A Guide to the Best Jeans Under $100


The Best All Around Jean

Levi’s Wedgie Fit Jean in THESE DREAMS $98

Attributes:

  • High Waisted
  • 100% cotton
  • Ankle Length (26″ inseam)
  • Tapered Leg
  • Raw hem with frayed detailing
  • Five-pocket design
  • Button fly closure
  • Wearing size 26 for a snug fit

Not to be overly dramatic but these jeans were life-changing. Before finding them I used to hate wearing and shopping for jeans. Of course, I grew up in 90s/00s when low (and lower) rise jeans were all the rage. And the stretchier, the better. I ended up with jeans that emphasized my belly pouch, gave me a sagging butt and made my legs look stumpy. This was the time I discovered my love for A-line skirts but that’s another story for another time😎. Then at the tender age of 28, the Levi’s Wedgie Jeans came into my life and I never looked back.

First, they sit at the smallest part of the waist so there they don’t dig into the fattiest part of the tummy (damn you low riders). This also helps to create a slimmer appearance and the high waist creates a taller look.

Second, they will match ANYTHING in my closet. They are hands-down my go to pair of jeans if I want to make a t-shirt look cool or a crazy vintage blouse look modern. Since they are made of a 100% cotton, the fabric is thicker than most jeans and therefore hid all the bulk from tucked in tops. It truly is magic.

How I styled these jeans:

The Plaid Blazer

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The Best Straight Leg Jean

Levi’s Wedgie Fit Straight Jeans in ROUGH TIDE $98

Attributes:

  • High Waisted
  • 97% Cotton, 2% Polyester, 1% Elastane
  • Ankle Length (26″ inseam)
  • Straight Leg
  • Raw hem with frayed detailing
  • Five-pocket design
  • Button fly closure
  • Wearing size 27 for a comfortable fit

I was VERY excited when I saw Levi’s release a straight leg version of the original Wedgie because I hadn’t been able to find that perfect straight leg fit for my curvy frame. The two fits are identical in every way with the exception of the leg opening. However, I did size up one size with this fit because I wanted it to fit a little bit baggier than the originals. They do stretch out just slightly to conform to your body (amazing), so a true-to-size pair would still be very comfortable.

How I styled these jeans:

My Groovy Buttons

The Bright Blazer



The Best Non-Black Black Jean

Levi’s Wedgie Fit Straight Jeans in THAT GIRL $98

Attributes:

  • High Waisted
  • 99% Cotton, 1% Elastane
  • Ankle Length (26″ inseam)
  • Straight Leg
  • Raw hem with frayed detailing
  • Five-pocket design
  • Button fly closure
  • Wearing size 26 for a snug fit

As you can tell by now, I’m in love with the Wedgie jean. What can I say? When you find you’re perfect jean, buy 5 of them!πŸ™ˆ

πŸ˜‰)Fun Fact: Levi Strauss invented the black jean (so the story goes πŸ˜‰). By overdying indigo denim, he created the most versatile pant in anyone’s wardrobe. Especially, in a slightly washed out black, this jean can be integrated into anyone’s style and worn on every occasion. When paired with a silk blouse and heels, it become office appropriate. When worn with a tee shirt and jeans, it creates a casual weekend look. A great pair of black jeans, like these, can tone down a flashy shirt yet glam up a relaxed tee.

Since the specific dying process to achieve a certain color alters the fit of the jean, black wash fits slightly bigger than the indigo. I have always found this to be the case with black denim from other brands. So if you were thinking of sizing up, I would suggest staying true to size since it will stretch out more. Or, if you were looking for a more snug fit, then you can look into sizing down.

How I styled these jeans:

Making a Case for Black and Brown



The Best Light Wash Jeans

American Eagle Mom Jeans in LIGHT VINTAGE $39.95

Attributes:

  • High Waist
  • Relaxed through the thigh
  • 100% cotton
  • Ankle Length (short 26″ inseam)
  • Slightly tapered leg
  • Five-pocket design
  • Single button/ Zip Fly closure
  • Wearing size 4 short

Now onto the second love of my life – American Eagle’s Mom Jean. Since the writing of this guide, I own 6 pairs! They fit really well and best of all, are very inexpensive.

