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While finding jeans in that elusive butt-lifting or ankle-grazing style is hard enough, it becomes that much harder for plus-size women who are seeking something both flattering and comfortable. “It’s rare for plus-size women to have a favorite pair of jeans, it’s only been in the last few years that could happen,” explains model Essie Golden. As she notes, the tide has been turning, with more and more brands that accommodate plus-size women popping up and “straight-size” brands offering new plus-size options. When it comes to shopping for plus-size denim, Marie Denee, the editor in chief of The Curvy Fashionista and a plus-size industry expert, offers this tip: “Be mindful of the percentage of elastic in your jeans, because that will determine the level of comfort, how they wear, and how they recover.” To find the best plus-size women’s jeans, we asked Golden, Denee, and 16 other cool women — including models, fashion bloggers, designers, and influencers — about their favorites. Below, the 23 pairs they recommend, all of which range in sizes from 14 to 40.
Jane Belfry, the founder of body-diverse talent agency The Btwn, says people always ask “Where did you get these?” when she wears them. The Ridley jeans, which go up to a size 24, have “fun details” like a raw hem and “more modern washes,” she explains. Model Felicity Hayward also recommends them, calling the jeans “an absolute classic” and “a wardrobe staple for plus-size women” that she has in every color. “The material is thick enough not to tear and strong enough to hold you in, but stretchy enough to still be comfortable,” she promises.
Katie Sturino, the founder of Megababe and a body-positivity advocate, loves these affordable jeans from Torrid. “They maintain their shape all the way down, which can be hard to find,” she says, adding that the brand’s denim is generally “comfy and affordable, with a great fit.” The jeans go up to a size 30 and you can choose from five different inseams — regular, tall, extra tall, short, and extra short — for an even better fit.
“As a curvy girl, some high-waisted jeans are barely high-waisted and don’t cinch in as much at the waist as they should to create a silhouette,” says travel blogger and digital strategist Samantha O’Brochta. “But these do.” Available in sizes from 12–20, she specifically loves the jeans’ button-fly because the buttons “go the entire length of the torso and pull in any rogue parts of my stomach.” As a bonus, she adds that the buttons guarantee that “there are no accidental zipper slips.”
According to fashion blogger Mona Seddeek, the Rockstar jeans from Old Navy — which go up to a size 30 — are great for petite plus-size women because they come in three inseam lengths, including short. “My favorite aspect about them is that they are affordable and have amazing stretch but don’t lose their structure,” she says.
Lauren Chan, the founder and CEO of luxury plus-size brand Henning, says that while she has “long loved the look of vintage mom jeans,” she had a hard time finding them in plus-sizes until American Eagle released their Curvy Mom Jean in sizes 00 to 24. The brand makes these in short, regular, and tall lengths, so there are a variety of heights to choose from, as well as sizes.
Denee pointed us to this affordable cropped pair from Fashion to Figure, which flare a bit at the ankle and come in sizes from 12–24. The brand, she says, makes impressive plus-size denim: “They fit well, stretch well, and come in a lot of different rinses and rises.”
This writer (Dominique Pariso) swears by Universal Standard’s Bae Boyfriend jeans, which have a high waist and straight fit and manage to hold their shape throughout the day despite their healthy stretch. Regular Strategist readers will recognize the brand as our go-to for size-inclusive basics and I am happy to report that these jeans are as dependable as anything else we’ve written about: I’ve worn them at least twice a week since the brand kindly sent me a pair in May and they’ve yet to develop holes in the inner thighs, which is a small miracle in itself. Like all things Universal Standard, the jeans go up to a size 40 — right now, however, that sizing is limited (though sizes that are in stock are on sale for just $60). If your size isn’t available, you might try Universal Standard’s Bae Boyfriend Crop Jeans which, as their name suggests, have the same straight leg and high waist but with an ankle-skimming hem.
In our roundup of the best women’s jeans, plus-size blogger Emily Bastedo told us she could never find a pair that fit perfectly until she learned about Wit & Wisdom, a brand she now owns several pairs of. “Not only are they affordable, but also some of the most flattering jeans I’ve worn,” Bastedo says, adding that “with the stretch fabric, they are comfortable all day but never saggy.” The jeans go up to a size 24 and, though they have stretch, are not designed with any sort of obvious stretch paneling, she adds. “I am so grateful Wit & Wisdom has hidden this feature.”
“I’m curvy and five-foot-three, with a small waist and tummy and an abundant booty and thick thighs,” says actress and real-estate broker Tonya Canady. Before discovering Measure & Made, which also earned a spot on our list of the best women’s jeans, Canady told us she would have to get all of her jeans tailored to have the waist gap taken in (a problem many plus-size women can relate to). But Measure & Made’s user-friendly system allows her to pick pants according to her exact specifications, she explains. “I’ve finally found jeans and pants that hug every curve of my body,” Canady says of these Skinny Ankle Jeans that are available in up to a size 28. The system, which the brand calls FitLogic, asks each customer to take a quiz and considers every buyer’s curves and areas where they tend to carry weight in order to find them a perfect pair.
Model Karissa Rodriquez told us that she wears this pair of Lucky jeans “to every single one of my castings with a white T-shirt, black T-shirt, tank, everything.” She loves them because even though her body fluctuates between a size 14 and a size 16, “these fit me just the way I want” due to the amount of stretch that’s in the jeans (which go up to a size 24).
