Our Editors Did a Massive Jean Try On—Here Are The Pairs We Recommend

As soon as Beth and Maddie (we are writing this in third person — hello!) decided to make this a series, they knew jeans had to come sooner rather than later. We wear jeans four or five days of the workweek, and there’s nothing like finding a new perfect pair of jeans. However, jeans are very personal, and the options dwindle significantly when you’re above a size 12. Living in Chicago (the third biggest city in the US — holla!), we figured we’d have tons of options all over the city for both of us to wear. That didn’t go exactly as planned…

So, BEHOLD: our third installment of this try-on series. KEEP READING, FANS AND FOES (I hope we have no foes.) (But that would be kinda cool, right?).

 

 

Maddie: We’re back, this time with a full-on jean try-on. I need to lead with the fact that this day was 90 degrees and trying on multiple pairs of jeans was equivalent to burning in the fiery pits of hell, but we did it for the good of the people.

Beth: AYYY. Welcome back! (I’ve always wanted to start my podcast like this, and I’d say this is the next best thing.) Nice to see you again.

Maddie: If you’ve read our previous try-ons before, skip this paragraph. If you’re new here, this is the 411 about my sizing: my thighs are proportionally bigger than my waist, so some jeans can be a bit of a struggle. In straight-leg jeans, I could use the new “curvy” options some brands are offering for my thighs, but can’t because I don’t need the extra room in my waist. Because of this, I generally wear a size 4 and size up in straight-leg jeans. I’m also 5’5″.

Beth: I am ALSO 5’5″. I typically wear between a 16 and an 18, but I think I only grabbed 18s this go-around!

 

black jeans 

Maddie: There’s nothing like finding a good, solid black skinny jean, and you really can’t go wrong with Levi’s. They have some give but don’t stretch throughout the day, and for my height are the perfect length. The fit of these was perfect on me and were a great go-to option.

Beth: I didn’t grab any black skinny jeans because I already own the best ones money can buy! Pictured here (yes, I did link my Instagram again, I can’t be stopped) at the Jonas Brothers concert (I LOVE THE JONAS BROTHERS I’LL SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS), these Good American jeans were a standout purchase for me from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this year. I wear them at least three days a week, and they never stretch out. Like never. I could honestly wear these for about a month without washing them, and they would still fit the same way as the first time I put them on. I won’t test that theory because, well, hygiene, but I’ll say they’re the perfect jeans for the lazy girl like moi. 

 

skinny jeans

Maddie: I put on these babies and literally gasped out loud at how comfortable they are. They were stretchy and have a waist that’s meant to hug you in. If you’re looking for comfort, these are it — they could not get more comfortable than this, but are still super flattering. They definitely run big, so order one size down. 

madewell jeans

Beth: Ever since our Madewell try-on, I’ve had quite the affinity for their jeans. They really fit my body well, and compared to my Good American jeans, the price is pretty typical. (There was a time I thought $40 American Eagle jeans were expensive, and now I’m like, “$128 is a steal!” I hate the person I’ve become.) I had to try on another pair, and I immediately went for this classic denim look. I really loved these, but I couldn’t justify the price quite yet. 

 

straight leg jeans

Beth: Finding a good straight leg jean has been difficult for me, and because I know I’m obsessed with Good American, I wanted to try one of their non-skinny styles for a spin. As much as I hate to admit, I LOVED THESE. I wish I could stop loving Good American so much because they continuously hurt me because my bank account just can’t take it. These had a lot of stretch though — almost too much stretch. I find that my Good Americans don’t stretch out a lot after a long day though, so I have hope that these are good. 

 

Good American Jeans

Maddie: This was my first time ever trying Good American jeans, so I was super excited to see what the hype was about — and I got it. This might literally be the most flattering pair of jeans I’ve ever put on my body. They were comfortable, the perfect length for me, and had a bit of give but didn’t seem like they’d stretch throughout the day. If you’re looking to splurge on jeans, Good American is your answer, hands-down.

 

Good American Jeans

Beth: I tried these same jeans on, and oh, baby, they were glorious. If I hadn’t spent all my money last week on going to the Jonas Brothers concert (LIFE. CHANGING.), I would have splurged on these.

Maddie: Here is proof of how stretchy and glorious Good American jeans are with a picture of Beth doing a high kick in them:

 

Beth: This is all the proof you need to buy these. Look at how high my legs get up in these. Simone Biles, watch out.

 

 

Maddie: Full disclosure: I’ve tried on Reformation jeans before, and wanted to try these for the laugh. These jeans are made for people much taller than a gal of average height like myself. All of their jeans are literally INCHES too long on me. If you’re tall, these would be great for you. If you’re not, they’ll look like this. Pictured: A flabbergasted Beth in the background.

Beth: People always ask us for clothing picks for tall girls, so at least we found that!

 

wit & wisdom

Beth: I had REALLY high hopes for these jeans from Wit & Wisdom. I’ve seen them in Nordstrom so many times, and the concept of stretch denim that shapes your body sounds like a dream. Yeah, I was very underwhelmed by these. The fabric was so cheap-feeling compared to all the others that we tried on. The denim was really thin and left very little to imagination if you get what I’m sayin’. At the price point of these, there are definitely other denim options out there that are much better.

