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.

BUT. In all the years of trying out jeans (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.

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

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 | Target | Kut From The Kloth | Wit & Wisdom


Our Favorite Levi’s Jeans Under $100

Levi's are just good, classic and sustainably produced (!!) jeans. I really recommend trying. Some of the top picks? Levi's 501s, Ribcage and 724s.

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 the last few years, 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 Favorite Abercrombie Jeans Under $100

After trying what felt like their entire line of jeans, it was the Abercrombie ’90s Ultra High-Rise Straight Jean that stole my heart. And I mean it, I’m in love.

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

Direct From The Contributors:
  • Meredith: “Truly I don’t know, but after being a longtime fan of Abercrombie Curve Love High Rise Mom Jeans, I was willing to give the Dad Jeans a try to see if “father knows best.” Little did I know this would lead to my new favorite jeans, and FINALLY finding a pair of full-length denim I can get behind.”
  • Scotti: “Abercrombie had nailed the fit of these jeans. High rise with no gaping waistband that actually has enough room for bigger booties and hips.”
  • Julieta: “Comfortable and flattering. These jeans look amazing and have a nice rise without squeezing your belly. My sister recently visited and fell in love with them. I gave them to her but now need a new pair for me.”
  • Kat: “When A&F launched their plus-size jeans, I was skeptical that they would fit….But they truly are a great pair of jeans! I personally am a huge fan of the distressing and straight leg cut.”

Our Favorite Jeans From Target Under $100

Target has some shockingly good jeans for under $30 that come in a wide range of sizes. Their Wild Fable brand is the one Amy (and myself) tried and loved.

TME Why: Target has some shockingly good jeans for under $30 that come in a wide range of sizes. Their Wild Fable brand is the one Amy (and myself) tried and loved. We might even say they have some options that are good dupes for more expensive brands.

Direct From The Contributors:
  • Amy: “The tag read “Highest Rise Straight Leg” by Wild Fable, and I scooped up a few washes to try. It was immediate infatuation when I got back home and wore them around the house. They were pretty dang perfect, so much so that I was convinced Target priced these wrong.”

Our Favorite GAP Jeans 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: “I LOVE these ’90s Loose jeans from GAP. They aren’t overly baggy or shapeless, instead they are nice and relaxed while the high rise helps to define the waist. They’re made from organic cotton (grown without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers) with just a hint of stretch for comfort.”
  • Laura: “Such a cute pair of jeans with a high rise, but a soft waistband. It has a slim-straight leg cut and front patch pockets. Fits TTS.”
  • 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.” More slim styles available here.

Our Favorite Express Jeans Under $100

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

Direct From The Contributors:
  • Scotti: “Express had me at “Extra Supersoft,” but I wasn’t sure if these stretchy jeans would actually live up to their name. I mean, I should have known when reviewers used words like perfect, amazing and favorite to describe them, but I had to try out them for myself. And they’re good, you guys…that stretchy, Supersoft fabric is no joke.”

Our Favorite Everlane Jeans Under $100

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.

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:
  • Shana: “These are my favorite Everlane jeans right now. They’re rigid denim (so have that vintage-modern look) but are actually really comfortable to wear. The 100% cotton is soft and breaks in quickly. I like these as much as my Levi’s 501s.” Also available in these colors without the rips.
  • Scotti: “Ooh, these jeans! They’re Everlane’s highest-rise jeans, and they’re so good for curves! They’re rigid but have 1% spandex for the tiniest bit of stretch…so they hold you in and accentuate the waist without being impossible to sit down in. I loved layering the bodysuit, cardigan and blazer together or separately–every combination works!”
  • 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).”

Our Favorite Madewell Jeans Under $100

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, and Verishop, etc..

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, 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: “I have the Perfect Vintage jeans in another wash and I love them. Have had them for a few years. They are a great fit, I just wasn’t quite as stunned by this wash as I have been with others. TTS and less stretch than the Stovepipe above. Wearing a 28.”
  • 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. I had a pair of them a while back, and they quickly became a favorite of mine. They are stretchy, comfortable, flattering.” More jean styles available here.

Our Favorite 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: “I knew I would love these skater jeans the second I saw them online. With a rating of 4.6 from over 50 reviews, these jeans are SO good, you guys. I had high hopes when I ordered them, and when I felt the fabric in my hands, I was like yaaaaaassss.”

Our Favorite Jeans From KUT From the Kloth Under $100

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

TME Why: You might see KUT From The Kloth pop up in our #Nsale coverage (they do more than just denim well), but we’ve been trying out their jeans for a little while now. They have a ton of denim options — different silhouettes, washes, distressing, etc, etc. And Scotti found they were a dupe (and dare we say…better?) for a more expensive AG pair.

Direct from the Contributors:
  • Scotti: “I like having just a bit of a higher rise (although these weren’t crazy high like some high-waist jeans) and the stretch is so comfortable and soft. There’s no muffin top or breaking-in time at all with these.” 

Our Favorite Liverpool Jeans Under $100

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.

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 Favorite BLANKNYC Jeans Under $100

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

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 BLANKNYC 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 Wit & Wisdom Under $100

TME Why: You can usually rely on Wit & Wisdom for inexpensive jeans that are comfortable, fit well and cut at a good place for different shoe types. Keep an eye out for our Nordstrom Sale coverage — you might just see us bring this denim home.

Direct From The Contributors:
  • Kat: “I think the key to this outfit is finding the right shade of dark wash denim — and these Wit & Wisdom jeans are perfect. What I love about this wash of denim, in particular, is that it isn’t your true dark blue wash, it almost appears to be in the grey family but they are still a blue hue.”
  • Laura: “These are a great find for such a good price. The wash is great and the waist is comfy (I think it’s a bit taller waistband or something). I’m pretty picky about jeans as you know, and these are an awesome find.” 
  • Scotti: “I’m wearing it here with the Wit & Wisdom jeans (that also came home with me) that help to flatten out the tummy area and are super comfy. These will be the jeans I wear with longer sweaters because the fly doesn’t stick out and add extra bulk!” 

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 expertise, here are The Mom Edit's favorite jeans under $100. Levi's, Madewell, Abercrombie, Everlane & more brands.

14 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!

    • Thank you for pointing out it was me, Kim! My jeans are Levi’s wedgie https://shopstyle.it/l/bFHcx, and my boots are those old Free People Cecile boots (try Poshmark or any second-hand shop as they’re discontinued). The top was Shana’s, but I think it’s Reformation (old).

  7. I’ve had great luck recently with Old Navy! I bought their high waist flares and they’re amazing! Also, the high rise slouchy straight jeans are really good. And, the extra high rise straight jeans! I bought all 3 in the tall length, I love my flares with heels, and the 2 straight legs I did a wide cuff on.
    Also, J Crew Factory does really good denim at amazing prices!

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