Currently Loving: Dark, Straight-Leg Denim (WHA???)

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Mamas, I have some new favorite pants.



Yup.  They're a clean, dark wash.  And nope:  they're not coated or patterned, embellished or embroidered.  They are just….plain 'ol denim.  And not skinny!  (Shocking, I know.)  They have a straight leg and a mid-rise.  They practically scream WE ARE NOT EXCITING!

And I realize that dark, clean denim seems like an odd choice, given that brights and patterns are now an everyday basic.  But I think the simplicity is exactly why I was drawn to this pair.  With all of the colors and patterns out there, these almost feel…fresh?



Besides, if you are going to wear cute shoes, there's nothing like cuffed denim to properly show them off.  And I love how a big cuff gives such a tomboyish vibe. 


 (wearing: AG Stevie Slim Straight DenimSteve Madden Wedge Sneakers, J.Crew sweater – similar and J.Crew button-down – similar

I also like the whole long-short thing, when pairing cuffed denim with a longer top (or in my case, a coat).  It makes for interesting proportion play.


(wearing: AG Stevie Slim Straight Denim, Steve Madden Wedge Sneakers, J.Crew coat – similar, Nine West handbag – similar, target hat, salt sunnies) 

Besides, when it's cold, it's nice to have a little extra room….layering fleece-lined tights under my fav skinnies is do-able, but not nearly as comfortable. 

But you'll laugh, Mamas.  Inspired by NYFW, I had very cold ankles on our date last night.


(wearing: Editor's Jacket, c/o TMRDNL – get 20% off with code ANMJ, AG Stevie Slim Straight Denim, Aerosoles Tapestry Pump in leopard, ALC swing-back sweater or another sexy option, ancient Banana Republic wrap – also love this oversized scarf, J.Crew glitter bag – similar


And underneath all of those layers? I was wearing my favorite swing-back sweater with a little peek-a-boo back action.  Seriously!  Daring, right?  But since these are well-fitting, mid-rise straight leg jeans…no muffin top worries.  My skinnies, however, would be another story. 


It also doesn't hurt that these jeans are butter soft, and I can bend over to pick up the kids, sit on the floor, and do all kinds of mama-contortions in pants that feel akin to sweatpants.  Just sayin.


Mamas, how many of you are loving your colored denim?  I'm all-in on the coated, I wear destroyed denim regardless of trends, and there are some prints that I think I may try…but I'm really struggling with the plain, bright denim.  I feel roughly eight years old…perhaps I just haven't found the right color?  At this point, I'm wondering if I just need to go big or go home:  NEON.





About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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  1. I just double-checked:  the pair that I linked to is the exact same pair I bought – same wash, everything. (I don't know why it looks so different in Anthro's pics.)  The fit is very true-to-size, so yeah.  I bought my typical size.

  2. I love bright jeans- I have bright red and bright purple and I wear them with just about everything in my closet (albeit sometimes looking like a Crayola box haha- I love colour!!). I also have distressed light grey jeans which I really like. I love the neon jean trend buuut my bum is too big to feel comfortable highlighting it.

  3. Geez, Shana! You finally convinced me to convert my wardrobe over to skinnies and now it’s straight leg?? I can’t keep up. But I actually love straight leg so its a good thing I kept one or two. 🙂

  4. I have a bright red pair, which I like. Paired with some black heels they are sexy. But I can rock them in the day with boots and a comfy sweater. Haven’t felt comfortable in anything else… pink made me feel like I was in 2nd grade.

  5. I’ve been meaning to replace my beloved Paper Denim straight leg jeans from 2006 (they’re now cut offs), these look like a great alternative!

  6. I’ve got a pair like this… In pre-preg size… Waiting in my closet for me to loose some lbs. I was wearing them the day I met my hubby! Hope to see them again this summer…

  7. I have mint that I love… but this makes me want to pull my old gap srtraight legs out of the closet. On colored jeans I personally think the pastels feel more grown up.

  8. Oh please, do a colored jeans post. Because I am trying to figure this out myself. I can do print, but it has to be a monochrome print in a black-gray or gray-white scheme. I can even do dark colors, I think? There’s a pair of Kut from the Kloth skinnies in a dark burgundy at my local Marshall’s for $15 that is tempting me to go back tomorrow and buy them. And I was just pondering dying a pair of white thrift-store-jeans a pastel color for summer… pink? mint? … but that one is really scaring me! I need inspiration that doesn’t look like an elementary schooler!

  9. Cold ankles, warm…umm..heart? ;)Those jeans look great! Love the wide cuff! Honestly I go back and forth between my classic dark wash blues and my (one and only) colored skinny jeans. I feel I can’t wear my colored one as frequently because they are *such* a bold color (cobalt) that I need to space out wearings…is this a misnomer? (My Mommy-Brain can’t believe I used the word “misnomer” this late at night..if ever? ha!) I’m trying to find a pretty burgundy pair (that won’t break the bank.

