Every woman knows the struggle of shopping for jeans and the mental prep it entails. First step, you have to face the reality of figuring out your size, a society-established numerical value, which, sadly, has probably gone up at least two sizes since the last time you went jean shopping in high school. (Throwback to my prepubescent self trying desperately to fit into a size 24 jeans at Abercrombie to match with my XXS Abercrombie graphic tee. Sigh.) Next, you have to try on approximately 897 pairs of jeans before finding the right pair that actually flatters your body. Lastly, once you’ve finally find the right pair, you have to start doing the mental math to determine whether you can even f*cking afford that pair that you just spent HOURS finding. Like, hmmm let’s see—how many less times do I have to not order Postmates this week to afford these? And can I find some decent jeans under $100 that don’t look like crap on me?
Well, I can’t fix all your denim shopping woes. But, I can help you find a flattering and stylish pair of jeans that will still allow you to maintain your financially irresponsible Postmates habit. No longer will you have to deal with justifying the price once you’ve just done all of that work finding the perfect pair of jeans. Shop these select styles of denim at places like Topshop, Zara, TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom Rack, to find quality jeans under $100 that look expensive.
1. Dark Wash Skinny
A dark wash skinny is the more office-appropriate version of the standard pair of jeans. It’s like, your already engaged “doesn’t drink for health reasons” cousin at the family party version of jeans. Like your cousin, they’re conservative, predictable, basic, and otherwise boring af (but at least you know they won’t be banned from Thanksgiving for getting drunk and dancing on tables). Their cleaner, more streamlined look makes them look more expensive because it doesn’t allow for any weird fading that would otherwise make them look cheap. Wear them with a blazer to the office (depending on how casual your “business casual” dress code actually is) or wear them on the weekends with a knit oversize sweater.
2. Distressed Boyfriends
If you can pull off a pair of distressed boyfriends, then you must be so chic and stylish that you wouldn’t even go near a pair of jeans that weren’t at least $200? Right??? For this reason exactly, distressed boyfriend jeans are so effortlessly stylish that they automatically look more expensive. Heck, wear your distressed boyfriends and people may even believe your knockoff Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag is actually real too!
3. Gray or Black
To put it simply, gray and black jeans look more expensive because they’re less basic. Think about it—like, when you’re at the bars, there’s tons of drunk betches everywhere in their medium-wash colored jeans. They’re also the same girls ordering countless vodka sodas and desperately fawning over guys. Basic. You, on the other hand, an intellectual in your stylish and flattering high-waisted gray jeans naturally stand out and don’t need to beg for guys’ attention. You’re also ordering a vodka soda, but like, not with the house vodka at least #notbasic. So yes, you’re better than them, congrats.
Denim details can instantly make even jeans under $100 look more expensive. More details mean more work, and more work means higher production costs, and the more money they cost to make, then the more they probably cost you to buy. Trust me, it’s a stream of subconscious presumptions people will make. But like, you got them all fooled because there are tons of great styles that aren’t super pricey, but still look it.
Flare jeans are back, and honestly, I’m not mad about it. Paired with a heel, they make your legs look long, your outfit elevated, and, with all that going on for you, why wouldn’t people just assume that your jeans have cost you your whole month’s rent? As with the gray jeans, flare jeans are less basic and therefore, the more rare something is, the more perceived value it has. So like, flare jeans for the f*cking win.
If you prefer to keep spending $200 plus on your jeans, then by all means go ahead. Or, if you’d rather keep buying tacky Charlotte Russe ones, then by all means, you do you. But, if you want to actually be able to afford dinner for the rest of the week and still look good, then try one of the five aforementioned denim styles. You’ll be happy you did.
Images: @petebellis / Unsplash; Zara (3); TopShop; Free People; Nordstrom Rack
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If there’s one thing that literally every single person in the world should own, it’s a good denim jacket. For the first time in my life, I’m not even exaggerating. Everyone looks good in a denim jacket, and when you’re trying to find a last-minute outerwear option for an outfit that seems otherwise doomed, denim always saves the fucking day. But like, don’t get carried away. You can’t just throw on any denim jacket and expect to instantly turn into an off-duty 90s model. There are some seriously atrocious denim jackets in this world, so here are a few that don’t suck.
