Here's What the Fashion Industry Gets Wrong About Plus-Size Denim

Ask any woman what her wardrobe staples are, and more likely than not, jeans will top her list. Denim has seen its style star rise from rugged farm-wear to date-night material to even an occasional red carpet surprise. It’s ubiquitous on everyone from babies to octogenarians. But why then is it still so challenging to find the perfect pair of jeans for women who wear sizes 14 and above?

It’s not that plus-size jeans don’t exist—as the owner of more than 80 pairs, I can attest to that. The problem is it isn’t all good.

Sizing issues aside—I own anywhere from a size 16 to 20, due to brand sizing inconsistency—finding quality options that don’t get shredded by our affectionate thighs, sag after one wear because they’re packed with too much stretch, or properly fit our figure so we’re not forced to do the pants pull-up shuffle every few steps feels practically impossible at times.

But there is good news: More and more brands are expanding their denim ranges. This past month alone, Target just launched its first completely inclusive line called Universal Thread (sizes 00 to 26W), while Madewell began offering specific styles up to a size 20 (with plans for additional options later this year). And though it’s exciting to see brands waking up to the fact that approximately 67% of U.S. women wear a size 14 or above and account for over a $20 billion market that’s just waiting to be tapped, navigating the landscape can still be tricky.

This inspired us to turn to some of our on favorite experts—i.e. influencers (myself included) who know the market all too well—to give us the scoop on the best plus jeans, where to find them, and what they wish plus denim brands did differently. It seems no one's truly perfected denim just yet, but read on for proof that the industry is moving (even if slowly) in the right direction. Then shop our favorite styles.

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