Shopping for denim goes something like this: find a brand/style/cut you love and stick with it. At least that’s what the scenario looks like for me. Denim is such a personal thing – there’s no one style that looks good on everyone. (Although, this pair just might. Read more below.) When I find a pair I love, it’s easy to just want to stick with it. For the longest time, my denim drawer has been full of J Brand and Frame. (In other words: one big stack of these and these.) I started to feel like my loyalty had led me into a some sort of denim rut. While I still really love both of the brands (I seriously have these J Brands in every color and really love them), it was time to branch out and give my denim drawer a refresh.
I started doing a little “research” in the form of online shopping. I ordered what felt like a million different pairs in a variety of different styles – skinny, straight, boyfriend, crop-flare, you name it! Some worked and a lot of them did not. (These looked horrible on me.) I learned a lot in the process. For instance, when it comes to cut, my body tends to look best in styles that are cropped or ankle-length. And for the record, low-rise really doesn’t work for me. Ever. It’s mid-rise and high-rise only from here on out. I also discovered some new-to-me brands (like Seafarer!) along the way.
Needless to say, my denim drawer has been properly refreshed. Here, a few of the standout pairs that emerged as the favorites.
The best everything: If I were to pick a very favorite (at least at this moment), it would be the “Lord Jim” from Seafarer. I’m obsessed with these jeans. I love everything about them – the patch pocket, the cropped cut, everything. Not to mention, the denim quality is second to none. The medium-blue pair is my most-worn, of course, but I have a feeling my white pair will claim that title this summer. Oh! And I just snagged a pair in this sky-blue wash. I think those will be perfect this summer, too. Here’s the only catch with Seafarer: they’re hard to find. (A fact that only makes me want them more. Naturally.) I’ve seen a pair or two at Ann Mashburn and occasionally a few styles will pop up online. I wish more stores would carry them!
The best straight-leg: I wanted so badly for these Levi’s to work for me. Unfortunately, they just didn’t. Thankfully, COH’s “Liya” style gave me a similar look that I like ever more. These are more of a relaxed, straight-leg jean, and even though they claim to be high-rise, I think they’re really just a teeny notch above mid-rise. I love the way they look with this bodysuit and a pair of heels.
The best wide-leg/flare: I like to think of these as my “Jane Birkin” jeans. The high-waisted, bell-bottom style is classic JB and when I wear them, I feel like I’m channeling her. They’re the only high-waisted flares I own because, as I mentioned, cropped is really my preference. However, when I’m in the mood to switch it up, I love pulling these on with a simple white tee or a silk button-down.
The best distressed: These blue jeans have just the right amount of distressing for me. Denim with holes all over the place has never looked quite right on me but a couple of rips here and there is perfect. The “Naomi” style from GRLFRND has just the right amount. The GRLFRND line has become a favorite for me. Every style is just so classic, and I have a feeling that they’re the type of jeans that just get better and better, the older they get. Fun fact: you can actually customize a pair with embroidery right now. How fun is that? I’m dying to add my initials to this pair of cut-offs.
The most comfortable: Have you tried the “Lou” pair from M.i.H? These jeans have a Sisterhood-of-the-Traveling-Pants thing in that they seem to look good on just about everyone. I’ve seen three different people – each with a very different body type! – wearing them and they all looked great. They’re a kick-flare cut that hit me in just the right spot on my ankle. The denim itself is insanely comfortable – so comfortable, in fact, that these jeans are now the ones I reach for when I’m traveling. They’re incredibly soft and offer the perfect amount of stretch. If all of their denim feels this good – and I imagine that it does – this won’t be my last pair from M.i.H.
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Photos by Kristen Kilpatrick