Up until the spring of last year, I lived for jeans. My denim wardrobe was massive. From skinny and high-waisted to wide-leg and slouchy and every other style a girl could possibly try, believe me, I had ’em all. During my time working from home, I took a break, but finally I’m at the point where I’m ready to give denim another shot. Because, let’s face it, there’s nothing like a perfectly constructed pair of jeans that fit like a glove to change your mood and make you feel like a million bucks. No matter your style or preference, we’ve rounded up our picks of the best denim brands around. From the classics like Levi’s and Gap that have been producing iconic denim for longer than I’ve been alive to designer denim brands like Citizens of Humanity and sustainability-focused brands like Boyish, your new favorite jeans brand is on this list.
First up: The mother of all denim. What’s a more iconically American item of clothing than the Levi’s 501 jean? Started in 1873, Levi’s were originally made for the working man. Today, they’re a fashion staple at the top of every woman’s must-have denim list. Don’t know which one to try? We love the Ribcage Straight and Wedgie Fit jean silhouettes.
Best Seller: Ribcage Straight Ankle Women’s Jeans, $98
Our Pick: High Loose Women’s Jeans, $98
Citizens of Humanity
Citizens of Humanity’s loyal following speaks for itself. Their fit and overall look make them a beloved brand that you’ll be sure to keep in constant rotation. COH also keeps sustainability as a top priority by limiting their water and gas usage.
Best Seller: Emerson Slim Fit Boyfriend, $248
Our Pick: Annina Trouser Jean, $238
If you were living and breathing in the ’90s, chances are that at one point you wanted to star in one of Gap’s legendary denim campaigns (guilty). Hands down, Gap will be among your most beloved denim and at one of the most accessible price points, to boot.
Best Seller: High Destructed Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans, $80
Our Picks: Sky High True Skinny Ankle Jeans, $70
Triarchy’s eco-friendly denim is crafted from a tencel and cotton blend and has a traceable carbon footprint. All denim is made alongside carefully selected partners in Italy and Istanbul and produced in denim mills that uphold some of the highest ethical standards in the industry.
Best Seller: High Rise Wide Leg, $220
Our Pick: High Rise Crop Wide Leg, $199
After debuting in the Fall of 2019, New York-based brand, R13 was catapulted to designer denim fame. Thanks to their luxe Italian and Japanese denim fabrics, coupled with an ultra cool-girl aesthetic, R13 quickly became a household denim name for the fashion set.
Best Seller: Kate Skinny Jean, $345
Our Pick: Jasper Boyfriend Jean, $525
An acronym for All Year Round, AYR is a female-founded, independently operated brand with an award-winning arsenal of denim styles. Their motto: “sometimes, the simplest things are hardest to find.” Not to fret— we’re here to help you find the best of the best. Buy a pair (or two) now, and you can thank us later.
Best Seller: The Bomb, $225
Our Pick: The Must, $225
This is the tale of an indie-inspired denim brand turned lifestyle brand. Once customers fell in love with their super-soft, off-duty denim, it was full steam ahead. Created in L.A. with a range of modern fits, these ’70s-influenced jeans developed a cult following. From the funky modern flares to color blocking washes, each piece has its own little story.
Best Seller: Looker Ankle Fray – Love Gun, $228
Our Pick: High-Waisted Rascal Ankle Slit, $248
Born and bred in L.A., AGOLDE searched far and wide to bring their customers comfortable, flawlessly-aged, premium denim. All of their jeans have a relaxed style, perfect for your weekend wardrobe. Made with 100 percent cotton, each pair is under $200, ticking all of the right boxes. Go grab a pair (or two!).
Best Seller: Crisscross Upsized Jeans, $188
Our Pick: 90s Mid-Rise Loose Fit Jeans, $198
B Sides Jeans
B Sides pays utmost attention to the details—”finding beauty in imperfections.” Creators Claire Lampert and Stacy Daily work with textiles that are inspired by antique pieces in their own denim collection. Sourced via family-run mills in North Carolina, their denim capsule collections have offbeat patchwork styles, taking anything but a one-size-fits-all approach.
Best Seller: Plein Jean, from $110
Our Pick: One of a kind, from $186
Named after the Latin word for “love,” AMO’s denim ethos is simple: “Create jeans designed by women who get it.” Made in Los Angeles, founders Kelly Urban and Misty Zollars founded the line after finding a lack of vintage-quality jeans that also fit effortlessly. Each and every season, the brand works alongside a charity of their choosing to help give back to the community.
