The Best Jeans for Women, According to Marie Claire Editors

“Denim is special in that it works well in any season and goes with almost any other garment,” says Diego Abba. (opens in a new tab), CEO of Italist, a luxury website offering more than 5,000 pairs of jeans from different brands. While Abba notes that jeans are a classic and versatile wardrobe staple the world over, finding the best pair of jeans isn’t always a walk in the park. You can check out our guide to the latest denim trends (opens in a new tab) showcasing different brands and styles of high waisted denim (opens in a new tab) right leg (opens in a new tab)to distressed jeans (which Abba says are one of the best-selling styles of the season). But sometimes a jeans-lover’s organic stamp of approval is the best you could hope for — and here’s what you’ll get.

We tapped into our team of denim experts to bring them the best jeans they’ve ever bought. A jean-loving director tells you about her favorite pair of jeans that lasted her half a decade. Plus, we’ll explain exactly how to choose quality jeans, find the perfect fit, and how to take care of your denim after investing. If any of the styles below stand out, you can browse the categories in the bar above.

How to choose the best jeans?

Denim weight – light, medium, or heavy – can indicate the quality of denim you choose. A higher thread count, or heavier denim, often equates to a higher quality, more durable style that doesn’t fray the more it’s worn. So while we recommend medium to heavy weight denim, lighter denim fabrics are great for tops, skirts and dresses.

“I’ve always been inspired by the memory capacity of denim fabric,” says denim designer Sonia Mosseri. (opens in a new tab). While stretch denim provides a less stiff and often more comfortable fit, the elastic material used in stretch denim can deteriorate over time. To find the right amount of stretch, look for labels that have one to three percent stretch and be sure to refer to the washing instructions to help maintain that style.

Think of the right denim purchase as a good investment. You don’t always have to go for expensive designer styles, but a higher price often translates to better quality, all the way down the supply chain. Remember that quality over quantity goes a lot further with your jeans with the price per wear factor.

How to Measure for the Best Jeans

Measuring your inseam isn’t as complicated as it looks. To get an accurate measurement, measure along the inside seam, taking the tape measure from the bottom of the groin area to the bottom of the hem of your jeans.

Everyone has preferences when it comes to the size of their jeans, but how do you know for sure? Measure the distance from the top of the waistband to the top of the crotch, and voila!

Place a tape measure along the fullest part of your hips to measure your hip measurements and wrap it around your back.

How to care for jeans

Now that you know how to choose the weight and cut of the fabric to get the best jeans, it is essential to take good care of your jeans. To prevent your denim from fading and shrinking, always wash your denim in cold water. Avoid the dryer to prevent shrinkage and premature failure. Turning your jeans inside out to wash and dry will help prevent droopy pockets.

Best high waisted jeans

Marie ClaireSocial Media Editor Lucia Tonelli is a big fan of high waisted jeans. “I’ve owned these Gap jeans for two years, but I’m sure I’ve worn them more than any other jeans I’ve owned,” she says. “The barrel fit is not only incredibly comfortable (comfortable sweatpants), but also flattering and versatile.”

Tonelli pairs them with everything from a loose graphic tee and Chuck Taylors to a corset top and platform heels. “The waist sits perfectly above my hips and thanks to their looser fit they never tug, tug or feel stiff when I sit down. They also get more comfortable with every wash. slight fading over time makes them even cooler.” she says.


The Best Vintage Style Jeans

“I was devastated when skinny jeans went out of fashion,” says Marie Claire Beauty Director Deena Campbell. “I had over 30 pairs – what’s a girl to do? Enter these skinny, leg-lengthening pants. This pair from Madewell is my go-to when I want high-waisted jeans with a tapered leg that stays thin without squeezing. The vintage indigo wash is also great for dressing up and down.”

Best skinny jeans

“I’m obsessed with Levi’s 720 High Rise Super Skinny,” says Jenny Hollander, Marie Clairedirector of content strategy. “I’ve invested in baggy boyfriend jeans and mom jeans in the past, but I’ve yet to find more reliable and comfortable (reasonably) affordable jeans than these. They fit perfectly (not tight) – like a pair of leggings – and they have great longevity I recently tried to pull off my five year old black 720 jeans which had faded but ended up cutting them into shorts, and now they have a second life.”

Best Relaxed Fit Jeans

“The Still Here’s Childhood fit is my everyday favorite,” says denim designer Sonia Mosseri. “These are extremely versatile relaxed fit jeans with a super high waist and a wedgie fit. They’re a quirky cool-girl jean that features a traditional button fly,” says Mosseri. Made from 100% BCI certified cotton, Still Here’s casual style is available in the 23-32 size range.

The best designer jeans

I’ve never worn jeans, but Khaite’s jeans have a distinct look and fit that has garnered a cult following, even among non-denim devotees and the fashion-at-large. The brand’s best-selling Vivian jeans have a slightly cropped, flared style (ideal for petite women like me) and run true to size, so it’s super easy to buy them online. While the Vivian style is more expensive, each pair is hand-finished and features Khaite’s signature antique brass button.