7 Perfect Pairs of Under-$50 Jeans

Tezza Barton style

From the East Village in NYC, Tezza Barton tells me her fall uniform consists of a solid lineup of Canadian tuxedos and "suede boots, baby"—and I believe her. With her easy style, a particular affinity for denim (and more than half a million followers hanging on her every Instagrammed outfit), there's no one south of Union Square I'd rather talk to about what's up with jeans right now.

Tezza Barton jeans

Between her emphatic testimonials of both Morgenstern's ice cream and Kate Hudson's all-American boho rock 'n' roll styling in Almost Famous, Barton confirms what I've spent the past few months telling anyone who'll listen: "This season's denim is everywhere! I've seen denim shoes, denim hats, denim bags…"

It's a nice reminder that, as she puts it, "There are no rules!"—particularly for fall. While seasons past have pledged their allegiance to one key jean style, the tail end of 2018 is (much like Barton) finding a moment for all the best versions of all the denim. Skinny jeans, girlfriend jeans, '90s jeans, high-waisted jeans, straight-leg jeans, destroyed jeans, raw-hem jeans, cropped jeans, faded jeans, black jeans, white jeans… It's all here, and H&M's latest serving of denim proves that cool jeans don't have to cost your entire paycheck.

We made a shortlist of our favorite pairs of jeans you can buy right now (including Barton's—in fact, you can shop her entire look below).


Fall's perfect jeans, as worn here by Barton. FYI, wearing her fave high-waisted, gently destroyed jeans "Tezza style" would usually mean pairing them with an oversize jean jacket (any color will do). You can also shop the makings of her casual-Friday meetings-to-drinks look below.

If, like Barton, you're a big fan of letting your shoes "have a moment"—or you're a chic New York PR-girl type who has to wear head-to-toe black to events and also must be low-key cool—these jeans are 100% for you.

Speaking of juxtaposing destroyed denim and polished pieces, these guys really want to be worn with a stolen men's button-down and, I'm thinking… some fancy slides, maybe? Discuss.

Oh, and speaking of stealing things from the men's section (personally a big believer in ignoring such labels), please wear these perfect high-waisted jeans with this beyond-perfect guys' Hawaiian shirt. Or this one. Or this one. (Think skinny, oversize, and with a French tuck—you get it.)

White jeans—still a thing for fall. Still not something I should ever be trusted to spend more than $10 on. (Sidenote: Why do takeout coffee cup lids never click on properly when you do it yourself?)

I don't know what to say about these jeans other than BEST $30 YOU'LL EVER SPEND. Barton votes for adding combat boots, a black-and-silver belt, and a black beret for a look she affectionately dubs "city girl with a French twist."

I'm all about original vintage denim, but seriously: Just 1% of modern stretch makes one hell of a difference on a pair of jeans (and my general disposition while wearing them). Barton recommends the sit-down test.


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