The Ultimate Denim Guide
Hi friends! Welcome back! By now you all are probably very well aware that jeans are my number one favorite article of clothing of all time. 98% of my outfits include a pair of jeans and it's 100% on purpose because to be honest I genuinely don't feel confident in anything else. However, that being said, I do realize how difficult it is for us ladies to find jeans that are comfortable, flattering, and long lasting. Luckily for you guys, I've done the work so you don't have to and I'm here to help. Keep reading for my tips and tricks on finding the right denim for you...
Okay first things first, this is going to be a bit controversial, but I'm just going to say it. If you're looking for good quality, long lasting denim, avoid stretch jeans at all costs. I get it, they're comfortable and they look nice in the bum, but unfortunately they won't last. I recommend opting for rigid 100% cotton jeans. They look better and will last forever as long as they fit. Now, I know you're thinking, "I've tried rigid denim and they're uncomfortable." Trust me I've been there, but I have some tips on how to avoid discomfort when purchasing rigid denim.
Stop worrying about what size the tag says. It doesn't matter. Grab your "usual" size plus 3 others and whatever fits, just go with that. Sizes are literally just numbers made up by whoever to make us feel bad about ourselves. They're not real. Wear what fits and feel good knowing that you look amazing in whatever size that is.
Invest in jeans from reputable denim brands: My personal favorites are Levi's & Agolde. I have A LOT of jeans, but I find that I only wear the same four or five pairs and they're all from one of those two brands. I know Agolde is on the pricier side, but think of it this way: when you do the math, you can spend $200 on a pair of jeans that'll last forever or you can keep purchasing $30-$50 stretch jeans that will most likely wear out after a couple years. Eventually you'll end up spending way more than $200.
If you have the budget, my girl Ali Grace makes custom vintage Levi's designed to fit your body perfectly. You just send her all of your measurements and photos of the style, wash & fit of denim you want and she will literally create the most perfect jeans you will ever put on your body. She nails it every single time. She even makes maternity jeans now. Sign up for her next customs opening and get yourself a pair!
If you just don't have the budget for expensive jeans, try shopping for vintage Levi's. Since they've already been worn a bunch, they most likely won't be as stiff as a brand new pair so you can skip the break in period. Check out eBay, Poshmark, Vinted, Etsy, or Depop. If you're someone who likes to shop in person so you can try things on, check out your local thrift shops. A lot of times you'll find good quality vintage Levi's for $10 or less and if they're not a perfect fit you can take them to the tailor and still spend less than you would on a new pair.
Next, choose jeans that complement your body shape/type. For example, I'm slightly curvy but petite (5'3") with thin/long-ish legs, a bit of a butt and a somewhat short torso. Through trial and error, I've found that slim and straight leg jeans look the best on me and are the fits that make me feel my best. I can even do a moderately loose fit. Super baggy jeans look ridiculous on me, and while I still love a good pair of skinny jeans, I have to admit, they do feel a little dated to me, so when I'm shopping for jeans, I always go for a straight, high waisted fit.
Lastly, when you find jeans that you love, jeans that make you feel like a million bucks as soon as you put them on, wear them as often as you'd like. Stick to those and get rid of the rest. I'm guilty of hoarding jeans "just in case" but every time I put them on, I take them right back off just for them to go back in my closet and collect more dust. Don't be like me. Do better. Don't delude yourself into thinking you can't keep wearing the same jeans over and over, because you can, as long as you're washing them periodically (not too much though). The great thing about jeans is that they can be styled so many different ways so no one's going to notice how often you wear the same few pairs and even if they do, who cares right?
Okay, that's my full spiel on finding the best denim. All of my favorite jeans (pictured above) will be linked below, plus some others that I've heard great things about if you wanted to give those a try as well. Until next time, tootles sugar plums! Xoxo.
Levi's 501 Original (I just bought these recently and they've already taken the number one spot for my favorite jeans in my closet. I would recommend these over any other jeans)
Aligrace Custom Jeans (to say these are my most worn jeans as of the last year, would be an understatement. They're the perfect loose fit jean. Ali grace captured exactly what I wanted and I couldn't recommend her enough. This is not sponsored at all. I'm just genuinely obsessed)
Agolde Riley High Rise Straight Crop (I've had these jeans for several years, have washed them countless times and they still look and fit as perfectly as the day I bought them. These are a close second to the Levi's 501 originals. Honestly, all of Agolde jeans are amazing so even if you don't buy these I would recommend checking out their other styles and fits. But, personally, I think these are the best)
Levi's 501 Skinny (these are a slimmer version of the original 501 Levi's and are 1% elastane which adds the tiniest bit of stretch for those of you that just can't deal with 100% cotton at all)
Other great denim brands:
Everlane (mid range price point)
Madewell (on the pricier side, but they have sales somewhat often)
Khaite (super pricey and definitely out of my budget, but I've heard amazing things if you can swing it)
Gap (on the more affordable side, plus Gap always has great sales)
Good American (on the pricier side, but they have a huge range of sizes and fits ranging from petite to plus size. You can also get $50 off your first purchase when you sign up for their newsletter)
SLVRLAKE (another super pricey brand, but again, I've heard great things!)