Dec. 2020 Update: Many of these jeans are marked down in the 2020 Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale! There are links to sale options next to each image.
We haven’t done a Weekend Wednesday in too long! Today: what are your favorite brands and styles for jeans? I was curious what the most-loved denim at Nordstrom was, so while I was doing my own research I thought I’d round them up into a Hunt-like post for you guys.
I’m curious: Which are your favorite jeans in 2020, ladies? (And, for those of you in business casual offices, do you differentiate between weekend denim and jeans for the office? How do you wear jeans to work?)
2022 Update: These are some of the best jeans for work (affiliate links): 1) Paige 2) Madewell 3) Topshop 4) Wit & Wisdom 5) Levi’s
2020 Update: Some of the best plus-size jeans for work: 1) Universal Standard 2) Madewell 3) Lane Bryant 4) Wit & Wisdom
Psst: here’s our latest conversation about skinny versus bootcut.
We’ll do the most-loved denim at Nordstrom in regular sizes first:
|The highest rated jeans on this list — I guess the most-loved denim at Nordstrom! — with 271 votes and 4 stars, are from NYDJ. If you want a basic skinny jean, especially in a dark rinse, I think these are a great choice. They’re available in sizes 0-16 and are pretty affordable, from $56 (sale price) to $134. (Depending on the particular style, you can also find them in petite and plus sizes.) NYDJ Alina Colored Stretch Skinny Jeans / sale options!|
|These jeans come in different lengths by inches, like men’s jeans, which is great if you’re looking for something shorter (and huzzah for brands finally offering that option to women!). Of course, Topshop will be on the younger, smaller side, but a lot of Nordstrom customers seem to really like these jeans. They’re available in blue, gray, and black denim and range from $41 (sale price) to $75. Topshop Moto ‘Jamie’ Ripped Skinny Jeans / sale options!|
|People just love these jeans from Paige — so far they have 129 reviews and almost 5 stars. They come in a bunch of different colorways, as well as various levels of distressing (going up to “destructed”), and they’re available in sizes 23 to 32 for $126 (sale price) to $219. I like the basic blue denim of the pictured jeans. Paige Verdugo Skinny Jeans / sale options!|
|These jeans have 128 reviews and 5 stars, and the pictured style is $168. I like that it has a dark, clean look — but of course these come in a number of different colors and other options, including an interesting Contour 360 version. (If you really want a nice tight fit, that’s the one to go with.) Sizes range from 24-32, and as for prices, they’re $125 (sale) to $235. AG The Farrah High Rise Skinny Jeans|
|Here’s a great pair of affordable jeans from Wit & Wisdom — the top one in this price range. These jeans are just $68 and have 4.5 stars from 101 reviewers. (There are several different leg openings, with these Itty Bitty Bootcuts being the highest rated.) They look great, especially for the price, and they come in petite and regular sizes 0-16, as well as plus sizes. Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Denim / sale options!|
|The next highest rated jeans are from Citizens of Humanity. This boyfriend style comes in different versions (with distressing, embroidery, etc.), and the price range is $112 (sale price) to $298 (embroidered) in sizes 24-32. Citizens of Humanity ‘Emerson’ Slim Boyfriend Jeans /|
|Frame denim has been the cool-girl choice for a while, and these Le Color skinny jeans, available in distressed versions as well as non-distressed versions, look like the highest rated. They have 77 ratings, and almost a solid 5-star rating. They come in sizes 24-31, and are $184-$239. Frame Le Color Rip / sale options!|
I’ve noted which of the styles above come in plus sizes, but graphics are always helpful: these are some of the best jeans in plus sizes right now:
|These jeans range in price from $35 (sale) to $59, so if you’re looking for the best affordable jeans in 2017, these taket he cake! This pictured style looks like the highest rated, with 53 ratings and 4.5 stars. I like a good distressed denim, especially in black skinny jeans, and these would look great paired with ankle boots. They come in sizes 24-32. Articles of Society Sarah Skinny Jeans|
(If you are interested in plus size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! Signing up helps us gauge interest in the project, and we promise not to blast your email more than once a week at most. (Right now it’s more like once a month.)
