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The Best Skinny Jeans – A Review

A good pair of jeans can make your day. You know what I’m talking about. I remember when expensive jeans first came out and I was like $200 for a pair of jeans!!! But then I tried them on and I was like I’ll take five. 

Guide to Skinny Jeans_Fashion_Emily Henderson_Best Jeans_Affordable_composite_

So I decided to do a totally objective skinny jean review. At first I was soooo excited to do this post, but as I got the photos back I was like ‘oh man … ‘ But it’s all in the name of finding some flattering, comfortable and ultimately ‘worth it’ skinny jeans. Obviously jeans all depend on your body type, certainly, so what might be flattering on you might not be flattering on me, and vice versa. It’s just a guide because I LOVE a good pair of jeans and I’m constantly desperate to find them.

Ready to see my butt in 14 good and not so good skinny jeans?

H&M Skinny Shaping Jean_Emily Henderson

H&M Shaping Skinny Regular Jeans

I was shocked that a $49.95 pair of jeans were so form-fitting and yet comfortable. The mid-rise front is good for multiple body types. We debated whether or not we liked the length – to scrunch or to hem?

Comfort: Comfortable enough to sit in at work all day.

Flattering: Shockingly good for fifty bucks.

TOTAL SCORE: I liked these a lot. I bought these after the shoot. So I give them a 9. I’m pretty sure they would be a ’10’ if I were 5 pounds lighter.

JBrand High Rise Maria Jean_Emily Henderson

JBrand High Rise ‘Maria’

Comfort: Not terribly comfortable, so more on the flattering side.

Flattering: Dark washes make me feel skinny.

TOTAL SCORE: A good splurge if you don’t already have a good dark skinny. 7. I wish these were ankle length – just a little bit shorter.

H&M Skinny Regular Jean_Emily Henderson

H&M Skinny Regular  These have cute little zippers on the bottom that you might not have noticed.

Comfort: Not jeggings but not bad.

Flattering: I loved them from the front.

Verdict:  Solid 7. These would be an 8 without the worn spots on the back of the legs, but I still really like them and purchased them from the shoot. Win.

Hudson Nico Super Skinny Jean_Emily Henderson

Hudson ‘Nico’ Super Skinny

Comfort: Don’t remember. Blocked from my memory.

Flattering: Really dark jeans are always kinda flattering but I felt they gave me a bit of mom butt.

Verdict: I own these left over from a shoot but I don’t opt for them when I’m desperate for jeans if that tells you anything.

Paige Verdugo Skinny Jean_Emily Henderson

Paige ‘Verdugo’ Skinny  Size 27. YES.

Comfort: Super comfortable. The waist has a decent amount of give and doesn’t cut in.

Flattering: EVERYBODY agreed these were really flattering, even though that butt shot is not super awesome. It did a good thing for the butt from the side – it made it more ‘bubbly’ and less wide. Trust me.

Verdict: I bought these and they are VERY good.

Rag and Bone Jegging Skinny Jean_Emily Henderson

Rag and Bone Jegging Jean

Comfort: Can’t breathe and my stomach feels cut in half. These could just be too small, though.

Flattering: I do feel kinda skinny In them.

Verdict: These could be good on the right person – they just weren’t worth the $190 splurge for me compared to some of the others.

Madewell The Skinny Skinny Jean_Emily Henderson

Madewell The Skinny Skinny Jean

Comfort: Comfortable.

Flattering: For how light they are I found them pretty flattering from the front.

Verdict:  Good for a light toned jean. I always feel better in darker toned jeans, but I’m liking these for summer.

Old Navy Rockstar Jean_Emily Henderson

Old Navy Rockstar Jean

Comfort: VERY COMFORTABLE. I wrote down ‘really comfortable Saturday jeans’.

Flattering: Not the most flattering in the world but pretty darn great. For something that I would just throw on to go to the park with Charlie I LOVED them. Especially for $30.

Verdict: Win for comfort and price.

H&M Skinny Jean_Emily Henderson

H&M Skinny Jean

Comfort: Don’t remember.

Flattering: Not.

Verdict: Meh.

H&M High Rise Skinny Jean_Emily Henderson

H&M High-Rise Skinny Jean

Comfort: Fine.

Flattering: Not. Bad rise, bad butt. On me, anyway.

Verdict: Meh.

JCrew Toothpick Jean_Emily Henderson

JCrew Toothpick Black Jean

Comfort: They’ve got some stretch to them for sure. Pretty comfortable.

Flattering: The front was pretty flattering, but the back less so.

Verdict: Fine.

Gap Strech and Recovery Jean_Emily Henderson

Gap Stretch and Recovery Jean 

Comfort: Comfortable.

Flattering: They are pretty stretchy so its not going to hold in your pooch if you got one (I do).

Verdict: I liked these enough for sure. They feel like they could stretch out pretty fast, but they were comfortable and flattering enough for $80.

Gap Always Skinny Jean_Emily Henderson

Gap Always Skinny Jean

Comfort: Totally fine.

Flattering: Fine unless you consider jeans that give you cankles unflattering. (So no, not terribly flattering).

Verdict: Not my cut.

Gap Super Stretch Legging Jean_Emily Henderson

Gap Super Stretch Legging

Comfort: Tight but comfortable. They are the closest things to jeggings that i’d wear. I could tell that if I lost just a few pounds they would fit my waist so much better, but I was surprised at how much I liked them, being in the jegging family and all.

Flattering: Not bad at all considering they are so stretchy and malleable.

Verdict: Pleasantly surprised. I liked these a lot. I bought these after the shoot.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in. Which skinnys would you buy? Which ones would you like to see in your closet tomorrow? You can vote for as many pairs as you would like.

Oh, and in case you were wondering where my tops came from: the blue quilted sweatshirt, which I LOVE, is from JCrew, and that boxy chambray top that I wear all the time is from Madewell. Shoes were a big splurge by A Detacher, and my gold bangle bracelet is from Capwell.

*Photos by Jessica Isaac, denim shopping by Jordan Rudd. 

