It’s no big secret that we love denim (even quarantine couldn’t break our spirit), and our shortlist of best jeans brands is, well, long. Discussions about inseams, washes, fit (is the vibe ’90s edge or early aughts puddle?) and fabric (how much give do jeans really need?) are part of the daily Slack banter. We’ve spent hours debating the best places to shop for jeans, and naturally, decided the next best step was to curate all the labels we know and love into a comprehensive guide that you can basically consider your denim bible for the foreseeable future—not to be too dramatic, of course.
We’ve double-tapped, wear-tested, and read up on each one of these labels below, so get to know the best jeans brands and shop some of our tried-and-true styles, including the high-rise jeans we can’t stop, won’t stop wearing, the reworked vintage fits with the perfect amount of weight, and the size-inclusive styles that look good on virtually everyone.
Would a denim roundup even be a denim roundup if we didn’t kick things off with some classic American jeans? The heritage brand was the first to debut “blue jeans,” and now counts a slew of timeless fits to its name (like Levi’s 501s, the Wedgie, the Ribcage) available in all kinds of washes, inseams, and fabrics.
Levi’s Premium Wedgie Icon Fit Jeans
Madewell’s bread and butter is denim, so it should come as no surprise that the brand is one of our ride-or-dies for versatile fits that are not too heavy or too stretchy. The brand carries a wide range of straight and plus size styles, with spot-on inseams for petite and tall lengths—no tailoring required.
Madewell The Perfect Vintage Straight Jean in Fitzgerald Wash
Madewell The Momjean in Foster Wash
Everlane carries just about every wardrobe essential you could possibly need, including high-quality jeans that any denim enthusiast will appreciate. Expect to find everything from light-wash slim-fit jeans to selvedge denim (recognizable by the white-and-red-striping running up the seams), all priced under $100.
Everlane The Original Cheeky Jean
Everlane The ’90s Slouch Jean
A staple among editors, Reformation’s cool-girl cuts are perfect for pairing with smocked camis, tiny bags, and relaxed boyfriend blazers. Its stiff denim has a decidedly vintage feel, and the brand carries tons of cute, sustainably made pairs—from statement cheetah print to classic straight-leg jeans (hi, Cynthia) that sit a higher on the waist with a hint of stretch for comfort.
Reformation Liza Ultra High Rise Straight Jeans
Reformation Cynthia High Rise Straight Long Jeans
With jeans that range from sizes 00 to 26, Good American has become a household name for inclusive fits. The Khloé Kardashian- and Emma Grede-helmed brand debuted in 2016 with a small selection of styles (skinny fit, high-waisted, and boyfriend) but has since branched out into more silhouettes—and categories like swim, athleisure, and footwear. For those on the hunt for the perfect curvy jean, Good American is worth having on your radar.
Good American Good Legs Jeans
Whether you want the best fitting baggy jeans or a tapered full-length, all of Agolde’s denim has that deliciously lived-in feel that only gets better with wear. The brand relaunched in 2014 with styles you’ll instantly wax poetic over (looking at you, Pinch Waist) thanks to their perfect high-rise fits and unmatched hip-hugging feel.
Agolde Pinch Waist High-Rise Skinny Jeans
Agolde Balloon High-Rise Tapered Jeans
For a cool throwback vibe, look to Re/Done. The celeb-approved brand—which counts Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber as clients—continues the story of Levi Strauss by upcycling and reconstructing old pairs. Its denim runs up to $300, but check out the Re/Sell, a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows you to score (and resell) preloved styles at far less hefty price tags.
Re/Done 90s High Rise Loose Jean
Built around cofounder Elin Kling’s ethos of uniform dressing, Totême’s minimalist jeans are ready to be broken in. The silhouettes echo vintage jeans from Kling’s collection, but with modern tweaks, like the twisted seam that wraps around the legs ever so subtly.
