They may not be the most exciting thing in a closet, but a good pair of black skinny jeans is a wardrobe essential that I can't imagine life without. This was made much more apparent to me recently when I got rid of my trusted pair of black skinnies that I'd worn for years and were definitely past their prime. Only once this key piece was missing from my closet did I realize just how important it was that I invest in a new pair. (You really don't know a good thing until it's gone, amirite?) I have L.A. style, after all, so I wear denim pretty much every day, and a black, skinny option was very noticeably absent after only a few weeks.
So I set out on the most daunting quest of them all: denim shopping. Nothing gives me a headache quite like the glare of fluorescent dressing-room lighting, but I wanted to make sure I weighed all my options before deciding on a new pair. Since virtually every brand under the sun makes a basic black skinny, I had many options to choose from. To save all of you the same headache (and unflattering lighting), I'm here to share my tips on how to find the best black skinny jeans. I tried on a total of 19 pairs between in-store and online orders, but there were only seven true winners that I would feel 100% confident replacing my old pair with. The brands I didn't like shall remain nameless, but the ones I did are going to get a huge shout-out momentarily. Below, my seven holy-grail pairs and why I feel so strongly about them. Plus, some poorly lit fitting-room selfies for your entertainment.
For those who prefer a bit more stretch in their skinny jeans, Paige's Hoxton in Black Shadow is ideal. It's super-stretch denim without being too thin or jegging-adjacent, so you'll still feel like you're wearing pants—but the most comfortable pants you've ever worn.
CITIZENS OF HUMANITY
If you like an ultra-high rise, these are the skinny jeans for you. Full disclosure, I strictly wear high-rise jeans, and I have an abnormally long torso, so a normal high rise typically doesn't even come close to my belly button. But this miracle pair features quite the rise that hits well above my belly button, and for that, I am forever grateful. Plus I like that these are more of a washed black so they look like you've had them for years.
Re/Done has yet to create a pair of jeans I don't love, and its black skinnies are no different. They're made of 97% cotton and 3% elastane, so these are ideal for those who hate super-stretchy denim. Also please note the raw hem at the ankle.
Shop More of Our Favorite Black Skinny Jeans