March 31, 2016

The Search for My Perfect Spring Go-To Jean

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Our love for jeans runs deep here at The Mom Edit.  They’re often the most-worn item in our closet.  So it makes sense that we’re picky.  Personally, I’m always on the lookout for jeans that don’t slide down during the day (I cannot do belts!), have spot-on styling (an interesting wash, perhaps?) and a flattering fit.

When it comes to jeans, we want allll the things.

I recently went on a serious search to find my go-to jean for Spring. You know, the pair you throw on everyday, the  pair you feel your best in, and – maybe the most telling of all – the pair you take on vacation. This turned out to be quite an undertaking.  Keep reading to see the pairs I loved, hated, and the ones I ultimately ended up keeping.

The Pair I Needed To Replace

The style I was searching for was a medium blue wash, slightly distressed, not too skinny, but not a true straight-leg…something perfect for spring and into summer. Pretty much something like Shana’s awesome Rag and Bone go-to jeans. But Rag and Bone just don’t fit me well. They run really skinny in the legs, so getting a size to comfortably fit my legs means the waist is too big. Le sigh. Their washes are so perfect. (Shana swears by their high rise jeans for anyone with an, um, softer stomach, so I’m off to give those a try next!)

These Destroyed Ankle Skinnies from Free People are what I already had in my closet…I wanted these to be my go-to distressed jeans, but alas, the low rise just doesn’t cut it for me. I bought them last year and have worn them a fair amount, but I can only wear long tops with them and I’ve NEVER traveled with them. That tells me they weren’t quite right. (P.S. The slightly awkward look on my face here is because I had just finished cleaning off green marker from the entire staircase. Let’s just say perfect timing for date night, yeah?)

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top (similar- love!) | jeans | heels (similar)

So, since these weren’t cutting it, off I went in search of not-too-low-rise jeans. I scoured two different Nordstroms, Madewell, and Gap. One trip to Nordstrom included Sienna, but, even with the PBS Kids app on your phone…I highly recommend jean shopping without kiddos. Whew.

No Thank You

I think it’s important to show you some that did not work, for informative purposes but also solidarity. Jean shopping…the struggle is real y’all. But I learned a lot during my search.

These Treasure and Bond Boyfriend jeans were just blah on me. You can see they are just odd at the top and I have this problem with many boyfriend jeans. I believe it’s due to the short waist/petite height, and the crotch area on many boyfriends (Hahaha! that sounds hilarious as I re-read it) are just bad on me. This pair was not slim enough to be flattering. And does anyone else have baggy knee issues with jeans? Weird.

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sweater (similar) | jeans | boots

The Almosts

These Madewell Skinny High Riser jeans were some of the first I tried. The ones on the left were the 10″ High Riser (different wash for spring) which were really uncomfortable on me. The ones on the right are the 9″ High Riser which are WAY more comfortable. Looking back, they are both quite flattering, but I wanted more of a distressed look. So on went the search…

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top (similar) | Madewell 10″ High Riser | Madewell 9″ High Riser | Steve Madden mules

DL 1961 was not a brand I had heard of before this search. The salesperson at Nordstrom swears by this brand. She said they don’t stretch out – at all. I really liked the fit of these DL 1961 Amanda Destroyed Skinny Jeans and will check out this brand again, but I wanted less of a super skinny fit in the leg.

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tee | jeans | boots

 

 

Next up, these Hudson Nico Super Skinnies. Cute and flattering on the bum. The patch fabric is unexpected and cool, and I love the fading on these. They were comfy but they were a little too skinny in the calf, so…no. I will try Hudson jeans again, though.

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sweater (similar) | jeans | boots

 

 

These Citizens of Humanity Agnes High Rise Crop Slim Straight Leg are very good you guys. They went home with me and I almost kept them. They are SO soft and fit well, though the softness did worry me that they would stretch out and fall down during the day. The rise isn’t super high (even though they’re apparently high rise), so I might have been able to size down a size for a tighter fit.

