Does anyone else feel personally victimized by rigid jeans? After consistently reaching for more comfortable bottoms like relaxed trousers, leggings, and ribbed pants in lieu of jeans for more weeks than I care to admit, the thought of putting on a pair of heavy, rigid denim sends shivers down my spine. Will I be able to go a full day without wanting to tear them off? Will my jeans even fit like they used to? These are the anxieties circulating in my mind as I look over at my well-curated denim stack, which has sat idly in my closet recently.
Nonetheless, I don't think I could live without jeans, and although it will take me a bit to get used to wearing 100% cotton denim again, I think I've found the pairs to help ease me back into wearing jeans more frequently again. I've finally found the time to sort through my denim pile and figure out which ones aren't serving me currently and which ones I'll be wearing all 2023. Relaxed styles like barrel jeans and wide-leg options are the most appealing right now, as are any jeans with a significant amount of stretch in them.
Since I'm confident that I'm not alone in this search for comfortable yet stylish jeans to help bridge the gap back, I went ahead and shared my current favorites as well as the most comfortable pairs online with the best reviews. If you relate, keep scrolling to see and shop them all.
Shop the 5 Pairs I Love and the 5 I'm Letting Go Of:
Parting With: Mother Denim High-Rise Skinny Jeans
Holding On To: We the Free Lucky You Mid-Rise Barrel Jeans
At first, I thought the barrel-style denim trend wasn't my cup of tea, but now, they've ended up being my favorite. This pair from Free People not only encapsulates the on-trend silhouette perfectly, but they are also incredibly soft. They sit comfortably at the waist and loosely balloon at the leg, making them my most-worn jeans in the past few months. A keeper, for sure!
Holding On To: Khaite Rapton Denim Jeans
If you told me I spent over $150 on jeans a year ago, I would've laughed in your face. But after spending a little too much on multiple "cheaper" jeans and being dismayed, I decided to give the highly rated Khaite jeans a try. Usually, baggy jeans tend to be baggy only on my waist but tight at my thighs, and these jeans were perfectly loose all around.
Parting With: Zara High-Waisted Slim Fit Jeans
Holding On To: Zara High Rise Z195 Relaxed Fit Jean
On the affordable end of things, Zara has usually not let me down. I love that this pair is a happy medium between skinny jeans (which are just too uncomfortable on me now) and extra-baggy pairs. Zara's denim is also softer than traditional brands, which is a plus for those looking for comfier denim.
Parting With: Agolde '90s Pinch Waist Straight-Leg Jeans
Holding On To: Agolde '90s Crop Low-Rise Straight-Leg Organic Jeans
I know most people are big fans of Agolde's 90s Pinch Waist style, but I've always found the waist on that pair to be a little too stiff for my liking. I much prefer the low-waist and relaxed feel of the other 90s option I've shopped out above. Plus, the white pair is just perfect for the summertime.
Parting With: Levi's Wedgie Icon Fit Jeans
Holding On To: Levi's XL Flood Jeans
I love Levi's, but I'm sorry—the Wedgie jeans are another style I just can't seem to stick with as I prioritize comfort in my wardrobe. After seeing the Levi's XL Flood Jeans on TikTok, I immediately knew that these were my jam. I've taken them to the tailor to get them hemmed a bit, but other than that, they're everything I've been looking for in dramatic wide-leg and "baggy" jeans. They still have structure at the waist, but it's balanced with the relaxed flow of the general silhouette.
Shop Top-Rated Jeans
"This is the third pair I've bought over the last few years, they're my favorite jeans! They're comfy but still flattering, have plenty of pocket space, and I especially like that they don't hug your legs in an odd way like a lot of loose-fit jeans tend to. Definitely recommend!" — H&M reviewer
"These jeans are extremely comfortable! Not to mention soft. To be completely honest, I ordered these one night online after taking my sleeping meds. I woke up and thought 'Well that was an expensive buy, guess I'll just try them on and see,' thinking I probably wouldn't like them enough to pay at such a high price point anyway. I bought these boots on Nordstrom a couple of months ago as well and I haven't been able to find the right pants to wear them with besides my Spanx leggings. These jeans are cut as if they are made for them! Yay! Double WIN. They are also the jeans that have an amazing wash, and the length you could wear flip flops, booties, sneakers, pretty much almost anything. I think I've found myself a new brand I'll be forever following." — Nordstrom reviewer
"First, I absolutely love this silhouette, polarizing as it is. I bought two, 24 and 25 in the darker wash, I already own the lighter more cropped pair in the 26. While I do like the lighter wash, the darker one is denim perfection. I hover between 26 and 27 in non-stretch women's denim. If you like a more fitting higher waist, I would definitely size down, The cut is quite roomy, and the 24, while snug, is still comfortable to wear all day. If you're even remotely considering getting these and are waiting for a sign, consider this review, that sign." — Shopbop reviewer
"If you’re ready to add a great pair of fitted but stylish baggy jeans to your wardrobe because you a wee bit over skinny jeans, then THIS IS IT! The perfect relaxed look that feels combined with equally perfect fit and style. I ordered these in my normal size 2 and size 0 as I wasn’t sure how relaxed they would actually be. As a result, I am keeping both for different looks. My regular size is perfect for a true all-over relaxed look while sizing down gives a more pulled-together relaxed look! You literally can't go wrong with your regular size or sizing down, but definitely do not size up!" — H&M reviewer