  10. I never thought of dying! Now how would one go about doing that? I’ve been tempted by the mint jean as well but don’t want to spend alot if I don’t have to on a “trend” (Classic-I’ll spend more jeans? No. ha!)

  11. Shana…that does bring up a question…Is there any way to “know” how long a trend will last? Capris: lasted years..they have since evolved, but they are still around. Like you said, ankle booties seem here to stay, skinny jeans too, yes? Is there any way to know when we are buying a trend, and when it will be more of an investment piece? As in, will colored jeans be sticking around etc or will they go the way of feathered earrings (a trend I passed on ha!) Is there any way to tell?

  12. I just ordered some waxed, too, but my heart will always belong to a plain dark wash like this. Btw, have you tried dl1961? I am loving their Emma cut and the cellar wash is like this, totally dark and dressy. Love.

  13. I am SO happy you posted about these jeans. I will have to go check them out. I find that my personal style tends to be simple, chic with one piece (accessory) thrown in that is a bit edgier. So I stick with mostly dark denim skinnies, and love my coated denim in black. I admire many looks with the colored denim, or boyfriend slouchy jeans, or destroyed denim- but they don’t work on my body type or with my personal style.
    You look fabulous in the straight leg jean- and your shoe pairings are perfection! However, I have wider hips- not huge hips, just wider hips and definitely more of a calf than you have. How would you recommend balancing that out with straight leg? When I tried them (2 or 3 years ago) and tried rolling the leg it looked…odd?
    With skinnies I wear my tall boots- but have also started to branch out into ankle booties- I find that ones with a wedge/platform seem to elongate my leg and somehow balance out my hips. But with straight denim…not sure.
    Thanks again for the inspiration- you rock! xo

  14. I LOVE straight leg denim. I get the Gap real straight ones in a size up and cuff them like boyfriend jeans. I am fairly petite and the super baggy boyfriend jeans just don’t work on me.

  15. I LOVE the proportion of the coat over top. LOVE. But that date night outfit rocked my world! I love a little masculine edge to add sex appeal but I’d never thought to use tomboy to the same effect. Thanks for (another!) awesome idea, S!
    Beth, sounds like we may have similar styles- body and aesthetic. I wear Lucky Brand Sweet n Straight and they look quite like the pair S is wearing here. Heels or ballets work easily but I’ve struggled to winterize them. I just tried them cuffed to show off a pair of boots w clog details (studded platform and ankle buckle) and I think it worked. Now PLEASE do tell where you found your coated denim? I’m DYING for a pair but have returned three mail orders so far in the quest for a pair that fits.

  16. Has anyone found a similar option to these that are under $50?? Pleeease?? I’m down to one pair that is decent from Land’s End Canvas that I would buy again if they weren’t discontinued. And I’m on a super-serious budget. but i’m running out of pants. 🙁

  17. Hobby store fabric dye! The powder is about $3 a pack usually and it’s really pretty easy as long as the thing you’re dying is white cotton (otherwise it gets complicated). I have the same philosophy for not spending much on a trendy item, but you can find white jeans for like $8 at goodwill or even a cheap target pair or something. Google “mint jeans diy” for examples! 🙂

  18. Love this thread! It’s funny…as we speak, I have a couple of boxes of RIT color remover in my drawer. I was thinking of trying to color-remove a pair of gray skinnies whose color is a bit off, then trying to dye them. I’m stuck on which color to try dying them, though!

  19. Hmm, yes, I think colored jeans would make me feel like a little kid too. Maybe that’s why I’ve avoided them. I already look young for my age (not in a good way). But I am getting tired of wearing blue jeans every-single-day. Would be interested in a post about how to wear colored pants without being asked where I go to school.

  20. Dark colors will cover better if there’s any gray left. I just uploaded the pictures of a pair I did last fall for an experiment… I don’t love the color, but it came out pretty good, if I find a better color dye I will absolutely try it again!

  21. I actually bought some pretty decent similar jeans at Old Navy a couple months ago. Bonus, they’re $15! I bought two sizes since I’m still two months PP and I don’t want to be without them when I lose the pooch! It looks like they’re currently sold out but they come and go online. They call them Real Deal Straight I think.

  22. hmm, I tried on basically every fit (I thought) at Old Navy and none of them worked. I’m a weird size right now. Will have to try again later…

  23. Ok, thanks! I never would have thought I could dye my own jeans..I thought that lived in the realm of Project Runway..Now, the hunt begins for cheap white denim 😉 Also, I live in the middle of nowhere and would probably have to look for the dye online…are the colors pretty true to form from the packaging?

  24. on

    I love the jeans with the Steve Madden Wedge Sneakers, but they look blue in your pics and I can only find black online? Also you are so tiny, what size of jeans do you wear because I am thinking I won’t look the same in something bigger?

