Jeans always seem to be too long, too short, somehow simultaneously gaping at the waist and unable to fit over hips it often feels like youre supposed to make yourself fit them, as opposed to the other way round. And yet, they always look so effortless and cool on a certain sub-sect of fashionable women. What is their secret? We interviewed 16 some such women for their advice and recommendations, hopefully taking at least some of the pain out of finding the perfect pair. From photographers to tailors, women of all stripes (and jean preferences) weighed in on the best brands at price points to fit everyones tastes and body shapes, from best plus-size, to the best sustainable options.
ASOS DESIGN Farleigh High Waisted Slim Mom Jeans
Asos was the most frequently mentioned brand, garnering five separate recommendations. Tattoo artistHarriet Street relies on Asos for jeans that allow her to do her job without distraction. I sit down a lot for work and crumple myself in awkward positions, so mostly I need something that can move with me, isnt uncomfortable, and is reliable; they cant rip at the seams or strangle me in awkward places, she says, adding that she favours Asos denim label over other brands because the quality is always great, theres a lot of diversity in size and cut, and [they have] really great styles. Her preferred style are straight leg jeans, and she loves the Farleigh cut.
Noisy May Ankle Grazer Mom Jean with Contrast Stitch
Anz, a DJ and musician, is so satisfied with the jeans she bought from Asos six years ago that the jeans unintentionally inspired a self-imposed denim ban. Theyre cute enough to have stopped me from buying any other jeans since. Theyre soft but structured, and super reliable. Her exact pair, from an Asos-only label called Daisy Street, is no longer in stock, but we tracked down a very similar style.
Cos High Waisted Straight Jeans
Photographer Sophie Davidson loves Cos tapered jeans because theyre thick, structured, and, crucially, free of spandex. The fabric always ends up feeling really soft after a few washes and they are always very roomy, she says. I also dont really want any stretch in my jeans. Ferren Gipson, an art historian, also loves her Cos straight-leg jeans because the high-quality material and attention to detail makes them look expensive. They have the sort of look that makes people ask you where you got them, which is always a nice feeling, she says. Theyre totally worth the money.
Model and director Breanna Box swears by Eytys, which uses high-quality heavyweight denim inspired by American workwear, for the most flattering fit. Theyre tight in the waist and cup the butt just right, she explains. Is that not all you could ask for from a pair of jeans? Even better: Because theyre unisex, the size range goes from a 24 waist to 36, and the pockets are abundant and generous a priority for us all. (They do not, however, offer any length options, which may be limiting for the more petite among us.)
I really like Nudie Jeans Skinny Lin; I have a pair in black, says musician and programmer Hinako Omori. Ive had them for a few years and they havent lost their shape at all. Nudies all about sustainability, and they offer a lifetime repair service. Theyre made of organic cotton and, like Eytys, theyre unisex, which means they come in a handful of washes, a bunch of waist sizes, and a generous range of inseams.
E10 Classic Straight Leg Jean
Like Nudie, Black Horse Lane Ateliers will repair jeans for life, which is only part of the reason pattern designer Ellie Pashley has them on her wishlist. The raw organic denim is from Europe and all the jeans are manufactured in the East London studio, she explains. There is an emphasis on community, as they supply local jobs to machinists, and a lifetime repair policy.
Weekday Ace High Wide Jeans
Three of our sources shop at Scandi brand Weekday: Eva Alex Liu, an animation supervisor and musician, recommends Weekdays wide leg Ace jeans, and radio producer Mary Bolinbroke recommends straight Voyage cut. Both love that theyre made of organic cotton, and both have kept their shape and colour well. Weekday excels with denim thats thick and retro style a great option if you love the vintage look but arent into vintage shopping. Journalist Rachael Krishna rates the Weekday Way Peralta, and notes that theyve retained their colour well.
Rich Blue Jamie Skinny Jeans
Hinako Omori also loves the Topshop Jamie jeans. They have shorter length options, which is great for my height, and the material is very stretchy and lightweight. Theyve retained their colour well when washed.
BDG Pax Summer Vintage Straight Leg Jeans
Bolingbroke also recommends Urban Outfitters BDG range (particularly the Pax straight leg and the Flood wide leg jeans) for fitted, true denim jeans that is, actual thick, 100 percent cotton denim, not stretchy jegging materials. Theyre high-waisted and their rigid material means their hold their shape. BDG also offer longer leg options unfortunately not a shorter leg option though, so not best suited for those who are petite.
Monki Kimomo High Waist Mom Jeans
The Monki Kimomo jeans came out as a favourite in the mom jean style. Unlike actual vintage jeans, the cotton is soft, making them comfortable enough to wear all day, with no uncomfortable waistband gapping or squeezing. Gena-Mour Barrett, journalist and Netflix host, loves them for those reasons, and theyve lasted her a fair few years, and shes now on the second pair but only because her size changed, as they wash perfectly and dont fade.
ASOS DESIGN Petite Recycled Farleigh High Waisted Slim Mom Jeans
Asos are able to offer a huge selection in sizes that physical stores often dont stock to any meaningful extent, says Rebecca Hendin, an illustrator who has always struggled to find jeans the right length for her 50 stature. I buy all my jeans online from Asos, which has THE most impressive petite section. Theres a wide variety of styles and sizes, with waists starting at 22 and going up to 34.
ASOS DESIGN Curve Ridley High Waisted Skinny Jeans
Felicity Hayward, a curve model and self-love activist, and Chloe Elliott, an online creator, both love the Asos Curve range. They specifically swear by the Ridley jean; [the jeans] have been my classic go to, especially for castings. It has a high waist band, classic skinny shape and has the stretch said Felicity. The jeans come in sizes 18-28, and rings up at a very reasonable price of £25.
Re/Done Levi’s High Rise Ankle Crop
Vintage 90s Calvin Klein jeans are perfect for that straight-leg, high-waist silhouette. Professional tailor Claudia Chan found hers in the upstairs section of ARCH 389, a vintage store right next to London Fields station. Working as a tailor, you just know it when something is fitting right. I bought them straight after the fitting without hesitation. If you struggle to find the right fit off the rack, take a page out of journalist Emma Cookes book. The cheaper price [of vintage jeans] means I can justify getting them tailored, so they fit perfectly, she says. The ones I bought have lasted over three years. Emma bought hers at Beyond Retro, but most vintage stores, as well as resale apps and websites, will have them. If youre willing to invest a bit more cash, look to Re/Done, a denim label thats already done the work of reviving vintage jeans to a modern standard.
get the strategist newsletter
Actually good deals, smart shopping advice, and exclusive discounts.
Terms & Privacy NoticeBy submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.