Well HEY guys! Finally picked up the first part of my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale order and set up shop for my first round of “dressing room” selfies — and you know, I kinda don’t miss hustling and huffing around in a fitting room for 8 hours! At home, you can do things like (poorly) clean the mirror and eavesdrop on your husband watching Aaron Franklin’s Masterclass on smoking brisket. And you can even take a break when you have a hot flash (thanks, Tamoxifen!) and sit around in your bra and undies so as not to sweat in clothes that other people may eventually want to buy! Highly recommend. Anyway…

This post is kinda like the Five Weddings and a Funeral of jeans…in that five of the jeans were great, bordering on really great (spoiler alert: rag & bone wins the day) and one was…not. Actually, I haven’t seen Five Weddings and Funeral in ages, so I couldn’t tell you if that’s a fair comparison — maybe the weddings were totally lacking and the funeral was of special note? I’ll add it to the list of movies to rewatch so I can correctly reference them on a fashion blog.

POINT BEING: all six of these jeans are completely noteworthy. Even that one that I didn’t love so much might be just right for you. (More on that later.) And just for the point of comparison, I kept this try-on sesh simple by showing them all with the same companion pieces:

Credit: Nordstrom

1. This white t-shirt // I’ve preached at length about here. It’s the ideal weight: not too thick, but not so sheer that you can’t wear it with a nude bra. The sleeves are on the shorter side, so they hit at a flattering spot on the arm. The “rounded V-neck” is perfectly scoopy. It shows plenty of skin without having to worry about the top of your bra sticking out. And it’s long enough to tuck or knot (I usually do some version of a half-tuck if I’m wearing it with jeans) or leave out (if I’m wearing it with leggings). Fit is TTS.

Credit: Nordstrom

2. These ivory booties // I’ve had my eye on white and ivory booties for the past couple of years. I feel like all the cool girls wear them, and I’ve never been…cool enough? Well, this is the year, folks, and these are the booties. They’re buttery soft, tremendously flattering, a little bit glam and yet they don’t feel ridiculous in the grocery store. Loads more colors, too, if ivory isn’t your jam. Fit is TTS.

And then, in a couple of special instances, I added a few more pieces into the mix — just because it was worth it to showcase the versatility of the denim. There are some gems here, friends.

Note: Most of these looks complement the casual aesthetic I’m heavily leaning into this fall as we embark on a year adventure (more details in my Capsule Wardrobe post). If you’re looking to glam up your jeans a bit, be sure to check out Scotti’s selfies; and Laura’s got all your street style looks covered in her selfies post. Looking for my top NSale finds under $50? Here ya go. Find all our #NSale coverage in one place, right here.

6 Pairs of Jeans Worth Talking About In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale


1. AG Ex-Boyfriend Relaxed Slim Jeans

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | boots (TTS) | jeans (size down if between; otherwise TTS)

Scotti has been talking about AG jeans for a while now, and these AG Ex-Boyfriend Relaxed Slim Jeans caught my eye right away because of the dark wash and the boyfriend fit — and friends: they are good. I sized down one per the reviews, and they’re more fitted than I would expect from a “boyfriend” style but still comfortable — super soft, with a broken-in feel that doesn’t necessarily scream “stretch denim.” They do create a little bit of a muffin situation, so I’d be interested to see how my usual size would fit. I might like juuust a bit more room and slouch. But overall, the fabric, the cut and the comfort level of these jeans are all aces.

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

Here they are with the t-shirt untucked — just so you can see what it’s like at full length after a year of washing and drying. Prettttty perfect. In the photo on the right you can also see a bit more of the notched back in the booties. They are seriously chic, friends.


2. Good American Good Waist Ripped High Waist Crop Jeans

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | boots (TTS) | jeans (size down for sizes 0-6; all others TTS)

Scotti and Kat have both been raving about Good American jeans, so it’s no wonder I felt like a sexy ass mama the second I put these Good Waist Jeans on. And with these booties!? Get out right now.

Seriously, after committing almost my whole jeans wardrobe to straighter and looser fitting jeans, slipping into these bad boys reminded me what it feels like to get dressed. Happily (and just as promised), they’re still exceptionally comfortable, even though they’re super slimming all over (even flattened my notoriously bloated belly comfortably!). I sized down one per the website’s suggestion and it was the right move.


3. Levi’s 501 Ripped High Waist Crop Straight Jeans

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | boots (TTS) | jeans (see sizing notes below)

501s in the NSale! What a sign of the times. Levi’s 501s are probably my most-worn jeans; I just happen to own them in obscure washes that are hard to find, so I almost never document them here. But these, friends — these 501s are classic. After lusting after Shana’s ultra-distressed 501s for some time, I was afraid the distressing on these would feel too conservative (go big or go home, as they say), but I’m actually digging the destruction on these. There’s no risk of sticking your foot right through a knee rip, you know? And they definitely don’t feel too plain. 

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

A little note on sizing: I usually wear my 501s true to size; Shana usually orders hers two sizes up. These are one size up from my usual (because that’s what was in stock) and they happen to be perfect. And I think they’ll break in to be ever so slightly more boyfriendy. Moral of the story: if you want more bum hugging, go for your usual size. If you want boyfriend slouch, size up two. If you want something in between, one size up’ll do ya.

(Update: these are selling out quick. If you don’t want to wait for them to come back into stock, you can find the original distressed version here; a lighter wash on super sale here; and Levis’ also has a bunch of washes here (oooh, love Cabo and Jokes On You) and plus sizes here, and they’re offering 30% off 2 pairs with code SET4FALL.)

Shop More Levis 501 Crop Jeans

 

 


4. rag & bone Nina High Waist Skinny Jeans

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | boots (TTS) | jeans (TTS)

OK, friends — now we’re getting to the good stuff. Much like those Good American black skinnies up there, these rag & bone Nina High Waist Skinnies are a total confidence booster. They’re soft and comfy, most definitely slim without feeling constricting — and, well, I’m just going to say it: they make my butt look great. I’ve been working out during quarantine, but I’ve also been eating my weight in peanut butter, so I’m more muscular and thicker-middled than I’ve ever been, and somehow these magic jeans accommodate both. As far as skinnies go, I can’t recommend them enough.

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | sneakers (TTS)

Obviously they look great with those booties (because so far those booties look great with literally everything), but they’re totally sneaker-friendly, too. Especially these Nikes. You know how sometimes skinnies with big sneakers make you feel kinda…‘tweeny? These Nikes actually look pretty petite on the foot. No clown syndrome here. Fits is TTS.
m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | boots (TTS) | jeans (TTS) | sneakers (TTS) | cardigan (TTS)

What’s that, you say? You want to see me add my favorite cardigan? Sure thing. (Note: this is last year’s version of the Topshop ribbed cardigan — the one in this year’s sale has slightly different ribbing and snug cuffs, which I honestly think is better for pushing sleeves up out of the way in this age of handwashing.)


5. rag & bone Dre Slim Fit Ankle Boyfriend Jeans
(Low Rise — whaaaat?)

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | boots (TTS) | jeans (TTS)

A.K.A. rag & bone wins all the awards, Part 2! Holy crap these Dre Slim Fit Ankle Boyfriend Jeans are good. And did you see my little subheading up there? They’re freaking low rise. Yeah! Turns out that’s still a thing. My husband will be so happy. But more importantly, I’m happy! Was I in the market for low-rise jeans? Not at all. But these are as pleasant a surprise as they come. They are SO comfy — literally on par with all my fave joggers, which Lana has coined “LEGO pants” because I usually change into them if we plan to be sitting on the floor for hours. Which makes these, I suppose…LEGO jeans. Oh boy. Coining it right now.

So…let’s talk about the low-rise thing some more. These aren’t Britney Spears circa 2002 low-rise. No no, instead there’s an actual zipper fly that has room to move up and down! And most surprisingly, they’re somehow fitted enough to flatter the bum but loose enough through the waist to prevent any muffin top’ing. (And it’s not like I don’t have one. Plenty of low and mid-rise jeans I’ve tried prove that I most certainly do. Also see above re: peanut butter.) The wash is killer, too. It’s not too dark, and the subtle wear and whiskering feels truly authentic and not at all overdone. 

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

I love the raw hem, but I cuffed them a bit to show that off as an option, too. And, no surprise here, they looked good with every casual top in my haul.

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS; see similar options below) | jeans (TTS) black boots (TTS) | sweatshirt (TTS; oh, or similar!) | Converse (size down half)

This Daydreamer Led Zepplin tee went straight into my keep pile (currently sold out, but here’s hoping it’ll be restocked, because it’s so good — or buy it now here; similar here or here or, oooooh, here). And I finally got the Paul Green Dynamic Boots I’ve been longing for since the preview launched! More on those in my next post (update: full review post here), but the punchline is that they’re as cool and comfortable as I’d hoped and shockingly lightweight.

Loving this Topshop sweatshirt, too. I can think of few things that will get more wear this fall. The pink is fully stocked (and it’s actually this really sweet almost-lilac) but if you want neutrals, there are some seriously cute (and well-priced) options around the web, linked below. This affordable Amazon option is totally catching my eye – love the proportions. Oh, and this Rebecca Minkoff version that’s just a bit more elegant.

Shop More Neutral, Cozy Elevated Sweatshirt Options

 

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.

tee (TTS) | Converse (size down half) | jacket (TTS)

Can you tell I was really feeling these jeans? This was toward the end of the day, and even then I just couldn’t stop pairing them with all the things. Like this jacket, which reverses to black, is the ideal weight for foggy mornings or evenings around the firepit and feels shockingly well-made for the price – $49. I was also afraid it was going to have a sheen to it, but it’s actually soft and matte and just really, really good.

(Update: The jacket is low in stock as we speak, but sometimes the Nordstrom brands are restocked, so it might be worth keeping the product page bookmarked and checking back later in the sale. Even at its full price of $88, which it will return to when the sale is over and products are restocked throughout the season, it’s a great piece that will get loads of wear.)

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.
 

6. Topshop Chicago Slim Straight Jeans

m tried & reviewed 6 pairs of jeans in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Levi's 501s, rag & bone, Good American...see her Early Access faves.
 

tee (TTS) | boots (TTS) | jeans (TTS; see alternatives below)

OK, folks — here we are. Funeral time, ha. So, let’s be clear on what about these Topshop jeans worked…and what didn’t.

First off, I dig the wash. It’s borderline acid wash, but that’s actually OK with me. And I love the straight leg, the crop length is perfect for my height, and the distressing actually hits at my knee. Lovely. And they’re true, rigid denim, which is usually my jam. As such, they weren’t immediately as “comfy” as the other jeans I tried on, but that was to be expected. All good, right?

On the other hand, one of the belt loops ripped as I was putting them on, and I wasn’t even tugging with any real force. (To the contrary, I know not to pull jeans on by the belt loops, so I can’t have been tugging that hard.) Now honestly, I think that’s a bit of a fluke because I own plenty of Topshop items, and I generally find the quality to be pretty good for the price, so maybe we’ll let that slide. But the fit on these for me wasn’t ideal. They’re exceptionally straight through the hips and bum, so they flatten more than flatter. I went up one size in these, but maybe going up two would have solved it? I can’t say for sure.

But here’s the good news: if you’ve got a slimmer, straighter physique, I feel like these could be really cool.

(Update: stock is running skinny on these, but I like the distressing — and the price — of these even more. And if you like the idea of a black wash, Laura has been raving about these Topshop straight leg jeans, also in the sale. Don’t let the Dad Jeans name fool you — I just looked at her freshly published review post, and they’re good!)


Shop Everything In This Post

 

I’m still waiting for a few more pairs of jeans to roll in, but in the meantime, I’m actually pretty impressed that 5/6 pairs were serious contenders. How often does that happen when it comes to denim? Now to narrow down the keepers…

Happy shopping, friends!
xo,
Em

Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!

6 COMMENTS

  1. LOL, t’s *four* weddings, but after all the time spent trying things on and taking selfies it’s totally understandable that you might not remember! Honestly, 8 hours in a fitting room sounds like torture. Like how hangry and bleary eyed and just plain sensory overloaded are you at the end of that process? Doing it at home where you can easily take breaks, have a snack, and sweat off a hot flash without someone knocking on your door every 15 minutes asking if you need other sizes sounds far more humane.

    I grew up in the era of rigid, shrink-to-fit 501s, and I’m just not sure I could ever go back. When stretch got added to regular jeans it was like a revelation. Dying to know why you love them so much.

    • LOL oh my god, Renee — I’m literally cracking up. Do you know how many eyes looked over this post before it went live? And they all just let me go right on ahead. Oh man. And yes, MUCH more preferable, though I *do* still have someone checking on me every 15 minutes, but it’s to request snacks or ask whether I’m done yetttttttt which doesn’t feel all that different — just a different kinda pressure to hurry up, haha. (And real talk: last year I was most definitely hangry and I ate 3 clif bars I found in my center console on the way home.)

      And regarding the jeans — I usually LOVE rigid too — the vast majority of my denim is now vintage or vintage-inspired, zero-stretch BUT I do find myself choosing between either jeans or joggers/leggings/something stretchy most days, and stretch jeans are a lovely way to both wear jeans *and* sit comfortably on the floor bent over for hours at a time. (Also those Rag & Bone skinnies were just way more flattering than I bargained for and kinda converted me back to stretch all on their own!)

  2. I love that you included a variety of washes. Am I the only one who feels dread even thinking about pulling out jeans after a summer of shorts? Actually, after a spring of unexpected loungewear (soft pants). I’m afraid to pull out my current jeans…. so this list is even better starting fresh- thank you!

    • You’re so welcome, Megan. And I’m not a big shorts girl, but I’ve definitely gotten into the groove of lounge pants, which is probably why for the first time in a couple of years I was so game to get back into stretch jeans, lol. (Speaking of stretch, my next post is on all the soft + stretchy things, just in case you need a bit of a runway to ramp up to denim!)

  3. What size Rag & Bone Ninas did you get? I think we are around the same size. I tried on the 25 in store and they did fit but they were very fitted. I regret not trying on the 26. Wondering if that’s a better size for me.

    • I actually went with the 25 in both of the Rag & Bone styles and they were great. In my mind, if I’m going to rock stretch skinnies, I want them to be pretty fitted, but that said, I haven’t tried the 26, so I couldn’t say how much roomier they’d be. Could always try to order and return?

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