I recently adventured to the mall (cue “Let’s Go to the Mall” by Robin Scherbatsky) and explored the world of denim.
My hope was to branch out and try on different brands or styles of jeans that I don’t normally gravitate to when shopping online. While the experiment largely left me even more loyal to my normal go-to jeans, I did step out of my typical zone when I decided to take home these vintage-inspired, slim, straight-leg jeans.
Keep Or Return? Citizens Of Humanity’s Straight-Leg Jeans (+ 8 Outfit Ideas)
I wasn’t expecting anything to be wildly unique about Citizens of Humanity’s Charlotte High-Rise Straight jeans when I took them to the dressing room, but after checking my reflection in the mirror, I immediately double-checked the tag.
These had to have been skinny jeans that I grabbed by mistake.
But they are, in fact, a straight-leg style, simply inspired by the slim-fitting versions of the past. The jeans are made with organic comfort stretch denim (59% organic cotton, 40% Ecovero viscose, 1% elastane) that is truly comfortable when moving around.
My first steps around the room further proved that they’re a straight leg — there’s a noticeable difference in feel from the knee down (meaning I wasn’t at all being squeezed like a sausage). The bottom hem of the pants are loose, not tight to my ankle, making it really easy to pull the jeans on and off. Again, much unlike the skinny jeans of yore.
The more I looked at myself in the mirror and moved around, the more these straight-leg jeans reminded me slightly of Levi’s Wedgie jeans — except this pair from Citizens of Humanity is light-years more comfortable (plus, Levi’s haven’t fit me right ever since my body made a baby, which has been a bummer).
Considering the Charlotte jeans are quite unique compared with the rest of my closet (which is filled with much-looser denim styles), I was intrigued.
I decided to take them home for a proper try-on with my wardrobe to truly gauge whether or not I liked these.
Shop Citizens of Humanity Charlotte Jeans In Different Washes
I haven’t worn jeans this tight in what feels like forever, the last pair being a maternity style that had a lovely, stretchy belly band attached. Even then, I never loved them. Which is probably why I was immediately drawn to the loose styles when they began trending (and I subsequently kissed every pair of skinny jeans I owned goodbye).
And yet, there are multiple times when I find myself wanting jeans that are just a tiny bit slimmer to balance out my love for dramatically oversized tops.
As much as I love leggings, they don’t complete an outfit like a pair of jeans can, which was the anchor of my hope in bringing the Charlotte High-Rise Straights home to mama (uhm, I mean my closet).
Fit Notes: I’m 5’9″, very straight-framed — no hips, barely a bum — and prefer my true size (I’m wearing size 27 in the wash Delphi). The Citizens of Humanity website suggests getting your true size, but many reviews I’ve read suggest sizing up. Keep in mind, these are tight feeling compared with other straight-leg styles; however, I did find they loosened up slightly with wear.
Try These: For something a bit similar, Citizens of Humanity makes the Daphne jeans, which is in the same wash with a super-high waist and stovepipe straight legs (meaning a little more room in the thighs). Or opt for the Jolene, a vintage-inspired pair that looks to be incredibly similar to the Charlotte jeans, with a bit more contour in the hips.
7 Outfit Ideas Ft. Citizens Of Humanity Charlotte High-Rise Straight Jeans
I tried on the the Charlotte straight-leg jeans with all of my wardrobe workhorses: oversized sweaters, slouchy cardigans, my fave puffer vest, a go-to fleece, plus a variety of my favorite shoes. Seeing these jeans with my wardrobe proved to be an amazing way to decide if I should keep or return them!
1. With A Slouchy Cardigan + Sandals
This outfit combo is one I wear weekly. An oversized cardigan is my favorite coastal-grandmother-inspired trick to make any outfit look a bit more put-together. Bonus, it’s also a wildly comfortable look too.
When I first tried on the Charlotte jeans, I was skeptical of the inseam, fearing they were too short for me. But even paired with my sandals, I’m finding I love where these jeans hit! This was a great start.
2. With A Cashmere Sweater + Platform Boots
A big test of these jeans for me is how they handle boots. My favorite platform boots rise higher up the calf, and while they aren’t a sock-tight fit, they don’t really have enough room for jeans to tuck down into them.
Surprisingly, these straight-leg jeans slid perfectly over the top of my boots. They’re just long enough to hide the top of the boots in a way I find pleasing, while not being so long that it gives a direct horse-hoof appearance at the bottom of my frame. This is a huge win!
3. With Sneakers + A Dramatically Oversized Vest
This oversized puffer vest is one of my favorite things in my closet at the moment and also a big reason I’m open to finding slimmer-fitting jeans.
I’ve been throwing this puffer vest on with a lot of outfits, and so far I’ve only truly loved the look of it with leggings. The vest feels like wearing a pillow or duvet blanket — or anything associated with the most comfortable bed setup — and I’m wanting to reach for it daily.
The silhouette is dramatically oversized, so I prefer something fitted on the bottom half so as not to totally swallow up my body in cloth. These jeans?! CHA-CHING. It’s like I hit the jackpot.
4. With An Oversized Sweater + Chunky Lug-Sole Loafers
Arguably my favorite look with the Charlotte jeans. I’m obsessed with how chunky lug-sole loafers look with slim-fit denim. Something about the way the hem lays on my leg, meeting up with my socks and loafers, is just good.
And let’s not forget about my sweater — another dramatically oversized piece in my closet I completely adore. While I’ve been tucking it into a looser pair of jeans and enjoy the look, it’s such an enjoyable change to wear the sweater hanging free, and these jeans are just what I needed to make that happen.
5. With Knee-High Boots + A Graphic Sweatshirt (& My Fave Fleece)
Circling back to the boot test, the Charlotte jeans work phenomenally well with knee-high boots. It’s that near-skinny-jeans quality that tucks them in so neatly.
I love a wider calf in knee-high boot because it’s a casual alternative to the glam look that tight boots can give off. Opting for a flat sole (or rather without a prominent heel), like mine, gives a riding-boot appeal or perhaps even that of river-wading boots — both of which have sporty, tomboy qualities that perfectly align with my style.
6. With A Lace Top + Heeled Booties
In an effort to try to dress up the jeans a bit (not my normal look, but I feel like it’s a good idea to get the most rounded opinion), I reached for a lace layering top. It’s one of my new fave items to have on hand in the event I do want to get a little dolled up, but a lace top can also be thrown under a graphic tee for a fun ’90s-grunge throwback.
The only heels I have in my closet are these ankle boots (and some Western boots), and while I do prefer them with baggier jeans, I think they work with Citizens of Humanity’s Charlotte jeans.
7. With UGG Ultra Mini Booties + An Oversized Button-Down
This cotton button-down top, featured in my favorite and most-worn tops of 2022 roundup, is another ideal example of how a slim pair of jeans really is needed in my wardrobe. While I don’t completely dislike a full baggy outfit (with the right pieces, it can be done in a flattering + chic way), there’s something so beautifully balanced about pairing my oversized tops and chunky shoes with the Charlotte straight-leg jeans. It’s almost silly I didn’t realize this sooner.
The tags have been torn off — I’m absolutely in love with the Citizens of Humanity Charlotte High-Rise Straight jeans.
They’re an easy-to-wear, comfier alternative to skinny jeans, while not actually being skinny jeans. They’re the solution to wearing boots in the winter with ease while avoiding the cased-sausage feeling, and they’re brilliant for balancing out all of the fabulous oversized tops in our closets (well, at least in my closet!).
I love these jeans — love, love, love.
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