Tuesday 23rd January 2018
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Taking requests: Jeans under $100

Levi's jeans—Taking requests: jeans under $100

A very lovely reader named Llana wrote in and asked for a post on inexpensive jeans, and since my taste in denim skews pricey—and that ends up affecting what I show here—it seemed only fair to oblige. Let’s start off with a classic pair of Levis, shall we?

Kut from the Kloth jeans—Taking requests: jeans under $100

I could do without the tiny touch of distressing here, but otherwise this is a pretty decent boyfriend cut.

Topshop jeans—Taking requests: jeans under $100

I like the raw hem here.

Treasure & Bond jeans—Taking requests: Jeans under $100

Just a nice, skinny, high-waisted pair.

Levi's jeans—Taking requests: Jeans under $100

Another pair of Levi’s, also high-waisted, in a nice clean wash without any whiskering at all, which is tough to find.

Blank Denim jeans—Taking requests: jeans under $100

And finally: a fun cropped pair.


Posted on May 18th, 2017 35 Comments

35 Responses

  1. DeDe says:

    Those first Levis, the 505 C’s, are super good. I have a pair in black and they are just a great, straightforward, classic jean. And the price is pretty great, too. (The second pair, the Wedgies, would probably be best on someone who is not too curvy/has less junk in her trunk – I am decidedly pear-shaped and they were awful on me.)

    • Jessa says:

      Another Wedgies failure: I have thinnish waist and normal hip width, but no butt at all. I also tried the Levis Wedgies, and assumed they were for someone with more curves. They further smooshed my flat but into the hamstring region and cut into my waist and, er, lady bits.
      What’s your body type, Wedgie fans?
      (Am also a fan of the 501 for “boyfriend” style and the 505!)

      • DeDe says:

        Hmmmmm, maybe you’d need to be a 5 on a booty scale of 1-10, with average hips and skinny legs?? Seriously, someone needs to try these and report back! I’m sure they’ll make *some* lucky woman’s hiney look amazing!

      • Caroline says:

        I like the wedgies!
        I’m a touch curvier at the moment and kinda short.
        They’re do good thing for the backside. All though I do have one that needs support😂

        • Andree Chalaron says:

          I have a pair of wedgies and they work pretty well for me. They do make my bottom look more lifted and round. I’m 5’2″ and 125lb, so curvier. I think they’d be prefect if my tummy was flatter – the button fly is a challenge.

        • Mamavalveeta03 says:

          One??? Cheek? 😉

      • jessv says:

        I LOVE the levi’s wedgie fits. The only thing I don’t like is the raw hem; I have a long(er) inseam, so I feel a bit like Frankenstein busting out of my clothes.

        I’ve definitely got an ass on me – the wedgies seem to highlight it ever so slightly.

        I also LOVE the levi’s 501 skinny jeans – they’re like the wedgies but with a little more room in the rear, standard hem/inseam, and the legs have a little room. I’m obsessed with them – just wish there was a non-distressed pair.

  2. Candy says:

    Thanks to Llana for this request and to Kim for such a useful collection. A great-fitting pair of jeans is a true treasure, but spending north of $200 seems excessive to me (& my budget).
    Also thanks Dede for the feedback on those first Levis. Very helpful.

  3. joannawnyc says:

    My favorite cheap jeans used to be from American Eagle (and might be again–they are always changing up the wash, cut, etc.) and I got a pair I like from Junarose (Danish brand, they do straight & plus, you can find on ASOS and many other places).

  4. Viajera says:

    I am sorry to hear… well, sort of sorry? … that the Wedgies aren’t working for people, because I do think the fanny is the most important part to fit on jeans. Or at least, the first part. The name is problematic of course. Despite that I may have to try a pair, although it sounds like they won’t fit me either.

    I am a fogy – I am looking for a dark wash!! With no messing around. If I want a raw hem I have a pair of scissors…

    Great post, and question. I need to go look. It’s bad here.

  5. C.Michol says:

    They aren’t the trendiest, but if you’re looking for good-quality and basic jeans, I’ve lately fallen back in love with the Gap. Their Real Straight jeans in white are perfect for summer.

  6. Christina says:

    If you’re taking requests, any ideas of where to find a one piece or tank bathing suit that doesn’t scream “dowdy mom” or “I am trying to camouflage X area of my body?” To make this even more challenging, I’m specifically looking for options available in long torso b/c I’m 6 feet tall. Help?

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      I always go to J Crew catalog for long torso suits. I think they have a great selection.

      • Jessa says:

        I second the long torso suits from J. Crew! They provide enough colors and styles to remain interesting; the search feature is useful, and *sometimes* the long torso sizes even go on sale… else a tankini top with a high-waisted bikini bottom also works. (Am 5’10”)

    • GT says:

      Modcloth has *amazing*, cute, funky bathing suits.

    • Jemma says:

      Lands End – I like the Grecian (I think that’s the name) suit. They come in long I believe, and also DD cup

    • Caroline says:

      Haven’t tried on yet, but other stories has some sharp looking
      super simple one piece suits!!

