Best jeans for women—including wide-leg, straight-leg, skinny, and mom styles

Give a woman a pair of the best jeans, and there is nothing she can't do

6 of the best jeans shot flat, from J Brand to ASOS and Paige, with the words best jeans overlayed
(Image credit: Future)

Trying to find the best jeans to work with your wardrobe is something that some women spend a lifetime (and a small fortune) trying to do. Be honest—how many pairs of jeans do you have in your wardrobe right now? And of those, how many do you actually wear?

One thing for the denim-hoarding among us to remember is that we’re not alone. According to research by Mintel, women are more than twice as likely as men to find it difficult to find jeans that fit them properly. And, of course, men don't have the sartorial struggles of tracking down the best bras or the best shapewear either. Whether you’ve recently changed sizes, feel stuck in a denim rut, or simply want to switch up your trusty skinnies for a new style, we’ve put pairs upon pairs of denim through their paces to find you the very best jeans on the market.

How we selected the best jeans

Shopping for jeans is a personal decision. But to help you find the best pair, we took three steps to ensure only the best jeans made our list. 

  • We started with a list of the most popular denim brands within the w&h team—then, we chatted to colleagues, friends, and family to see which brands they loved, and which ones were sitting on their wardrobe wish lists. 
  • We got our hands on as many different styles from as many different brands as we could to try them for ourselves—it's no exaggeration to say our fashion editor’s home was overflowing with jeans samples—she had to store the excess in her car!
  • We wore them for working, walking, and relaxing—and we’re 100% confident that these are the best jeans worth spending your hard-earned money on. 

Our ratings and reviews are a reflection of:

  • What we believe are the star pieces from each brand
  • The quality of the denim
  • Whether the sizing is reliable
  • How comfortable they are to wear 

The best jeans as reviewed by our experts

Best High-Waisted Jeans

There's a resurgence of Y2K styles on the horizon, with low-rise jeans topping the list. Though, many of us are opting to stay in their tried-but-true high-rise silhouettes, as they've proved both longevity and versatility. The best high-waisted jeans work with everything. Whether it's your favorite vintage tee or a crisp white button-up, this flattering fit doesn't just work but works well every time. But why? High-waisted denim is all about expertly sculpting your backside and accentuating your waist—the fabric extends higher on the body, and in turn, makes your legs appear longer. Plus, you can throw on a blazer and tee and have a tailored look in seconds. Still, while this classic cut has earned its stamp of approval from Diane Keaton to Kaia Gerber, they do have their downside—putting pressure on your midsection if the fit isn't right. No matter how good they look on the outside, no one wants discomfort, so we've rounded up a list of foolproof best high-waisted jeans that are equal parts fabulous and comfortable.

Citizens of Humanity Olivia High Rise Slim Ankle Jeans

(Image credit: Citizens of Humanity)

1. Citizens of Humanity Olivia High Rise Slim Jean

Best high-waisted jeans overall

Specifications

RRP: $238 / £260
Sizes: 23"-32" waist
Leg length: 26"-33"

Reasons to buy

+
Sustainable processes
+
Wide range of styles 

Reasons to avoid

-
They come up a little small 

Citizens of Humanity's Olivia High Rise Slim Fit high-waisted jeans are a thing of beauty. They’re slightly more forgiving than skinny jeans thanks to the slim leg, but without adding any extra volume to your frame. The fabric composition varies somewhat from wash to wash, but you can expect them all to be super soft and comfortable to wear. Even better, Olivia is available in tall and petite leg lengths, too, making them suitable for all heights. 

