Page through style magazines and you see fabulous jeans north of $200/pr. For most of us that's a sizable chunk of change to throw down for 1 pair of pants considering we need at least 3 pair.
The good news is there's no shortage of options. There IS quality denim out there that won't deplete our funds. (The max I will pay for jeans is $100, but I prefer a lower price point. I may splurge on a pair of vintage 501's though... these are superb!!)
I recently caught an episode of Dr Oz featuring jeans that do/don't fit true to size. I did my own research and came up with the same conclusion. Chico's sizes run large (I wear a 00), H&M runs small (a size 9), and The Loft came out true to size (a 4 for me). While the Loft had an initial great fit, the skinny jeans started riding up up after a short time on my hourglass shape.
Since denim loosens up, find a pair that fits like a tourniquet and wear them for 1/2 hour either in the store or at home (don't remove the tags) to see where and how much they expand. A little give in the waist is fine but if jeans start to sag in the behind or ride up they shouldn't be staying in your closet. I make sure I do everything but cartwheels (if only-ha!) during that 30 minutes.
Here are my latest finds that are fabulous fits and hold their shape:
Kut from the Kloth: These were the priciest, close to my max at $89. Higher waisted without resembling mom jeans, these are slimming with perfectly placed pockets. I love that the belt loops are wider (long torso's need wider belts).
(Consider cost per wear. For me denim is a wardrobe staple 3 seasons of the year. I figure I'll wear these jeans 2x/week for 2 years or 39 weeks. 78 times a year for 2 years = 156 wearings. That brings me to .64 cents per wear. That's pretty darn good!)
Express: I bought both cropped mid-rise distressed and the mid-rise leggings. A great fit! Both retained their shape. The only stretching was in the waist. Express frequently offers a BOGO 1/2 off or 40% off everything, which translated to $50/pair.
Levi's 711: Levi's has the gift of making your booty look good! These stretch more and wear out faster, but at $20/pair they are a great value. (If your denim is stretched beyond wearing or too tight, check out these hacks from Who What Wear.) Levi's offers a higher end line with better quality materials.
Gap offers well fitting denim if you have larger thighs, plus have a modern aesthetic that is a reasonable price.
Do you have a favorite pair of jeans?
-J Kelley, Style & Beauty Blogger
Kelley Johnson, AICI CIC
Association of Image Consultants International Certified Image Consultant
Style and Beauty Blogger