If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that jeans are a wardrobe must-have. They’ve existed for centuries and have evolved far beyond their origins as a long-term solution for blue-collar employees. “Thanks to its adaptability, ease of wear, and capacity to adapt to new trends, jeans have become a timeless go-to for all body types and genders,” says Maggie Greene, stylist and CEO of Maggie Greene Style.
“To mention a few, we’ve seen high-rise, mid-rise, high-waisted, wide-legs, flares, stovepipes, skinnies, and elephant ears fade in and out of vogue,” Greene says. “Materials have also changed — dark wash, light wash, stonewash, distressed, and so on.” But, while styles and designs change, one thing is constant: when you find a pair of jeans that fits perfectly, you’ll want to wear them over and over.
Of course, when looking for the best women’s jeans, comfort is paramount. “They should feel nice on you and allow you to breathe, move, and eat while wearing them,” says Kim Hancher, a style consultant. She suggests that you then follow the trends or look for styles that flatter your shape and dimensions. Whether you want a relaxed fit, a contemporary wide-leg silhouette, or an extremely slim silhouette, the fashion experts recommend the brands and styles listed below.
Levi’s Classic Bootcut ($49; levi.com)
Bootcut jeans are timeless for a reason: “Bootcut denim creates the illusion of longer legs and provides a lot of styling options,” explains Tara Dupuis, a stylist and model. This pair offers a supporting stretch, a super-soft feel, a relaxed fit across the hips, and a just-right ankle cut. “For an effortlessly laid-back style, pair them with your favorite tee and cowboy boots,” she suggests.
Gap High Rise Kick Fit Jeans with Washwell ($70; gap.com)
“A throwback fashion,” adds Dupuis, “these kick fit jeans have a modest flare hemline and are trimmed exactly above the ankle.” She recommends pairing them with loafers to complete a look or sneakers for a more relaxed approach. “With a kick fit jeans, an oversized or boxy top and clean shoes creates an effortless ensemble,” she says.
Dark Wash Frame Le Crop Mini Boot ($235; nordstrom.com)
Because it’s cropped above the ankle and has a framed fit, it’s identical to the one above. The modest flexibility in the legs and the gap-proof contoured waistband, which allows these jeans to fit a range of forms, are popular among women. “To me, this brand is the pinnacle — well-made, soft, comfy, and they create jeans in a sustainable manner,” Hancher adds.
Good American Good Legs Skinny Jeans ($99; goodamerican.com)
You’re not alone if you can’t get enough of the skinny jeans trend, even though it’s no longer in vogue. Fortunately, there are still lots of options in stores. According to Dupuis, none fit better than this Good American high-rise pair. This is down to the brand’s recovery fabric, which provides greater stretch while yet allowing your jeans to maintain their original form. “Because the denim stretches and sculpts, this brand is perfect for curvaceous girls as well as those who battle with the dreaded waist gap,” she explains.
Free People Shelby Boyfriend Jeans ($78; freepeople.com)
Slouchy jeans are popular right now, and they can look great when worn with a button-down or blouse and heels. The hip sling waistband is available in three different shades: light wash, faded black, and classic blue. Just keep in mind that for the best fit, reviews recommend going up a size.
Molly & Isadora Acela Boyfriend Jean ($69; shop.dia.com)
“These simply look wonderful on everyone,” says Liz Bader-Natal, Dia & Co’s Director of Styling, of the distressed boyfriend jeans, which are available in sizes 10-26. They’re supportive while remaining slightly slack in the leg, and they’re finished off with distressed accents and a rolled hem for added style.