  25. Chantelle Thomas on

    Shana, how are they in terms of stretching out/bagginess? Do they keep their shape for more than one wearing? I have a pair of AG jeans leggings and they get so baggy so quickly! I don’t want to invest more than $100 in a pair of jeans if I constantly have to throw them in the dryer or if they give me a saggy ass!

  26. Maggie- Thanks for the heads up on the Lucky Brand- I will check them out.
    As for my coated denim. I LOVE mine- but here is the warning. They are costly. I was able to justify it as a friend gave me a gift card and I knew that Nordstrom has an amazing return policy if they sat in my closet. But here’s the thing – I wear them ALL the time- as in 4-5 times a week. And I am definitely in the cost per wear camp- so I go less by actual sticker price, and more by the amount of use I get from something.
    Mine are the Citizen of Humanity Rocket Skinny Leatherette – I keep trying to add the link, but then my comment doesn’t post- so I am going to try it separately. They are the perfect rise- are super comfortable- and yet have a rocker edge to them. I have had them for 3 months now and the coating is still in fabulous shape- especially for how much I wear them. I wear them during the day to run errands, volunteer at my boys’ school, to work (luckily I am my own boss and work with other mamas, so I get to pick my dress code) and out for date night. They make my bum look good (meaning not droopy!), my hips look smaller, my legs look long and my calves look slender.
    Now, if only I can figure out how to pair them up for spring…any suggestions????

  27. My favorite jeans are J. Crew’s matchstick jean. A slim, straight-leg jean, not too expensive. I usually get a few wears between washes (unless my toddler throws food or soemthing at me.) I like these for work – I’m not really comfortable wearing skinnies to the office, but want to look reasonably stylish.

  28. Lately I have been wearing the crap out of an old pair of midrise Old Navy jeans in dark wash, although I think they’re more boot cut than straight leg. They’re slim enough to not look voluminous, but stretchy enough to be completely comfortable. Haven’t gone the cuffed route yet, but I might give it a try.
    I have one pair of colored denim so far, in a turquoise. They’re super versatile since that color will go with anything. I haven’t worn them as much this winter, though. Maybe I subconsciously think they’re for spring? 🙂
    And I just picked up a pair of red cropped patterned jeans from LOFT on sale. Between the color and the pattern and the ankle length, though, they feel more like skimmer pants than denim, you know?

  29. Thanks for sharing, Beth. I’m with you – if I’m going to wear it to death that price works.
    (And can I just say you are one ROCKSTAR Mama rocking the coated denim at the kids school? This fall will be my first foray into the classroom and you’ve inspired me!)
    That 10inch leg opening scares me to death, though. They’re not calf sausages? (Side rant to skinny jean and tall boot makers – Yes, I am a tallish 29 and, yes, my legs are fairly “athletic” but COME ON….) Moving on. Thanks again for the recc!

  30. I’m a bore–I always wear dark wash straight leg jeans. I don’t like prints, and the only time I caved into the colored denim trend, I quickly chucked them because I felt childish. And I don’t like lighter colored denim either. I’m not too adventurous when it comes to clothing anyway, preferring to stick to classics over trends, so it works for me.

  31. Maggie- this pair stretches! I am a 28 to a 29 and then usually have gaping in the waist- not with these at all. For me, they are miracle workers.
    And, yes! I did wear them into my kids school- with a great slouchy sweater and chunky knit scarf, and another time with a button down under a pull over slouchy sweater. Normally not looks that work for my body type- but with these jeans they did!
    I say try them- and let me know how they work out for you!!!

  32. You know….they really have kept their shape well! Which is surprising since they are so stretchy/comfy. Hunh. But yeah – I’ve been wearing them to death and no saggy bum!

  33. Jenna – I’m a size 26. The jeans I linked too are the exact same jean. Not sure why they look so different in Anthro’s photo. The pic that is the truest to real-life color is the date night shots.

  34. Beth – did you try the big cuff (rolled once or twice) or the little cuff (rolled several times)? I’m thinking…I’m thinking that to balance everything out, it would probably be a good idea to show a bit more skinny ankle than I am. I wouldn’t go nuts, but if the bottom of the cuff hit roughly an inch or so higher than mine, you could show off a lovely skinny ankle and give more shape. The large, straight-leg cuff would still provide balance.

  35. Thanks so much! Thanks for linking back to your post as well, I will be reading it. (It’s a good thing I haven’t invested much in the colored jeans ha!)

  36. I might be wrong but when I read this comment, I took it that Jenna was asking about the color of the sneaks. In this particular style, they only made black and beige that I know of. I think I saw Big Buddha make a pair of blue/navy wedge sneakers, give them a google. 🙂

  37. Just bought these jeans after reading this….I’m in LOVE with them! Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the work out of shopping for jeans. I can’ get over how comfortable they are!

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