Denim is the cornerstone of many of our wardrobes. From dresses and jumpsuits to jackets and, of course, jeans, it’s the timeless trend we’ve depended on through every decade since the 1930s, when Levi’s introduced the world’s first pair of jeans designed exclusively for women. We counted on it through the '90s when head-to-toe was the way to go and still do as we enter 2022 when the offering seems endless.
Even if you don’t count yourself as a jeans person, you’re likely to own a denim piece or at least one pair in your favourite shade. And sometimes one perfect pair is all you need, but the search for them is a process most of us spend years going through. Not only do we have the fit and shade to consider, but also, these days, picking a brand to start with is a tough decision in itself.
Finding a brand that designs for your height, shape and personal style is essential to perfecting the basics of a capsule wardrobe. Sustainability is also a huge issue to consider in the denim world, as it's one of the most polluting fabrics in the fashion industry. According to Everlane, in a standard process, around 1500 litres of water are used to produce a single pair, so it's essential to know where your denim is coming from and how it's being made.
So where to start? There are, of course, the old faithfuls like Levi's and Wrangler, but now there's also a plethora of new and under-the-radar denim brands that have responsible production at their core, as well as designing for all shapes, sizes and price ranges, and today, we want to highlight them.
Keep scrolling to read about six of our favourite lesser-known labels we always recommend when our friends ask us where to shop for jeans.
Not only are Everlane's jeans made in the world's cleanest denim factory, which recycles 98% of all water used, but many of its styles also come in different lengths (ankle, regular, tall) and fabrics (stretch, original, rigid) so you can ind the most flattering fit for you. Everlane's online denim guide is very helpful, giving measurements and in-depth details about each style.
L' Agence comes highly recommended by the insider crowd. Word of mouth has meant most fashion girls have a pair of these super-soft jeans in their wardrobe by now. I can personally say they feel like a second skin, and the brand does the best flares on the market, hands down.
If you're a fan of classic, vintage-style, straight-leg denim, then Agolde is the brand for you. It sits under the same company as much-lauded Citizens of Humanity but prioritises modern cuts. Its eco-friendly organic denim is in Net-a-Porter's Net Sustain collection and is some of the best quality I've tried. The cropped Riley is the closest I've ever come to finding the perfect pair of denim for petite people, and every influencer on my feed seems to have the '90s Pinch Waist style at the moment. An investment, yes, but trust me when I say you'll feel the difference.
For the best denim on the high street, head to Weekday. It has a huge range of styles with each shape coming in multiple colour shades and lengths. The jeans are classically stiff, meaning they feel way more expensive than they are, and all of Weekday's cotton used is either organic or recycled.
5. People Tree
One of our favourite sustainable fashion brands People Tree has a 100% organic cotton denim collection that uses 87.2% less water to produce than conventional cotton. And trust us—it doesn't disappoint. It's full of wearable, classic pairs like the Cecile straight-leg style, which WWW UK's assistant editor Elinor Block is a strong supporter of.
If you're on the hunt for perfect denim and you're willing to part with some cash to get it, young brand Slvrlake from denim haven Los Angeles is well worth investing in. The design duo behind the brand sets out to create impeccable premium denim in timeless cuts that will last you a lifetime.