As Mom jeans should be, they are high waisted, narrow in at the waist with a slightly tapered leg. The reason I can’t stop wearing this light wash, almost bleached color is due the weight and feel of the denim. While it’s still 100% cotton, the denim is much more lightweight than the Levi’s giving it a much softer hand feel as well.

Since light wash denim is mostly worn in the spring & summer, the weight of the denim is important to avoid (or delay) sweating your butt off. I also find that since it’s more relaxed from the thigh down, it doesn’t create that annoying denim cling during those extreme sweaty days.

How I styled these jeans:

Weekend Adventures in Volant, PA



The Best Go-To Weekend Jean

American Eagle Mom Jeans in COOL CLASSIC $49.95

Attributes:

  • High Waist
  • Relaxed through the thigh
  • 95% cotton 5% polyester
  • Ankle Length (28″ inseam)
  • Slightly tapered leg
  • Five-pocket design
  • Zip fly with button closure
  • Wearing size 2 regular

Add in a subtle knee distressing to everything I mentioned in the previous jean and you get the perfect weekend jean. Not going to lie, I wore this pair every weekend for a solid to months.

I’m personally not a fan of heavily distressed jeans. However, I like the rock and roll edge a distressed pair of denim can give to a look. This pair has the perfect relaxed fit that doesn’t look sloppy with just the right amount of holes.

Also to note, I bought these in a 2 regular (typically I would buy 4 short) because I wanted to ensure the holes were placed at my knee and not above my knee. Since the regular inseam is 28″, which is a standard “short” inseam, they still hit at my ankle. I also sized down because short lengths are actually sized for petite girls and are slightly smaller in the waist and thigh. Therefore, the regular length would be too big on me in my typical size.



The Best Skinny Jean

Levi’s 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans in LONE WOLF $79.50

Attributes:

  • High Waist
  • 87% Cotton, 12% Polyester, 1% Elastane
  • Zip fly with button closure
  • Comes in 3 lengths
  • Slim through hit & thigh, skinny leg
  • Five-pocket design
  • Wearing size 26 short

While taper, straight or wide has been my leg of choice, a skinny jean is still a critical wardrobe staple. When I was on a hunt for a new pair of skinnies, I turned to the man I trust the most – Levi Strauss. Levi’s carries a few versions of skinny jeans with varying amount of stretch and rise. Yet the 721s met all the criteria I needed in the skinny jean; High waist, ability to recover, and a slim(not tight) leg opening.

When it comes to skinnies, I prefer some stretch so that it hugs my figure without it being too tight. However, too much stretch can result in baggy knees and sagging butt. Not a good look! With the exception of the 501’s (which are 98% cotton), the 721s in the Lone Wolf wash contain the highest amount of cotton so they retain their shape extremely well.

How I styled these jeans:

Easy Winter Outfit Combinations

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The Best Crop Jean

Everlane Kick Crop Jean in Black $78

Attributes:

  • High Waist
  • 98% cotton, 2% elastane
  • Slim through the thigh and leg
  • Slight flare at the ankle
  • Raw Hem
  • Five Pocket Design
  • Inseam: 26.5″
  • Wearing size 27


When I first discovered the crop kick flare jean trend, I was skeptical it would look good on me. But the more I saw it on influencers (the power of suggestion is real!), the more I wanted to partake in the trend. I now have about 4 pairs of kick-flare jeans but these Everlane ones are by-far the best.

The flare is very subtle which gives the leg a more flattering shape then a cropped skinny jean would. The denim is also thicker so it will hold up really well and last a long time.

While I have cropped kick flares in multiple washes, black is always going to be the most flattering and slimming. This is also a very opaque black so it skims the line between jean and trouser.

I cut about an inch off the hem for the perfect length. Everlane specifically built this jean so you can hem the length yourself without the edge unraveling.

Lastly, I got these in a 27 based on the size guide but they will stretch out a bit in the waist so I suggest sizing down if you want a snug fit in the waist. However, I can wear these jeans VERY comfortably on the plane and that is not an easy task for most denim!

How I styled these jeans:

3 Comfortable Thanksgiving Outfits

The Oversized Blazer


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