Skinny Jeans_grid_voting



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177 thoughts on “The Best Skinny Jeans – A Review

  1. This is such a funny (“When he first met me I had a pretty sweet ass.”), useful, and overall GREAT post and you could totally be a fashion blogger sans photoshop-you look great. Thanks for a fantastic round-up!

  2. Personally, I think jeans (and all clothes, really) are so individual to each person, depending on body type. When I have a little extra weight (as I do now, four months post partum), I need a high rise. But I have an exceptionally long torso and basically no hips. Also, 125 pounds isn’t super skinny? Maybe if you’re really short. Numbers on a scale are only meaningful when paired with height.

  3. Emily – Can you tell us how tall you are? It would help for fit! And you look great in the light washed ones! Forget about those 5 pounds. They’ll come off eventually. You’ve got enough on your plate without stressing about your already beautiful figure! As long as you can run after that cute little blonde boy and love on your husband I say you’re doing great!
    Love the blog.

  4. I find it offensive that you seem to name 125 lbs the borderline “ok” weight for skinny jeans wearing.. This comment ” If you are over 125 pounds you should probably try them on to make sure they work with your body.” gives me bitter beer face. Isn’t finding the right jeans all about finding the right size for your body no matter your shape/size/weight?? Not about that style working for 125+ or not??

    1. Oh dear. I was including myself in that number. There are just so many ‘good in theory’ jeans but just less good when they are on your body. Point is all jeans look good on 110 pound people, but many jeans are trickier if you carry any extra weight anywhere on your body at all – like I do. But I edited it because you are right, that totally came off offensive. Sorry!

      1. btw i’m 140 and i wear skinnies like no ones’ business. majority of my work pants are skinnies — they actually make me feel a lot more comfortable than the flares (which i have discovered makes me look wider than i am) and i’m only 5’2″. but like most women — you really gotta try on a million jeans to find the ones that make you feel like a rock star, and when you do – buy it in MULTIPLES.

      2. Not necessarily…..I’m 110 pounds and struggle to find jeans in the worst way! And skinny jeans?! Forget it! Kudos to you!
        I’d love to hear if any of the ones you kept stretched out or if they kept their shape. It’s so sad when you (finally) find jeans you love just to have them warp 30 minutes after cutting off the tags.
        Consignment shops are a great place to look for jeans – they have all different brands and, since they are used, if they are going to change size, they have by then. And a lot of the expensive ones are already hemmed…

        By the way…..I think the Gap ones give you the best butt 🙂

        1. Try Paige jeans. I’m skinny, in a bad way… in an, need to gain 30 pounds way (health issues)…

          The only jeans that fit me in a flattering way are paige! Straight and Bootcut are the winners for right now. 20+ pounds (would would put me at 110), their skinny jeans are great!

          1. Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to check them out. I hope you’re feeling better soon!

    2. I am most definitely over 125lbs, and honestly when I used to be 125lbs I think I could wear absolutely everything. Now it takes a lot of shopping to find a flattering fit. But I definitely can. Honestly I think I have a much better sense of style now that I’ve had to learn how to work at selecting clothing. I can’t go to any discount rack and buy five cheap things and not consider my whole wardrobe, or what my clothes say about me. I have to think about it and actually style myself. I have items I love now, not just a bunch of cheap junk.
      I didn’t buy skinny jeans for forever because I felt they emphasized my disproportionate areas. But then I found WHBM skinny jeans. and I bought a pair, then I bought like 5 more and I wear them to work 3/5 days a week. I can’t say enough good things about them. They look awesome. They are super stretchy and extremely comfy. And I know I look good. (

      1. I love WHBM skinny jeans! I’ve had my two pairs for more than a year. They have had a TON of wash and wear and still look awesome! My friend who has a totally different body type than mine also looks fantastic in them!

  5. You know, in all the candid shots you post of yourself – in your house, or at the market, or on a shoot – you always look good. In real life we don’t stand face forward / ass forward to a camera (or critical eye). That’s why I don’t really like the overly polished style posts about clothing. I like to be comfortable and confident in what I’m wearing, but who has time to obsess over every curve or dimple or angle. Sounds like you were comfortable and confident in several of your choices – I’m sure you’ll wear them well.

    1. It’s true about the face forward thing. I think i need to work on my modeling skills.

  6. Very, very brave of you, Emily, to do this post! I personally find most skinny jeans to be too confining overall, although I do have a couple of pairs of colored jeans…and, good news, jeans with a ‘flare’ are back in a big way! How about a post on those? You look great in everything; talk about confidence. Shining through in all you do!

    1. Thanks, Deb. We did Flare jeans, too! Posting very soon and YES, i’m so excited they are back – skinny jeans are tricky on most people and rarely are they THAT comfortable. Wildly more flattering than skinny, on me at least.

      1. This has been my favourite post in a long time, Emily! Thank you! And I’m so excited that you’re covering flares. I think that will be my denim purchase this year-a pair of awesome high-waisted flares. I purchase one pair of jeans every few years and like to make sure I purchase something good and versatile and that I can get loads of wear from-your review will help! And we’re the same height and have the same body type-please do more fashion reviews 🙂

  7. Loved this post. You are so right, it’s hard to base buying decisions on fashion blogger posts. I think your 125 pound comment was to remind people that this is what you weigh and look like in the jeans-not that you need to weigh 125 pounds or less to where them;). Thanks for keeping it real. It feels good to remember that everyone has their own body and how one thing can look great on one person, it may not do the same for another.

  8. Great roundup! I will have to try those H&M jeans, they look great for the price! For anybody thinking about the Old Navy Rockstars, I just want to say, make sure you try on the “super skinny stretch” rockstars (there are different varieties so I’m not sure which one Emily is wearing in #12). I’m an elementary school art teacher and last fall I was looking for some jeans to wear to school that look nice but that wouldn’t be the end of the world if paint got spilled on them or something. I am 5’1″ and weigh 125 and thought, “Oh, these super tight ones will never fit or be flattering” BUT thank heaven I tried them on because they are THE most comfortable jeans I’ve ever owned. I bought a few pairs and they are literally the only pants I’ve worn since September. They are so stretchy that it feels like I’m wearing leggings, but they look like jeans, they don’t look or feel too tight at all. Plus they are the only jeans I’ve never had to wear a belt with. Never before have I found jeans that fit me correctly in both the hips and the waist! Holla! One time I got behind on laundry and all my rockstars were dirty and I had to wear one of my old pairs of pants to school. I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t believe how confining and uncomfortable they were compared to the stretchy rockstars. So yeah, maybe in this lineup compared to these other expensive jeans the Old Navy rockstars don’t look like the strongest contenders, but the price cannot be beat, especially when you have a job like mine where staining your clothes is a risk taken daily (moms could say that too, amiright?) Anyways, for anybody considering it, go to Old Navy and try on the super skinny stretch rockstars and just check if $30 can rock your world before you spring for a really expensive pair.

