Looking for a new pair of jeans? Don't splash out on designer denim - try our pick of the best affordable pairs...
Apparently one in five women have never found a pair of jeans that fit them perfectly. Shopping for jeans can be stressful at the best of times, particularly when you’re feeling the pinch in the financial department too. Add to that the anxiety of wiggling into the wrong jeans for your shape, and it’s no wonder we end up with a pair that’s far from perfect.
Rejoice then, that finding a figure-flattering pair no longer needs to mean shelling out on a hefty designer price tag. The high street are now invested in using up-to-the-minute technology and fabrics, so you won’t need to worry about them losing their shape or shrinking in the wash.
Whether you’re after a pair of miracle bum-lifting jeans or a slouchy pair of blue denims to wear at the weekend, we’ve got something to suit your body and your budget. Once you’ve found the perfect pair, they’ll take you anywhere in comfort and style. So it’s worth taking a bit of time to find ‘the ones’…
Confused by the difference between bootcut and flared, skinny and straight, high- and low-rise, boyfriend and girlfriend styles? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of variations on the high street, but never fear – we’ve sorted the good from the bad to pinpoint the styles that every fashion-forward woman will want to be seen in this season.
Our top picks of the best high street jeans
First off see our fashion teams personal favourites, followed by our edit of the most stylish jeans all available on the high street right now…
Paula Moore, Fashion Director
I received a pair for Christmas five years ago (a present I chose myself) and they have kept their shape and stayed jet black after hundreds of washes! The petite length shows just the right amount of ankle bone making them the perfect length when worn with heels or trainers. Most jeans tend to be too tight round my bum, hips and thighs, yet gap at the waistband but these are super stretchy and hug in all the right places!
Hannah Hughes, Fashion Editor
I realised that skinnies don’t suit my body shape a long time ago and boyfriend/girlfriend styles have been my go to. Then I discovered this high waisted wide leg crop style, which really flatters my hips, and short legs. I always loved a wide leg but found them tricky as they dragged on the floor so this new modern crop is perfect and looks as good with trainers as it does with heels or posh flats.
Eloisa Johnson, Deputy Fashion Editor
My go to pair are Levi 501’s. They have a flattering high waist, straight leg and not too much stretch. The fit just gets better with wear – they’re a classic!
This style are already cropped but if they’re not your can cut them to have a raw hem so they sit just above your ankle.
Becky Joiner-O'Riordan, Senior Fashion Stylist & Writer
Having quite large calves, I need the stretch around this area which I struggle to find in most other jeans (they are too rigid). After wearing high waisted jeans for the past 4 years, I would never go back to wearing a non-high waisted style. They also have real pockets which quite a few high waisted styles don’t have. Available in different leg lengths and six different shades which is great for winter vs summer.
The shaping jeans
We all need a little help in the lift and shape department so all hail Marks & Spencers Magic shaping Jean's! These are a continuous bestseller combining bi-stretch fabric technology and clever design details like a gap-proof waist band, to offer great fit and extra support. Available in a skinny, straight and kick flare style.
The boyfriend jeans
Originally developed to have that 'borrowed from your boyfriend’ look, these jeans have come a long way to become more tailored for a woman’s natural shape.
The White Company’s 'Brompton' cut are a feminine take on boyfriend jeans (also known as girlfriend style) with a soft mid-rise, they are comfortably relaxed without being too oversized. We love this style in modern buttermilk but its also available in traditional blue washes too.
The mom jeans
Mom jeans began to make their mark around the 1980s but had a resurge a couple of years back. This style of jean has a high-waist cut that's usually created with a relaxed fit that isn't too tight or overly baggy.
The straight leg
Staight legs offer both comfort and style and are the most popular style bought at John Lewis.
Unlike its cousin, the skinny jean, the universally flattering straight leg style is fitted over the hips and then sits straight over the legs, giving you a more streamlined fit that is body-skimming rather than body-conscious.
The cropped kick flare
Fitted on the hips, slim on the leg and with a cropped ‘kick flare’ just below or on the calf, this is the most modern style of flared jean. Perfect for showing off fabulous shoes! This style is also available in denim blue.
The girlfriend jeans
Much like a boyfriend jean, this style is a more feminine version of the boyfriend jean. It's a more classic fit – tighter and higher on the hip, with a tapered slim straight leg. It offers a more flattering (less baggy) shape. As with boyfriend jeans, the hems are begging to be rolled up.
The wide leg crop
A new modern style that's gaining many fans as they are so flattering on every shape. The high waist and wide leg crop balances out hips and a flash of ankle keeps them super modern. This pair comes in six shades with a removable scarf belt
Its worth noting that 100% of M&S's denim is now sustainably sourced.
The balloon jeans
A fresh update on an '80s style, this flattering high rise style has a dramatic curve at the hip that tapers at the leg.
The super wide leg
Achieve instant seventies chic with a super wide denim. Flattering and fashion forward, choosing a high waisted pair means that position of the waist looks higher (elongating your legs) and the wide silhouette looks sleek. Also available in natural beige and denim blues.
Bootcut and flared jeans cross over quite a lot - the difference being bootcut jeans fit slim through the hip and thigh with a slight flare from knee to ankle, while flared jean have a looser and wider fit. Either style should always sit high on the waist. Worn right they'll make your legs go on for miles, which is why they were so popular back in the day. We recommend a subtle flare (which is actually more of a bootcut) such as these Mint Velvet ones which give a nod to seventies fashion.