1. Gap 1969 Icon Denim Jacket
Gap basically invented the denim jacket. Don’t quote me on that, because it’s probably not true, but you get where I’m going with this. You wore Gap denim jackets growing up. Your mom had Gap denim jackets. The cast of Friends probably had tons of Gap denim jackets. They’re a classic staple.
2. Aritzia Wilfred Free Colpa Jacket
Last year Aritzia had a longline denim jacket that I didn’t buy, and to this day I still regret it almost as much as I regret the time I decided to get side bangs after a few hours of day drinking during my freshman year of college. Anyway, this thing is basically a giant denim robe, so you can hide any kind of lazy betch outfit underneath it when you need to make a last-minute dash into public.
3. Topshop MOTO Longline Denim Jacket
If a denim robe isn’t really your style but you still want to dabble in longline denim, go for this jacket from Topshop. It’s a classic denim jacket that’s long enough to cover your butt while you’re wearing leggings, if you still care about that kind of thing. (Side note: It’s 2017, I’m pretty sure you can show as much butt as you want these days, so maybe you don’t need to stress about that anymore.)
4. Shop Betches x Unemployed Denim Custom Vintage Denim Jacket
Realistically, every denim jacket looks basically the same (unless it’s a gross cheap one from Forever 21 with a pizza patch sewn on the sleeve), so if you want one that nobody else has, you’re gonna have to go custom. Shop Betches teamed up with Unemployed Denim to give you the opportunity to have your own genius idea embroidered across the back of a vintage denim jacket. And yeah, it’s actually vintage and not like “Urban Outfitters vintage inspired.” You’re welcs.
5. Madewell The Oversized Jean Jacket In Capstone Wash
Madewell created this design to mimic the oversized relaxed fit of a perfectly worn-in jacket. It’s basically a men’s jacket but designed specifically for women. At least if we’re not going to be paid as much as guys, we can be excited about having denim jacket equality, right?
6. Levi’s Original Sherpa Trucker Jacket
If you can look past the fact that this is called the “Trucker Jacket,” this Levi’s coat is actually super cute. It’s another really timeless design, and the sherpa liner kinda makes it feel like you never really had to roll out of bed this morning.
Apparently low-rise jeans are making a comeback, which is the least surprising news ever if you really think about it. Every couple of years, the jean style you swore you’d never wear again sneaks back into your closet, kind of like when you hang out with your ex but you’re definitely not together again. We all promised to ditch low-rise jeans and their horrible short zippers when we discovered the slimming capabilities of super high rise denim, but obviously that trend wasn’t going to last forever. I’m not saying you should get rid of your high-waisted jeans, and I’m definitely not saying you should pull out your old boot cut True Religions with bedazzled butt pockets. I’m just trying to prepare you for a painless transition from one denim trend to the next. Here are a few pairs of low-rise jeans that won’t make you look like a Laguna Beach walk-on that never got a more detailed on-screen name credit than “Brody’s friend.”
1. The Legging Step Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans, AG Jeans
These AG jeans are basically as close to a denim legging as you can get without wearing literal Pajama Jeans. These may be low-rise, but they also have a step hem and a distressed wash, so they’re way more 2017 than 2007.
2. MOTO Winter Bleach Lucas Jeans, Topshop
These are kind of like mom jeans, but they’re low-rise, which helps prevent serious mom butt. They also have a slouchy fit but don’t have holes, so you can pull off a relaxed look without every old dude you see in a day asking how much you paid for jeans with holes in them.
3. Boyfriend Low Ripped Jeans, H&M
On the off chance that you do want every old dude you see in a day to ask how much you paid for jeans with holes in them, this is a pretty good pair. Plus, they’re just from H&M, so if you accidentally rip through the knee hole with your foot, it’s not the total end of the world.
4. Harper Low-Rise Super Skinny Jeans, Abercrombie & Fitch
Before you stop reading and close this article out because I just suggested you buy jeans from Abercrombie, hear me out. Do you still drink the cheap vodka you blacked out off of in college? Yes, of course you do. You just don’t take photos of the bottle anymore. This is kind of the same scenario. A&F finally stopped putting their signature pocket stitching on most of their jeans, so you can still wear their super comfortable, actually affordable denim without rocking an infamous Abercrombie butt.
5. Low-Rise Skinny Fit Jean, Tommy Hilfiger
As long as you don’t wear these with like, a pink polo with a popped collar and oversized fake pearls, you should be fine. Gigi Hadid is desperately trying to make Tommy Hilfiger a thing again, so you might as well join in on that movement.