      1. Oh, I agree too! I used to never ever like Old Navy jeans but these rockstars having been carrying me around since I last gave birth (18 months ago). I have them in a 4 and an 8 (from just barely post partum) and they fit the SAME. Ha. I love them!

        PS GAP jeans always look terrible on me but I love them on you!

    1. Hannah, next time you’re looking for cheap jeans, check out the Forever 21 jeans. They fit pretty darn well, and are $7.99. Certainly no fear of getting paint on those!

  9. Can I add a totally affordable pair to the list? J crew factory midrise skinnies. You can get them for under $30 on sale and they’re all I wear. And we could be twins: 5’3 120-ish pounds, post baby body (and an aversion to working out, if you don’t count moving furniture)…
    To me, as a new mom, the word midrise means everything! Also, getting the right size (I wear a 24 in those-vanity sizing indeed), as you want them to suck you in but at the same be comfy once they stretch out (I used to have some beef with my butt, but then I realized the issue was the sagging denim).

  10. Oh to weigh 125 pounds. Or even 150 pounds (I’m 5’6″). I don’t mind a post about skinny jeans (something I would never be able to wear for a variety of reasons) but it’s hard to read the comments about how they look good on anyone who is 100 or 110 pounds. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I just wish I was more self-confident because this post has me feeling very self-conscious now. Wish I hadn’t read it before I got dressed for work! 🙂

    1. Karen, ugh, i’m so sorry!!! No one is ACTUALLY 110 pounds. Well, models are, which is why i’m so frustrated by the fashion industry. Everything looks good on 110 pound people but there are no actual 110 pound people so we have to try and fail constantly to find clothes that work. I edited the post, but please know that the intention was for people to know that 110 isn’t an actual goal or realistic weight for 99 percent of the world, so this review is more for actual people. Definitely walking on glass here, I guess. I’m so so so sorry if it left you feeling icky.

        1. You go @Karen! Bet your hair looks fab.

          @Emily– I cannot WAIT for the flares post. Please hurry! Trying to figure out which pair I want to invest in. Free people has some great super flares for around 78 which I will probably go with but @happilygrey ‘s instagram of those 245$ ones having me dreaming… she’s wearing them with a white tank if you’re looking. haha love you and your blog!

  11. i have a couple of the old navy rock stars — in colors and they’re pretty good but definitely not like forever ever jeans.

    now i have to do a plug – the limited has a pair of cuffed skinny jeans 678 – OMG it is so soft and comfortable. HUGE fan of them. I wish they had a pair that was not cuffed in that exact same. makes me sad that i can’t get another pair that’s not cuffed.

    1. I have some of the color rockstars too, and yeah they are not the greatest. But Old Navy has changed something because last fall’s denim rockstars are soooo much better. They are so stretchy and comfy and flattering! So if you’re looking for a not-cuffed skinny, give Old Navy another try and see if the super skinny stretch rockstars work for you. I seriously can’t go back to wearing any of my other pairs of jeans, colored or not, because they are so much more comfy and flattering!

  12. Emily, please please please be kinder to yourself and your body.I know you aren’t trying to make anyone feel bad and you’re trying to be funny, but it makes me feel sad to read that you feel your 126-lb body isn’t skinny enough. I get what you are saying about style bloggers being tiny and everything will look good on them and appreciate that, but as someone who has never weighed 126 lbs my entire adult life, and barring some devastating illness or something probably never will (and do’t want to), I hope you can please take a step back and get some perspective. You look great!

    1. Oh, believe me. I’m doing that right now. Thanks, Jen. Going to edit to be way less, oh I don’t know, that. 🙂

      1. It can be difficult to have perspective when the people you live around are all your size or smaller. It could make you feel 125lbs is unacceptable in some way. My weight is 215lbs and I rock those Old Navy Super Skinny Rock Star jeans, hard! (and they go on sale! just sayin’…last year scored some for $9!) You rocked all those jeans, Mrs. Henderson! You can’t be taking care of everyone else’s self esteem. It’s up to them. It’s up to you, people, to work on accepting yourself. It’s difficult in this image based society, but work on it a little bit every day! The affect is cumulative! <3

      2. And I didn’t mean that in a troll-y way–just you always look great and I cannot even look at myself in videos, so totally admire that you can put yourself out there. Not asking you to bolster my self esteem or stop doing fashion posts either–I know that I don’t have to come to your blog if I don’t want to, and don’t want you to feel like you need to self edit to make anyone feel better.

  13. I’m a big fan of this post, mostly because you’re so transparent and I’ve been waiting for a professional blogger to acknowledge that 200 dollar jeans are a splurge!
    Love your awesome original content!

    1. Also, may I add a note? I’m definitely above your weight/height range but I didn’t think that your wording regarding fit or your size was offensive. You can’t pretend to be anything other than your body type and you were talking about how the clothes fit your body and how they made you feel.

      1. Thank you. I’ve felt nauseous all morning. Maybe i’ll stick to design/style or just the clothes that I really really love and stay away from any sort of ‘reviews’ of ones that don’t look good.

        1. I loved this review post. Please don’t stop them. You’ll never get the wording of every post right. I’m sure you feel a responsibility to your audience, but I like that you can just be yourself in your writing and not be an edited version. I think the fact that you responded so quickly to your comments speaks volumes and I’m glad this post got to showcase that. As long as you do that, we’ll know your intentions!

