Somewhere along the line, the five-pocket jean became standard issue. Pretty much everyone out there owns a pair of denim jeans because they go with everything (remember that thing I said about blue clothes), last a long long time, and are comfortable. However, the one difficult thing about buying jeans is getting the fit right, and if you're going to invest in a product that you plan to use hundreds of days every year, it might as well be something you're happy to wear.
There's a substantial learning curve with women's denim, and it may be funny for a guy to be recommending denim for women. When reading today's roundup, look at it from the perspective of jeans being an investment piece; there definitely is a direct cost:value correlation with denim.
1. Imogene + Willie Imogene Slim
Imogene + Willie make honest products and have got a good thing going on in Nashville. They use Cone Mills Denim (out of Greensboro, North Carolina) and have several different fits and rinses to their jeans. Their Imogene Slim is a mid-rise cut with a slim leg, and is 92% cotton, 6% polyester, 2% spandex. They also give sound advice: wear often, wash not so often.
2. AG Adriano Goldschmied The Stilt
For the greatest variety of cuts, washes, and fabrics in a USA-made jean, head over to AG. If you're looking for a nearly 100% cotton jean, their The Stilt cut has a 98% cotton, 2% polyurethane version that will feel more like a jean than a pant if that's something that you prefer to have in your denim.
3. Naked & Famous The Straight Ultra Soft Stretch
Naked & Famous have a lot of fun with their denim design and fabric (i.e., that time they produced glow-in-the-dark denim, or raspberry scratch-n-sniff denim, or thermochromic denim) and take the opportunity to make something new and exciting that no one else is making very seriously. Their women's denim line is relatively new, but conforms to those standards – their The Straight jean is a medium rise and slim through the leg, and is 60% cotton, 38% polyester, and 2% stretch fabric, meaning that it's going to be super soft and comfortable to wear all the time.
4. Pure Blue Japan Ladies 1069BL Slim Fit Jeans Indigo Blue
Pure Blue Japan has a reputation for making wonderfully slubby denim jeans, which have a furry, almost rough texture due to irregularities in the yarn. It's something I really like in a denim, and Pure Blue Japan is well known for it. They're the only Japanese denim jeans on this list, and that's enough of a distinction to take note, as Japanese denim is the highest quality fabric you can get. These slim stretch jeans are a one-wash jean, which means they have been pretreated to prevent shrinkage with a single wash during manufacturing, as opposed to raw denim that is unwashed and distressed denim that has been intentionally faded and aged across many washes.
5. Bluer Denim Slim Skinny High Rise
It's nice that the most affordable denim jeans on this list are also American made. Bluer Denim is relatively new, but they're gaining traction in the denim world for making a quality product that has wide appeal. They offer a home try-on option (although currently it's not available in most of their cuts, unfortunately; probably due to the popularity of it) that is a nice perk when you want to buy a new pair of jeans but don't want to feel pressured to make a hasty decision in a store.