The distressing was perfect, and I love that they are a more straight-leg style. I tried them on multiple times wanting them to be perfect, but ultimately the wash was a little too blue for me, in addition to the fit concerns. So, back they went. By the way, I highly recommend trying items on at home again (before removing tags!) even if you’ve already done so in the store before making a final decision. That has made a huge difference for me lately in not keeping things that weren’t quite right and kicking myself later for it.

 

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tee | jeans | boots

The Perfect Pair!

Finally! I found this Madewell 9″ High Riser Skinny at Nordstrom and score. They are good. They are the same fit as one of the first Madewell pairs I tried on (go figure), but these had exactly the wash and distressing I had been looking for. The wash is actually quite similar to the Rag and Bone Tomboy Boyfriend Skinny Jeans. Perseverance paid off! They have seriously become a favorite. I’ve worn them 2 days in a row now and they stay up well and don’t stretch out. They are more traditional denim which I love. Some of the super soft stretchy fabrics just seem to lose their shape. These do not.

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sweater (similar) | jeans | boots

Disclaimer: I can only find them in the long length guys, but Nordstrom offers hemming as does Madewell if you can find them there. I’m short at just under 5’4″ though and they are perfect for cuffing! 

Shop The Jean Finds

 

Hooray for a good jeans find! This has been a multiple-month-long search for me. My body seems to STILL be changing as a mama of a 2 (almost 3!) year old and I continually have to reevaluate to figure out what’s flattering my body now.  Anyway, I hope this helps in your own denim hunt. Good luck out there and may the odds be ever in your favor!

‘Til next time,

Laura

43 Comments
  • Lori
    March 31, 2016

    THANK YOU for this post !! I’m desperate for new jeans, and have been looking for basically exactly what you described! Except I seem to have super thin calves as I have yet to find a skinny Jean that’s actually skinny…..so I’m curious to try the ones that are too tight on your calves! (Except your legs look way skinner than mine……so maybe I’ll just try the Madewell ones you ended up keeping…..lol.) I’m also short (5’1″) so it’s super great seeing them all on another short person!! Love your posts!!

    • Laura Jansen
      April 1, 2016

      Thanks so much Lori! My SIL’s have that problem, too. Very thin legs. Maybe try some Hudson skinnies like above. I loved the fit and the legs were really skinny. Hope that helps! The Madewell are so good too though! 🙂

  • Patricia Shepard
    March 31, 2016

    Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Women’s Petite Clarissa Ankle Jeans in Burbank. I had two friends immediately ask where I got them upon wearing them. I had been living in sweats, waiting to get back into my postpartum jeans. I decided, screw it, I’m getting some comfy jeans. These bad boys suck everything in and boost my self esteem. I <3 them! If I could post a photo here I would!

  • Rachel Rabidoux
    March 31, 2016

    The older I get, the more I’m convinced that finding jeans is a journey of trial and error! I personally don’t invest much time or money into jeans. Living in the desert, our “jean season” is short and when I’m not working out or at the pool, I’m wearing shorts. I have to remind myself of that when I read these posts otherwise, I’d be running out and buying those jeans! They look great on you 🙂

  • Christy
    March 31, 2016

    I just recently had to replace a good handful of my jeans. My Nordstroms had limited inventory so I ordered 6 pair w/free shipping and returns. I used to LOVE DL1961, but the quality has went down (IMO). The last two pair that I bought have worn thin in my thighs (and I am not heavy, but my thighs do touch like most ladies). The manufacturer refused to do anything about it (and this happened within 6 months). My older DL’s still are amazing.
    I just came across a new brand (found online at Nordstrom) called Strom. They are AMAZING and I have now purchased 2 pair, soon to buy more. I also love Paige jeans a lot. I LIVE in jeans! I wear them in the midwest almost year round (except on those super hot days). Thankfully my job also allows me to wear jeans to work and so I can justify spending the money on them.

