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Premium materials and innovative designs make these worth the splurge.
While many of us turn to higher end designer labels for accessories such as handbags, belts, or sunglasses, if you’re looking for your next fashion investment, you could do a lot worse than a pair of designer jeans. You may think of jeans as a kind of boring basic, but add in the careful craftsmanship and high-quality fabrics of a designer pair, and they’re really anything but boring. In fact, they might just become your new favorite piece.
If you are going to invest a good amount into a pair of jeans, you want to make sure they are worth it. So with the help of fashion stylists and influencers, we found the best jeans from designer labels that offer premium materials, innovative designs, and a fit that will truly make you feel the difference.
Best Overall: Khaite Danielle High-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans
What We Love: They’re a true straight jean designed to elongate your legs.
What We Don’t Love: The long inseam means most people can’t wear them with flats.
Khaite became a fashion-girl household name when Katie Holmes gave us that cashmere bralette-and-cardigan set moment a couple years back, but the designer label also makes amazing denim. “I have been into Khaite jeans lately, and I love the look and unique wash in each pair,” says Alex Lamb, a personal shopper and wardrobe stylist, who is particularly into the brand’s Danielle style — as is personal stylist and fashion blogger Tara West. “This style has some substance and structure, complementing your shape, and is meant to elongate your legs,” says West.
The Danielle is a true straight jean, tracing a direct line from your hips to your ankles, and thanks to its stretchy construction, it will feel comfortable to move around in as you go about your busy schedule (though a non-stretch version is available if that’s your denim preference). With a 33-inch inseam, these jeans are designed for wearing over heels, giving you that elongated silhouette West mentioned. On the flipside, this means that unless you’re very tall, it will be difficult for you to style these with flats, since the pants will drag on the floor. Still, this is less a fault of the style and more just a feature to be aware of.
Price at the time of publish: $460
Size: 24-32 | Material: Cotton, polyurethane | Inseam: 33-inch | Washes: 4
Best Splurge: Loewe Anagram baggy jeans in denim
What We Love: They scream “cool girl.”
What We Don’t Love: The low-rise isn’t for everyone.
Designer jeans are most often high quality, well made, well cut, comfortable, and durable, but if we’re being honest, the presence of a logo is not not one of the main reasons you might want to splurge on a pair of your own. “Loewe Anagram Baggy Jeans in Denim is a street-style find that instantly makes your casual outfit more cool,” says style expert and influencer Katya Bychkova. “It features a distinct and visually pleasing Loewe anagram around the knees and a relaxed jeans fit in a dark wash. It's one of the trendiest jean styles that recently went back in stock, so grab them before selling out again.” FYI, these also exist in white with a white logo, if you’re more interested in the design than in the branding.
The Anagram Baggy Jean throws it back to the late ‘90s for those who want to feel like they’re in a TLC or Christina Aguilera music video. They feature a low waistline, which obviously won’t be everyone’s taste, and a full-length inseam and baggy cut, which means they are liable to collect dirt from the ground (for the full early 2000s vibe). They’re actually pretty versatile, and can be styled with fitted or loose and cropped or long tops. Bychkova herself pairs them with a structured long button-up shirt with a corset and over thong sandals for the model off-duty look.
Price at the time of publish: $990
Size: 23-33 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 30-inch | Washes: 2
Best Plus-Size: Veronica Beard Beverly Skinny-Flare Jean | Extended
What We Love: The skinny-flare style elongates your legs beautifully.
What We Don’t Love: Only certain washes come in extended sizing.
Sadly, even today, a majority of designer labels don’t cater to plus sizes, but Veronica Beard — a newer brand established in 2010 — thankfully does carry certain styles in extended sizing. These particular jeans come in sizes 23 to 32 in standard denim sizing, as well as in US sizes 15 to 20. But because inclusive sizing alone isn’t enough to endorse a pair of jeans, let’s take a closer look at why these are a great pick.