 

Beth: I went through a phase where I wore these Levi’s Wedgie Skinny jeans like every day for a few months. They fit me like a glove and were the perfect straight-leg jean for me. Then, on Maddie’s birthday nonetheless, I ripped the inside beyond repair. I’ve been looking to replace them, so I decided to trek to the Levi’s store on the Mag Mile in Chicago. It’s the Levi’s store; they’re bound to sell plus-sizes in the store, right?

WRONG. 

Let me rant for a quick sec. I wandered the store for a solid two minutes before asking an associate if they sold plus-sizes in store. She said no, but they could order a pair for me! Order them? ORDER THEM? Excuse me???? No, I don’t want to order them without trying them on. Levi’s, give me a break. You have to know by now that the sizing of your jeans is wack, so why not sell plus-sizes in your own store? I got my original pair of Levi’s from Macy’s, so I guess that’s where I’ll be shopping from now on. Ugh. Needless to say, we left! 

Maddie: Now on to Old Navy! This was extra exciting because everyone in the office raves about Old Navy jeans, but I’ve never tried a single pair on. They’re all super affordable, so I tried ‘em all.

Beth: I LOVE OLD NAVY SO MUCH. I’d say about 70 percent of my closet is Old Navy at this point. The jeans don’t last nearly as long as some other expensive options, but they’re 1/16th of the price, so it’s all fine and dandy in my book. I love looking to Old Navy for trendy jeans for this reason! 

 

straight-leg jeans

Maddie: Old Navy came out of the gate at a 10/10 for me, because these are straight-legged jeans that ACTUALLY look straight on me! I went up a size and they fit like a glove. I have truly never found a pair of jeans that fits like this, and I couldn’t have gotten to the cash register faster. I’m going to be wearing these all the time.

Beth: I didn’t have much luck this go-round though. The first pair I tried on were very meh. They didn’t have as high of a rise as I like (for reference, I think the 10” Madewell rise is perfect for me), and some of them in my normal size barely came up my legs. I’ve never tried the specific plus-size denim from Old Navy, but I know that the size 16 and 18 (and 20) do not fit my body well.

 

skinny jeans

 

Maddie: If you’re looking for an affordable pair of skinny jeans, look no further. These babies rivaled my $100 jeans, fit just as well, and are just as comfortable. I have literally nothing bad to say about these, plus they run at about $30. I understand the Old Navy hype, and I am on the bandwagon.

 

skinny jeans

Beth: These are the Rockstar skinny jeans, and they were just not it for me. They had serious potential, but they didn’t work for me. Onto the next one.

 

skinny jeans

Maddie: These are the same as above in a different color, and I’d say they look just as good as the Levi’s I raved about earlier, and felt a little more like a jegging, but overall were very similar.

 

wide-leg jeans

Beth: I’m really into the flare/bootcut jeans right now (I know, I can’t believe it either), but I don’t want to buy into the trend just yet until I know it’s here to stay. I figured Old Navy would be the perfect place to grab some! These jeans luckily fit, but they were way too long on me. I thought about picking these up and getting them tailored! I also tried on two pairs of jeans that didn’t fit at all! Love that!

 

boyfriend jeans

Maddie: For being labeled as a “boyfriend” jean, they definitely weren’t super boyfriend-like. I sized up for these, so to fit as loosely as I like my boyfriend jeans, I probably would have to go up two sizes.

Not pictured: an adorable pair of corduroy jeans that were in my regular size that I couldn’t get past my knees.

 

The Conclusion

Maddie: Overall, I learned a lot during this experience. I learned that I can love how a $30 jean looks on me as much as I love a $200 option — and that jean sizing couldn’t be more of a pain. In skinny jeans I was always a 4, but when I varied to straight-leg or boyfriend options, I ranged up to an 8, which is pretty insane. I was reminded why I don’t ever order jeans online, and won’t anytime in the near future.

A side note: my personal favorite jeans are all from Abercrombie. Their sizing is consistent, they have great washes, and they fit my frame perfectly. But we couldn’t go there for a try-on because they don’t have plus sizes at all, which was a loss for them. It’s a shame that any brand would discriminate against so many women’s body types, and I would have loved to see Beth and myself in some of my favorite options.

 

Beth: So, Maddie and I did this excursion a little while ago now, and I haven’t been able to get my thoughts together. I was so uninterested in writing this for a while because I’m just fatigued. If I’m being honest, I felt kind of embarrassed. The only jeans that worked for me are $180, and as much as I love the Good American jeans that I have, it’s not feasible to buy those in every wash and style. Not to go soft on everyone, but I’m truly feeling so fatigued with fashion right now because I’m sick of surfing the web for hours to find stuff that’s cute, trendy, and affordable but that also comes in plus sizes.

It’s cool and funny to be like OMG MADEWELL, OMG NIKE, GET UR SH*T TOGETHER, but I genuinely feel at a loss with style right now because I feel like I have minimal options to look cute compared to my straight-size friends. UGH, I’m just in my feelings about it all.

My key takeaway: Good American is amazing, and I’m taking any and all advice for plus-size denim that’s actually sold in stores! 🙂

We’re out, folks!

 

  • Maurice’s (not sure if they have one in CHI) caters to plus size and has a large plus size section in store. SUPER CUTE! I went to 6 stores before that had no plus size clothes for work. Very discouraging!

  • Katherine Peg

    Beth, your comment about feeling fatigued is SO heard right now.