How about you, readers — what are your favorite jeans to wear in 2017? Have you bought any of these “most loved” denim at Nordstrom? How many different styles of jeans do you wear (skinny, bootcut, boyfriend, etc), and how many pairs on average do you have?
Pictured in our Pins, below (feel free to share!) one / two / three / plus-size jeans
What are the jeans and striped tee shown in the main photo?
Those are the Paige Verdugo, I think — I’ll go link them now.
I have that shirt in another color. It’s the Paige Lynnea striped tee. Loved it as a weekend casual tee until it randomly shrunk in the wash and is now way too short (was maybe the 5th time I’d washed it, definitely not the first time).
Good timing as I need new jeans. I only wear them on weekends so I only have – pair at a time. My current Old Navy pair is too big and it looks like they changed the cut now.
I think I’m going to try the Wit & Wisdom pair. I like straight leg or slight boot cut. Skinny jeans are a super giant NO on me.
I ordered a pair of Melissa McCarthy jeans a few weeks ago. The waist was higher than I was expecting and they were approximately 6 inches too long on me and overall weren’t flattering so I returned them. The fabric seemed good though.
Any suggestions for affordable art and contemporary furniture shops in Atlanta?
I have the Articles of Society skinny jeans and they have held up well.
I also have a pair of Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans, and they have stretched out a lot. They’re super comfortable but didn’t hold their shape well, so now I treat them more like sweatpants.
Although I hate the name, jeans from NYDJ (stands for Not Your Daughter’s Jeans) work well for my mommy tummy. I can wear dark wash, no whisker jeans pretty much anytime in my casual office as long as the top is a notch dressier. I once went to an evening fundraising event sponsored by Levi’s, and I was inspired by the many attendees (Levi’s employees?) who wore classic blue denim paired with more dressy attire (think casual blue jeans with high heels and silk blouses with lots of bling, or black suit with denim shirt) but that probably wouldn’t work in most professional environments.
TJ: I paired down my suit wardrobe and am now left only with skirt suits: (1) black; (2) navy; (3) blush; (4) dark tweed; (5) navy-grey. I want to buy one pant suit for myself. What color do you think would be best given my existing suits?
I’d do some iteration of navy, or (if it works for your coloring) a medium gray. I have a black skirt suit that gets regular wear, but my black pant suit never gets worn as a full suit.
My navy pant suit gets a ton of wear except in winter. My gray suit (medium gray, seaso less wool, no heathering) gets wear all through the year.
Grey! I have 2 grey suits and wear them ALL THE TIME.
All I want are jeans that aren’t super duper stretchy. It seems like what counts for regular ‘jeans’ today used to be considered jeggings… what gives? Isn’t it most flattering to have more structure with just a bit of stretch for give?
Right? I don’t wear legging as pants because they’re too stretchy and clingy. Why do I want my jeans to be the same??
I’ve just given up and embraced the stretchy. The closest I got to more structure were the curvy fit jeans from Aeropostale of all places a few years back, but they weren’t even as sturdy as the jeans I bought in the late 2000s from juniors brands.
This is why I haaaaaaated the pair of Paige jeans I tried on. I felt like I was being suffocated. My yoga pants are super comfortable, but the fabric is thinner than stretch denim so they’re comfortable despite being snug. Snug + thick fabric? Get it off me!
Try Imogene + Willie, if you can find some in a store near you. The thing I love best about my pair from them is that they have only 2% stretch. So I get that tiny bit of give that assures me they won’t bust a seam if I have a big lunch, but they still feel like jeans, not like yoga pants.
Yes! I hate the super-stretchy jeans. They’re OK for the first hour of wear, and then they’re a stretched-out disaster and sliding down my legs.