Recommended by SJ Adams, a designer, celebrity stylist, and personal style coach known as SJ Style Guru, these jeans come in a wide range of washes, including light and dark blue denim, black, and white, but they’re not all available in extended sizing, which is a shame. As for their design, these are a bootcut style that skims your hips and thighs before flaring out discreetly at the knee, elongating your legs. They’re designed to wear over heels — whether boots or stilettos — and look just as good with a fitted top tucked into them as they do with a looser blouse.
Price at the time of publish: $298
Size: 23-32 standard denim sizing; 15-20 extended sizing | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane | Inseam: 35-inch | Washes: 10
Best Petite: Khaite Abigail Jean
What We Love: The cropped cut ensures they won't be too long on petites.
What We Don’t Love: The non-stretch denim will take some breaking in.
Our second Khaite pick on this list, the Abigail is another pretty much faultless designer denim style. “The Khaite Abigail jean is the perfect mid-rise, straight-leg denim in a medium wash,” says fashion and lifestyle influencer Brittany Sansone. “This denim has a nice weight and is your closet's ‘hero’ denim. You can wear them with anything and everything from day to night, and I love the luxe button detail.” BTW, these also come in white, and a stretch version comes in light-wash denim or black.
The non-stretch version is made from 100 percent cotton and is a clever nod to classic ‘90s denim, elevated for the 2020s with just a slight crop at the ankle. On petite women, this style should fall just above your shoe. The non-stretch material also means that the jeans may need a little breaking in, but will eventually come to fit your body perfectly. A super versatile piece, these will look just as good styled with a sexy figure-skimming top and high heels for a nice dinner out as they will with a blouse and flat boots or sneakers for work.
Price at the time of publish: $460
Size: 23-33 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 28.5-inch | Washes: 2
Best Tall: Maison Margiela Cutout High-rise Wide-leg Jeans
What We Love: The high waist and baggy cut are super comfortable as well as super cool.
What We Don’t Love: They’re not for you if you’re looking to invest in a special-occasion piece.
These by Maison Margiela are another ultimate cool-girl pick, essentially a baggy jean with side cutouts, but — unlike the Loewe Anagram jeans — they’re high-waisted for those who are more comfortable with that. “Two symmetrical cuts on the outer sides seem like such a tiny decoration move, but it makes all the difference in how the jeans lay on your body,” says Bychkova. “This conceptual denim style is timeless and recognizable by the fashion industry pros. Check out this unique style if you want a minimalistic jean option that looks super cool.”
These jeans hug your waistline, but are loose-fitting everywhere else. On taller women, they will fall right on your shoe for a full-length style, while shorter fashion girls will find they bunch up a little for a very Avril Lavigne grungy touch. In our humble opinion, they look fabulous either way. These are designed to be casual and will pair best with a simple T-shirt or sweatshirt and sneakers, so if you’re looking to invest in a special-occasion designer piece, these aren’t it. Otherwise, we think you’ll love ‘em!
Price at the time of publish: $695
Size: IT36-48 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 30.25-inches | Washes: 2
Best Curvy: Mara Hoffman Georgina Pant Denim Blue
What We Love: They’re made with ethical and sustainable standards.
What We Don’t Love: They have a button fly.
Mara Hoffman is another unicorn of a designer label that actually caters for up to a size 20, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for why we love the Georgina style so much. With a high-rise and relaxed, boyfriend-style fit throughout, these will skim your curves perfectly but without feeling too tight, and finally hit your ankle at the bottom. Available in six thoughtfully crafted washes, they’re also incredibly versatile and will pair well with just about any outfit you can think up. Our only gripe with these is that they come with a button fly, which is just kind of impractical.
We also love that these jeans are made from 100 percent Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton, meaning the raw materials are grown without pesticides and require less water for production as well. Meanwhile, Mara Hoffman strives to be an all-around sustainable and ethical label, collaborating only with businesses that meet a high standard of working conditions, as well as providing as much transparency about their production process as possible. They also recommend wearing their pieces, including these jeans, more times than you might usually before washing them, in a bid to conserve water and resources.
