While we might scour multiple stores in search of the perfect winter coat or pledge our allegiance to a number of different It bag brands, when it comes to jeans, we tend to couple up for life. Despite the fact that no one likes shopping for them (how do they manage to spark insecurity like no other item of clothing?), it's worth the hunt, as once you've found The One, there's no turning back.
The holy grail of good jeans lies somewhere in the middle of a Venn diagram covering fit, silhouette, comfort and, inevitably, cost. Recognising the needs of the masses by creating fashion-forward fits (especially for jeans) in technical, figure-flattering fabrics has only been achieved by a handful of brands. It's rare to tick all the boxes, but when it comes to the best denim brands on the market, our editors and fashion friends know who's who.
As a team of prolific shoppers, here at Who What Wear UK, we've developed a pretty good sense of where to find the best denim. So to get the intel, we grilled four members of the team along with a few of our favourite fashion influencers to find out what brands they return to again and again for the best denim buys. Scroll down to see what they said.
Emma Spedding, WWW Editor
"J Brand has its reputation for a reason. Yes, they are expensive, but some of my J Brand jeans I’ve been wearing for over eight years. I love its cropped flares (the Selenas are a particular favourite), but also the straight-leg jeans are jeans I know I’ll wear for years and years to come. The quality of the denim is really impressive, and I’ve found they are the most durable out of any brands I’ve tried."
Hannah Almassi, WWW Editor in Chief
"After a desperate call for help on Instagram Stories, some kind denim experts and fellow short-and-hourglass girls DM'd me with recommendations for high-waisted, straight-leg jeans. Petite jean offerings across the board are pretty basic and usually include skinnies, skinnies and some more skinnies. And even if I liked skinny jeans, which I never have (sorry not sorry), the length would be right but the waist will bag, and I'll be sure to have those lines of denim cutting into my thighs. Boyish came up as the brand with the highest number of votes for my specific requirements and… they fit! I had to lop the hem off, but apart from that, it was the first time in a long time that I'd picked up a pair of jeans I wanted, in my normal size, and they just worked. My Tommy Straight-Leg jeans have a little bit of elastane, which makes the cut a more flexible one whilst still looking like a vintage, stiff denim. The waist was just the right height for my smaller stature, and the washes are nice and simple."
Remi Afolabi, WWW Video Content Creator
"When it comes to finding affordable denim jeans of good quality and fit, Weekday is definitely a step ahead for me. A particular style from its collection of denim I have loved wearing for a few years now is its Rowe style. I own it in a few washes and find that the high waist and straight leg of this style complement my shape very well. They’re also available in a variety of lengths and are made from organic cotton material."
Karina Marriott, Fashion Influencer
“No exaggeration, the Levi's Ribcage jeans are my favourite pair of jeans EVER and the only pair I don’t need to wear a belt with because they fit so perfectly on my shape. Such a great fit for so many shapes, particularly if you have a smaller waist and bigger hips/bum."
Joy Montgomery, WWW Shopping Editor
"Finding a sustainable denim brand that doesn't break the bank is not an easy task. However, when I discovered Seventy + Mochi last year, I was instantly hooked. With a subtle nod to '70s silhouettes (very me), its denim offering is versatile yet still packs plenty of personality. My favourite style? It has to be the brand's denim dungarees, which I have in two colourways. I love styling them with a statement blouse."
Trishna Goklani, Content Creator
"Jeans are hard to get right (in my opinion) and even more so for wide-legged styles. I found these & Other Stories fit me in the right places without being skin tight, which is exactly what I look for in jeans. I usually play it safe with straight-cut jeans but love the idea of other styles like boyfriend and a wide leg. They’re perfect for the summer with slides and a crop top but also great for layering in the winter. I particularly love the look of styling these with a huge oversized jumper to balance out the bottom."
Shannon Lawlor, WWW Beauty Contributor
"As a size 12 with a 33-inch leg and square frame, I find it really difficult to shop for denim. My wardrobe is 80% jeans (I wear them approximately 364 days of the year), so I'm always on the hunt for more affordable trend-led styles. For years, I exclusively wore J Brand (for skinny styles) and Levi's (for anything straight or relaxed), but a couple of years ago, I spotted a pair of two-toned relaxed skinny jeans with a step-hem in M&S and couldn't resist picking them up. I had learned to be let down by high-street denim, but they were £40 and looked 10 times the price, so figured I had little to lose. I was absolutely blown away by how comfortable they were and how well they fit. People still stop me in the street and ask where they're from. Since then, I have made M&S my go-to for most classic styles as well. The High-Waisted Straight Leg Jeans are £35, have a bit of stretch for optimum comfort, and they don't cling to my shins, which is my biggest gripe with so many other styles. I wear them virtually every day (even when working from home)!"
Eni Ilori, Fashion Influencer
"Zara is one of my favourite places to get jeans, as it has a good selection for petites. This pair I’m wearing I’ve had for quite a while. I love that they are fitted at the top and quite flared at the bottom. It’s nice to pair with boots or trainers, which is nice for a smart or casual look."