- Warp + Weft/Facebook/Business Insider
- We’ve tried more skinny jeans than we can count.
- After testing the best new skinny jeans, Warp + Weft got our vote for best overall with its vast size offerings, various inseam lengths, sub-$100 prices, and different skinny jean styles.
For many women, skinny jeans are a wardrobe staple. For one, they can be styled to look ultra-casual or night-out polished. Skinny jeans are generally comfortable, with a good amount of stretch woven into the denim. The slim-fit silhouette is flattering across a variety of body types. Plus, there are now a wide range of washes, rises, sizes, and lengths available from affordable denim brands – many of which are also dedicated to body inclusivity.
If you’re reading this article, I’m certain that you’ve owned plenty of skinny jeans before. You may already have a couple of favorite go-to pairs. Maybe you haven’t found a pair you absolutely love yet. But what I do know is that even the most avid skinny jean wearers tend to diversify their arsenal. After all, different jeans offer different things.
That’s why we tested several different skinny jeans to come up with this buying guide to the best skinny jeans offered by the buzziest direct-to-consumer denim brands and to decode the key features that may be most important to you when shopping for a pair of skinnies.
Here are the best women’s skinny jeans you can buy:
- Best skinny jeans overall: Warp + Weft
- Best skinny jeans with minimal stretch: Everlane
- Best skinny jeans for curvier bodies: Liverpool Jeans
- Best skinny jeans with a high-rise: Mott + Bow
- Best skinny jeans for plus sizes: Universal Standard
Updated on 10/23/2019 by Remi Rosmarin: Updated links, prices, and formatting.
The best skinny jeans overall
- Warp + Weft
With sizes ranging from 00 to 24, Warp + Weft skinny jeans offer a wide spectrum of trendy and classic styles for every kind of body type.
What impressed me most about Warp + Weft is how many great styles the brand offers across so many sizes, which made me think this is a brand dedicated to offering jeans to an inclusive customer base. There are a variety of both classic and trendy styles to choose from, which is important to note, especially since many skinny jeans tend to come in one particular look.
Warp + Weft sells coated jeans, distressed jeans, destroyed hems, and colorful denim for more adventurous wearers. For that reason, I gave the Petite MXP – with its stretch-blend fabric and exposed pull-ring fly zipper – a test run. The pants were slim-fit down to my ankles (though a little long in the inseam), sculpting every curve from my hips to my calves for a seamless look. The exposed fly detail is out of my ordinary aesthetic, but I was delighted to see how fashion-forward and understated it looked at the same time.
For a more classic affair, a representative of the brand told me that the JFK mid-rise skinny is the “hometown favorite” because it comes in the widest variety of fabrics and colors, and can be scored for less than $100.
This denim is super soft, with a touch of stretch and lift, allowing it to hug your curves without squeezing or digging into your body. A common characteristic of stretch denim is that, yes, it’s designed to stretch over time. So if you’re interested in a style from Warp + Weft, it is recommended that you order a whole size down to bypass this issue.
Pros: Fun and trendy details, wide variety of sizes
Cons: Petite inseams run too long, may loosen over time
The best jeans with minimal stretch
The ethically-made High-Rise Skinny Jeans from Everlane are made with a high-quality Japanese fabric that’s 98% cotton and 2% elastane.
Everlane has two skinny jean fits available for women – a high-rise and mid-rise, with different washes and lengths (ankle and regular) available for each.
Since I’m a petite woman at 5’3, I opted for an ankle-length style, which fit my frame perfectly without hemming or cuffing (those who are shorter may need additional alteration). What I like most about this Everlane pair is how structured it is compared to the other brands in this shopping guide. The company used cotton with a mere 2% elastane for a touch of stretch.
In other words, this style is less likely to stretch out or get baggy over time. Some shrinkage did occur after giving the pair a wash, but after a day or two of squeezing back into them, the jeans eventually gave way back to the original size.
As with all Everlane products, these jeans are produced under ethical and environmentally-conscious processes. And at $68 a pair, the price isn’t too shabby either. I highly recommend Everlane denim if you’re a woman who prefers her jeans to hold her in at the waist, but don’t expect these pants to do any favors during a large dinner.
Pros: Two lengths available, transparent ethos
Cons: Sizes max at 32 in European sizing (roughly 13/14 in US sizing)
The best skinny jeans for curvier bodies
Liverpool Jeans “cross fits” its styles across multiple body types, which means these skinny jeans are designed to flatter curvier silhouettes.
While I myself have a relatively straight body shape (there isn’t much of a difference from my waist to hips), Liverpool is known to make a great pair of jeans for other varying body types. Liverpool employs a “cross fit” innovation process, which has the brand reworking jean styles until it accommodates most everyone, including wider hips and muscular thighs and calves.
