Okay, I admit it. When it comes to buying denim these days, I'm a bit of a snob. I spent my early 20s trying every high-street style I could find, going through God knows how many pairs of Topshop Jonis and Jamies. Once I hit my 30s, I gave up and started investing in fewer, more considered (read: expensive) pairs, hoping this was the solution to finding the holy grail of perfect jeans.
I've definitely found a few really great go-tos, but like a lot of us, I'm still on the lookout for a better pair. And while I presumed my high-street denim days were behind me, it was a recent Who What Wear team Slack discussion around everyone's favourite jeans that had me reluctantly reconsidering.
The verdict was that Marks and Spencer jeans are seriously impressive. Our contributing beauty editor Shannon Lawlor says it's the only brand she's worn for years. And thinking about it, that wasn't the first time I'd heard this opinion from fashion insiders. Since M&S is our favourite place for other wardrobe basics like underwear and affordable cashmere, I thought it was worth giving the brand's jeans a try.
I picked three of the best pairs of M&S jeans to see what all the fuss was about, and I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised. As a petite person (I'm 5'2", for reference), I love that there's a shorter-length option, so I didn't have to worry about the wide legs dragging on the floor or the cropped styles not actually being cropped. The denim itself is sustainably sourced through its Better Cotton Initiative, which you can find out more about here, and above all, it's really, really comfy while still holding its shape—something not many expensive denim brands can seem to crack. With most coming in at under £40, it's hard to argue with the M&S denim superfans. In fact, I just might be one of them now.
Keep scrolling to see and shop my favourite pairs.
1. The Straight-Leg Jeans
Who knew M&S did such trendy jeans? I particularly love the buttons, which made these feel like a vintage pair of Levi's—except these were much comfier. I'd wear these so much. I know it.
2. The Wide-Leg Jeans
I loved this pair. (Although, they could probably do with an iron!) The wide leg felt modern but still totally wearable. They're true to size and very flattering, hugging the bum despite being baggier in the leg.