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The Best Jeans I Ever Bought

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A stack of denim Photo: Carol Yepes/Getty Images

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Shopping for denim can be really personal; finding the right pair — and hanging onto them for years — is something to be proud of. Here, a handful of Racked editors share the best jeans they’ve ever bought.


For a while, I really got sucked into "fashion" jeans, dropping $200 on Rag & Bone and Frame more often that I'm comfortable admitting. Then, two years ago I was browsing at Joe Fresh and decided to try on a pair of non-trendy slim fit boyfriend jeans, which rang in at less than $50.

The fit is perfect: a straight leg with the tiniest bit of stretch that’s comfortable but still keeps its shape. The waist isn’t too high and isn’t too low. I bought a dark wash pair and then two weeks later went back and bought a lighter wash. Both are still in regular rotation and I haven't splurged on any expensive jeans since. — Cheryl Wischhover, beauty writer


I ruined my favorite pair of jeans by turning them into cut-offs and I’ll probably never get over it. They were Joe’s Jeans, a brand I’d always been skeptical to try because they seemed a little too going-out jeans, if I’m being totally honest. But they fit so, so good.

To date they’re the only pair I’ve owned where I didn’t get some sort of gapping in the back. I haven’t been able to find them since, but they’re kind of similar to these. — Tiffany Yannetta, shopping director


My favorite pair of jeans is a pair of Levi's 517s that I got on eBay for $17. A sort of straight leg flare, with a high waist, they're the men's style that Carolyn Bessette Kennedy used to wear.

About a year ago, I assigned a story about how perfect they are and how hard it is to track down a pair. The night before we published, I hopped on eBay and bought two, unsure of sizing. One pair, a light wash with a few holes and a wallet impression on the back pocket, fit like a glove; I gave the other pair to the writer. — Britt Aboutaleb, editor-in-chief


My go-to for the last year or so has been the Frame Le Garcon. It's considered a "skinny boyfriend" jean, which combines two problematic terms for women's clothing! Oh well. They look good. More modern than the true skinny jean of my college years, but not too roomy so as to swallow up my 5-foot self. — Julia Rubin, executive editor


I picked up my current favorite pair of jeans when I made a return to Macy's — a gift, not my color, and pricey enough that I had no idea what to spend all the credit on. I settled on a pair of Joe’s Jeans and it was the best denim purchase I've made in years (it's been awhile since I've bothered with designer denim; usually it's black Cheap Mondays or something super skinny from the consignment store).

They're the most comfy, wear-with-anything-jeans I own: skinny with a little extra room throughout, in a light wash with a rolled cuff. The technical name is the "Billie Ankle" in "Rina" wash, for those who want to know. — Cory Baldwin, shopping editor


My favorite pair of jeans are a ‘90s-style, high-waisted light wash. I love the six buttons in the middle that serve as a zipper. I paid $10 for them from my friends who run an online vintage shop called Acid Cupcakes.

What I love most about them is that there are a few different ways to wear them — there's a soft pink and white striped pattern on the upper flap that can be hidden or folded over. My waist also looks great in them! — Robyn Mowatt, market intern


I love the Le Flare High from Frame — their jeans are always super comfortable. I also love these from Madewell; they’re very easy to wear and a good alternative to the Alexander Wang version. — Caitlin Brown, video producer


APC’s New Standard is included on every single beginner's guide to raw denim, and it was the first pair I got. They were so tight at first that I could hardly sit down while wearing them.

Years later, they've done everything I was promised: wear in, fit in all the right places, and accumulate fades beautiful enough that I could proudly bring them up on the raw denim-obsessed Reddit forum. Plus, despite the jeans' reputation for crotch blowouts, my APCs have lasted longer than countless other pairs, both more and less expensive. — Cam Wolf, menswear editor


I’d been on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans, and found these at Topshop: rolled at the ankles, super comfortable, metallic, moto, and holographic. My six-year-old sparkly-pants-loving self threw a little party when I saw them tucked away carelessly in the corner of the store — last pair, and in my size.

They’re not too obnoxious for the daytime, but razzle-dazzle enough for night. — Alizah Farooqi, social media editor


I had been eyeing my current favorite pair — the Liya jean from Citizens of Humanity— for months before very recently deciding to buy them. They'd typically be out of my price range (in the high $200s), but the fit couldn't be anymore of a dream for me; they’re high waisted, a straight leg, a cropped length, and most importantly, I just look (and feel!) really good in them. I roll the cuff once, and I'm good to go just about anywhere, day or night. — Tanisha Pina, associate market editor


Watch: This is what a Denim addiction looks like