut offs so when Madewell sent these I was like “sure but I don’t need more” until I put them on and they sit so nicely on the hips and flair out so they are so casual and easy to wear in an oversized way.

Relaxed Denim Shorts in Homecrest Wash: Ripped Edition, $75

These are the same denim shorts in a darker wash and I loved them just as much. I believe these are a size 27 and they are pretty big (and that’s my usual size) so if you want tighter just size down, but I like this size (but haven’t tried the 26 so maybe it would be better).

Denim Pleated Mini Skirt in Upton Wash, $80

How cute is this skirt?? I thought I was kinda not into denim skirts, but once I tried this on it felt modern and classic, but dressed down also very “now”. I put it with a blouse and it was a bit too “sweet” what with the pleats and all but dressed down with a T-shirt I love it.

Colette High Waist Raw Hem Crop Flare Jeans, $219

These boot cuts are the most “going out” pants that I’ve worn in a while and I’m pretty into them. The little flair reminds me certainly of college (anyone else?) but they are a strong pair that I can wear when I want to look a little more pulled together (I rented these from RTR).

Wedgie Fit Ankle Jeans, $98

Another rented pair from RTR that I fell in love with. These are Levis and the cut feels more fresh, with no holes (my father-in-law will be so happy). They are still Levi’s so they are not terribly stretchy so way better for days that aren’t super hot or for those that don’t mind being more constricted in the name of flattery.

So there you go. I’m still only entering the jean phase post quarantine and you may not be ready to do them again, but if and when you are ready to these are some that I do love and have found to be the right vibe for summer and fall.

*Photos by Veronica Crawford

0 0 vote
Article Rating

WANT MORE OF WHERE THAT CAME FROM?

Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

28 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

I agree 100%! Mom jeans are not supposed to be flattering. I’m so glad bootcut/flare jeans are “coming back”. I personally think they are a classic and never go out of style! Bootcut jeans for life.

hickenack
3 months ago

The only two that I even remotely liked were towards the end from RTR. The cropped flares did me in. They are so flattering on EH and can be worn casual or dressier. I’ve posted a link here before to the pull-on skinny Lee (yes, Lee, the ones you used to be embarrassed to get from K-Mart!) jeans available through Amazon Wardrobe. Younguns be damned, I will wear stretchy skinny jeans into my grave (mid-40s now)! LOL They just fit so well, with a high and wide elastic band waist ( like a gentle but effective girdle), and they NEVER stretch out or sag. They are sooo comfy and I can wear the black ones to work (medical office admin) with a cute top and black Tieks or Rothy’s. I am 5′ 4.5″ so I buy the petite but they are still a wee bit longish; when I wear them with Chelsea boots I fold up the hem twice. They look so chic! I wore them in black, dark wash, and medium/lightish wash all over Europe right before the pandemic. For $40 or less, I will buy them again and again and as long as they are made I won’t… Read more »

Jo Kendall Barbauld
3 months ago
Reply to  hickenack

I loved the cropped flares too!! $200 for jeans is a pass for me also. I think I will try to find the Lee jeans but I will be dreaming about the cropped flares…

Suzanne
3 months ago
Reply to  hickenack

I agree the flared crops are the best on Emily, but I also really like the first pair, because they are fitted in the hips and the rise doesn’t look overly high on her like some of the others. I’m not a fan of the huge holes, but Emily does it well. I’ve tried to wear highly distressed jeans, and I don’t feel comfortable.

As for expensive jeans, buy used to save money. You need to have a good in person used clothing shop, because buying online can be risky, but I recently found two great pair at Crossroads Trading near me. They were only $20 each — Citizens of Humanity and Lucky Jeans.

Mallory
3 months ago
Reply to  hickenack

If you like those cropped flares, try the cali cropped flares at Madewell. Super similar cut. Also there are tons of them on Poshmark for an even cheaper/more sustainable option.

Char
3 months ago
Reply to  hickenack

I really, really wish I knew which jeans you bought at Amazon for $40 or less that fit a petite. Hint, hint.

kk
3 months ago

These all look great…..and I LOVE the flares- on you! But frankly you have LOOOONG legs so all jeans look great on you! I would have loved more views of jeans on different bodies for those of us without long legs LOL. Also, I really don’t love very ripped jeans, like example #1, on anyone over say…. 18 or who is not in art school. They just look like “my dog ate my jeans’ and / or tryhard / mutton dressed lamb to me.

Tina
3 months ago
Reply to  kk

Good point on other bodies! I just posted a comment above on my love of jeans. I was resistant to ripped jeans. As a middle-aged lady I definitely wondered about the “mutton dressed lamp” effect. On the other hand, I love how they make a dressier outfit less perfect. I decided that if I skip the ripped knees, I can wear jeans with other more minimal distressing. Found a few pairs on sale at the Gap that I’ve had on repeat this spring/summer.

Amanda
3 months ago
Reply to  kk

Ooh, a play like the swimsuit one with jeans on different bodies would be so fun.

Amanda
3 months ago
Reply to  Amanda

Post, not play.

CB
3 months ago
Reply to  Amanda

Loooove this idea!! Especially fir some pear shaped, and or semi-recent postpartum bodies.

Jennie
3 months ago

Where are shoes from?