I’ve actually found Talbots jean (slim or straight leg) made of 93% cotton to feel like ‘real’ jeans (not super clingy stretchy jeggings) but still have a modern cut. I know they’re not from Nordstroms, but just throwing that out there as a potential option for people who are looking for a more classic, sturdy denim feel.
Love J.Crew jeans! They’re high enough in the waist and not too stretchy!
Will try this! Alas, I’m curvy in the hips so their stuff often isn’t the best fit on me.
Can I vent for a minute about jean fabrication??
It seems like every pair of jeans now has some proportion of polyester or nylon or another synthetic meant to enable a closer fit with more flexible fabric. However I also find that this makes the fabric much thinner, less long-lasting, and most importantly, IMPOSSIBLE for someone with a synthetic fabric allergy to wear! I’m not sure why it’s so critical that nylon and poly are added in, when you can achieve fairly extreme levels of stretch and flexibility with just spandex and elastane.
I stopped by Levi’s a few weeks ago, and while all of the men’s jeans were cotton and Spandex fabrications, there wasn’t a single pair of women’s jeans that didn’t have some proportion of poly in it. Most of the ones you listed above are the same – most have some percentage of poly in it.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a cotton and stretch (spandex or elastane) skinny cut jean in a dark, non-distressed wash? I’m down to one pair of straight leg jeans that fit well but it’s fading rapidly. I just want to find a solid pair of jeans that’s not paper thin and has a good weight to it, ankle cut and isn’t distressed to shreds.
Purchase men’s jeans and get them tailored?
especially if you are looking for a boyfriend-style cut :)
It’s a great suggestion and I looked into it – but I’ve got a pretty steep difference between my waist and hips, and tailoring a pair to fit slim/skinny would involve compromising the structural integrity of the jeans. I also just looked like I was packing, LOL.
+1 I want 100% cotton jeans made for a woman. I’ve found 0 lately.
Wranglers and Lee have them. Though – be warned, they are going to be on the frumpy side style wise. I don’t think you can get 100% cotton jeans in trendy styling because they all require stretch. And 100% cotton denim does not stretch.
GAP and American Eagle also appear to have some options – those may be a bit trendier.
I checked out AE about a month ago – they’ve got 2 or so pairs of jeans without poly, and I’m unfortunately between sizes for them – 26 is suffocating, 27 is big in the waist.
I’ll have to look at Gap though – I usually have good luck with them and they’re fairly reliable season to season.
Yep yep – I’m open to a elastic mix, but just poly puts it out of the question for me. I’m tempted to cut down some of my mom’s old Wrangler and Lee jeans to fit at this point! They at least would be easier to tailor than men’s jeans since they at least have some of the proportional curves.
Uniqlo has some 100% cotton jeans.
Really?? I went recently and felt they were all some proportion of poly, even the men’s jeans! Maybe they released some new ones recently that aren’t the “legging” pants – I will check again. thanks for the tip!
And all that crap makes them look weird. Especially NYDJ.
I have no experience with the brand, but I just googled it and apparently American Eagle sells some that are all cotton:
This might be what you’re looking for https://www.ae.com/women-vintage-hi-rise-jean-black/web/s-prod/0436_9596_001?cm=sUS-cUSD&catId=cat7010084
Thanks for the tip! I did try these on a while back – but am unfortunately between sizes :(
Not cotton and stretch, but for 100% cotton denim see imogene + willie brand. Be prepared for sticker shock.
Thank you for this! These look like they might actually have perfect jeans for me. My old favorites – Rag and Bone cigare**e were discontinued, although I did have the foresight to buy 2 pairs a few years ago. They’ll wear out eventually though and I will totally try these Imogene + Willie ones!
Posted above singing the praises of my I+W jeans.
That said, my I+W jeans, the Imogene style, are still party poly (93% cotton / 5% poly / 2% spandex). But they do appear to have a couple women’s styles without any poly (James Tacoma, Jane), and more men’s.