Price at the time of publish: $395
Size: 00-20 | Material: Organic cotton | Inseam: 28-inch | Washes: 6
Best Cropped: Rag-Bone Wren Straight Everly High-Rise Vintage Stretch Jean
What We Love: They’re a perfect cropped mom jean.
What We Don’t Love: They may not fit those with wider hips.
“I love Rag & Bone jeans so much — they are sleek, chic, flattering and amazing quality,” says Gabriela Rosales, a fashion stylist and founder of The Stylist Witch. “The Wren jeans are fitted but slightly relaxed and the inseam length is elongating and also allows your shoes to be seen.” As Rosales explains, the Wren is high-waisted, fitted around the butt and thighs, and a little more relaxed around the calf — a mom jean, if you will. Depending on how tall you are, these pants are actually designed to hit above the ankle bone, lending them a cropped style for those who prefer that look.
We love that Rag & Bone has created many versions of the Wren to fit every style. The Wren Straight is available in medium and light blue denim washes, as well as in black and off-white, with or without distressed details, and with or without a raw bottom hem. The style also comes in an extra high-waisted option and a slimmer option. As for the Wren Straight in particular, it’s made from a slightly stretchy fabric with 1 percent elastane which should help them fit nicely; however, those with wider or curvier hips may not find them stretchy enough to fit them comfortably, which is something to keep in mind.
Price at the time of publish: $98
Size: 23-32 | Material: Cotton, elastane | Inseam: 27-inch | Washes: 9
Best Wide Leg: Slvrlake Eva High-Rise Wide-Leg Jeans
What We Love: They embody Los Angeles cool.
What We Don’t Love: The long inseam means these will brush against the floor.
Don’t be surprised if you hear more and more praise for Slvrlake these days. Founded just a handful of years ago by husband and wife duo Louise and Gary Edgley in Los Angeles (as you may have guessed from the brand’s name), the label has quickly claimed cult status on the luxury denim market. Like its namesake neighborhood of Silverlake, the brand’s jean styles embody creativity, cool, and breeziness, as demonstrated by the Eva wide-leg model.
“These high-waisted wide-legged jeans offer a timeless and elegant look with beautiful belt loop detailing,” says Adams. “Made from 100 percent organic cotton, the dark blue wash makes it a perfect choice for either casual daytime looks or more sophisticated evening occasions.” These also come in lighter blue, black, and white. They are designed to sit just above the belly button and feature a wide-leg silhouette from there on down. With a relatively long, 34-inch inseam, these are intended to brush the floor, and could very well be worn barefoot on the Malibu beaches, or with casual sandals for a shopping trip to Melrose Avenue. Naturally, these aren’t for you if you don’t want to have to clean your jeans quite regularly.
Price at the time of publish: $279
Size: 23-32 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 34-inch | Washes: 5
Best Bootcut: RE/DONE 70s Bootcut Jeans
What We Love: They’re a really versatile style.
What We Don’t Love: They may be a little long for shorter people.
“Re/Done gives you that vintage Levi's effortless style we all know and love but with a premium finish,” says Sansone. These ones in particular take the classic Levi’s bootcut style and make it even comfier, with the help of a little stretchiness to hug your curves nicely. They are designed to sit around your belly button and feature a slim fit throughout the butt and thighs, before opening out into a bootcut flare, which works perfectly over — well — boots, but also your favorite sneakers and sandals, for extra versatility. If you’re on the shorter side, however, the 32-inch inseam may mean you’ll need to wear these exclusively over heels to avoid any dragging. Either way, expect these jeans to not only elongate your silhouette but also provide the perfect base to outfits for any occasion.
Price at the time of publish: $295
Size: 23-32 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane | Inseam: 32-inch | Washes: 2
Best Boyfriend: The Row Eglitta Boyfriend Jeans
What We Love: This is a classic boyfriend jean but elevated to new fashion heights.
What We Don’t Love: They bunch at the ankles on shorter legs.