        2. Emily!!! You are brave and wonderful! Please don’t beat yourself up for the negative comments on here! XOXOX

  14. I LOVE my J Crew Toothpick jeans and also mix in the Matchstick ones. I have a few pairs of the others you showed but always choose these ones first. I didn’t take any offense to your post and I have a few lbs to lose at 5″6″ and 140. Not sure how this was read as body shaming post. I think some people are extra sensitive to the issue of body weight.

  15. Just a shout out for Genetic! They are THE most comfortable jeans I have ever worn–I travel in nothing else because they look like jeans but feel like PJs. I’m on the petite side, so I have to have mine taken up, which means the calf part of the leg on me is meant to be higher up on the leg (if you had longer legs) so they’re not as “skinny” on me as they would be on a taller person. But if you don’t mind a slightly more relaxed look through the leg or you’re taller than my 5′ 2″ you should check them out! Made in LA, too, but available nationally through Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, I believe, or online. I’m a big fan.

  16. Thank you for a funny tour of the big bad world of buying jeans. Jeans, clothes in general, are such a personal thing. i appreciated your jean tour, especially the price tag and material. I always think more expensive is better, but it is not the case if it does not fit correctly. Thank you for making me smile this morning Emily!

    1. Haha – I am the same size too, and LOVE LOVE LOVE the Stevies (and AG in general) as well as Madewell (good waist height) and like Emily, just discovered Paige (cheap at Nordstrom Rack.)

      1. I also love the AG skinnies – they are well worth the investment for how good they feel on and how great I think they look (on me, at least). I’m in the 28/29 range.

  17. You are adorable in everything you wear, but I don’t feel like this post is very applicable to your greater readership. It really depends on a person’s body shape which jeans will look good on them. Some of your favorites could look unflattering on lots of people and vice versa.

  18. Rolling hems is in right now if you like a pair that is too long. Scrunching kind of ends up looking sloppy or too big sometimes. I’m going to try some Old Navy Rockstars. I’m at a point where I don’t want to spend a ton on clothes but still want comfort and style.

  19. I’m so glad you did this post! I have a similar body type, I’m petite but not super duper skinny. I definitely have a butt and thighs. I’ve always found it’s hard to find good skinny jeans.. I have had luck with H&M, Paige, and Old Navy as well. But seriously, you know whats my favorite..? Abercrombie! Their jeans have a great amount of stretch and perfect for ladies on the more petite side. My mom even started wearing them, she is much more curvy than myself and wears about a size 10/12.

  20. I personally just bought 3 pairs of the GAP always skinny jean in multiple colors.
    Even though I’m fairly thin, I find it SUPER hard to find flattering jeans because i hold a bit of weight around my stomach (unfortunately).

    The GAP always skinnies fit so effing well and come up to the perfect stomach height. They have stretched out a tad so I would recommend buying them on the snug side, but HIGHLY RECOMMEND

  21. The Loft Modern Skinny jeans. I am built very similarly to you and both the blue and white fit awesome. I think they run about $80 but can usually be found on sale for almost half at some point.

    1. Yes! I’m very close to Emily’s height/wight and they are perfect on me. I bought them in both the black and distressed wash. They’re my (hot) mom jeans! 🙂

    2. I agree! I love the fit of loft modern skinny jeans. They fit just like my Joe’s and AG’s, and I can usually get them for under $40. Loft cords (modern skinny) last forever, are soft, and are so flattering

  22. This was a very, very brave post, Emily. I see this post was just about finding flattering skinny jeans. Inevitably, women’s clothes and their fit and body weight transfer over to the tenuous territory of women and weight and body image in our culture. It is crazy that marketers of women’s clothing do it to a phantom audience, i.e. hardly any of us actually has a model’s body weighing 100 lbs, and the fact that air brushing is a standard practice in the fashion industry seems criminal to me. Kudos for your courage as it opened up a dialogue on a very controversial topic. Super important for women to remember and keep perspective on this fallacy of weight and body image in our culture and to educate our daughters about this weirdness so their fragile and forming self body images are not harmed by this.

  23. You didn’t try Target! My LA fashionista daughter-in-law who has always worn high end jeans, but then discovered Target jeans, so introduced me to them. They are fabulous…I have skinny, jeggings (really flattering and comfortable) and boyfriend. I love them all. Try then sometime and only $29.00 or frequent sales you get the 2nd for 50% off.

  24. Hi Emily!!
    Ok you’ve tried the rest now try the best!
    I am not kidding you, these jeans are legit. GAP revolution skinny jeans. it looks like you tried some of the gap jeans but not those. they are relatively new. I am the same size as you, have a 14 month old and bought these jeans in EVERY color they make. and if you wait til they offer 40% off, which is frequently. you can get them for 50 bucks a pair. for sure get the short version. hits at the ankle perfectly. perfect rise. you feel solid and sexy. i could go on, but you get the idea!! tell me if you do it, seriously everyone. I’ve tried them all, these rock.

  25. This was a great post. I love and appreciate your honesty. I am a big fan of the Gap Always Skinny (and Always Straight) line. I am 5’2.5″ and I love that they have an inseam for me. Also as a teacher, the $150-$200 price point is just not accessible and really I do not want it to be.

  26. Thanks for posting this! Super useful resource for someone with the same-ish weight/body type. I’m a little confused by the negativity of some of these comments…for those who have a different weight/body type, they can look elsewhere for inspo! No blog is a one-stop shop 🙂

  27. I used to looove Gap jeans. Then suddenly one day all jeans had so much spandex that they stretch out and start falling down a few hours in. I have learned to buy jeans in a size smaller because of that issue. That being said if you like the Gap jeans they go on sale around summer time and you can get them super cheap, like $10-$30 a pair, which is great. I’m 5’5 and buy the ankle length beause they make them so long. A friend of mine pointed me back toward good old Levi’s and they are great as well. Paige denim is great, but because it’s expensive I actually find them on ebay 😉

  28. Love this fun little post and will say that Express has some Skinny jeans (Stella I think?) that will knock your socks off. Dark wash, stretchy, perfect!