Unfortunately, it’s still a pretty narrow size range, and they are pricey. But I love them, and from my perspective, they were worth every penny. I got rid of my other jeans and only wear my I+W ones. They wear beautifully after almost two years, and consequently, cost per wear for me is relatively low, and certainly better than replacing paper-thin Sevens, Citizens, and Paiges, every 8 or 10 months which I had been doing for the previous few years.
Awesome! I was just looking at the Imogene styles actually! They are totally comparable to the R+B prices I paid (actually cheaper, I think). They actually have held up reasonably well. The color has faded a bit and I got one mended after the 2 year mark as it started to wear out.
I can’t believe your Sevens/Paiges etc. wore out that quickly. They never fit me properly so it looks like I dodged a money bullet there.
These look actually kind of amazing – the right fit, looks substantial and best of all, I can wear all but 1 pair of the skinny cut jeans! I’m going to have to take a deep breath and commit myself and try a pair out. Too bad Nordstrom only carries a few pairs and none of the ones I want to try. How’s their customer service? I see they offer free exchanges, but what if a pair just doesn’t fit in a variety of sizes? Are they willing to take them back for a refund?
How does the brand fit? I’m skeptical about the “forgiving hip” mentioned in the product description. I have no hips to forgive. Will the jeans also forgive the fact that I have no hips?
I’m probably not the best judge of whether they’ll work for a straighter body type, as I am quite hippy. But they have several styles, and if you’re near any of their brick and mortar stores (Nashville, LA, Portland, I believe), they offer complimentary tailoring. In addition to getting my jeans hemmed, I had the waist nipped in to avoid the dreaded gaping in the back (see, above, re: hippy-ness).
Eileen Fisher makes cotton/spandex denim. Example:
Make sure you check the label, some of the denim does have poly.
I’m so glad that there’s someone else here who can’t wear synthetics. I feel like everything that’s featured on this site is synthetic, and it’s annoying to see something that looks lovely only to find out that it’s some nasty poly material.
Yay for weird allergies! I had to stop shopping in most major stores because it was too depressing. I do the walk down an aisle and run my hands down – out of an entire store, my hand stops maybe 2 or 3 times on stuff that’s all cotton. The upside is I can figure it out by touch now!
Look into getting a reliable tailor who can make your stuff for you – I know, it seems extravagant..but I wear them forever, I can specify my fabrics, linings (!) and they fit perfectly. IMO, worth every penny. Most of my wardrobe is nearing a decade old.
Though – those jeans look a bit loose in the fit for my taste – but I will have to check it out the next time I’m near a Nordstroms.
Never too many shoes...
So, yesterday several of you lovely ladies suggested that you were going to order heart-shaped pizzas…did anyone’s turn out like this? Because these are hilarious. http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/i-am-dying-at-these-heart-shaped-pizzas-1792384308
1. Those are hilarious!
2. Now I really want pizza for lunch!
I am also a big fan of Treasure & Bond jeans – a Nordstrom brand that is highly rated and very reasonably priced. They range in the $60-$90 range full price, and go on sale all the time.
I like the black jeans.
Forgiving for pears. Mid-rise.
I have a pair of their flare jeans. Just the price I wanted to pay for a trendy item. I adore them! They are VERY comfortable and very flattering. I’ve gotten questions from strangers on them!
… Yes, I foresee a trip to Nordstrom next time I am across the pond.
I don’t wear a lot of jeans because thanks to having Thunder Thighs of Doom, they always rip at the inner thigh which is a pain in the neck.
I have the same thunder thighs of doom and have found that buying iron on patches through Amazon solves the problem completely – but be careful and get ones made for denim or they are sweaty!
I too suffer from chub rub due to Thunder Thighs. Do you iron the patches to the right side or the inside?