DL1961 Vintage Emilie Straight Ultra High Rise

(Image credit: DL1961)

2. DL1961 Vintage Emilie Straight Ultra High Rise, Vintage Blue

Best cropped high-waisted jeans

Specifications

RRP: $352 / £240
Sizes: 23"-34" waist
Leg length: inseam: 27” rise: 11.5”

Reasons to buy

+
Relaxed fit that from the hip to the leg
+
Ultra high-rise 
+
Mid-wash indigo hue that's universally-flattering

Reasons to avoid

-
Virtually no stretch—it’s best to size up

Practical and polished, the medium wash is a great in-between for those who want something light but isn't sold on darker washes just yet. The higher waist is flattering for smoothing midsections, while the right-above-the-ankle cut is a dream for any petite jean lover out there. It adds just the right amount of ankle cleavage to highlight fancy footwear without being too short when it's considered a crop. Plus, the rigged hemline with just the right amount of detailing for minimalists and maximalists alike. 

Citizens of Humanity Annina Trouser Jean

(Image credit: Citizens of Humanity )

3. Citizens of Humanity Annina Trouser Jean

Best lightweight high-waisted jeans

Specifications

RRP: $238 / £310
Sizes: 22"-34" waist
Leg length: inseam: 33" rise: 11 3/4"

Reasons to buy

+
A comfortable, lightweight feel
+
The cut sits high on the waist
+
Light indigo wash has distinct fading throughout for added effect

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-stretch

This palazzo pant is a versatile staple that will never overwhelm your look. It is as comfortable as your favorite sweatpants and as chic as your favorite trouser (hint: the name). Available in two shades—Tularosa (a light wash) and Blue Rose (a medium-to-darker hue)—this non-stretch denim blends vintage character with a super-soft lightweight feel.

Gap Sky High Rise Universal Jegging with Secret Smoothing Pockets

(Image credit: GAP)
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4. Gap Sky High Rise Universal Jegging with Secret Smoothing Pockets

Best high-waisted jeggings

Specifications

RRP: $54 / £39.95
Sizes: 2-20
Leg length: regular: 28" petite: 25.5" tall: 32"

Reasons to buy

+
Super comfortable 
+
Smoothing pockets 
+
Universally flattering

Reasons to avoid

-
Not much structure

These jeans finish high—just covering the belly button—with 'hold you in' front pocket panels for a sleek and smooth silhouette. They’re as comfy as leggings—but look like denim. All 'jeggings' obviously offer a more casual fit, but with that comes more comfort so you can wear these as loungewear as well as out and about. 

Crew Clothing Girlfriend Jean

(Image credit: Crew Clothing)
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5. Crew Clothing Girlfriend Jean

Best high-waisted girlfriend jeans

Specifications

RRP: $88 / £65
Sizes: 6-18
Leg length : n/a

Reasons to buy

+
Slim, neat fit
+
Relaxed style
+
Comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Won't flatter all shapes

A girlfriend jean is a less baggy version of the boyfriend, so ideal if you’re after a slim, but loose, style. Sitting high on the waist, its relaxed fit works well for a low-key weekend look, yet the high waist ensures the fit is still flattering. As comfortable as they are on-trend, pair these jeans with a simple-t-shirt, or cropped knit to complete the look.

Weekday Body Extra High Skinny Jeans

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6. Weekday Body Extra High Skinny Jeans

Best high-waisted skinny jeans

Specifications

RRP: $54 / £40
Sizes: 24"-34" waist
Leg length : n/a

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable
+
Feminine
+
Soft

Reasons to avoid

-
We can't fault them!

If you like your high-waisted jeans skinny and streamlined, these are the ones for you. Made with organic cotton, they come in four different washes and offer a softer finish, while retaining structure. These jeans tread the line between elegant and relaxed—making them a good all-rounder to take you from day to night.

Best straight-leg jeans

Style and wash are obviously important, but the fit of your jeans is the real deal-breaker—and straight-leg jeans remain one of the most popular styles for a reason. Straight-leg jeans are some of the most versatile jeans to buy. The classic fit can be dressed up or down and suits all shapes. More formal than the looser mom jeans style and even baggier boyfriend variation, straight-leg jeans offer both comfort and style. 

Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans

(Image credit: Levi's)
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1. Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans

Best straight-leg jeans overall

Specifications

RRP: $135 / £100
Sizes: 23"-32" waist
Leg length : 29"-31"

Reasons to buy

+
Super flattering 
+
Comfortable
+
Legs appear longer

Reasons to avoid

-
We can't fault them

Levi’s highest high rise helps define your waist and makes your legs appear longer, too. Finishing at the ankle, they’re perfect for petite women and have a super-flattering shape thanks to the high waist and loose leg. 

wrangler mom jeans

(Image credit: Wrangler)
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2. Wrangler Mom Jeans

Best straight-leg mom jeans

Specifications

RRP: $122 / £90
Sizes: 24"-32" waist
Leg length: 30"-34"

Reasons to buy

+
Classic, yet on-trend, shape
+
Comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Won't suit all shapes

These mom jeans are a classic choice and they come from the iconic brand Wrangler and will flatter most shapes. Made with recycled fibers for a softer finish, you'll be able to wear these jeans all day and stay comfortable. Styling-wise, keep it casual with Converse and a striped tee.

PAIGE Sarah Straight jeans

(Image credit: PAIGE)

3. PAIGE Sarah Straight

Best cropped straight-leg jeans

Specifications

RRP: $229 / £250
Sizes: 23"-34" waist
Leg lengths: 28"-34" (depending on style)

Reasons to buy

+
Wide range of styles to choose from
+
Good selection of washes 

Reasons to avoid

-
Can’t select a different leg length for each style

A classic shape that’ll more than earn its keep in your wardrobe, the Sarah Straight is made predominantly from sturdy cotton. Not to mention, it only has just 2% elastane, with just enough stretch to keep them comfy, while retaining a rigid shape. A high waist and slightly cropped length keep the silhouette streamlined and flattering.

AGOLDE Fen Cropped Straight-Leg Jeans

(Image credit: AGOLDE)

4. AGOLDE Fen Cropped Straight-Leg Jeans

Best distressed straight-leg jeans

Specifications

RRP: $198 / £154.31
Sizes: 23"-32" waist
Leg length: inseam: 26.5" rise: 11.5"

Reasons to buy

+
Non-stretch denim
+
Cropped straight-leg silhouette
+
Belt loops and zip fly closure for easy wear

Reasons to avoid

-
The light distressing might be too much for some
-
We recommend sizing up

Cropped in AGOLDE's signature Wander shade, the light blue wash is crafted from 100% cotton and hones in on classic features such as a button closure and a five-pocket design. The tapered straight-leg generates a silhouette of pure ease, while the distressed details add a bit of elevation, the same as your favorite accessory would with little to no thought. 

NYDJ Relaxed Piper Ankle Jeans

(Image credit: NYDJ)

5. NYDJ Relaxed Piper Ankle Jeans

The best straight-leg jeans for flattering all shapes

Specifications

RRP: $109 / £80
Sizes: 00-18
Leg length: inseam: 27" rise: 9.75"

Reasons to buy

+
No gap higher rise 
+
Easy straight-leg silhouette 
+
Lift Tuck technology to slim fronts and lift the backside

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price point

Designed with a no-gap, high-rise structure, this denim hits right at the natural waist, leaving no wiggle room for uncomfortable waistbands or unflattering love handles. Style with a white tee and sweater for casual days running errands, or dress is up come nighttime—either way, the oversized front pocket provides a 'utility chic' look that only elevates this traditional light blue wash and subtly-detailed hem. 

Levi's 501 cropped jeans

(Image credit: Levi's )
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6. Levi's 501 Jeans crop jeans

Best loose straight-leg jeans

Specifications

RRP: $129 / £95
Sizes: 23"-42" waist
Leg length: 26"-30"

Reasons to buy

+
Loose, comfortable fit
+
Flattering 

Reasons to avoid

-
Tight fit around the middle at first

They might be slightly looser than skinny jeans but, thanks to the rigid denim they’re made from, these jeans are just as flattering. Because the fabric is firmer, there’s a temptation to size up, but as all denim stretches eventually, it pays to stick to your usual size. Stylish, flattering, and very comfortable, too. 