  29. I also share the curse of the shortness (5’2″) and never being able to find jeans that don’t have to be hemmed or altered in some way. I buy the Gap Always Skinny dark wash in ankle length again and again and they always look great (weirdly, I’ve tried other colors and the fabric stretches like CRAZY and none of them fit the same). This piece gives me hope that it MIGHT be possible to branch out and find a great-fitting skinny with more structure. I feel like that’s not too much to ask, right society?! Also, yes please do some flares!

  30. Loved this! Especially because I am also 5’3 and wear a 27 or 28 jeans…so, thanks for trying all these on for me! So good to know about the cheap-o’s from H&M!

    Also, somewhat unrelated: I love how you rock the boxy top/skinny jeans look. I LOVE that look and always feel like it comes across super boxy on me. But, considering we have very similar sizes/shapes, I’m interested in trying again!


  31. I’m AG brand crazed. They are pricey, but I always buy them on sale at Anthro.

    You are getting a lot of mixed feedback, but I love that you are taking risks with your posts. Thanks for such great content in 2015.

  32. Yes! Emily, I OFTEN wish I knew where you sourced your clothes, so this post was super fun to me. I’ll echo the previous comments that you are a total goddess and would encourage you to OWN that (powerful role modeling for Charlie, no?), but I also totally understand not feeling quite at home in your body as it changes. There’s some life-work for ya: accepting, embracing and celebrating that change. Anyhow, you always look adorable, & obviously you are able to successfully turn your design eye on your wardrobe, and now I fully expect you to tell us where ALL of your clothes come from. Part of why your blog is so addictive is that you do a great job of bridging that gap of fantasy & reality. Would I do a fashion shoot for thousands of people to read if I had the resources (& the audience)? HELL yeah! And my bod is far from “perfect.” It’s just fun, like dress up, and it’s supposed to be fun, right? Roc k on mama!

  33. I appreciate that you did not want to make anyone feel bad about herself. I hope you can do the same for yourself! Here is what worked for me: Having a baby girl. I was forced to deal with lingering body issues, because it hurt my heart to think of my daughter having such critical thoughts of her own body one day.

    1. Lesley, same for me!! Having a daughter and realizing that even as a toddler, she was carefully watching and mimicking everything i did, made me take a close eye to how I loved myself. Now instead of beating myself up and being critical, I show her that eating well and staying active are more important than fitting a certain pant size. It’s a work in progress, but it’s hard a huge effect.

  34. Totally enjoyed this post. And, for what it’s worth, my opinion is that super curvy girls (like me) don’t look as good in skinny jeans because of the tapered leg. I’ve tried plenty on and just don’t like the way they look. I’m more of a straight-leg jeans kind of a girl, which I think makes me sleek AND curvy in the best way. It’s kind of freeing not feeling like you have to go for every trend or style out there, just because it’s popular.

  35. I’m 5’4 and like high-rise skinnies that hold in my tummy. Faves are Topshop “Jamie” jeans ($70) and the new Gap resolution-denim high rise skinnies (I previously was not a fan of Gap jeans, but I really like these, and on sale they were $40)!

  36. Love this post! Can you please indicate which numbers correlate to the descriptions above? It doesn’t seem like they match up? (i.e. #13 is not the 2nd to last pair in your original list).

  37. I too am tired of skinny jeans, not being so twiggy myself. Plus it’s all those years of Stacy London telling us that if you want slimming you NEED straight or boot cut jeans, period.

    But I loved this post and am looking forward to more, but in other cuts/styles!

  38. Loved this post Emily. You are so genuine and adorable! BTW, I am 5’4 and 115 lbs and I hate the way skinny jeans look on me -give me flare or boot cut any day!

  39. I never comment but I just wanted to say that I think that you are so wonderful and I love these honest pictures and reviews! The content about weight etc. was edited by the time I read this, but just glanced through a couple of your responses and wanted to say that I think you have responded so graciously and as a loyal reader I totally trust that you didn’t intend to hurt anyone re: body image. Body image is such such such a personal and touchy subject and I so appreciate your honesty!

  40. love the post and your honesty! I’m a tall girl (5′ 11″) with hips and thighs and all sorts of things that make the perfect jeans a challenge. My big discovery was American Eagle’s sky high jeggings. I know, jeggings, it’s horrible. But they actually look pretty jean like, they have a zip fly instead of elastic waistband, and they are soooooo high waisted it holds everything in the tummy region in perfectly. They are the only skinny jeans I buy now.

    1. I also LOVE AE sky high jeggings and high rise jeggings. That is all we buy here for myself (37) size 6/8 and my daughters (16 and 14) size 2 and 4 and we all love them.

  41. Posts like this–honest, real, not photoshopped–are a FANTASTIC antidote to most content put out by fashion/style bloggers, many of whom are embryonic and teeny tiny (or Photoshop themselves to be). I can’t look at one more photo of Rockstuds, macarons or a perfectly Photoshopped thigh sunning in some freakin’ tropical oasis. Reality? Huh?

    You can’t please everybody, so just don’t try. The negative comments may have more to do with those posters’ personal experiences and issues than anything you did. And I’m not hating on them–weight is an incredibly loaded issue in our culture. I get it. But without posts like this, the only images left will be of the airbrushed stick figures, the macarons, blah, blah. And the cycle continues….

    Content like this is hugely important, so don’t shy away for fear of saying the wrong thing, Emily….And lest I make you sound like some brave, political, but not so hot looking chick–for crying out loud, you look beautiful: a Nordic looking bombshell! My husband was passing through and caught sight of the images and he was all, “Wowza! Who’s that?!….” We women do it to ourselves, I’m afraid…..

  42. Anyone here fans of Banana Republic Skinnies? I have a pair that have been my faves for a long time but I haven’t tried a lot of brands. I’m on the taller side at 5’9″ and not skinny at 175 lbs but I still love these jeans.

    1. Joellyn – we are the same size and I have been trying to find jeans forever. Thanks for the recommendation!

  43. I seriously don’t get why JCrew doesn’t make jeans that have smaller pockets that are more flattering. Come on jcrew!

    Also, Emily you look amazing!

  44. I totally love this post! I am guilty of subscribing to too many fashion bloggers on instagram and then feeling bad about myself when I don’t look like them in the same kinds of clothes. You look great, the jeans are great, and I love wearing skinnies too! I’m a Paige denim girl all the way!

