I recently went shopping for jeans in an actual store.
I don’t even remember the last time that I did such a thing.
Ever since moving from a small town to a much bigger city, I’ve been enthralled with the in-store shopping experience, but I admittedly haven’t done a ton of it. And when I have? It was for a more specific purpose, like putting together a holiday outfit or seeking out a perfect gift.
So, I recently made sure to carve out some time to simply explore the mall, without time constraints and with the promise of a good mall treat (I’m a sucker for a pretzel).
Although I did get lost (uhm, like, a lot), I eventually began having fun lapping in and out of all my favorite stores, and I found myself zeroing in on all of the latest jeans available.
Exploring New Jeans Styles Ft. MOTHER, AGOLDE & More: My Winter Nordstrom Try-On
I’m never afraid to try out new jeans styles, but naturally, I have my go-to pairs.
When I stumbled into Nordstrom, I wanted to use it as an opportunity to find styles of denim I’ve never experienced in real life — you know, not on a computer screen — or jeans I wouldn’t naturally gravitate toward when simply ordering online.
This particular Nordstrom had almost all of the denim in one consolidated area, making it really easy to get a feel for what was available at the moment: straight-legs (lots and lots of this), a good amount of loose + wide-leg options, and just a smidge of flares and bootcuts (but hardly any).
My goal was to find darker blue or black non-distressed washes for winter and, if at all possible, full length — which turned out to be mostly impossible. This mall experience taught me that my preferred inseams are scarce for in-store shopping, and many styles are still being designed with pretty significant crop hems (score one for the internet, where the options are more inclusive).
What did I end up in the dressing room with? Six pairs of jeans that are all over the map. If you don’t have time to scroll, I went home with another pair of straight-leg jeans from my fave brand, as well as a vintage-style straight-leg to test out with my closet (more sizes of the latter here).
Arguably the tightest pants I’ve put on in years, these Citizens of Humanity Charlotte jeans are technically straight-legs… but they kinda look like skinny jeans, no?
The bottom hem is structured like straight-leg jeans — looser, not tight against my skin, and easy to pull on and off — but the rest of the jeans is quite skinny-jeans-feeling.
They are tight.
And while I currently loathe the feeling of proper skinny jeans, a sensation I liken to being encased like a sausage (or so I imagine), the fact that these do still have a little extra room from the knee down make this pair…interesting.
Perhaps these vintage-inspired, high-waist, straight-leg jeans are the best of both worlds: all of the body-hugging goodness that often only a skinny jean can provide (none of the full-blown rage that is induced when trying to take off skinny jeans), with every bit of ease of a straight leg.
Finding myself intrigued, albeit a little concerned about the length, these came home with me to try on with the entirety of my closet. TBD.
Fit Notes: My “true size” has shifted slightly, teetering between a 27 and 28, and I like a 27 in the waist for these. Before leaving the dressing room, I Googled to see if they came in a longer inseam, but since I couldn’t find any, I deemed this 28-inch inseam good enough.
Slim wide-leg jeans? That feels promising.
At first impression, I was disappointed to find a hole above my knee once I had on the Leenah Slim Wide-Leg jeans from PAIGE. I somehow missed that when pulling them from the rack. But apart from the distressing, these jeans are extremely comfortable.
These wide-leg jeans sit midrise on me, below the belly button. The booty is fitted and almost has a rounded, lifting effect prompted by the shape of the back pockets (which is shocking, considering I don’t have much for a bum).
With a 34½-inch inseam, these jeans are perfect for long legs, platform shoes or heels of any kind!
Ultimately, they remind me of pairs I already own, but I’m very impressed with the denim — especially because it was my first time trying something from PAIGE.
Fit Notes: Wearing a size 28 for an ideal comfort fit.
I mean, honestly, these AG jeans solidified why I don’t wear a bootcut style.
I often talk about how when jeans with a flare (slight or flamboyant) stop too short on my leg, it cuts off my height, instead of the promising lengthening effect. These jeans are a perfect example.
Even as someone who is considered taller than average, I am never trying to make myself look shorter. The goal, still, is to elongate my legs and to show off my height. For this to happen, any jean with a flare needs to reach the ground for the correct lengthening proportions.
This look is simply unflattering on moi. NEXT!
Fit Notes: AG jeans tend to run small for me, so I sized up to a 29 for these. I wouldn’t recommend this style for someone with long legs and/or is around my height (5’9”).
Once upon a time, I tried on this style of MOTHER jeans in a different wash, took a few mirror selfies, but ultimately returned them. And every time I turn back to those photos or see a new wash appear online, I regret not keeping the jeans.
So, when I found the Rider Skimp jeans from Mother at Nordstrom, I immediately scooped them up for the dressing room. But, uh, as it turns out, there was a reason I returned them.
First off, WTH is a “Rider Skimp” style? Classic high-waist, straight-leg jeans (with a fancy name, I guess).
While the Rider Skimp jeans photograph well, I immediately disliked the way the waist and thighs look in real life. I feel like the jeans make me feel wider and even more boxy-shaped than I already am. Not to mention, they look like a completely different pair on me than the model.
These are the jeans I want to love, but I love the photos of this style of jeans more than the actual jeans themselves. Lesson learned.
Fit Notes: I prefer a size 28 in these MOTHER jeans, and despite not liking the fit, I SUPER-appreciated the full length!
First of all, these MOTHER Spinner Skimp High-Waist Wide-Leg Jeans are huge (and not in a dark wash, but I was curious). I tried on a 27 and was swimming in the waist. I initially assumed this is because they’re supposed to be worn lower — perhaps as a baggy mid- or low-rise, which would explain how short the inseam is — but…nope. I triple-checked the tag and read “high waist” every time.
Nordstrom even describes these wide-leg jeans online as having a “super” high waist.
Sitting as high-waist jeans would, these became almost cropped for my height (in the photos I have them lower, where they naturally fell on me). The description gives them a 29-inch inseam, which would be a slightly cropped pair of denim on me. I could see this being ideal if you’re shorter than me and wanting a loose, baggy pair of jeans.
But to be honest? There’s nothing special about these MOTHER Spinner jeans. And for the price tag, there needs to be a little special-ness.
Fit Notes: It’s important to note that I’m very straight in my frame, void of curves or a booty, which could simply mean these were made for a different body type.
Call it cheating, but I ended up grabbing a pair of jeans from my favorite, go-to denim brand. Maybe it was a subconscious safety net going into the dressing room — maybe it was just good proof that these jeans are, well, better than the rest.
I most recently fell in love with the ’90s Pinch-Waist jeans when I scooped up a dark-blue wash a few months back. The style is a slightly more fitted version of my beloved looser, most-worn pair, and I was so excited to find a non-distressed black wash.
Pulling these on in the dressing room after trying out different styles was like coming home. AGOLDE fits my straight frame like a glove. I’m immediately more confident than I am in any of the others, solidifying AGOLDE’s status as my favorite.
Fit Notes: Slightly tighter than AGOLDE’s ’90s Loose style, these Pinch-Waist jeans give a more snatched appearance in the waist and bum. I still prefer a size 27 as I do in most AGOLDE jeans, especially because I know they bag out pretty significantly with wear. I’ve read many reviews from people saying they like to size up in these for a more casual, looser fit, but again keep in mind that they loosen with wear!
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