  • marie willford
    March 31, 2016

    2 cheats I’m using on my current search for high rise flares : customized distressing and RIT dye. I can add any whiskering & distressing with sandpaper and razor blades. To get your perfect wash, i dip all my denim in tan rit dye so they are ” not so blue”. So, I only have to be picky about fit–yee haw!

  • Christy
    April 1, 2016

    I bought two pairs of the Citizen high rise. I loved them at first because they are super flattering but now I wish I hadn’t bought two because they DO fall down all day. In all fairness, most jeans fall down on me. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with the problem. But for those 30 seconds after I pull them up, they look awesome!

    • Laura Jansen
      April 1, 2016

      I feel your pain. Love the CofH pair so much! Probably because they were SO soft and comfy, but that is most likely why they fall. Boo!

  • Katherine C
    April 1, 2016

    Anyone have sub $125 jean recommendations for pear shapes/wide calfs? Sometimes curvy fits work, sometimes not.

    • Angie S.
      April 1, 2016

      Have you ever tried Kut from Kloth? In the Midwest I can find them at Nordstrom and Evereve. I’m 5’4″, 160 lbs with the same calf issue and they fit me really well. I’ve scored them on sale at Nordstrom Rack and Evereve for less than $70. One warning: their sizing can be erratic – I have a pair that’s a size 8 (helllooo vanity sizing!) and a pair that’s a size 12. I know they’re above your price range, but if you haven’t tried Paige denim give it a shot. They are my favorites (and also worth watching for sales) – they fit my body so well.

      • Holly
        April 1, 2016

        I would love some recommendations too! I am also pear shaped. I have several pairs of Citizens of Humanity and J Brand- all of which I have had for a long time, and were found with the help of a patient sales rep at a local boutique. I’m always looking for other brands as well. I live in Maine, so I can wear jeans year round- and I have a casual work place but no “distressed denim” I can’t justify jeans for the weekend only.

        • Megan B
          April 1, 2016

          I buy all of my jeans at Old Navy! I like their curvy fit and the fact that I can buy them in tall lengths. I have 3 pairs and wear them every day! (I even wear my black pair to work.)

    • Maggie
      April 1, 2016

      I’m an hourglass – curvy hips, a booty and *athletic* legs – and do very well with Lucky Brand jeans. The Brooke skinny is good, and I just tried on the Sienna skinny boyfriends and liked them a lot but didn’t like the wash my store had in.

  • Erika
    April 1, 2016

    LOVE the wash and distressing in the ones you picked! How do you find the sizing on the Madewell jeans? I’m trying to decide whether to order the smaller or larger of my two sizes. I have a pair of Madewell jeans from a few years ago and found them to run on the smaller side but most of the reviews I’m reading now are saying to order a size down…

    • Laura
      April 1, 2016

      I went with my typical size on the Madewell. I thought I might have to size up since they were hi rise but since jeans keep sliding down I realized I should try to get the fit as close as possible to prevent that. I hope that helps!

    • Liddy
      April 1, 2016

      I have the Madewell 10″ high risers and ordered a size down from my usual size. I have a very straight/no hips body type and they fit great – with more hips you might want to stay the same. They stretch a little but not like most of my other jeans – more of a classic denim that won’t fall down during the day. I am only 5’5″ and they weren’t too high for me. Watch for a sale – I got mine for under $40!

  • Maria
    April 1, 2016

    I just purchased a pair of J Crew toothpick jeans and I’m loving them. I’m petite, but I have hips. I bought them in a regular size and they’re perfect.

    • Laura Jansen
      April 1, 2016

      Thanks, good to know! I haven’t tried their jeans in a while.

  • Jana
    April 1, 2016

    Love this! I’ve been eyeing some madewell jeans for a while and this convinced me to pull the trigger and order some from nordstroms to try. They look SO good on you!

    • Laura Jansen
      April 2, 2016

      Thanks so much! I hope you love them. They are totally my new fave!

  • Michelle
    April 1, 2016

    The Madewell site says to size down on these. Did you do that Laura?