  7. Andree Chalaron says:

    My favorite affordable jeans are from Uniqlo. The price seriously can’t be beat! The Ultra Stretch skinny jean fit rivals J Brand. They are very stretchy but don’t loose their shape. The high rise ankle jean has MAGICAL tummy-sucking-in properties that I just love. They had a high waist wide leg jean in the Spring that fit just like Jesse Kamm – seriously good. Try them!

  8. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    I love that you found not only great looking jeans, Kim, but several that fit larger than a size 12! More, please!!!

  9. allison says:

    My absolute favorite jeans right now are from Madewell. They’re a little over $100 but they’re often on sale, and if you bring in an old pair of jeans to recycle they end up being right around $100. They have a ton of styles/washes, they don’t get baggy around the knees and make my butt look fab!

    • I really love Madewell jeans. The fit is always spot on for my body.

      Madewell also makes a killer maternity jean, they were my favorite during my pregnancy (they never stretched out and they always stayed put).

  10. GT says:

    I can’t even imagine having the body confidence (or confidence in the apparel industry) to buy jeans online! Does anybody really do it? I’m petite and small, with no butt whatsoever, and jeans are a challenge, to say the least.

    Sometimes, I find just as good a pair at TJMax as I would at Bloomingdales! It’s, like, a total crapshoot.

    • Cora says:

      I buy jeans online only (my body confidence is somewhere between “oh well” and “meh”), and it usually works out fine, I like APC and Sezane. I also buy all my bras (DD+ – so yeah.) and swimwear online because in the shops around here I can choose between “something even my Granny would consider hideous” and “plain ugly” in my size. If stuff doesn’t fit, I sent it back.
      All in all, I can only recommend online shopping 🙂

    • Mimi says:

      I buy jeans and pants online, usually successfully. With free shipping and free returns it’s no big deal to send back a pair that doesn’t fit or flatter. The key is studying the photos and comments, knowing your body and what generally works for it. Even though I’m thin, I don’t wear skinny jeans. One trick I’ve used is buying a boyfriend cut, then sizing down. That way the thighs and legs are a little roomy, but the waist fits and I wind up with almost a straight jean cut, but better. I’ve found some great jeans on Zara’s site, and they’re cheap and I got lucky with 3×1 jeans on sale. Shopbop is a good hunting ground. I haven’t quite figured out the many newish high waisted cuts yet and I’ve returned some cropped jeans that were stupid short on me, but I’ll continue my trial and error method. Good luck!

  11. c.w. says:

    I just bought a pr. of Gap Boyfriend jeans (if I remember correctly they were $69.something). They are button front, straight leg and just plain ‘ol jeans––no stretch and about a mid-rise. I’m thinking of purchasing another pair for summer because I just discovered I can put these in the dryer and they don’t shrink. Sadly, that little thing makes my heart sing. Little pleasures. Little pleasures.

    • Mimi says:

      I used to love Gap boyfriend jeans, but then they changed and/or discontinued them. The ones on the site now are 25% lyocell with a zip fly. Did you find yours in a store? Thanks for the info.

  12. suz says:

    YAY! Levis were my solid go to jeans – and then came the polyester, over distressing, weird detailing etc, and way too much stretch.

    They have cotton levis again!!! If those weren’t cropped I would own 5 pairs right now.

  13. Nicole M says:

    I read about Old Navy Rockstar jeans on a list like this and I tried them and I really love them. Great jeans for less than $40! I have them in all colors and lengths. I tried on expensive jeans recently but I actually preferred my Old Navy ones better.

    • suz says:

      Old Navy sprays/treats their clothing with chemicals for shipping – mainly formaldehyde. A pair of rockstar jeans I got had a weird smell that would not wash out and wound up giving me a rash on my leg. So, for me it wasn’t really a bargain. Just an FYI

  14. Sabina says:

    I recently discovered articles of society denim. It feels like premium denim but without the price.

  15. Binky says:

    Gap’s Best Girlfriend jeans…

    In the past 6 months I have acquired four pairs of these… all the girls in the office love them. They’re like your favouring skinny and BF jean combined. Slightly slouchy, the distressing is done really well if you’re into that, they also have plain washes if that’s what you’re into. I have dark black, two distressed pair and a medium blue wash. They’re the best. http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/category.do?cid=5664#pageId=0&department=136

  16. christine says:

    I finally bit the bullet and gave up on inexpensive jeans. I love Joe’s and Kut from the Kloth, both of which are north of $100.

    • Heather says:

      I like Joes, AG and Vince, but they regularly have all at Nordstrom Rack for under $100.

  17. Francine says:

    I generally never pay full price for my jeans. Primarily a mix of Citizens, Paige, Vince and Rag/Bone, I’ve recently become a big fan of Levi’s 711 Skinny and Vigoss Chelseas. Both under $50 and are wonderful. LOVE LOVE them. I went a little nuts and bought several of each just the other week.

    I own over 75 pairs of jeans, so trust me, I know my denim.