Jeans, jeans, denim jeans. When you get a pair you love, they become your second skin, but finding them can mean hours of mall-trawling pain.
Wrestling cardboard-stiff denim in a fitting room the size of your shoe, Tina, the sales assistant, starts pressuring you with 10 seconds repetitions of “how you going, love?” You start overthinking: ‘Do I get the flares? Are they in again? Or the ‘Mom’ jeans? Am I ironic enough? What about those original Levi’s? And what does a size 41 mean anyway?! Help Tina Help!”
We have a love hate relationship with jeans. And the main problem is also what makes them so great. There are just SO. MANY. STYLES.
But before you throw in the towel (probably at Tina) and commit to another year in the old pair, here’s a no nonsense guide to the best of the latest and our recommendations for the ones we’re choosing this season. Including the style denim queen Gigi Hadid can’t stop wearing. You can’t beat a supermodel recommendation.
Back in a big way, the classic up-and-down cut is a high-rise, straight leg known for its butt-lifting, waist-cinching capabilities. They’re firmer than your average because they’re so hardy, but once you’re in, you’ll feel like 1992’s Cindy Crawford. Levi’s ‘501’s’, $139.95 from The Iconic SHOP NOW
This style has been such a recurring trend since its inception in the seventies that it’s high time we called a truce and decide they’ll just be in forever. Loving the wide-leg version this season, worn with a little bit of retro road-trip romance.
Frame ‘Le Palazzo’, $331 from Shopbop SHOP NOW
Uuuuge this year, the racing stripe is popping up on everything from knits to trousers. The long-line jean version is particularly wearable, making them a relaxed, sport-luxe style of denim. Perfect for looking on trend when you’re off duty.
P.E. Nation ‘Ally Oop’ jean, $220 SHOP NOW
Hyped up label RE/DONE is a unique organisation taking vintage Levis and recreating them into super hot denim of the now. The idea being that original Levi’s were so well made they still have many years left in them.
Re/Done ‘Academy’ jeans, $298 from Shopbop SHOP NOW
The hue most likely to attract mud splashes and coffee drips is also the one most wanted this season. To complete the look wear with a white shirt and white trainers. You’ll look the goods while tempting every pigeon that flies over you.
Mother ‘The Stunner’ jeans, $257 from Shopbop SHOP NOW
The colloquial name these guys have assumed comes from their ironic, normcore origins…which is probably a little sexist and also a bit ‘Mom’-ist. Anyway, they are cool to their core now and look best with a tucked in tee and a pair of comfy slides.
Assembly Label ‘High Waist Rigid’ jeans, $100 SHOP NOW
This ‘crop’ is technical. It’s a mathematical measurement that ensures you are, in fact, wearing cropped jeans and not scary denim pedal pushers. Have them sit roughly above the ankle bone, NOT around the knee. Done correctly, it’s a surprisingly flattering cut.
Cheap Monday ‘Donna’ jeans, $90 from The Iconic SHOP NOW
The modern staple cut of the denim world, these hard-workers are the trusty support act for your new silk shirt, that sexy tank or your linen blazer. Best bought with plenty of stretch, mid-rise at the waist and in a dark blue or black shade.
Nudie ‘Skinny Orange’, $239.95 from General Pants SHOP NOW
Ripped-Up Boyfriend Jeans
The always on-trend shredded look (and this author’s personal favourite) has evolved from its hard-core, gig-going origins and now prefers the slower pace of life. It now favours striped tees and trips to brunch over bold boots and big nights out. Less rock and roll and more bacon and egg roll.
One X One Teaspoon ‘Blue Hart Awesome Baggies’, $150 SHOP NOW
Worn low and loose these are hands-down the most comfy kids of the denim universe. The key here is to invest in a good quality pair so they keep up their end of the trendy bargain. Pair with a basic tee or knit and leather slides.
Bassike ‘super lo slung’, $360 SHOP NOW
Paneled aka Gigi’s Jeans
Gigi Hadid steps out in her Sandro Paris paneled jeans on the regular. The patchy, seam-detail of Sandro’s signature style is an in-the-know nod to designer luxe. Wear these with everything, knowing that if you’re spotted by a pap you’re well denim-ed.
Sandro Paris ‘Hani’ Jeans, $385 from The Iconic SHOP NOW