Most would assume they couldn't possibly find a well-fitting jean without trying it on. When you don't know your size in a particular brand, or what style, cut, or silhouette you're looking for, you can end up waiting in a 30-minute-long changing room line, only to end up sweating just two pairs in.
But what if we told you that you could find the perfect baby blues without even having to try them on? We asked members of Refinery29's fashion team for the pairs they swear by to save you the stress (consider this our version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). If you're long overdue for some denim you won't hate wearing, go ahead: Here you'll find a pair ahead for every style, budget, and
"Not an exaggeration: I didn't wear jeans for about three years straight (even through winter — I lived in leggings) until my friend Callia convinced me to try Levi's. I have a small waist and thicc thighs so I couldn't find a pair that didn't give me plumber's butt or (eventual) holes in the thigh section."
"The Wedgie style from Levi's was a game changer for me. They fit so comfortably, and they look good with everything I pair them with. I wear them obsessively. But I am cheating on them with the new ribcage style that also flatters my shape, a feat I previously thought was impossible. Finally, I'm giving my leggings a break!" - Jessica Andrews, Deputy Fashion Director
Levi's Skinny Wedgie Jeans, $39.99, available at Macy's
"Any jeans that are high-waisted are an immediate yes for me, but this particular pair is so good because they are tight without being restricting (thanks to the stretch) and make my butt look super round (a personal plus for me). I wear them with blouses and cropped tops alike, and the jeans work with each look." - Channing Hargrove, Fashion News Editor
American Eagle Stretch Curvy Mom Jean, $37.46, available at American Eagle
"My brand is 100% Agolde. No matter the style, Agolde jeans always seem to be the most flattering. The prices are a little steep, but as someone who’s tried hundreds of jean brands and come up short, this is one splurge you won’t regret. One hint: Always size down from your normal size. No matter if they fit when you first get them, after a wear or two, you’ll be wishing you had something a little more snug." - Eliza Huber, Fashion Market Writer
Agolde High-waisted straight leg jean, $188, available at Aritzia
"I am generally anti-jeans thanks to a lifetime of denim disappointments, but these have helped open my heart back up a bit. The wash is the perfect medium between super dark and super light, and I love the subtle whiskering details. The high waist is comfortable and doesn't pinch at my ribs like some other pairs. I especially love that there's a little bit of stretch to the fabric, so I can actually wear these and move around comfortably." - Mekita Rivas, Contributing Fashion News Writer
Kensie High-Rise Cropped Jeans, $58, available at Lord & Taylor
"At a commanding 5' 1", I'm mini on the top and depending on the season, I range between a size 6-8 on the bottom. And my curvy hips, butt, and thighs love a good pair of Gap high-rise cheeky straight jeans. I have bought this style in petite twice this past year. They both fit perfectly — no stress, no returns, no extra cost to hem the length. They have zero stretch and have recovered from a wash-and-dry many times over."
"My favorite of the two I own is this pair in a soft, goes-with-everything off-white color. I've worn them year-round at least twice a week. Gap now offers the high-rise Cheeky straight jeans with 'secret smoothing pockets ' that 'help give you a sleek, smooth look all day long.' Not sure this addition was needed, but I am intrigued..." — Marissa Rosenblum, Senior Shopping Director
Gap High Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans, $69.95, available at Gap
"These Universal Standard skinny jeans fit like an actual dream with just the right amount of stretch. Plus, with a size range from 00 to 40 ( and petites), they really do work for almost anyone." - Olivia Muenter, Plus Size Style Contributor
Universal Standard Seine High Rise Skinny Jeans 32 Inch, $90, available at Universal Standard
"I did have these sent to me blind (as a gift, full disclosure), but because I'm still half-afraid of rigid denim — and was told, repeatedly and strenuously, to size up — I followed the PR's advice. A mistake, but one from which we can all learn two crucial, denim-related lessons: 1) When your instincts tell you to take your regular size but your insecurities say, 'Do you really want to put yourself through that?', still trust your gut. And 2) Boyish jeans are so good (and sustainably made!) that I still wear the too-big pair pulled down to hip-level in homage to this street-style look."
"They're incredibly comfortable and have such a genius cut — like you're strapped in a bucket swing, with loose-ish legs — that if I hadn't second-guessed myself, they would've been absolutely perfect the first time around." - Chelsea Peng, Fashion Editor, Branded Content
Boyish The Kirby | The Birds, $74, available at Boyish
"I love Carleen's unwashed two-tone jeans. They will be stiff when you first get them, but as you wash and wear them, the denim will break in and conform to your body. You can size down for a super-tight retro fit, or size up if you're going for a more boyfriend look." - Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer
Carleen Two-Tone Jeans, $103, available at Antidote+
"Like everyone else, I love the look and feel of a good pair of vintage jeans. What I don't love is the hunt of tracking down a great pair of vintage jeans. Levi's Wedgies have felt the most like vintage jeans without the hassle of going to a million vintage shops and eventually paying way too much for the perfect fit. They have a bunch of different washes and lengths for every style, and depending on your ideal fit — the size is pretty standard across the board." - Hannah Bullion, Associate Social Media Editor, Beauty/Fashion
Levi's Wedgie Fit Jeans, $98, available at Levi's
"I'm petite, so I often look for jeans that are cropped or ankle-length to get the perfect fit. If I could wear one pair of jeans for the rest of my life, it would be these Frame Le Garçon ones — they're sturdy without being rigid, and the slim boyfriend style is super comfortable but still chic. An investment, for sure, but I have a feeling these will be in my closet for quite some time." - Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer
FRAME Denim Le Garcon High Waist Ankle Slim Boyfriend Jeans, $225, available at Nordstrom
"I have a motto when it comes to jeans: The higher the rise, the better. So when Levi's came out with its ribcage design earlier this year, I snagged a pair on Shopbop immediately. I had a hunch that the 'super high rise' would flatter my long torso, and I was right. They are my new favorite pair of denim! I love them so much I've been eyeing a second pair: the selvedge." - Mi-Anne Chan, Associate Video Producer & Beauty Writer
Levi's Ribcage Straight Selvedge Jeans, $92.98, available at Levi's
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