Best skinny jeans

While skinny jeans haven't enjoyed the best reputation according to some fashionistas, we'd argue the skinny is a fashion staple that's here to stay—it's just all in the styling. Skinny jeans are great for tucking into boots or to offset an oversized knit or voluminous blouse. 

Skinny jeans have come a long way, shaking off their reputation as uncomfortable and rigid.  Styles now lift, shape, and flatter curves for a streamlined silhouette that doesn’t compromise on comfort.

Levi’s 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans

(Image credit: Levi's)

1. Levi’s 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans

Best everyday skinny jeans

Specifications

RRP: £100 / not available in the US
Sizes: 23"-32" waist
Leg length: 28"-34"

Reasons to buy

+
Decent quality and fit
+
Long-lasting

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive

Dubbed ‘the ultimate waist-defining fit’ these jeans do exactly that, smoothing your middle and hugging your curves for a comfy and flattering look. Levi’s are real pros when it comes to crafting good quality denim that stands the test of time and this light indigo wash gets our vote for that vintage aesthetic that will last for years to come.

Gap Sky High Rise Universal Jegging with Secret Smoothing Pockets

(Image credit: GAP)
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2. Gap Sky High Rise Universal Jegging with Secret Smoothing Pockets

Best skinny jeggings

Specifications

RRP: $54 / £39.95
Sizes: 2-20
Leg length: regular: 28" petite: 25.5" tall: 32"

Reasons to buy

+
Super comfortable 
+
Smoothing pockets 
+
Universally flattering

Reasons to avoid

-
Not much structure

These jeans finish high—just covering the belly button—with 'hold you in' front pocket panels for a sleek and smooth silhouette. They’re as low-maintenance as leggings—but look like denim. All 'jeggings' obviously offer a more casual fit, but with that comes more comfort so you can wear these as loungewear as well as out and about. 

7 For All Mankind

(Image credit: 7 For All Mankind)

3. 7 For All Mankind HW Skinny Crop Slim Illusion Luxe Gravity

Best luxury skinny jeans

Specifications

RRP : $225 / £190
Sizes: 23"-32" waist
Leg length : 30"

Reasons to buy

+
Long-lasting
+
Cropped finish
+
Premium feel 

Reasons to avoid

-
High-end price
-
Limited sizing

If you’re after something a bit more premium, then 7 For All Mankind is a brand that delivers. We love this cropped pair—an excellent choice for petite builds. This pair also has a flattering high waist to help lengthen your legs and super stretch fabric to mold to your shape. Make the most of the cropped finish and dress up with a fancy heel.

Mint Velvet Denver Beige Coated Jeans

(Image credit: Mint Velvet)

4. Mint Velvet Denver Beige Coated Jeans

Best lighter skinny jeans

Specifications

RRP : $145 / £89
Sizes: 6-18
Leg length: n/a

Reasons to buy

+
Smarter style
+
Spring-ready shade

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive

For a smarter take on denim, opt for this coated style. The high-shine finish gives them a fancier edge, perfect for dressing up. We love this beige hue, a fresh update for spring, and an easier shade to style than bold white. The exposed zips add a cool biker feel, too. 

New Look Blue Light Wash ‘Lift & Shape’ Jenna Skinny Jeans

(Image credit: New Look)

5. New Look Blue Light Wash ‘Lift & Shape’ Jenna Skinny Jeans

Best affordable skinny jeans

Specifications

RRP : £25.99 / not available in the US
Sizes: 6-18
Leg length : n/a

Reasons to buy

+
Budget-friendly
+
High stretch
+
Sculpting seams

Reasons to avoid

-
Might not last as long

New Look’s denim collection is definitely worth considering, and this is a budget-friendly pair that still delivers. Ticking all the boxes, these skinnies have a high stretch and sit just above the waist with sculpting seams to help lift and smooth your silhouette. They’re also part of New Look's Kind range which uses less water during manufacturing, ticking the eco-friendly box, too. 