Best Seller: Emma Moonbeam, $110
Our Pick: Sophie Crop Indigo Blue, $186
Trave is a refreshing addition to your denim collection. Each and every silhouette is refined, clean, and logo-free. If you are looking for the perfect must-have denim style of 2020, the Faye Bootcut should for sure be in your next shopping haul.
Best Seller: The Riley, $258
Our Picks: The Faye , $268
Boyish Jeans are the perfect combination of your favorite vintage jeans, but with a modern twist. Their focus is on sustainable denim. One of Boyish’s biggest contributions to reducing their carbon footprint? Using one-third of the amount of water normally used to produce a pair of jeans (did you known it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to make a single pair?). With their high-rise skinnies, distressed boyfriend styles, and classic cutoff shorts, they’ll leave a great impression on both you and Mother Earth.
Best Seller: The Toby, $188
Our Pick: Bailey Rigid Carpenter Jean, $118
PAIGE is the It-girl of denim. Its premium quality, flawless fits, and trendy silhouettes are sure to score you some cool points. As a former fit model, owner Paige Adams-Geller set out to produce the perfect pair of denim that was both form-fitting and laid back. Her brand has grown from a small L.A. based denim brand to a large-scale fashion label with all the must-have wardrobe staples.
Best Seller: Leggy Ultra Skinny, $199
Our Pick: Vintage Leenah High-Waist Wide Leg, $167
“Get your butt into something more sustainable,” is the mantra for Reformation, a brand known for sourcing sustainable fabrics and making trendy fashion. The Ref Jeans collection started in 2017, creating affordable and eco-friendly denim. The brand uses non-chlorine bleaches, plus one-third of the amount of water and cotton as traditional denim brands. From their ’80s inspired cigarette jean to the classic skinny, each pair will be good for your butt, good for your wallet, and good for the earth!
Best Seller: High-Rise Skinny Jean, $98
Our Pick: Vintage High-Straight, $128
SLVRLAKE is my favorite denim brand right now. They remind me of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; every person that wears them looks absolutely incredible— no matter their body type. For anyone looking for the perfect high-waisted jean, SLVRLAKE will be your new best friend. This luxury denim brand might be pricey, but I promise the fit is worth every dime.
Best Sellers: London High-Rise Straight Leg, $319
Our Pick: Grace High-Rise Wide Leg, $259
California-based brand Goldsign relaunched a few years ago in 2016 with a focus on craftsmanship and quality. Their denim is produced in small batches, so they’re able to focus on the precise construction of each piece. From their straight-leg styles to the high-rise, wide-leg varieties, every pair can be dressed up or down. This is the brand to have on your wishlist.
Best Seller: Benefit High-Rise Straight Jean, $295
Our Pick: Pleated High-Rise Wide-Leg Jeans, $295
First launched in 2011 by designer Scott Morrison, the coveted denim brand is planning a major relaunch for 2022. The New York-based company is dedicated to premium denim pieces using the finest in fabric and craftsmanship. Denim devotees won’t be able to contain themselves.
Best Seller: High-Rise Straight Leg Jean, $268
Our Pick: Rio Slouchy Cut Jeans, $249
Tu es mon Tresor
Inspired by designer Aimi Sahara’s expansive denim collection, Tu Es Mon Tresor, translating to “you are my treasure” is a collection of denim crafted in a long-standing factory in northern Japan. With a focus on comfort and quality, each style is built to last, from their signature boyfriend styles to high-rises and flares.
Best Seller: Lapis Lazuli Jean, $268
Our Pick: High Rise Straight Leg Jean, $355
Known for their signature hand-painted stripes and designed between NYC and Los Angeles, Still Here offers classically tailored pieces with a brush of novelty. Each piece of denim tells a different story, brought to life by those who wear it.
Best Seller: Original High Rise Ankle Jeans, $235
Our Pick: Harvest Rainbow Crop Jeans, $280
Inspired by the lives of everyday women, Stockholm-based brand Totême excels in designs comprised of elevated fabrics and modern silhouettes. Their wide array of denim will give your wardrobe a boost of sophistication—from classic cuts to vintage washes to crisp white denim styles.
Best Seller: Original Straight Leg Jeans, $280
Our Pick: High Rise Tapered Jeans, $320
Warp + Weft
This family-owned company has been creating denim for over 30 years in their eco-friendly mill, making their own premium denim from scratch. With a commitment to ethical practices and fair trade conditions, you can’t help but feel good wearing Warp + Weft denim styles that are fit-tested on women of all age and sizes.
Best Seller: Mia High Rise Flare, $98
Our Pick: Ase Straight Leg Jeans, $98