Bang For Your Buck: Our Favorite Jeans Under $100

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Denim, denim, denim. The love/hate relationship I have with jeans…UGH. If I’m being totally honest here, I’m pretty cheap so I kiinda refuse to get myself a splurge-worthy pair and perhaps that’s where the real denim gold is hiding.

The Best Jeans Under $100 (Brands We Know & Love)

BUT. In all the years of trying out denim (and sometimes failing -—miserably, may I add) I, and the rest of the team have managed to find some go-to denim favorites that happen to be under $100.

Music to my ears.

What really sparked this conversation was reader Jennifer asking for work-appropriate jeans under $100. So. After 10+ years of trying on denim, here are our team’s favorite jeans for under $100, sorted by brand. The brands are listed in no particular order, but you can click on any of the links (below) to be taken directly to that section of the article!

Levi’s | Madewell | Everlane | Gap | Express | Abercrombie | American Eagle | Liverpool | BLANKNYC | Shop Social Threads


Our Favorite Levi’s Jeans Under $100

TME Why: Levi’s are just good, classic and sustainably produced (!!) jeans. I really recommend trying out different pairs because…well, we all have different shapes and sizes and different contributors tended to get really passionate about WHICH pair of Levi’s are their favorites. Some of the top picks? Levi’s 501s, Ribcage and 724s.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Shana: “If I look back over most of 2020, there’s really only one pair of jeans I’ve reached for over and over again: my beloved Levi’s 501s. I’ve been thinking of my Levi’s 501s as high-rise boyfriend jeans: they’re comfy, they’re slouchy, the leg is wide, easy and basically straight all the way down. They are the jeans I actually do wear at home. They are, in fact — if I must put a fashion label on it — dad jeans.”
  • Julieta: “I’ve been looking everywhere for the same wash I loved and had with no luck. Until! I found this sustainable black wash with a straight leg, and they have quickly won a special place in my top five most-worn jeans this season. A quick review of Levi’s Ribcage in case you’re new to them. They are super high-rise, hence the name Ribcage. The rise is 11-12″. From there, you can find them in straight, flare and wide-leg leg cuts.”
  • Laura: These have become a real staple. I have a long-standing love for black jeans, and these do not disappoint. If you want a super-fitted look stick true to your regular size, but these are just a little relaxed after breaking in and I love them for 2020.

Our Fav Madewell Jeans Under $100

TME Why: Madewell jeans are generally over $100 BUT you can find them on sale pretty often. If not on Madewell’s website, be sure to check out other retailers like Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Neiman Marcus and Verishop, etc.. They’ve quickly become a team (and reader) fave.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Amy: These maternity jeans are so good that I almost wish I were pregnant for a little longer to get more wear out of them…ALMOST.”
  • Laura: LOVE these. I’ve definitely been on more of a straight leg jean kick these days. This pair is perfection, and I love them cropped at just this spot (I just always cut mine to hit at this spot if they’re too long.)”
  • Julieta: They’re perfect. Contrary to all my favorite 100% cotton jeans, these have just a tiny bit of stretch that makes a huge difference. Keep in mind that they will still break-in and stretch with wear, so if between sizes, sizing down is the best option.”
  • Cam: “ALSO, my friends — these jeans. These jeans, these jeans, these jeans! I had a pair of them a while back, and they quickly became a favorite of mine. Why? Oh, my. How does one express how good these jeans are? One really cannot, but I will try. (Yeh, I just love to rhyme on cue sometimes.) They are stretchy, comfortable, flattering.”

Our Fav Everlane Jeans Under $100

TME Why: BIG Everlane fans here. Solid quality, great prices (especially considering the quality) and they make those forever pieces that you find yourself wearing over and over…and over again. Their denim is no exception.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Jess: They are hands-down the best high-waisted black jeans I’ve ever owned — not to mention, some of the most flattering and comfortable. I love them SO much that I actually bought a second pair (yep, same exact jeans) so I don’t have to worry about having a clean fresh pair at the ready.”
  • Linzi: “I’ve been having a difficult time finding truly high-waisted jeans that are soft enough to be comfortable for days at home, but cute enough to wear out and about (if not now…then someday). The Everlane Modern Flare has been my answer. I wore the lighter version all summer and just got the darker version for winter.”