Mary Ellen Jafari
True Religion are the best! They are long enough for me at 5’7″ and they have enough stretch so they fit well and are comfortable but not so much stretch that they become baggy after washing multiple times. Plus they are actually made in California and True Religion customer service is excellent. I returned a pair after 2 years when a rivet came off and they sent me a new pair.
I love the Maria high-rise J.Brand jeans. They are really flattering on me and fit well for where I carry my weight, which is my tummy and hips.
+ 1. This is my go to brand. Covers the pooch, not frumpy at all.
Wit and Wisdom seemed so great when I bought them. Comfortable, great fit, inexpensive…. they have worn HORRIBLY. They are stretched out, and my black pair has faded horribly in just a few months. Definitely not worth it, IMO.
+1 same experience.
I’m a big fan of the AG prima jeans. I’ll be wearing them in engagement pictures this month! What else would you recommend wearing for e-pics? my fiance is thinking a gingham button down and sweater, and I’m also thinking a v neck sweater or blouse, maybe with a boxy/cropped jacket? our photog sent me inspo pics of tiny waiflike brides in drapey or tutu-inspired skirts, and that’s definitely not my style.
You can either match and do sweater and blouse in a different gingham, or just do a sweater and a cute vest, open (light quilted, or otherwise).
You will be moving around a fair bit – so it shouldn’t be too chilly. If you wear a cropped jacket, I’d avoid having a blouse under it to avoid having too much noise around your face area – especially since you’ll be at times, twisting around to meet the camera and you don’t necessarily want the collar to get in the way.
Does anyone have a rec for high-waisted jeans? I don’t want skinny but straight-ish legs. So a slim boyfriend or a not-too-flared bootcut. I need the high-waist to gird the booty and the belly.
KS IT Chick
I buy jeans from Cabela’s (the outdoor outfitter). Their house brand comes in short/petite, average & tall lengths with a pretty good range of sizes in all 3, and is designed to accommodate hiking boots so a straight-to-small flare cut. I’ve got a butt and hips and a belly, and they cover all three without making me feel like I’m trying to look 25 again (I’m 44).
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I+W Elizabeth might be a good choice if you’re willing to go into stovepipe territory. They read sort of “skinny jean” to me, but really it’s pretty straight up and down. I can attest to the booty and belly girding properties of their jeans.
I promise I don’t shill for these people, I just love these jeans that much.
This is the exact look I’m going for! Thank you.
NYDJ is mostly high waisted and I bought a straight leg pair from them last spring. I think they always have that cut.
Don’t know whether they offer a cutout for a scaly tail but Nordstrom has the best in-house tailors.
I just have so much junk that I need to consider, kwim? Thanks for understanding my specific challenges.
Any suggestions for longer-inseam skinny-straight jeans that aren’t high-rise or too-tight? I used to buy Madewell Rail Straight tall and those fit fairly well. Would like another, skinner pair to wear with boots.
Minimum inseam of 32″, 33-34″ is preferable.
Anonymous BigLaw Associate
My three favorite denim brands are R13, Red Engine, and Hudson. In that order.
I discovered a new jeans brand that I love at Nordstrom –Jen7. They are made by 7 for All Mankind but with a higher waist and made for more mature women (40 plus). http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-jen-7-20140817-story.html I am definitely over 40 but still like to wear jeans.
They fit me perfectly, have a lot of stretch (which I prefer) and are cut really well. The waist is higher than many popular brands but more of a mid rise than the NYDJ very high waist. I bought one pair and loved them so much I went back and bought 3 more. The skinny and the slim straight are my favorites. http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/womens-jeans-shop/jen7~11099
Anonymous BigLaw Associate
Can someone explain why there are separate lines of denim for “more mature” women? I have four kids, am very very close to 40, consider myself fashionable, and I just buy regular jeans. What am I missing?