Wrangler Skinny Jeans in Water Blue

(Image credit: Wrangler)

6. Wrangler Skinny Jeans

Best luxury skinny jeans

Specifications

RRP: $107 / £80
Sizes: 24"-34" waist
Leg length: 30"-34"

Reasons to buy

+
Long-lasting
+
Decent fit
+
Classic shape

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive

These classic stonewash jeans have a worn-in look for that retro touch. A snug fit with a regular waist, finishing at the ankle. They have the iconic Wrangler label on the back and are crafted using environmentally responsible fabric. Simple daytime jeans, give them a '90s feel and team with a pair of high tops and a sweater for a sporty get-up.

Best flared jeans

This '70s-inspired style is not only a staple in Jane Fonda's wardrobe but has now made its way to younger generations. From Selena Gomez to Kaia Gerber, Hollywood's 'new class' has been seen strutting around with this waist-cinching, trouser-like variation on repeat. Universally flattering, it's impossible to pass up this bell bottom. So, whether you're looking for black, blue, and happy-medium washes, we've found a handful of the best buys below.

& Other Stories Flared High Waist Jeans

(Image credit: & Other Stories)
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Best flattering flared jeans

Specifications

RRP: $88 / £65
Sizes: 24"-33"
Leg length: n/a

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish and on-trend
+
Chic '70s style 

Reasons to avoid

-
Wide leg not as flattering on some shapes

Make the most of the 1970s fashion revival with this gorgeous pair of flares. Of all the different types of jeans available, these are one of the most flattering pairs. Fitting snug around the waist and thighs before fluting from the knee, they skim over your calves to create the illusion of longer legs. Team yours with a floral blouse and tan boots to play up the retro feel. 

7 For All Mankind Kind To The Planet Mid Waist Bootcut Jeans

(Image credit: 7 For All Mankind)

2. 7 For All Mankind Kind To The Planet Mid Waist Bootcut Jeans

Best bootcut flare jeans

Specifications

RRP: $200 / £160
Sizes: 23"-32"
Leg length: n/a

Reasons to buy

+
Soft fabric
+
On-trend shape
+
High quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Could drown some shapes
-
Expensive

Our favorite piece in the 7 For All Mankind jeans range is a revamp of the bestselling bootcut, which is a more accentuated flared style than the traditional flared cut. The retro shape is surprisingly flattering, making your frame look longer and your thighs look slimmer. Still, those petite in size may want to take the pair in for alterations, as they come up a little longer.

DL1961 Ultra High Rise Instasculpt Rachel Flare

(Image credit: DL1961)

3. DL1961 Ultra High Rise Instasculpt Rachel Flare

Best sculpting flared jeans

Specifications

RRP: $199 / £225
Sizes: 23"-33" waist
Leg length: inseam: 35" rise: 11"

Reasons to buy

+
The dark indigo shade elongates your legs
+
'70s-inspired design that's perfectly on-trend
+
Instasculpt technology

Reasons to avoid

-
We can't fault them! 

There's just something about this Ultra-High Rise Rachel Flare that is unmatched—the dark indigo shade is an excellent alternative for any outdated black denim, focusing on subtle fading through the leg and contrasting stitching. Featuring DL1961's signature 'Instasculpt technology,' the impressive blend of spandex, cotton, and polyester contours, and smooths out all body types without ever feeling confined or uncomfortable. 

FRAME Le High Flare

(Image credit: FRAME)

4. FRAME Le High Flare

Best bell-bottomed flared jeans

Specifications

RRP: $210 / £246
Sizes: 23"-34" waist
Leg lengths: inseam: 35" rise: 10"

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra-soft, super-stretch denim material
+
Form-fitting through the hips and thighs

Reasons to avoid

-
Less traditional jeans style