Our Fav Gap Denim Under $100

TME Why: Gap is great in general for affordable pieces for the whole fam. The denim? Surprisingly, really good quality for the price. A lot of inexpensive jeans can tend to flatten you out or feel really rigid in the worst way, but these bad boys? Definitely not.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Scotti: “OMG, you guys. These Sky High jeans?? Amazing. High-rise skinny jeans (with hidden hold-you-in front pockets) that show off your curves without gapping in the waist or flattening your butt. The fit is so good and so flattering.”
  • Cam: High Rise Patch Pocket Flare Jeans“A favorite jean of mine right now. They remind me of a pair of jeans I had in college. The flare and patch pockets in front give me a ’70s vibe. I am wearing them in a Tall, but I found them to be too long (I want to be able to wear jeans with sneakers), so I returned and went with the Long. They fit perfectly!”
  • Em: “How many washed black jeans are too many washed black jeans? I am head over heels for the slim but not skinny profile of these, the raw hem, the wash (duh) and the rise. And this pair of denim is part of Gap’s water-saving Washwell™ program. Compared to conventional wash methods, Washwell™ has saved millions of liters of water since 2016 — so cool.”

Our Fav Express Jeans Under $100

So. After 10+ years of denim experting, here are The Mom Edit's fav jeans under $100. Levi's, Madewell, Abercrombie, Everlane & more brands.

TME Why: You might see us cover Express pretty often for their inexpensive party pieces, but recently I heard from a little bird (Shana) that Gwen’s into their denim, too.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Scotti: These jeans are not the stiff, rigid type that you want to take off the second you get home. They’re made with a soft blend of cotton/poly and spandex with just enough stretch to feel more like leggings without losing their shape throughout the day.”
  • Shana: “Gwen swears by Express jeans and I? Swear by this wash. I also love the super high-rise and the cropped, wide leg. Would be freaking perfect with my new favorite boots.”

Our Fav Abercrombie Jeans Under $100

So. After 10+ years of denim experting, here are The Mom Edit's fav jeans under $100. Levi's, Madewell, Abercrombie, Everlane & more brands.

TME Why: Not only are their jeans for women good, but I heard Mike D’s a big fan of them, too. So, obviously…they must be good. They also have a larger range of sizes in their jeans — petite, regular, long and go up to 37W.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Scotti: These are so good I have them in two washes. So flattering, especially on curvy bodies–they really show off the waist without gapping or squeezing too tight.”
  • Shana: The jeans are comfy, stretchy, and have that *perfectly* faded black wash I love.”
  • Em: “Jeans are one of the few stretch skinnies I still own and love. Truly comfy, easy to dress up or down and lotsa different washes (looks like they’re sold out of my dark rinse, but I love the saturated black). TTS.”

Our Fav American Eagle Jeans Under $100

TME Why: When I first started really getting into jeans, I couldn’t find affordable petite denim that fit me the right way until I discovered American Eagle. (Denim shorts included.) They became my saving grace for a longgg time. Thank you, AE.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Scotti: American Eagle’s Tomgirl Jeans have been my favorites for years . . . and they just get better with time. I hate putting them away every winter (helloooo snow and freezing temperatures), but I love bringing them back out in the spring.”

Our Fav Liverpool Jeans Under $100

TME Why: We’ve tried a few pairs of Liverpool jeans and loved them! They’re just under $100, great quality, and they have a sustainable collection. (S LOVES their denim jacket, too.)

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Laura: “You know I’m Jeans Girl (next year’s Halloween costume?) so I was excited to try out some pieces from a new-to-me jeans company, Liverpool Jeans. I’ve tried SO. MANY. JEANS. So many. And these did not disappoint.”
  • Shana: The jeans run pretty TTS, if not the tiniest bit small. I’m wearing my usual size 26 here (oh — listed as size 2 at Nordstrom), but I almost want to try one size up.”
  • Kat: “I personally think Liverpool’s jeans have timeless designs that are flattering on my extra curvaceous body. I never thought I would find a well-fitting pair of bootcut, mid-rise jeans, but I am seriously in love with these!”