    • Laura Jansen
      April 2, 2016

      I didn’t since they are hi rise and I hate when hi rise jeans cut into my waist. I also tend to buy my jeans not skin tight which is probably part of my problem of them falling down. Hahaha. But I don’t think I would be able to size down…the hip and booty were pretty fitted for me in these in my normal size 27. I hope this helps!

  • Leslie
    April 1, 2016

    Laura,
    Great post! I love your clean style and we have the same hair do!! What t shirt are you wearing and what size? I couldn’t get it to show me. Thank you!!!

    • Laura Jansen
      April 2, 2016

      Oops, fixed the link now Leslie! Just a basic Target tee. I am wearing a medium I think.

  • Emily
    April 1, 2016

    Love this post! Laura, absolutely LOVE your style! Keep up the good work! My credit card is gonna get a work out with this post!:)

  • anne
    April 1, 2016

    I have recently fallen in love with Madewell jeans as well – now have 3 pairs. Love the High Risers!

  • Megan
    April 2, 2016

    I love the Madewell Skinny High Risers too but they would slide down on me and so I tried having the waist taken in and bingo, they are custom fit now! I did a second pair just recently. Alterations are under-rated. They can make SUCH a difference!

  • Leslie
    April 2, 2016

    Thank you Laura for answering! I also bought your boots and sweaters! Keep your posts coming please!!

  • Michelle
    April 2, 2016

    I also love your posts – they have helped me out a lot! I only wish there were more of them! 🙂

  • Laura Jansen
    April 3, 2016

    Thanks so much everyone! I am so so glad this post was so helpful. The search for the perfect jeans is quite a task!

  • Ali
    April 3, 2016

    Does anyone have recommendations for true low rises anymore? Even what they’re calling low rises don’t seem to be now that mom-jeans are back.I simply can’t get on board with the high rise thing–even when I was skinny I hated anything touching my stomach. Now, even tho it would hide the post-2-babies-pooch, I really can’t stand it. I have one old pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans that come up high in back to cover the bum, slide over the hips to “help” with the padding, but are still low in front. All my other low-rises (well, they don’t in fact fit anymore) just cut viciously into the muffin top. Ugh, describing mom bodies can be depressing. I’m 5’4″, curvy150, super long torso. New 7s? Luckys? Thanks!

    • Laura Jansen
      April 4, 2016

      You might check out the Paige jeans that aren’t high rise. I love how they fit over hips and thighs. The DL 1961 non-hi-rise might be an option, too. The salesperson who helped me at Nordstrom had a longer torso, as well. I hope that helps!

      • aCeidra
        April 4, 2016

        I’ll check them out, thank you so much!

    • @gwendolynftw
      April 6, 2016

      Check out evereve.com
      I hate high waists too

      • Ali
        April 6, 2016

        Thank you!

  • Cindy K
    April 4, 2016

    I love this post, too! I’m also 5’4″ and I love your style, Laura, so I read your posts a little more closely. 😉 I’m a huge jean-lover. One brand/style I had a lot of luck with is the AG Stevie Ankle at Anthro. Sometimes they can be pricy but they go on sale too. They fit me like a glove and at a 27″ inseam, I don’t need to tailor them or fold up!

    • Laura Jansen
      April 4, 2016

      Thanks, Cindy! I love that jean, too! And that inseam length is perfect. 🙂

  • @gwendolynftw
    April 6, 2016

    Have you gone to an EverEve (evereve.com)? They have awesome denim and I can always find the perfect pair in less than half an hour!

  • Pei
    April 12, 2016

    I really liked this post! Thank you! Will you do a post on overalls too? I know you already have the Free People ones, but I wanted to see some other options as well as how to style them to wear them as often as possible. I’ve been thinking about buying some skinny ones for over a year, but I just can’t seem to pull the trigger. Maybe because I feel too old for them. Maybe because they are too expensive for a trend. Maybe, maybe, … maybe?? But I still want them!

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