The brainchild of our childhood faves-turned-fashion moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, it doesn’t get much more luxe than The Row in general. If you’re looking to really invest in a pair of very special denim, the brand absolutely has you covered there. “Baggy and super relaxed-looking denim is on trend this fall," says West. "These have a lower rise which lends themselves to a looser, more comfortable fit at the end of the day.”
As West mentions, the Eglitta features a mid-rise waistline and a slouchy fit without edging into grunge-era baggy territory. In short, they take the concept of jeans that look like you pinched them from your boyfriend’s closet, but obviously — being a well-crafted designer item — are made to cater more particularly to a curvier lower body. Just note that, with their 33-inch inseam, these will bunch up at the ankles on shorter people unless you get them hemmed.
Price at the time of publish: $690
Size: US 0-14 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 33-inch | Washes: 2
Best High-Waisted: Frame Le Palazzo High-rise Wide-leg Jeans
What We Love: They’re the perfect blend of palazzo, bell-bottom, and baggy.
What We Don’t Love: They run large.
Alongside Re/Done and Slvrlake, Frame is one of a few relatively newer denim brands that has positioned its jean designs as highly coveted luxury items. The label carries a limited number of denim styles, which are constantly being reedited in new washes and colors, sometimes with slight variations in design. Le Palazzo is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Frame’s take on the pretty and breezy palazzo pants of the 1970s, but in denim instead of more traditionally airy fabrics.
Somewhere between a palazzo, a bell-bottom, and a baggy jean, these pants feature a high yet slightly relaxed waistline and a slimmer fit around the butt and upper thighs, but begin to widen higher up the leg than a bootcut, before ending in an extra wide leg at the bottom. These jeans feature a long, 34-inch inseam that will look especially good over heeled boots or sandals. Just be advised that you may need to size down in order to find your perfect fit.
Price at the time of publish: $258
Size: US 0-14 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane | Inseam: 34-inch | Washes: 5
Best Mid-Rise: 7 For All Mankind B (air) Kimmie Straight in Duchess
What We Love: They perfectly toe the line between skinny and mom jeans.
What We Don’t Love: They have a longer inseam and a slim fit at the bottom, so won’t go with just any shoes.
Most jeans these days have a high-waisted cut — which, admittedly, a lot of us are pretty happy about. But if you like to mix it up once in a while, a mid-rise jean like this one can make a great base layer for an outfit with a slightly different silhouette, while still offering you a bit more support and coverage than a controversial low-rise jean. The Kimmie from 7 for All Mankind is one of Adams’ favorites: “They are effortlessly chic and can be instantly transformed to work for all occasions,” she says.
Aside from their mid-rise, these jeans feature a straight-leg style that’s somewhere between the slimness of a skinny jean and the tapered design of a mom jean. These ones are made from B(air) Eco denim, a planet-friendly cotton blend designed to feel lightweight, stretchy, and extra comfy against your skin. They will stretch to fit your body shape but will also bounce back. In other words, they won’t irreversibly stretch out and wear out like other stretchy jeans might. These jeans have a longer inseam than some without the extra space of a flare, so just make sure you consider that when thinking about which shoes to pair with them.
Price at the time of publish: $188
Size: 23-34 | Material: Cotton, polyester, lyocell | Inseam: 32-inch | Washes: 5
Best Black: R13 Crossover Jeans
What We Love: They bring unexpected trendiness to an otherwise simple wardrobe staple.
What We Don’t Love: They’re not right for everyone.
For those on the market for a black jean with extra personality, R13’s crossover is exactly what you need, with two black wash options: the Jake, a darker wash with fading, whiskering, and distressing details, and the Leyton, which is more of a dark gray but is equally versatile. “R13 makes my favorite boyfriend-style jean,” says Sansone. “The fit and wash have the best ‘lived-in’ look of boyfriend jeans I've tried. Notably, their crossover waist style adds an extra layer of unexpected coolness to an otherwise simple T-shirt and jeans look.”
