A friend of mine recently divulged that she didn’t like skinny jeans, and with good reason: Not everyone looks good in a pair of clingy pants, and not everyone relishes spending hours squeezing into what might as well be Chinese finger cuffs. As I calmed my friend’s nerves with a list of great jean brands I know (they fit in my boots!), I realized that this is a mix-tape I should share.
J Brand ($165-$175, Intermix)
Chances are, if you’ve seen a girl walking down the street in the most perfect shade of faded gray or midnight blue denim, with blank pockets and yellow stitching, they’re J Brand jeans. This label ranks their jeans in inches from skinniest (10”) to boot-cut (“20”). I veer towards the 12” variety — 10” looks like leggings made of denim. These puppies stretch in the waist, so don’t feel nervous about buying a tight fit.
Earnest Sewn ($198, An Earnest Cut & Sew)
Head to their concept store on Washington Street to try on every variety they sell, guided by salespeople who won’t drive you to tears. Distinguished by their simple cuts and sassy brass front buttons, Earnest Sewn’s stretch skinny jeans are my favorite, because they have some give, but never really stretch out (just keep ‘em out of the dryer).
Sass & Bide ($184-$231, ShopBop.com)
Ok, if you see a girl on the street in perfect gray jeans, but the seams are black instead of yellow, they’re Sass & Bide. The label that launched a million feminine tops and printed dresses only recently started doing jeans, but they’ve already garnered a serious cult following. They sit lower on the hips and are perfect for scrunching at the ankle.
Imitation of Christ ($164-$195, Atrium)
High-waisted bliss. Often cut in vintage 70s shapes, these jeans are Zen-like in their simplicity, with a single zipper on the pocket or black-on-black branding. What I.O.C really has that gives them a leg up (ha ha) on other denim labels is their truly impressive tailoring — these don’t look like anything else out there.
Siwy Jeans ($185-$198, RevolveClothing.com)
Their smaller-than-average pockets, tulip-like embroidery and contoured back yolk look odd on the rack but freaking fantastic on your ass. I bought a pair of Siwy denim cut-offs last spring and felt like Daisy Duke (even with more junk in my trunk than Catherine Bach).