Tina
3 months ago

Thank you for this feature, Emily! It was helpful to see you in the same shirt/clogs with different jeans. A rule of thumb from Andrea Linett is that jeans should always fit you well in the thigh from the hips to the knee. I’ve followed that rule and has served me well. That is why so many mom jeans &/or wide legs don’t work for many of us. We need that fit from the hip to knee for the best fit. I love jeans so much — to me they are the perfect wardrobe item. It’s so fun to dress them up or down and you can wear them almost anywhere. I tend to buy one or two pairs a year and wear them to death! That’s another good thing about jeans, I’d feel self-conscious wearing the same pair of pants or skirt every time I went out, but somehow I feel fine wearing the same jeans all the time. I know some people do not think they are comfortable, but I think there is a pair out there for everyone.

Rusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Tina

That’s true, about wearing he same pair of jeans everywhere! It’d never occurred to me til you said it.

Rusty
3 months ago

The first RTR photo has those soooo cute faces drawn into the concrete path!! So. Sweet!😊

Jeans without stretch? That’s like the Dark Ages for me!
No way am I ever going to wear something that I can’t sit down in comfortably, just for how it looks!?!
I thought we’d moved past that phase of ‘looking good’ and paying the price by being incredibly uncomfortable.
C’mon now. 🤔

I’ve 6fpund good jeans at all price points, with stretch, that are comfortable to wear out somewhere and/or to wrangle little kids. It’s one thing I’m really not stressing about now, because… there’s always a bargain that looks good and fits well at any price … including designer labels at a thrift shop if one feels the need to wear a label!
Yaaay!! 🤗

Suzanne
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty

I agree stretch is nice, but there are some great 100% cotton jeans, and they wear so much better. Drying denim with stretch breaks down the stretch fibers faster. Of course we can hang dry, and I’ve started doing that, because it really does make clothes last longer. I also really like the way 100% cotton denim feels. It’s not for everyone. My sister will never give up her stretch. When my jeans fit well, they give just enough to form to my body. Maybe it’s like the shrink to fit 501s from the 80s.

I agree that thrift stores and used clothing stores have options to buy many brands that are pricey. I’ve been meaning to go back to our local Goodwill, because they had racks and racks of denim. And like I mentioned in another comment, Crossroads Trading is great for buying on trend used clothing. There are Crossroad stores all over the United States. Do you have anything like that in Australia?

Rusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Not really anything like that in Australia, not on the west coast anyway… maybe on the east coast around Sydney? Sounds like a great idea!!😊
I wear a lot of all cotton because I like the feel, but once stretch came to pants I was all-in! I was chubby before and now, with no appetite and post-chemo, I’m rake thin…but stretch is the winner for me. I like being able to move freely, every which-way.
I don’t own a clothes dryer and unless I move to a freezing, snowy location, I never will.
I dry everything on the clothes line, like most people do in Australia. Apartments were never much of a thing here until the last 15-20 years or so and even then, many have communal clothes lines outside. It’s a no-brainer in this climate.🌏
I used to watch that US show Barnwood Builders and I couldn’t stop laughing when they all discovered “stretchy pants”. Um, I feel the same way!🤣

Suzanne
3 months ago

My favorite jeans are Citizens of Humanity Emerson fit. They are only midrise, a slim boyfriend fit, so I emailed customer service to ask about a jean that fit similarly with a higher rise. I ended up getting the Emery cropped straight leg jeans in a non stretch 100% cotton, and they are so comfortable. I have other 100% cotton denim that doesn’t give as much, but both pair from Citizens start to give within a couple hours. I think it helps that the waist hits right on both (Emerson and Emery) even though one is lower and the other higher. I can’t figure it out, but a couple pair of Emerson I’ve worn for almost 10 years, so they are worth it. I can’t get into holes in jeans although I’ve tried. I do love cut of jean shorts and they get me every time. I keep thinking I need more, but I don’t. By the way, I took a leap of faith and ordered some jeans on Poshmark, the aforementioned Emery jeans, and saved money and had success. It’s easier to buy used online if you know a style and size that you know fits, or find your… Read more »

ColleenB
3 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne

1000% concur on the Emery’s!

Emma
3 months ago

The wedgie jeans are the most flattering jeans in the whole world!! Love them

Lesley
3 months ago

The jeans are nice but can we see more of Annie’s backyard? It looks amazing!

Edris Thomas
3 months ago
Reply to  Lesley

I’m with Lesley, love the ‘Jean’ review as it is most helpful ! And I love love that this /Em includes all the things we’re interested in. Having said that , this is a design blog and several of us have asked about Annie’s yard? No response? I get if you didn’t design it but it is a part of your photo shoot so you guys had to know we’d be begging fir the deets ? !!!

Patricia
3 months ago

My favorites out of all your jeans were Colette and Target. Not a fan of the really ripped jeans; with Brian on that. I haven’t bought any jeans for about three years. Mine just don’t wear out. All of my jeans are straight leg so they’re on trend (enough). And I wouldn’t care if they weren’t I feel good and like how I look and they wear and wash very well. Three pair NYDJ straight Marilyn cut and one pair straight leg Ralph Lauren.

Lynn W
3 months ago

Look in to Democracy brand jeans. They make some great styles with stretch but not too much.
I own 2 pairs now and looking for more… boot and straight leg!!

KD
3 months ago

That skirt *IS* darling! I haven’t been too sure about the return of the jean skirt, but that one has won me over.

3 months ago

beautiful

Sarah
3 months ago

How about a “back to the office and your boss would like you to look “professional”” post. Old school boomers run my firm. No ripped jeans allowed and I’m headed back to the office soon!

Jertastic
3 months ago

What is that amazing paint color?!?!

Go To Top