Many women see a change in their figures as they get older, whether it’s past 40, 45, 50. I an 63 and work out regularly, am trim and fit but my hips are wider, my tones thighs are fuller and I cannot wear jeans cut for women in their twenties or thirties any more. The “more mature” jeans like Jen7 generally feature a higher rise, more stretch and not quite as skinny a cut in the thighs. The 7 for All mankind Jeans are just cut too low for me but the Jen7’s are perfect. Everyone is different but for me these are better.
Yes I’m 52 and agree with all of this. I need a higher rise and more forgiveness around the middle than I used to. I used to have the problem of needing a bigger size for my hips than my waist, but nature has taken care of that for me in my middle age.
I actually started wearing NYDJ when I was in my early thirties because I was annoyed by how hard it was to find jeans that didn’t have an extremely low rise. I didn’t want strangers to see my underwear then and found low-rise jeans really uncomfortable on my body. I’m in my early forties now and have a toddler, so I feel that way even more now!
I tend to just buy from Old Navy. The reasons:
1) a super tight clothing budget so when I can get them on sale, I am looking at $30CDN. I am plus-sized so the next cheapest is $80. A huge difference.
2) I really only wear them on weekends, unless I have time after work to change for book club or another activity. I volunteer at an animal shelter so there is a lot of being on the floor and they wear out fast.
Followed by weight changes (I can go up or down a few sizes a year) I don’t want to lay out big bucks for something that could just sit there.
Does anyone else notice this about Nordstrom? I went jeans shopping there a few months ago and asked to see the jeans under $100. The saleslady looked at me like I had two heads. Then she sent me to the junior’s section. The website has TONS of jeans for under $100. Why not in the store???? I’ve had that issue before there – seen things in my price range on the website but the salespeople look at me like I’m crazy when I ask about it in the store.
I think Nordstrom puts the under-$100 jeans in adult sizes in a different department than the main denim department, whatever department Caslon and Halogen are in.
Once I got my first pair of Paige jeans, there was no going back. They are beyond comfortable. Doubt I could ever buy a different brand now.
I’m plus sized and tall and hard to fit in jeans
I used Trunk Club to help me find casual outfits and my stylist sent me NYDJ and Wit and Wisdom jeans. The NYDJ are black and have rips around the knees, style Sylvia. The Wit and Wisdom are very skinny.
To my great surprise I wear and love both pairs. To my greater surprise I love the black ripped jeans the most. I feel very badass in them.
Both styles hit me ankle length but I am 5’11” and very leggy.
So, I dig the mom jean trend — being a mom, with a bit of a pooch to show for it — but why are they all 27″ or less inseams? I am long-legged, so it doesn’t look terrible on me, but what are we supposed to do in the winter? Freeze our little ankles off? Has anyone found any straight-leg (not skinny), high-waist jeans of a normal to long inseam?
Levi’s come in multiple inseams in straights, 9-10″ rises
I have long legs, and I almost exclusively wear NYDJ Samantha Slim. The inseam is 33 inches. Check them out on Zappos; you can search specifically by inseam length. Anything shorter than that is too short on me.
I really love Kut From The Kloth. If you look carefully, some styles are 98% cotton, and the Diana cut comes with a flattering mid-rise. The prices run under $100. They put my Citizens to shame.
Cookie Johnson jeans work for an aging pear for weekend. NYDJ but in more of either a trouser cut or a modest boot cut than you’ve shown have also been good for work.
5’9″, very slim but I do have thighs and a butt compared to my waist. I loveeee Articles of Society. We only have jeans Fridays and I rarely wear jeans during the day on weekends, so I don’t want to invest a lot, but these are a huge step up from Old Navy. Huge fan. I like the Sarah cut, but I think the other cuts are better for different body types.
I know this thread was from almost a year ago but I need some help figuring out what shoes to wear with different styles of jeans – is there an update somewhere? I think right now people are still wearing skinny jeans with ankle boots with a bit of skin showing between the jeans and the ankle boots? What kind of jeans with sneakers (are people still wearing boyfriend/girlfriend styles)?