Our Fav BLANKNYC Jeans Under $100

TME Why: When they’re good, they’re GOOD. It’s just a matter of finding the right pair.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Laura: These are just fabulous jeans all around, if you’re looking for a darker wash. I love the tone of this wash, am obsessed with the ankle distressing and these are at a great price point. They are more mid-rise and that may be a plus or minus to you, but they’re comfy to wear. You could perhaps size down in this particular wash (it has stretch,) but I stuck true to size. Perfect for wearing with high tops and taller booties!”
  • Shana: “These Blank NYC bootcut jeans are maybe the most leg-lengthening pair I’ve ever worn. Fit is TTS, and I folded under a good 4-5″ in the pics below (I’m debating between a cut hem and a real hem for these bad boys).”

Our Fave Jeans From Shop Social Threads’ Just Black Line (Under $100)

TME Why: Shop Social Threads carries a lot of different denim brands, but we’re really loving their Just Black Line. They’re comfy and fit true to size! And I mean…LOOK at those flares. Obsessed.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Shana: “Unlike the Free People flares, these Just Black cropped flares are immediately comfortable. They don’t quite have the dramatic shape of the Free People cropped flares (tiny waist + wide, swingy leg) — instead, the vibe is almost boyfriend jean — but I LOVE them. Fits true to size.”

Are there any pairs of jeans under $100 you guys swear by? Let us know in the comments!

– Danielle

PS: This one’s for the pinners…

So. After 10+ years of denim experting, here are The Mom Edit's fav jeans under $100. Levi's, Madewell, Abercrombie, Everlane & more brands.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I love my Abercrombie and Blank NYC jeans. Also, I would add (and this surprised me as I don’t shop there often) White House Black Market. Even in quarantine, I still wear their straight crop jeans all the time. Soft but great stretch and support to hold you in where you need it.

  2. Thank you for pulling together this super useful roundup! I’ll be referring back to this for sure. One other inexpensive brand I often have luck with is Lucky Brand.

  3. I love posts like this! It’s easy to forget when it’s time to buy something where I read about it. So helpful to have all the info in one post!

  4. I agree with Megan above, Lucky Brand is great and they fit me best of any brand! I love Levi’s as well but have a harder time with fit in them lately. And Madewell, ugh they are soft and cute but they never fit me right. The waist always seems huge compared to the hips!

  5. I also want to add the brand I’ve just heard and tried several styles of.. Oliver Logan. They’re under $100, sustainable, a small brand helmed by a former designer to the big expensive brands. I finally found the boyfriend fit of my dreams (looks like Mother Tomcats) but way less expensive and they have other great styles as well.

  6. Thank you for this post TME- very helpful! I’d like to add that Liverpool has an amazing collection of pull on (no button or faux button) denim options that are very cute, don’t skew nana old, and totally look like ‘real’ denim jeans. If I’m wearing any jeans (skinny/straight/whatever) for a few hours, a button is doable. But for ‘all day’ wear, it’s a struggle- eventually, you have to eat and your belly expands and that ‘great fit’ at 7:30 in the morning is very uncomfortable by 12:30 when my food baby grows. By 1:00, I’ve unbuttoned them at work (hiding it under a longer top) to allow circulation to my lower intestine area…. then the zipper is all down on the drive home…. and within 10 minutes at home I’ve peeled them off and put on my sweats or joggers. Liverpool’s pull on denim (Farrah High Waist Ankle in Griffith Super Dark is very versatile- Zappos and Nordstrom sell Liverpool) has definitely made a difference for me in this daily battle. Needless to say, there is great stretch to them. I mention only if this helps anyone else.

    I know I am going to be in the minority here but jeans just aren’t that comfy to me… and I felt this way well before the Covid jogger/sweatpants era. They look great and are stylish and all that, and I have spent WAY too much money on them in my adult life, but I’ve just realized I need a more comfortable waistline for all day wear (thankfully I can wear denim to my work). And on the weekend- forget it. But I might be interested in those drawstring denim jogger pants Scotti recently posted about….

    Thanks again for your work here!

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