Pretty much my favorite item of clothing? Black wash jeans. I make the distinction, “black wash,” because solid, dark black jeans don’t read as denim — they look more like black pants. My preference is a perfectly faded black wash that makes every outfit look just a little bit more edgy.
I Tried 8 Pairs of Black Wash, Straight-Leg Jeans. Here’s How They Stack Up.
I’ve been looking for a pair of perfectly faded black wash straight-leg jeans for a couple of years now and have landed on some good pairs, but not great pairs. Not any that I could see myself living in on a daily basis. Hence, another try-on sesh. If you’re interested in just getting right to it, I’ve linked them all here with some review notes:
- The Coolest Black Wash Jeans (with Rips): AGOLDE Lana Straight**
- The Coolest Black Wash Jeans (no Rips): Re/Done Stovepipe**
- The Budget-Friendly Pair: Topshop High Waist Raw Hem Straight
- The Slouchiest Pair: Levi’s Balloon Leg in Rad Dad**
- The Softest Pair: Hidden Jeans High Waist Wide Leg
- The Mid-Rise Pair: FRAME Le High Raw Hem Crop
- The Least Trendy Pair: Madewell Perfect Vintage Faded Black
- The Least Favorite: Madewell Perfect Vintage Full Length
If you want to see them on my bod, then keep on scrolling, my friends, and we’ll get into it.
**Indicates meets our requirements for sustainability.
Note: Looking for black wash skinny jeans? My very favorite pair of Madewell skinny, black-washed jeans are so beloved that I’ve purchased them three times over the last five years. I mean, I LOVE them. But now, alas, I’ve moved away from skinny jeans (with the exception of wearing them with winter boots) hence my hunt for a straight-leg style. But if you are still looking for a go-to skinny, I cannot recommend these enough.
8 Pairs Of Black Straight-Leg Jeans Tried & Reviewed
I am perhaps a rare bird who is always down for a jeans try-on. There’s just something about the hunt that gets me way excited for landing on that perfect pair of jeans. I guess I’ve found the right job then, huh?
I’ve suggested “We try them on so you don’t have to,” a few different times for The Mom Edit’s company tagline. Still stand by it.
Fit notes: As we get started, these might be helpful. As a reminder, I’m 5’4″, athletic frame, somewhat short torso, not quite petite sizing (long arms, stronger shoulders, thighs and a booty that keep me from fitting in most petite stuff) and I’m typically a 28 these days in most jeans, 27/28 in stretchy jeans, 29 in some rigid styles (mostly because I am too impatient to let them break-in.)
1. The Coolest Black Wash Jeans: AGOLDE Lana Straight**
OK, so we’re just getting right to my favorite pair: AGOLDE. I’m a big AGOLDE fan, and these did not disappoint.
Some sites call the AGOLDE Lana a flare, but most call them a straight leg. They only slightly flare out at the back, making them acceptable to me (since I hate actual flares). These, my friends are rad.
The AGOLDE Lana is rigid denim, but arrives soft. They will stretch slightly with wear. And while I’m fully on board with the straight-leg jean and have been rocking the cropped version for years now, I am not quite yet on board with the full length straight-leg jean.
AGOLDE Lana Jeans With Booties
I like the Lana’s with sneakers, but not so much with the boots above, so I tried them cuffed to compare. I prefer them cuffed — Which is another rad thing about black jeans: most of the time, unlike blue denim, they are the same color inside as outside, so cuffing looks more seamless and doesn’t cut off your leg length. Score. And here is an option in a similar wash, without distressing.
2. The Coolest, Non-Distressed Black Jeans: RE/DONE Stovepipe**
These RE/DONE Stovepipe jeans are a very close second favorite. I’ve had them since this summer and have featured them before, most recently with white high-tops. These are so flattering and are just-below-the-ankle length on me, so easier to wear ‘full length.’ I know I’m pushing it, calling these full length, perhaps, but sometimes we have to ease into the new silhouettes, friends.
RE/DONE Stovepipe Cuffed With Flat Mules
Regardless, I love these high-rise stovepipe jeans. I love them full length, I love them cuffed. They do run small and I’ve sized up to a 29 here. They have stretched just a bit with wear, but since I’m straighter through the middle and they are quite high-waisted, I’m happy with that size choice still.
RE/DONE Stovepipe Cuffed With Heeled Mules
After a real deep dive into the ins and outs of RE/DONE jean fits with Amy, I think this is my exact pair here. They are tricky to find in the exact faded black wash, rigid denim, and Nordstrom tends to name their products slightly differently than the rest of the internet.
I wish I had also tried the RE/DONE comfort stretch stovepipe to compare, but that sounds like a winner, yeah? And this pair at Nordstrom looks a bit more like my wash above, but with stretch. I’ll definitely be rocking some socks with these as it gets cold.