  45. I enjoyed this post immensely Emily. I think you approached the subject with both humor and grace, and don’t think you should beat yourself up about it. It was nice to see an honest review, without overly stylized pictures, of something we all wear on the daily.

  46. hilarious and awesome post. i actually own a couple of pairs of these (ahem JBrand Maria) and couldn’t agree more with your reviews. stay adorable.

  47. I hear you on the JCrew Matchstick. I love them but my butt looks square and flat in them. What the heck?
    I live in my Madewell jeans though. At 5 foot 2 and 120 pounds (my goal this year is to get that number down. They yanked someone from JBrand (Mary Pierson) and since then I love their jeans. Proper amount of stretch but not till where you have buy a size larger (pet peeve) and yet still affordable.

  48. Just so you know, this post had me using the timer on my iPhone to snap pictures of myself in my new jeans. I’m currently loving Gap’s new Resolution denim. They seriously maintain their shape throughout the day but are super comfortable. They’re a little long, but maybe I’m just short…

  49. Ohmygod I LOVE those A Detacher pumps! Could you weigh in on sizing (length and width?)

  50. Emily, Please do a review for flare/wide leg jeans. I’m really digging them right now and would love to read your take!

  51. I love that you publically shared your height and weight. In my mind, the secret to ending body shaming is transparency, to show that there’s a huge range of body types (something that magazines and most fashion bloggers do not reflect). It is the final taboo in our culture – I know intimate details about most of my girlfriends’ income levels and sex lives, but don’t know what they weigh. The few times it has come up, I am surprised by the number – it is always higher than what I would have guessed it would be, which helps me to feel more normal and to be kinder to myself when I jump on the scale. This transparency is why I appreciate Nordstrom online reviews that include body stats and also gym locker rooms – both provide a great reminder that there are a wide range of beautiful bodies out there. So ++ for putting it out there. I wish more people would.

    1. I totally agree! Sharing about ourselves and being transparent can be so empowering for all of us!! Thank you Emily for being so open, in this post and always. You continue to inspire me!

  52. I want to vote, but I need the reviews to be numbered! Can’t keep all those numbers straight and not let my 10 month old die. How the hell do they move so fast??

    Anyway, yes yes to Old Navy Rockstar. I bought a pair (the high rise, FYI) as my transition-out-of-baby-weight jeans and pretty much never took them off. Then bought a smaller size when the time came. I’m thinking of doing some DIY distressing on my slightly bigger ones to make them more boyfriend-ish. Glad to know about those H&M Shaping Skinnies too.

    Fun post! I always love your clothes-related posts and am so happy to know you’re my height, since that makes the translation to me even easier in my head.

    Have you heard of Sonnet James dresses? “Play dresses for playful moms.” I am keeping them in mind for next summer when I’m (hopefully) not breastfeeding all the damn time. I can’t imagine them on you for blog-worthy things, but totally for the park with Charlie!

  53. Loved this, Emily!
    You should try AG jeans too. I recently discovered them at Anthropologie and they are fab.

  54. Gap outlet has a skinny high rise stretch legging jogging that goes on sale for 19.99(sometimes) I have two pairs and they’re great for my postpartum pooch(my lo is 2 months) I hope you take into account how often gap and old navy have 40/50% off sales, I never buy anything full price there and it makes my (temporary)jeans worth it. I love Paige jeans too, my favorite premium denim…j brand was my maternity love and joes jeans were my gateway to premium denim. In 2001 when seven jeans were in I never thought I’d want to pay so much for a pair of fitting jeans but now.. I definitely agree with you. Thanks for the informative post!

  55. May I suggest Pilcro Stets? Check them out; you’ll thank me. (You can read the reviews on Anthropologie.) 🙂 P.S. I’m 5’3″ also so I buy their “short” version. Best fitting that I’ve ever found. Also, although not technically skinny jeans, J Brand’s Gigi is also great!

  56. The best skinny jeans I’ve found are Urban Outfitters BDG brand – Twig Grazer Hi-Rise. Don’t be scared by the ‘twig’ name – they fit curves really well! (Also- they’re ankle length, bonus!) I feel like I’m no longer Urban’s target customer, but I go back just for these jeans. I literally have four pairs of the same color because there’s no waist gapping, they have flattering back pockets, they’re not too tight in the thigh…I could go on and on).

  57. This post is awesome! I have always wanted to do research like this, but never took the time – so thank you for doing it for us!

  58. This is the best post ever. THANK YOU so much for trying them all on, its so appreciated. I hate shopping for jeans and you did all the work for us, now I can just buy!

  59. I’m gonna chime in here and give another shout out to Target jeans. Now that I’ve discovered the Levis Denizen skinny jean, I will never go back. They have the perfect amount of stretch and they come in short, regular, and tall lengths. Full disclosure: I am a curvier girl (size 14), so I know how hard it can be to find skinny jeans that look good in larger sizes. Skinny jeans for all!

  60. Great job on putting this post out there! It’s risky business with so many opinions to be had. You did some really awesome reviews and I loved the shoot. We are about the same size and I love my J Brand’s! Even after babe they were the first jeans I jumped back into.

  61. Hey Emily! Great post. I immediately went to H& to find the zipper ones in plus size. Quick question: Where are your shoes from? They look really comfy and supportive yet are adorable. I am a teacher and am on my feet all day so I’m always looking for cute wearable shoes. Thanks!

  62. i’m 35 – 5’3 – 125 lbs with a 12 month old. i’m five-ish pounds heavier than i was pre-pregnancy but everything just shifted and my body is so different. i went jeans shopping last weekend and it was horrifying.

  63. hate you got attacked for weight talk. I appreciate your real-life approach to personal style. That’s what it’s like if you try on a pile of jeans, no matter your size. Good post. It’s been 15 years since I tried out Old Navy denim, I guess it’s time to give it another go.

    While nothing you put on would look the same on me (I’m 5’10”), you opened my eyes to trying different brands. You never know what will work.

