The hunt for the perfect pair of jeans is a long and ongoing one, and the countless sweaty fitting room trips with a giant stack of jeans are something that, as women, will always be burned into our brains. Given the amount of times we’ve put on a pair of jeans only to be disappointed in the fit, it feels like a miracle when we find a pair that is absolutely perfect.
For three of our editors, denim bliss was found in a single pair of jeans: The Levi’s Ribcage Straight. We love them for their ultra-high (12″) rise, their waist-defining button fly, the multitude of washes, and most importantly, a straight leg that is actually straight on all body types. Described by Levi’s as a revival of a ’90s-era pair of classic 501s, these jeans make us feel like the effortlessly chic and cool girls that we really are.
They are available in straight sizes 23-32 (with 27 and 29-inch length options), as well as in plus sizes 14-24. And as a bonus, most pairs are made sustainably. The mid-range price point is perfect for any one who wants to upgrade a little bit from their Target denim, but still not spend a fortune—and Levi’s are known to last forever.
Keep reading to find out exactly why three of our editors want to get rid of all our other jeans:
I know this is weird (especially considering the year we just had), but I seriously love jeans. I have far too many pairs, and I am constantly trying out new brands and styles. I’ve had different phases of being obsessed with one particular style—some of my past faves include the Old Navy Power Straight and the Madewell Classic Straight—but I still always felt like none of them were *exactly* right for my body type.
I normally wear a size 10 or 12, but, as all women know, that can vary a lot from store to store. The #1 issue I have when it comes to jeans is a very tight fit through the hips and thighs, but then a gap at the back of the waist. If you have any curves, you can probably relate to this. I also felt like no matter what “straight” style I tried, they never had the wider-leg look that I was going for, and instead leaned more toward a skinny fit.
Enter: the Levi’s Ribcage Straight. I had been wanting to try Levi’s jeans for a long time, but I never knew which style I wanted, and I had a feeling that the influencer-fave 501s just would not do me any justice. A little bit of researching and a 50 percent off Black Friday sale later, I purchased two styles: the Ribcage Straight and the Wedgie Fit.
Levi’s are often known for running small—and the famous rigid denim does not offer much stretch—so I wasn’t sure if I should order a size 30 or 31. But after reading some reviews, I went with a 31 (equivalent to a 12), and they fit perfectly.
The second I put on the Ribcage pair, I started strutting around as if I was Kendall Jenner. I have never felt so confident in jeans. They fit absolutely perfectly through the waist, hips, legs, and thighs, which has seriously never happened to me before.
I love the wider leg so much because it not only elongates my legs (and as someone who is 5’3″ on a good day, I don’t say this often), but it also gives off some major cool girl energy. They are perfect for wearing with sneakers or boots, and truly look good with every single outfit. And just to emphasize it again: they are THE most flattering pair of jeans I’ve ever put on. There is something about the button fly that has a magic way of sucking everything in and giving you a snatched waist.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, I returned the Wedgie Fit pair in exchange for another pair of Ribcage Straight—and I’m not gonna lie, I want about 15 more.
Shop similar (Jess and Maddie’s wash is currently out of stock):
If you’ve ever read one article I’ve ever mentioned jeans in, you know what I’m about to say: my body is not proportionate throughout, which makes it hard to find jeans that really truly, fit me well—especially straight ones. I have muscular thighs that probably need a full size bigger than what my waist does, which means jeans that are supposed to be straight end up looking skinny unless I want them to be giant on my waist (which sometimes I don’t mind because I generally wear a belt anyway). A small deal in the grand scheme of life, but one that’s always prevented me from feeling like I found the jeans.
I had heard of the Levi’s Ribcage Straight before, but figured it would be the same, old story for me. But when the beloved Nordstrom Sale rolled around last fall and I saw they were on sale, I figure it was my chance to try them out and see what the hype was about for myself.
First thing’s first: I had to size up in these. I literally couldn’t get my usual 27s even above my butt. I ended up going with a 28, but was debating between those and a 29 (which also fit) because they’re so rigid. After a day of wearing the 28, they formed to my body a bit and ended up fitting perfectly, but I would size up at least one size.
Once I figured out my size, I couldn’t believe how much I immediately loved them. As the name suggests, these are very high-waisted, which I personally love, especially with the button fly. I found that they hit me at a super flattering part of my waist and immediately loved the height.
I would describe these jeans as a perfect hybrid between a straight and wide-leg jean. I found them to be an inch or so wider than any other straight jeans I have, which was all of my jeans prayers answered, because they actually look straight on someone that isn’t a size 00. They’re also cropped to a perfect height (not too short or long on my 5’5″ frame), which is generally what I look for in jeans.
Of all of my jeans, I reach for these the most. I’ve never found another pair quite like this, and if you’re in the same boat as me searching for a pair that will really look straight on you, this is them. I’d buy these 100x over and will definitely end up order other washes too.
Shop similar (Jess and Maddie’s wash is currently out of stock):
When Maddie shared that she loved these jeans last summer, I wanted them more than anything. I have an extremely long torso (the 11 in’ Madewell high-rise is still like… too low for me) and short legs, and I really struggle to find jeans that come up high enough. But of course, they weren’t available in plus-sizes just then. Once they finally released a plus-size pair, I snagged them on a sale and immediately threw every other pair of jeans to the back of my closet.
The first thing I noticed when I pulled these out of the package was that the wash is… in a word… impeccable. They’re the ideal vintage dark-wash jean I have been craving. My mom said they reminded her of my dad’s jeans, which I’ve been secretly trying on and stealing for the last six months, so that meant success for me.
However, in true vintage jeans and Levi’s fashion, there is no stretch. So, the sizing is key. I constantly see people say that Levi’s runs really small (as Maddie said above), but the plus-sizes, for whatever strange reason, have always been true-to-size for me. I ordered my typical size (a 16–I’m currently wearing a 33 in Madewell and Gap and am true to a 16 basically everywhere) and waited nervously for days thinking they’d be too tight because I didn’t size up (I even considered panic-ordering the bigger size to be safe). When I got them, I laughed pulling them up my thighs and butt because I couldn’t imagine how they’d ever zip. And well, they were magic! They hug my waist perfectly, lift my butt, hold in my thighs, and don’t give me a gap in the back. Plus, I can sit in them without feeling like I’ll suffocate and die a painful death, so they’re WFH-approved too.
These are the perfect jeans for my body because they really cinch in at the waist without getting too baggy around the hips or butt. I have a traditional hourglass shape, but the difference in my hip and waist measurement isn’t super drastic, so I often find that regular jeans aren’t wide enough, and jeans labeled “curvy” are too big in the hips and thighs. As Maddie explained, these are definitely in-between a straight leg and a wide-leg, and on me, they kind of flare a bit. I often experience this with straight-leg jeans (my calves and ankles aren’t proportional to my thighs, causing jeans to flare out instead of go straight down), but I actually really enjoy the style on these. It’s very cool-might-be-dating-Cara-Delevigne-listens-to-Phoebe-Bridgers-girl, and I’m into it.
Beth’s exact pair: