Barrel Jeans: The 10 Best (And Why I Love This Trend)

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Barrel jeans kind of sound like a joke: they start fitted(ish) through the hips, then balloon out somewhere around mid-thigh –fun fact: they’re also called, ‘balloon jeans’ — and then taper back in at the ankles.

And for some reason, this absolute bananas concept (at least on paper) is sooooo freaking good IRL. Seriously: barrel jeans are all I want to wear right now.

Barrel jeans are really no more than a fashion-girl twist on straight-leg denim. The extra curves in the pant design balance out a shorter, more fitted shape up top.

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Barrel jeans are really no more than a fashion-girl twist on straight-leg denim. And instead of being unflattering, the extra curves in the barrel jeans just balance out a shorter, more fitted shape up top. The result is a really fresh (and surprisingly flattering) silhouette.

The 10 Cutest Barrel Jeans Right Now

I’ll show a few ways I’m wearing barrel jeans in another article. I find them especially great with my most-worn footwear (sneakers, birks, cowboy boots, as examples) but I wanted to pull together a quick hit list of the best barrel jeans out there because man: these things are selling fast. The good news is that this trend has been coming on for a while, which means there’s a wide range of price points available.

The 10 Cutest Barrel jeans Right Now

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1. Free People Moxie Barrel Jeans

THESE. I own this exact pair and they’re freaking amazing. They sold out in a hot second last summer, but happily Free People re-stocked this exact wash (and added others!). Highly recommend. Inseam is 26″.

I own this exact pair of Moxie barrel jeans from Free People & they're freaking amazing.

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2. Old Navy Extra High Waisted Black Balloon Ankle Jeans

These look WAYYYYY more expensive than they are!! Seriously, these are a really solid dupe for designer jeans. (I keep checking and re-checking that these actually are, in fact, Old Navy: Yup. Alrighty then.)

Comes in regular, petite, and tall sizes, too.

The Old Navy Extra High Waisted Black Balloon Ankle Jeans look WWAAAAAAYY more expensive than they are!

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3. Levi’s Barrel Jeans

Levi’s higher-end line, Made & Crafted completely nailed the barrel jean. This pair actually comes in three different washes (including a heavily distressed one). There’s something almost 501-esque about these jeans, and it turns out that this style was inspired by baggy, oversized 501s cinched in at the waist.

Levi's higher-end line, Made & Crafted completely nailed the barrel jean.

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4. DL1961 Miro High Rise Barrel Jeans

See how the barrel shape ends up looking a little more refined than its straight-leg cousins? Especially in this chic white? — wow. DL1961 jeans are always really soft and comfortable, and this pair is no exception – it’s made with 36% Tencel (environmentally friendly, too). Inseam is 26.5″

DL1961 jeans are always really soft & comfortable. This pair of barrel jeans is no exception - it's made with 36% Tencel (environmentally friendly, too).

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5. Gap High Rise Barrel Jeans With Washwell

Another super-soft option from Gap comes in the coolest gray wash. I love the pleated detailing at the waist, too. Like all of Gap’s jeans, these come in regular, petite, and tall sizes, as well as short, regular, and long lengths.

Another super-soft option for barrel jeans from Gap comes in the coolest gray wash.

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6. Reformation Alania Mid Rise Barrel Jeans

With a 30″ inseam, these barrel jeans likely are too long for me out-of-the-box (and this is one of the few styles of jeans I don’t necessarily recommend hemming). But this pair would be great for tall mamas, and I LOVE supporting sustainably-minded Reformation (one of the few companies that is certified Climate Neutral).

The Reformation Alania Mid Rise Barrel Jeans has a longer inseam -- great for tall mamas.

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7. Free People Westward Barrel Jeans

These give similar vibes to my beloved Rachel Comey jeans, but are much more affordable (they don’t have all of the cool details, though). That said, the wash is great, the rise is high, and the inseam is 28″ for those who need a few extra inches.

The Free People Westward Barrel Jeans are similar to my beloved Rachel Comey pants.

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8. Everlane The Utility Barrel Pant

Amy, I think, raved about Everlane’s barrel pants a few years ago, back when this trend was getting started. They looked great on her then, and are still going strong. A solid option, especially for work. These pants are available in both regular and tall sizes.

Amy raved about the Everlane The Utility Barrel Pant a few years back. Still good.

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9. Ruti The Barrel Leg Denim Pants

This slightly refined take on denim is also available in white or olive, too. Inseam is 26″ (and I love the styling with sexy, minimal sandals).

Ruti has a slightly refined take on denim barrel pants also available in white or olive.

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10. AMO Loving Tapered Gratitude Jeans

AMO, one of my new favorite brands exactly because they do cool details like this, also has a pair of barrel jeans. These are made from an almost impossibly soft 100% cotton, and the inseam is 25.5″.

AMO, one of my new favorite brands exactly because they do cool details like this, also has a pair of barrel jeans.

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Anyone intrigued? Or have you already taken the plunge? Let me know — would love to hear if you guys are having as much luck with barrel jeans as I am…

Xo,

S

Oh hey Pinners

Barrel jeans sound like a joke: they're shaped like a what? Turns out they're so flattering IRL. Here's the hits: Everlane, Gap, Madewell, Old Navy & more.