  64. I kept waiting for an April Fool’s at the end, like, I’m not really going to blog about fashion…but I totally loved this post. The H&M Skinny Regulars look amazing on you and I can’t believe you only gave them a 7! How long ago did you get them, because they don’t have them online?! 🙁 They have jeans with the same name, but they don’t have the zipper at the bottom and that length is perfect (I’m the same height as you). Wah – I want them now! I did order those gap super stretch leggings. I used to spend so much money on jeans and now it all goes towards my toddler’s wardrobe. I’ve become a huge fan of h&m and gap for me and I was so psyched that I thought they looked the best. Thanks for being so brave and sharing this post!

  65. Great article / photos – thank you for sharing! I spent a good amount of time in Gap today trying on jeans, I was pleasantly surprised by the Superstretch Legging Jeans and bought them right away.

  66. honestly you look great in most of these so hard to vote. i have to agree jeans are such a personal preference. i have some great designer jeans but my fav is my levis jeggings. being 5′ i have to get all my pants hemmed, except for the ones that are cropped or capri style which fits me perfectly!

  67. Hi, Emily

    You should try AYR jeans. They are the BEST jeans I’ve ever owned. They have a home try on program where you pick three sizes and try them on at home; they only charge you a dollar each. If you like a pair, you send the others back (free returns) and they charge you for the pants. They are the most flattering pants ever; I have a 4 week old baby and I think I look great in them 🙂

  68. Ummm, your hair is so effing amazing in this shoot I could barely focus on the jeans guuurl! Seriously.

  69. I love this post, I love your style just as much as your design, I would love to see some more fashion posts. I myself can’t quite get the skinny jean, I own some but I never feel good in them. Usually I think they look to trendy in a bad way (all I can think when I see them on me is Kardashians) but you really pull them off. What I really want to see is a super wide leg jeans post, I always love your look when you wear them. I think I’ve said before that you really pull off that vintage inspired look without being to costume.

  70. oh man, looooove this post!! This is what my camera roll looks like…400 pictures of different jeans that I’ve texted to my friend like “mom butt? Front butt? Yea? No?” Haha.

    Here’s the pair I’m wearing literally every day right now. In fact, I have Chinese food from last night on my left pant leg but I’m not willing to give them up to wash them…..the Ankle Skinny from 7 for all Mankind. Definitely a splurge at $200, but I’ve had them for nearly 2 years and I wear them more than any other pair. Comfortable AND flattering….especially for a 5’2″ frame.

    Anyway….loooove this post so much!

  71. I have a pair of Paige skinnies in black and I wear those things like every. day. You’re right, they do this weird butt lift that looks great from the side. They weren’t cheap, but they are so comfortable and the rise is great for a mom…not crazy high, but high enough that I’m not flashing the world when I need to bend over with my kids. And after several months they seem to not be stretched out more…or I could just be gaining weight. 😉 Fun post!

  72. Stitch Fix is kind of a bad deal in terms of price, but through a fix I found Kut from the Kloth jeans, and oh my, they fit like a dream! If you’re like me with a big bum and smaller waist, and normally find pants gapping in the back or riding down all the time, the fit on these is great. Like a glove! And the list on them is around $80, so not TOO pricey.

  73. How about – how to stand up in skinny jeans? I have skinny legs yet they still bunch when sitting. I drag by foot down my leg when i stand up to pull them down but this gets awkward sometimes and I wonder what others feel/others do?

  74. Wait. Is this an april fools post to make us look at your butt? I can’t tell. Too funny.

  75. I’d love to see you review petite-sized jeans rather than regular sizes on a petite frame.

  76. I’m super confused. The numbered photos aren’t in the same order as the pictures in the post, are they?! Can you add the brand for each number at the bottom? Pretty please and thank you!

  77. The gap super stretches look RULL hot on ya. I’ll have to try those! I like anything with an elastic waste, so maybe I can alter them to cater to my perpetual food baby. It’s just kinda my life these days.

  78. hey Emily!
    nice post on a super touchy subject! (i like to think i look good in jeans but thas because i close my eyes and blackout which i try on bad ones! impressed you included pics you loved/like/AND meh…we all appreciate it!
    I do love Paige, my favorite white jeans ever (check those out for summer!)–supposedly they have the most “athletic”fit (a saleslady told me that once and I love that, because, you know, we are all “athletic”)
    Also, you should check out Lucky (a brand I never thought I would be into–just not generally my style) but their appropriately named “Charlie” skinny Tee shirt jeans (and just the regular charlie fit ) is literally the MOST comfortable thing I’ve ever worn. I have shared the same jeans with friends who are 5’3 to 5’8 (obvi looks like a long vs ankle jean cut) and apple to skinnymini sized– everyone looks good in these bad boys.
    Thanks fot always being a positive, unique voice–not see many other bloggers doing a comparison shoot where they assess their look as less than perfect ever! thats why you rock!

  79. PLEASE do another set with the awesome 70’s style jeans you do SO WELL. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Those are impossible to find.

  80. I second that point. Your hair looks amazing in these pictures!

    I LOVE skinnies! At 5’7” and 145lbs I look fa.bu.lous in them. I am not looking forward to flared jeans coming back.

  81. Em, this post was fantastically written. Never did you demean a body type or weight. You, like every woman, get to decide with full acceptance, what YOUR ideal weight/body type for YOURSELF is. You should be able to do this without backlash. People read in to what you are unashamedly saying about YOURSELF and make it about themselves or someone else or a cultural crises. This is what we call bad listening. They missed the point entirely and bulldozed you with their premature reaction. We all make snap judgements but there are a few on here who could probably benefit from time with a liscensed counselor. Do you what you love Emily, say your “sorrys” if you need to but don’t stop doing what you want.

  82. Not a fan on skinny jeans for myself. I’m 5’2″ and wear a size 0 short or 2 short. I can’t wear petites because they are too short in the rise. Trying to find the size I need is like looking for a zebra. Can’t wear junior sizes, things are in different places after 2 pregnancies and boys jeans are a square nightmare. The last time I found a pair close to my size was a couple of years ago. The thought of having to begin “THE SEARCH” makes me break out in a cold sweat.
    You look cute in all of them! My advice is to go with what feels most comfortable!
    see ya cutie pie….

