Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Denim Guide Part 1: Affordable Favorites

Denim Guide
(H&M, Gap, American Eagle)

Ever wondered which denim brand is right for you? Yeah, me too. It took me years to find jeans that actually fit me right, and now working in the retail business with a focus on denim, I know a lot more than I used to on the subject. So, I wanted to share what I know with you.
I am splitting this into two different posts, one on affordable brands, and one on pricier designer jeans like J brand.
My advice here is probably tinted by my personal preferences in jeans: I like mid rise jeans in a skinny or super skinny fit with plenty of stretch. 

Affordable Favorites

Gap: I recently rediscovered Gap jeans and was incredibly surprised and impressed with the quality. After bad memories of ill-fitting stretch-less Gap jeans in high school I had avoided them for years, but now they are probably my favorite affordable jeans. My personal favorite fit is the skinny cropped version since they are close fitting and stretchy. I only wish they came in a long version too, for winter! They do tend to run a little bit short for me (which is why cropped jeans are great-they're meant to be short) but they do make some styles available in Tall. I also tend to go a size down at Gap, which always makes me feel great :)
Check out the deals at the Gap Factory Store to really find affordable options.

(Gap jeans featured on Light Bulb)

Machine: I only own one pair from this brand, and it's the only pair I've ever even tried on, but I have to say they do a great job of imitating designer quality and style at a much more affordable price point. I was slightly annoyed that I had to size up not one, but two sizes to fit in them (they are a junior's brand) but they are quite comfortable and very stylish. The pair I have is a distressed black jean, which is super trendy these days!

(Machine jeans featured in Dots)

H&M: I have one pair of Red Concept jeans from H&M, which, while they are very big in the waist, I nevertheless like a lot. They are distressed jeans, meant to be a skinny, but look more like a boyfriend fit on me (due to the saggy waist area). They also are short on me, but with that looser style they look good rolled up.
More recently I purchased a pair of super stretchy white jeans from H&M which are so incredibly comfortable that I told my mom that I felt like I could do yoga in them (to which she asked, "you do yoga these days?" No, no I don't. lol. But I could wear these jeans while doing yoga if I wanted to). I definitely recommend trying H&M denim, especially for specialty jeans that you don't want to invest too much in, but always try it on before you buy.

(H&M jeans featured in Neon Pink)

American Eagle is where I bought my jeans for a very long time, for lack of finding better options. I have many friends who love the fit of their jeans, but I've always been disappointed in their sizing. I have wide hips and thighs and a skinny waist, so to get a pair that fit my legs their jeans are always much too big in the waistband. Their classic denims have no stretch and make it uncomfortable to bend or sit, but their stretchy jeans are actually quite comfortable.  It used to be impossible to find anything but low rise at AE (and while those were stylish they made it really hard to sit!) but now they have several high rise options available, and a great variety of trendy styles. If their jeans fit right, these are a great affordable option. Although,  the incessant use of their butt-pocket stitching does make me a little crazy.

(AE jeans featured on When In Doubt...)

Delia's: I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "that's a brand for teen girls," but I'll be honest, one of my favorite pairs of jeans is from Delia's. I was going through a phase of desperation in my hunt for jeans that actually fit me right, and I was willing to try anything. I tried Delia's because they came in extended lengths and were extremely affordable, and I wasn't disappointed. I purchased the Olivia jean in a dark wash and I literally wore them to death over the course of four years: after wearing them nearly every day for at least two of those years they are just beginning to wear thin in the thighs. Their "low rise" isn't actually that low (which is great!) and they are super comfortable. Plus, they have no signature pocket stitching to identify them, so no one has to know you're wearing juniors jeans (lol).
(While Delia's recently went out of business for a while, they just re-launched their website and catalogue, including the popular Olivia jean!)

(Delia's jeans featured on Owl Excursions)

I've also been hearing good things about the brands Dittos and SP Black, which I have never tried, but figured would be worth a shout out!
What affordable denim brands do you love?

Look for Part 2 next week featuring my insight on splurge jeans!!

xoxo CC

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