We all know how hard it can be to shop for jeans, and it’s especially hard when you’ve decided you’d like to invest in a designer pair—then they really, really have to be perfect. It’s worth the hunt, though. Denim is a fabric that, as an experienced stylist and editor, I can genuinely say is worth spending that bit more on. Not only because the quality and sourcing of the denim is likely to be much better (and more sustainable), but the fit will have had so much more attention in the design process (and will be much less likely to sag after a few seasons’ wear). Plus, we get an awful lot of miles out of our denim—jeans are the ultimate wear-anywhere wardrobe piece after all, so the cost per wear quickly creeps down if you buy one or two pairs of perfect designer jeans and wear them on repeat. That’s girl math, right?
Anyway, back to the crux of the matter—you’re on the hunt for a pair of designer jeans that are truly worth your hard-earned cash. So, where do you start the search? That’s where I come in. Over the last ten years of working in the fashion industry, I’ve tried hundreds (and I mean hundreds, honestly) of pairs of jeans from different brands across high street and designer labels. I’m not a dress connoisseur, I’ll admit, but when it comes to denim I’d happily call myself an expert.
Below I’ve listed the eight women’s designer jeans brands that have passed my trials and tests with flying colours. It’s no coincidence that so many other industry insiders—from influencers to my fellow stylists and editors—are obsessed with them, too. Of course, everyone’s individual denim tastes and needs are different, and I’d say that any style you choose from these brands will have the longevity you’re looking for—but I have also added in links to the particular pairs I’d personally recommend along with the brands’ bestsellers for your perusal. Now, that wasn’t so painful was it? Happy jeans shopping!
Agolde always set the tone for the season’s cult denim, but their ’90s Pinch Waist style are an all time classic that influencers and editors love year after year.
Citizens has always produced classic denim, but they’ve become the brand to invest in this year thanks to the popularity of their Ayla jeans (as seen on Brooklynn, here) which seem to suit everyone.
Re/Done started life reworking classic vintage Levi’s, and although their repertoire has extended to so many different shapes and styles, I still rate their stovepipe jeans as the best straight legs around.
You can always depend on Khaite to produce ultra-luxe, polished denim styles in perfect fits. The Danielle is the style that is almost always sold out.
Mother focuses on creating timeless shapes and styles in beautifully soft denim.
Although Frame has many, many jeans shapes now that it executes brilliantly, I’ll always look to them for being the best at flares.
Raey focuses on modern jeans that are understandably loved by influencers and fashion people everywhere. I personally think they do baggy jeans styles the best of everyone, but their Push straight legs are also a firm favourite.
If you like your jeans to look polished, and come in timeless designs that are easy to dress up or down, I’d encourage you to check out Toteme’s offering.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.
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Opening Image: @modedamour