  83. Great post! I’ve been looking into getting a new pair of skinny jeans. Thanks for doing the research!

  84. You look beautiful as always, Emily! Also…I am just wondering if you could add sizes for every brand you tried. I am finding it difficult to get to stores with my two little ones to try things on and my size is so inconsistent between brands and even different fabrications in the same brand. Also, have you tried AG? I don’t know what it is but the stilt has a way of working with my post partum body at any size, I wore them through my last pregnancy with waist extenders and then every time I got closer to my pre baby weight I sized down and they look amazing at every stage. AMAZING. And they feel like pajamas. Those H&M and Gap legging jeans look amazing on you!

  85. Love this post so much. It made me laugh and I can totally relate. H&M has been my go-to brand post baby. Cheap and easy during the transitional (I hope) weight phase. Great topic and you look great!

  86. My absolute favorite skinny jeans ever are by Dr. Denim. I found the brand about three years ago and now I never buy anything else! They are so stretchy and comfortable, almost like jeggings but still with back pockets that you can actually use. I always wear mine to rags and then just go out and buy a new pair 🙂

    Danika Maia

  87. Hey Emily. One thing you don’t mention is recovery. The problem with *most* jeans (especially the cheapies) is that they’re made with total garbage fabric. Cheap jeans will stretch and bag out over time (especially at the knee). I designed a skinny jeans pattern for home sewists (in my opinion the ultimate in flattering, but hey, clearly biased) so I’ve done A LOT of research into it. The best denim in the world for skinnies is Cone Mills stretch, made in the USA. I know Imogene & Willie use it, but not sure about Rag & Bone or any of the other spendy designer versions. Just something to keep in mind going forward: you want to see a mix of cotton, spandex and polyester in the denim. Polyester may be gross at 100% levels, but in the right ratio it helps denim hold its shape over time, which means you don’t have to wash them every time you wear them to get them back into shape. Jeans with 98% cotton, 2% spandex are going to bag out much faster.

  88. I have the Gap leggings too and agree with you. For the price, they’re comfortable and surprisingly flattering.

  89. I’m pretty picky about skinny jeans – I prefer more of a narrow, straight leg – I also have big feet and get frustrated putting skinny jeans or jeggings on/off over them. But I love Loft’s Curvy Skinny jeans. They are also the perfect length for me (5’7″) that they don’t bunch up at all at the ankle.

  90. I actually just bought and started wearing (today!) the Gap Super Stretch Legging Jeans. I read a lot of good reviews for a post-partum body (3 months out from Baby #2) and I feel like they are pretty flattering and I like that they come in a petite size (I’m 5’2). I like the little bit higher rise and they seem to hold things in pretty well- I’m a fan!

  91. Emily, it has been sooooo (embarrassingly) long since I purchased a proper pair of jeans. Thank you for putting this round-up together. I ordered a pair of the Paiges based on your rec!

  92. I managed a store that sold high end denim for years and could probably write a book on jeans for various body types. Try the Paige Skyline Ankle Peg. I own countless pairs of free premium denim but I wear my Skylines until they die because they are so dang comfortable. If you want a boyfriend jean that won’t make you look dumpy, try the Jimmy Jimmy skinny. They run super big though so you’ll need to go down at least one, if not two sizes. They are going to stretch A LOT so you want them to be really fitted when you try them on. And never, ever dry your denim. Hang them to dry. The heat degrades the elasticity and makes them eventually start getting baggy in the knees and butt.

  93. thanks for putting yourself out there and helping us find the perfect jeans! I went through this exact same struggle — and its real. I was reminded that jeans are all about how the butt looks. You look great. I have to say I have always been a fan of your style. All the way back in the secrets of a stylist days. You always wore great high waisted 70s-ish flares plus cool shoes and tops. If thus whole designer thing doesn’t pan out hahahahahaha you could become a fashion designer.

  94. Thanks for a great and funny review and for putting yourself out there to try on the jeans and take pictures of you front AND back. Jeez, people, don’t get so hung up on that notion about weight. I am 150 pounds in 6 feet and I love my skinny jeans and think they look great. (Can recommend Banana Republic’s.) It also depends on how your weight is distributed on your body – so, can’t we just agree that everyone is different.

  95. I always wear red engine-super comfy. I actually think the old navy jeans look the best on you- front and back. Cute post-thanks!

  96. The GAP Skinny Super Stretch Jeggings (Ugh, I’m totally with you on hating that whole thing) are seriously my go-to jean.

    Oh, and if you find a GAP Outlet, you can score a pair for $40 or less. Makes stocking up on weekend jeans easy on the wallet!

    I’m looking forward to your post on flares… being 5’4″ and curvy, I’ve always avoided flares afraid they’ll be unflattering on me, but I see them on girls and I just think “you go, girl.”

  97. first, i have to confess, i’m super jealous that you can wear the J.Crew toothpick jeans!! no matter how many sizes i go up or down (really just up), i can’t get them to fit my calves. but you definitely can rock them! i also think you look great in the GAP jeggings!

    since fitting my calves is the biggest problem when it comes to skinny jeans, i found one pair that works (after a ton of research/fitting room nightmares), and have stuck with them since – AE midrise skinny jeans. i feel super old going into the store, so thank goodness their sizes have stayed the same and i can order online!

  98. I just wanted to show support. You’re doing a great job, Emily, and you’re a sweetheart about trying to be a sensitive and transparent blogger. As many said, you can’t be responsible for everyone’s feelings and with certain topics it’s just going to be a minefield no matter how to play it. But I think it’s obvious that you care deeply and I hate to think about how sick you might have felt about a handful of reactions you got. Please don’t feel like you can’t take risks, especially when for you this was just as much as an internal struggle personally to share. I was happy to see we are pretty much exactly the same height and weight, mainly because I think you’re flipping gorgeous and it’s hard to get perspective. We all need to be easier on ourselves and each other! Keep doing what you’re doing and rock on.

  99. This is such a great post. I enjoyed it thoroughly and you are way too hilarious and cute! Thanks for this uber helpful and fun post!

  100. Emily – you are WERKING the Gap skinnies (the Super Stretch and the Stretch and Recovery). Makes me think I ought to give Gap jeans another go-round (I gave them up years ago because they seem to fall apart easily.)

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