“When it comes to skinny jeans, the higher the rise the better,” says Sarah Chiwaya, a plus-size brand consultant and the founder of Curvily. She told us that this pair of Madewell jeans is designed specifically to accommodate an hourglass shape with a contoured waistband, longer rise, and more room in the hips. The jeans, which come in sizes up to 37, are “super versatile,” she adds, “and the painted-on fit makes my legs look wonderfully long.”
“The perfect skinny jean” is how Stylist Ansley Morgan describes this pair from Warp + Weft, which sells its denim in sizes between 14–24. The JFK Plus Skinny Martine Jean also comes in eight washes, including white, black, and several shades of blue. Beyond being size-inclusive, Morgan says that sustainable shoppers should know Warp + Weft is an eco-friendly brand that has worked to reduce the amount of water used in the production of its jeans.
Levi’s, perhaps not surprisingly, are extremely popular amongst the models we spoke to, with three of them each suggesting a different style from the brand’s reasonably priced plus-size line. This first pair came recommended by Model Yasmin Geurts, who calls the black bootcut jeans her everyday go-tos for work. “They’re a mid-high to high-waisted jean that comes in right at my belly button and sucks in everything,” she explains of the jeans that go up to a size 26. “The leg isn’t straight and narrow; the bootcut flare actually balances all my curves.” Guerts also loves the jeans’ flattering back pockets: “They’re wider and fan out to the side a little, so my butt looks great.”
If you prefer a slimmer fit, Hayward told us that Levi’s Wedgie Fit Jeans are second to none when it comes to style and quality. They “can be paired with sneakers for a more casual look, or with some pointed stilettos to elongate those lovely legs,” she says. Not only that but “the sizing is perfect.” (The jeans come in sizes from 14–24.)
These mid-rise, skinny Levi’s are a favorite of Golden’s. “They shape you out and hold you in place without creating rolls,” she says. “They also make my butt feel good and create tummy control, which I appreciate.” She notes that while most jeans get holes in the thigh area after only two of three months, these have lasted two or three years without that happening. “When I bend over, I never have to worry about hanging out,” she says of the jeans that go up to a size 26. “They move with me.”
Belfry says that the Eloquii Sculpting Skinny Jeans “are extremely comfortable but still give nice hold and shape.” These come in two unique fits: regular, which is designed for hourglass body shapes; and voila, which is designed for body shapes with hips one to two sizes larger than the bust. The jeans, which go up to a size 32, are available in three inseam lengths, too.
For a skinny jean that perfectly grazes the ankle, theCURVYcon co-founder Chastity Garner Valentine suggests the Leroy Ankle Skinny Jeans from Dia & Co, which come in sizes up to a 32. “Oftentimes plus-size skinny jeans give you an ankle that is too big,” she explains. “These offer the perfect tapered ankle and create a great shape, while still being incredibly comfortable.”
“Silver Jeans has fashion pieces that feel on-trend but are comfortable enough that I can still do the splits in them,” says Denee. The mid-rise Suki jeans, which go up to a size 24, are another pair she’ll pull on for everyday wear. She adds that the Suki is just one of the brand’s many styles of denim, noting that shoppers looking for skinny and boyfriend-cut jeans should explore its full range.
“Quality denim in my size is a very hard find — I’ve been hunting for it my entire life,” says model Denise Bidot, who declares that Good American “definitely got it right” with these jeans. Not only is the fabric soft and stretchy, but they don’t lose their shape after you wear them, she promises. “The high-waist makes my butt and waist look phenomenal and I feel beyond comfortable running around town when I’m wearing them,” adds Bidot. Valentine is also a fan, telling us the jeans, which are available in sizes from 00–24, will complement a variety of body types because they “hit at the high waist.”
If you’re tall and plus-size, Sturino says these flared jeans from Veronica Beard would make for a worthy investment because “their flare elongates long legs even further.” Sold in up to a size 22, they are “not your average pair,” she promises, because their silhouette makes them look “more like a trouser” that’s “ideal for work to play.” They are, however, as comfortable as any other jeans she’s worn, Sturino adds.
“I’m an extreme pear shape,” says Valentine. “I have a 20-inch difference between my waist and hips, so I usually have that large gap in the back of my jeans.” She says this pair is worth the price because it has “more of a tapered waist,” which helps to eliminate the pesky gap that we’ve heard other women say they will pay a tailor to fix. “I also like that the ankle opening is small, because sometimes you get jeans with three or four inches of extra fabric around your ankle,” she adds of the jeans, which she owns eight (!) pairs of and are available in sizes from 14–28.
We also heard about AYR’s plus-size jeans from a couple of women, each of whom recommended a different style. According to model Christina Andrew, the Onelove Jeans “changed the game” in terms of options, because it’s not always easy to find such a refined style when shopping plus sizes. “The higher you go up in jean sizing, the harder it becomes to find a pair that doesn’t also come embellished with patches, intentional rips, or worst of all — whiskering,” she says of the style, which is available in sizes from 14–24. “Sometimes you just want a simple pair of jeans that say nothing.” They may say nothing, but these feel like a million bucks, Andrew adds. “Simply put, I’d wear these on a plane.”
Chan, meanwhile, loves the flared Dynamite Jeans from AYR, which are also available in sizes from 14–24 and have a two-piece waistband for added comfort. “These jeans bring luxury to the plus-size denim space — and I feel chicer and sharper when I put them on,” she says. “Plus, the black hasn’t faded and I’ve had them for a year.”
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