3. The Budget-Friendly Black Wash Jeans: Topshop High-Waist Raw Hem Straight
So, I wasn’t really looking for a stonewashed pair of jeans, but these Topshop raw hems looked so cute I had to try them. In person they aren’t too light and still read black-washed. The fit is great on, and they come in at a cool $75. The wash looks gray online, but in person they are darker and more interesting.
I size up here as I typically do in Topshop, to a 29. They are slightly big in the waist, so if you’re between sizes (or tiny waisted), I might not size up. They do have some stretch, but are a nice thick denim, too.
4. The Softest Pair Of Black Straight Legs: Hidden Jeans High-Waist Wide Leg
I tried out some Hidden Jeans earlier this year and was pleasantly surprised, so I had to throw this wide-leg option into the mix here, too. I realize this is pushing it in a straight leg jeans post, but these actually don’t read wide leg when worn. Gosh — they are SO soft.
They are high rise, fit true to size, have stretch and are one of the thinner pairs I tried. An all-around comfy jean at a reasonable price point. ($85)
5. The Least Trendy Pair: Madewell Perfect Vintage Faded Black
I have a pair of light-wash, busted knee, Madewell Perfect Vintage jeans from last year, and adore them. So naturally I thought I’d try a black wash, too.
I think I miss the busted knees here that add that edgy factor, but these are a classically good slimmer straight-leg jean. They fit TTS, and have stretch, yet aren’t too thin. At $128 they are also a great mid-priced option. They’re just not quite exciting enough for me, but they fit nicely on the booty, have a great, faded-black wash and are a solid choice if you’re not into distressing.
Madewell Vintage With Sneakers
6. The Slouchiest Black Wash Jeans: Levi’s Balloon Leg in Rad Dad
I am forever a fan of Levi’s, but I haven’t found a good, faded black wash (partly because the good washes sell out so quickly).
Spoiler alert: these are not the rad, faded black Levi’s I’ve been looking for. Haha.
I put these jeans on my Instagram stories the other day as a poll and y’all were NOT fans. Heh. I get it. I’m nothing if not one to try new things, though. I adore seeing if I can make weird things work, and honestly? I still think I could with these. I’d perhaps have to chop them off…though…and am not quite ready for that level of commitment.
I did size up here since they are rigid denim.
Levi’s Rad Dad Cuffed With Heeled Mules
Levi’s Rad Dad Cuffed With Sneakers
7. The Mid-Rise Black Wash Jeans: FRAME Le High Raw Hem Crop
These were…fine. I’m typically a FRAME fan, but while these have a good wash and a lower midrise (contrary to the name?), they just weren’t worth the price. They are the thinnest pair I tried on, and while they seem well-made, they just weren’t exciting enough to justify FRAME prices.
The booty is flattering and the wash is nice, but I think some of the other options are better. This pair is stretchy, so if you’re not into rigid denim, and prefer a mid-rise, these might be worth a try.
FRAME Mid-Rise With Sneakers
8. The Least Favorite Pair Of Straight Legs: Madewell Perfect Vintage Full Length
Wow. This full-length Madewell option in the Perfect Vintage reminds me of why I run so hot-and-cold when it comes to Madewell. Some pieces are phenomenal. This was not one of those pieces. Yuck. They felt even worse in person.
And while sometimes I adore a gray wash, this wash was just not cool. They read kinda flat and the only saving grace is how they fit on the booty. I think the full length pair must be tapered, but I hate how they bunch around my knees. I think that’s why I prefer knee distressing.
These do have stretch and fit TTS and would probably be better on someone taller than 5’4″.
Shop All The Black Wash, Straight-Leg Jeans I Tried
I’ve noted below some of the details of the various fits and washes. Again, with some of the RE/DONE pairs it’s tricky to tell which is exactly which, but most of them will say 100% cotton or a blend in their details, so that helps distinguish them more than the names on the sites. I’m stoked that my favorites here were both from sustainable companies, too!
I’m still holding out for a great pair of Levi’s faded black, straight-leg jeans with a bit wider leg. I’ve had this pair that have a great wash for a while now, but I want a little more width for wearing with a wider variety of shoes.
I appreciate that Levi’s offers a reasonable price point for really well-made jeans, you just have to have the patience to break them in. (The rigid denim always have the best washes IMO.)
Hope this deep dive has been helpful to those of you who are also black jeans fans. Next up, I think I’m due for another post on which shoes work best with them. Stay tuned!
Hey hey…would love you to follow all my daily style musings, donut pics and dance parties over on Instagram @laurajansenstyle. I try to keep it real over there, with a side of fun and a good dose of social justice…coming at you live, from Portland, Oregon.