This style features a crossover closure, which is essentially an optical illusion that makes them look trendily deconstructed and lends them a medium to high-rise waistline. From there, these jeans go into a relaxed, straight-cut, boyfriend-style silhouette, before ending in a folded over raw hem a few inches above the ankle bone. As you’ve probably figured out for yourself by now, these aren’t exactly suitable for those with more classic taste in denim, but those who aren’t afraid of a bit of edge/rockstar cool will absolutely love them.
Price at the time of publish: $445
Size: 24-32 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 26-inch | Washes: 5
Best White: Toteme Net Sustain High-rise Straight-leg Organic Jeans
What We Love: They’re classic and trendy in equal measure.
What We Don’t Love: We’d prefer a zipper to a button fly.
Swedish label Toteme is known for its ultra-cool and modern takes on understated wardrobe classics, including the iconic roll-neck striped sweater. When it comes to denim, the brand adheres to the same principles, crafting simply very good jeans without the need for added frills. Their aptly named classic cut denim boasts a mid-rise waist, a straight cut, and a raw hem at ankle height. While we wish these had a zip rather than a button fly, we’re willing to overlook this because of how great these jeans are in pretty much every other way.
These jeans are made in Italy from 100 percent organic cotton for that vintage feel, which may feel a little stiff at first, but will soon mold itself to your body. While these come in a great range of blue denim washes and a black, we’re particularly into the off-white option, which we find is easier to wear and more versatile than a bright white wash, and perfect for lightening up an otherwise darker fall outfit (yes, even after Labor Day!). We love these paired with a pretty pair of flats for a relaxed workwear look.
Price at the time of publish: $360
Size: 23-32 | Material: Organic cotton | Inseam: 30 to 34-inch | Washes: 7
Best Light Wash: Rag & Bone Harlow Mid-Rise Straight Jeans
What We Love: The “Lou” light wash features lovely fading and whiskering accents.
What We Don’t Love: They’re not right for those looking for a full-length jean.
These are Rosales’ second recommendation for a Rag & Bone jean, so it’s safe to say the stylist is a bone-a fide fan of the label (sorry). She especially loves these for their mom-style cut featuring a mid-rise, a form-fitting style around the thighs, and a straighter silhouette around the calves. With a 28-inch inseam, these are intended to fall at about ankle level. As such, these would look great over a boot or a heel, but aren’t suited for anyone looking for a full-length pant. Fit-wise, these are made from stretchy denim for added comfort and molding.
Those who are looking for a beautiful light wash jean will find their perfect match in the Harlow in “Lou,” a light gray-ish blue with fading and whiskering accents. With that said, we and Rosales agree that the jeweled medium wash option is also extremely cool, especially if paired with a more understated top and a pair of booties. Meanwhile, these also come in darker blue washes as well as a black.
Price at the time of publish: $255
Size: 23-34 | Material: Cotton, elastane | Inseam: 28-inch | Washes: 5
Best Dark Wash: The Attico Fern dark blue long pants
What We Love: They’re cleverly detailed and a true investment piece.
What We Don’t Love: Not everyone is a fan of the baggy fit.
These are undeniably very expensive pants, but devoted fashion girls will find they’re totally worth the investment in terms of making a strong sartorial statement. “The Attiko Fern Long Denim Cargo Pants are a fun and stylish take on the cargo jeans trend,” says Bychkova. “With many pockets and an oversized fit, the Fern Pant is as trendy as it gets. I'd style it with a corset, a cool belt, and pointy-toe heels to elongate the legs.”
Aside from these pants’ many strategically placed pockets, other clever details include long zipper ribbons on some pockets, as well as contrast stitching accents, and an additional denim band around the ankles. The Fern’s waistline comes in at around hip level, and the jeans are very baggy, not so much for fans of discretion. These are also very long and designed to bunch up over your shoes and hit the ground.
Price at the time of publish: $1,150
Size: 24-32 | Material: Cotton, polyester | Inseam: Not listed | Washes: 11
Best Medium Wash: Agolde 90s High-Rise Pinch-Waist Jeans
What We Love: They come in an amazing range of medium washes.
What We Don’t Love: Those with straight hips may need to size down for a better fit.