Even though a handful of women may all be the same pant size, Liverpool ensures that its jeans will also fit and flatter across the board. Liverpool told me the cross fit begins with a professional size four fit model, followed by a personal test run by co-founder Jill Perilman who makes sure all points of measure grade are also consistent in a size six.
From there, a whole array of samples are cut from sizes zero to 12 and tested across many women staffers at Liverpool for diversity. Feedback is collected, samples are revised, and fit/construction issues are addressed before a style goes into production. As you can tell, Liverpool takes this process very seriously.
The most popular style, the Abby Skinny, is a classic mid-rise that is offered in 16 different washes and up to a size 16. The denim is super-soft with a generous amount of stretch without feeling like the style is going to bag out.
I would compare the fit similar to the way compression workout leggings feel – form-fitting around the legs with plenty of give for those aforementioned curves. As a petite woman, I found myself having to cuff the hems a few inches, but overall, Liverpool has made a great pair of affordable everyday jeans that can easily translate from day to night.
Pros: Designed to flatter multitude body types, many washes and sizes available
Cons: Not available as a high-rise, style runs a bit long for petites
The best skinny jeans with a high-rise
- Mott + Bow
Mott & Bow’s High Rise Skinny Jeans hold in the waist for a stylish and secure fit with super soft denim, rich color options, and a 10-inch high-rise.
Whether you prefer a mid-rise or a high-rise jean is solely dependent on your preference, but I admit to being partial to high-rise styles myself – especially when it comes to stretch denim – because I find high-rise jeans are at better retaining their slim-fit shape with less need to “pull them back up.”
Mott & Bow’s high-rise pants pass with flying colors if you’re looking for a stylish pair that will wear securely at the high waist around your belly button area.
The Jane is a gorgeous deep indigo denim that is constructed from a blend of cotton, tencel, polyester, and only a 1% touch of elastane. The softness and shape retention primarily comes from the 42% tencel, which is important to note if you’re wary of so-called “stretchy denim”- these particular jeans promise to upkeep its skinny shape.
These Mott & Bow jeans, in fact, fit over my legs like second skin, all the way down to the 9-inch leg opening, creating a seamless and attractive silhouette. While these jeans felt a bit tighter and more compressed than the other jeans that I’ve tried for this guide, the stretch was just enough to feel like the jeans held me in and still proved to be comfortable for all-day and all-night wear. And even after a wash, the richness of the indigo held on strong.
A rep from the company let me know that other top sellers of Mott & Bow include the Bond (a super-flattering black jean), the Carmine (a comfortable jean in a beautiful true blue wash), and the Orchard in dark gray (for those interested in non-blue or non-black denim).
Unsurprisingly, all of the brand’s most popular styles are high-rise, as well. It seems as though Mott & Bow have hit this particular shape out of the ballpark. But, if you’re still on the fence, take advantage of Mott & Bow’s “Free Home Try-On Program,” where you can order a pair of jeans and include a second pair of a different waist for free, to determine which one works better. Simply use the pre-paid label to return the pair you don’t want for a beyond-convenient way to test out the jeans before committing to them.
Pros: Great high rise, perfect fit, try before you buy, many washes
Cons: Compressed feel
Best skinny jean for plus size
- Universal Standard
The Seine skinny jeans from Universal Standard are an affordable, versatile, and stylish wardrobe staple for women who wear sizes 10 through 28.
While plus-sized women have traditionally been shut out of the fashion industry conversation, there are now more burgeoning brands offering stylish pieces for the 67% of all American women who wear a size 14 or higher. One example leading the way is Universal Standard, a brand that makes quality basics at reasonable price points.
When it comes to skinnies, the brand’s under-$100 Slim Cut Seine Jeans are a particular fan favorite. For this pair, I turned to a plus-size acquaintance to test out and give an honest review of how these fit.
The fabric is great – not too stretchy, not too thick – and the fit is true to size and sits at the high waist. There are several wash and color options including solid black, olive green, distressed blue, indigo blue, and distressed black if you’re looking for variety. One notable upside to the jeans is that they are offered in two lengths – 27 and 32 inch inseams – so if you’re on the taller side, there is a longer option so you won’t inadvertently have to resort to a cropped style.
When it comes to stretch, Universal Standard offers two options: The original Seine is comfortably stretchy, while the Slim Cut Seine is less stretchy and more structured.
The one complaint about the jeans is that the back pockets are placed rather wide apart. They do not feel proportional to the booty (this may be more noticeable on the larger sizes, as this seemed to be the case of the size 24 pant). But overall, you can count on Universal Standard to make a solid pair of everyday skinny pants.
It should be noted that women who need larger sizes also have terrifically trendy and affordable options at brands like Eloquii (which is expanding its range to sizes 32 by fall) and Torrid (which is known as a more budget-friendly brand, with many jeans offered for as little as $20-40).
Pros: Longer inseam lengths and stretch options available, sizes up to 28 waist
Cons: Back pocket placements may be unflattering to some