Totême High-Rise Skinny Jeans
Totême Barrel Organic High-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans
For Feel Studio, less is more: The brand offers only one fit of jeans, in three different washes and two different lengths. The idea is to celebrate the old-school appeal of denim while also considering its environmental impact. Feel Studio Inc.’s jeans are crafted in California from durable, non-stretch denim, and are shipped off in biodegradable packaging. The brand also has a premium denim style in its signature fit, cut from Japanese selvedge denim. Any unused and off-cut fabric is used to build insulation for houses, as part of a partnership with the Blue Jeans Go Green Initiative.
The Feel Studio Black Genuine Jean
The Feel Studio White Genuine Jean
Looking for a vintage fit with a twist? Check out Still Here, which was founded by Sonia Beyda Mosseri in New York and produces its pieces in L.A. Each pair of jeans features a unique detail, such as hand-painted stripes or hand-stitched embroidery that are a true testament to the impeccable craftsmanship. Most styles are between $235 and $350, so they’re an investment, but they’ll for sure stand out from your denim collection.
Still Here Flower Vine Childhood Embroidered Jean
Still Here Pastel Rainbow Tate Cropped Jeans
Arguably one of the most inclusive fashion lines on the market right now, Universal Standard released its first-ever denim line in 2019, in its full size range of 00 to 40. Cofounders Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler worked to crack the code of the perfect amount of stretch in jeans, with styles available in a variety of light, medium, and dark washes. With a wallet-friendly price point of $90, Universal Standard proves its inclusive mission goes beyond sizing.
Universal Standard Riviera High Rise Skinny Jeans
Universal Standard Seine Mid Rise Skinny Jeans
Ética is one of the latest pioneers in denim sustainability. Based in Los Angeles, it was launched by a group of denim industry veterans in 2019, with a commitment to fair labor practices, conscious manufacturing, and investment in energy-efficient machinery that reduces water and energy waste. Ética uses deadstock fabric (unused materials from mills that would normally end up in a landfill but are instead upcycled) and repurposes used wash stones, compressing them into bricks to build low-income housing. Buying into its mission is easy on the wallet too: All styles come in at less than $200.
Ética Alex Twist Seam High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans
Ética Finn Slim Straight Ankle Jeans
Between the subtle frayed hemlines and flawless fits that require practically zero break-in, Mother has some of the best denim in town. (Even Meghan Markle is fan!) The made-in-L.A. brand has plenty of classic silhouettes to add to your daily repertoire, in addition to styles featuring offbeat accents like “cosmic embroidery” that are just downright fun to wear.
Mother Fray Hem Bootcut Jeans
Mother The Insider High Waist Crop Step Chew Hem Jeans
There’s a reason why Frame is a favorite of just about every A-lister imaginable: The designer jeans brand has mastered timeless, relaxed fits that you can wear every day of the week, without ever worrying about them losing shape.
Frame Le Jane Straight Leg Jeans
Frame Le High Skinny Ankle Jeans
Citizens of Humanity
With a loyal fan base of both celebrities and influencers, Citizens of Humanity remains one of the most trusted denim brands on the scene. There’s something for everyone’s style here, whether you’re looking for black jeans, wide-leg jeans, or stark white skinnies.
Citizens of Humanity Eva Distressed High-Rise Straight Leg Jeans
Citizens of Humanity Olivia High-Rise Slim-Leg Jeans
Pilcro by Anthropologie
Anthropologie may not be one of the first spots you hit up for denim, but you really should. The retailer’s in-house denim label Pilcro recently expanded its jeans collection to be more size-inclusive and sustainably made, and they excel in laidback fits that pair perfectly with boho blouses, simple T-shirts, and quilted jackets.
Pilcro The Painters Denim Overalls
Pilcro The Breaker Relaxed Jeans
AYR or “All Year Round” makes finding your next go-to pair easy: The brand only carries a limited selection of jeans (bye-bye, choice paralysis), with four (!!) different inseam lengths and sizes that go up to 34. Its hero style, the Bomb Pop, has a waitlist that goes well into the thousands.
AYR The Must Jeans in Driftwood