“I love Agolde jeans — all th fits have a great variety and are equally amazing and flattering on most body types,” says Lamb. Sansone very much agrees, “Agolde has some of the best-fitting denim and is an excellent brand for classic styles to wear on repeat," says Sansone. "I also like to check out Agolde for trending denim when I want something new or different.” Essentially, you can count the label among the ranks of similarly luxe but relatively new denim brands like Re/Done and Slvrlake.
The ‘90s Pinch Waist style, recommended by Sansone, is a very versatile and easy to wear pair of jeans. They feature a high-rise “pinch” waist designed to make you feel supported, a slim fit around the hips, and a straight leg below that. However, the way the waistline falls makes these jeans a better fit for those with wide or curvy hips, but sizing down should help if you do have a straighter body type. These pants are designed to hit just below the ankle. The fact that they come in a ton of beautiful washes is a definite selling point, but we’re especially swooning over the medium washes named Navigate and Soul.
Price at the time of publish: $188
Size: 23-34 | Material: Cotton, lyocell | Inseam: 29.5-inch | Washes: 12
What to Keep in Mind
With designer jeans as with any other jeans, there are many, many fits to choose from — based on your body type and preferences as well as current trends. “I highly recommend trying them on before purchasing an expensive pair, or if you're ordering online, make sure the retailer has an easy return process or policy,” says West. “If tailoring needs to be done, ensure it doesn't take away from the silhouette of the jean, and if you're having them hemmed, always opt to have the original hem reattached.”
All of the jeans on our list are made from either 100 percent cotton, like Slvrlake Wide Leg Jeans, or cotton with a touch of spandex or elastane, like Veronica Beard Flare Jeans, making it stretchy. Other than that, the main thing to keep in mind is that the fabric on premium jeans tends to be noticeably higher quality than that of cheaper pieces. “Whilst initially more expensive, the fabric and materials used to create designer jeans are way superior than less expensive brands,” says Adams. “For that reason they have a higher threshold for wear-and-tear yet feel softer against the skin.”
While some designer jeans simply bring you a great cut pant with high quality material, many of them elevate the humble blue jean with additional detailing. “Eye-catching details are what make designer denim stand out!” says Bychkova. “I love a unique twist to designer jeans, whether cut in unexpected places, with a distinct logo, pockets, a fun print, or a wash.” For instance, Loewe's Anagram Jeans, which feature a logo over the knees, are both practical and playful.
Your Questions, Answered
Are designer jeans better quality?
While a designer label doesn’t guarantee that the jeans will be better quality and last a long time, it is usually true that they’re much more likely to. “In my experience, designer jeans are made with better attention to detail and craftsmanship and are indeed better quality,” says Bychkova. “Some designer brands experiment with innovative denim technologies and treatments that enhance the jeans' appearance, feel, and longevity. Also, some designer jeans are produced in limited quantities, allowing for greater quality control during manufacturing.”
What makes designer jeans so expensive?
“All of the factors that go into making designer jeans tend to make them more expensive since brands are using higher quality materials, the dye and wash process is unique, and their designs are more detailed,” says Lamb. With that said, Bychkova reminds us not to discount the effects of marketing over designer jeans’ final price tag. While all the experts we spoke to agree that designer jeans are very likely to be high quality, it’s true that you are also partly paying for the label.
Why Shop With Us
Iris Goldsztajn is a Paris-born, London-based freelance writer with 10 years of experience covering fashion, beauty, wellness and lifestyle for the likes of InStyle, British Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Refinery29 and many more. As the former associate editor for Her Campus, she was responsible for all style and beauty news coverage. In order to write this article, she researched the best designer jeans out there, and spoke to various fashion experts who shared their recommendations: Gabriela Rosales, a fashion stylist and founder of The Stylist Witch; personal stylist and fashion blogger Tara West; Alex Lamb, a personal shopper and wardrobe stylist; SJ Adams, a designer, celebrity stylist and personal style coach known as SJ Style Guru; style expert Katya Bychkova; and fashion and lifestyle influencer Brittany Sansone.
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