Moms over guys, or GTFO. Boyfriends (both the men and the jeans style) are cool and all, but since fashion sizing seems to go down the family tree, the current rage is all over the mom jean. It’s basically a combo of high-waisted skinny and loose boyfriend jeans, sounds gross, I know. No one wants to wear literal mom jeans because they’re like, fugly, non-fetch vintage material, and they don’t make your ass look good so honestly, what’s the point? Before we jump to conclusions, I will say that they are extremely comfortable, unlike all of my literal skin-tight jeans that I can barely breathe in (but, beauty is pain so, whatevs), and plus, you’ll now totally fit in at any bar in Williamsburg. If you’re on the fence about trying the new jean trend, here’s how to wear them and what styles to buy so you look chic AF like Rachel Green instead of looking like a lame mom.
ASOS PETITE Farleigh Slim Mom Jeans In Prince Light Wash
If you prefer your jeans tight, you’ll want to find a mom jean in a slim fit so it hugs your waist closely and tucks in any beer bloat. The light wash is perf for both every day and night wear for an effortless, street casual look. Your mom probs makes the joke that you pay too much for jeans you can rip yourself so a distressed style is a solid indicator that you’re
being judged by your parents doing something right. Pair with a crop top or tucked in blouse, and neutral pumps to really amp up your look.
Topshop Petite Bleach Denim Mom Jeans
If your mom says, “O-M-G I used to have a pair just like those!!,” it’s actually a compliment this time. Reason being that only the cool MILFs rocked DIY bleached Mom Jeans and still got some numbers while they were at it. This pair is all around loose, and tapers at the bottom for a skinny ankle fit. Roll them up and pair with non-basic sneakers (so no Adidas, k?), or a low chunky heel.
Calvin Klein Pink Mom Jeans
A colored and distressed mom jean takes a youthful twist on the 90s classic that was once deemed as unflattering. Well, welcome to 2017, where even the ugliest trend somehow looks socially acceptable on (almost) everyone if you have an ounce of style at all. Wear with a white off the shoulder top and nude wedges for the comfiest, yet trendiest, day drinking outfit.
BDG Mom Jean In Black
Obviously, you need (everything) a pair in black to go with the rest of the blackness in your closet. A dark shade looks best with an ankle strap heel, plunging bodysuit, and leather jacket for an Insta-worthy edgy look to the club. On your lazy days, wear rolled up cuffs with stylish mules and a loose T-shirt.
River Island Mom Jeans With Extreme Rips
Cool mom jeans look best ripped. IDC. If you disagree and you’re all like, “but, I don’t want ripped jeans,” because you think it’s classier for whatever reason helps you sleep at night, then you can happily go look like a mom elsewhere. A super distressed style with a relaxed fit is not only fashion-forward but says, “I’m def blacking out tonight,” without being v obvious about it. They’ll become your next overly worn jeans if you style with strappy stilettos and a
slutty flirty bralette.
READ: Cute Denim Shorts That Won’t Show Your Butt Cheeks
A betch wearing distressed denim shorts, in the summer? Groundbreaking. Whether they were your mom’s in the 80s or an Abercrombie pair you never grew out of, you def have quite the collection. Here’s my problem, though: I, for one, am honestly broke and lazy AF to buy new pairs every year so I settle for ones that still fit because I wear the same pair multiple times a week as long as they miraculously still button. Despite fitting around my waist, the hems obvs get shorter and therefore, ride up my crotch. As a result, I not only look like an idiot who has pockets hanging out (so not cool, btw) but, I incidentally end up mooning everyone on the sidewalk since my ass cheeks are out on display. Now, some of you may think this is socially acceptable, but news fucking flash—it’s not. I highly doubt you want to see the girl’s butt standing in front of you on the train on your way to work, so no one wants to see yours either. Hoping this is your wake up call, here are some cute high waisted denim cut-offs to replace your booty shorts.
1. L’AGENCE Crystal Cove Short
This v simple pair has a mid-rise fit and cuffed hems that fall at about 11 inches. You can dress this versatile pair up or down and stay looking classy because your butt won’t be showing for all to see. The shorts feature a 3 inch inseam, which FYI, is a solid indicator that your cheeks won’t be peeking out.
2. One Teaspoon Bandit Shorts
You can wear a shredded, carefree style without having to pull your shorts down every five seconds if you opt for a pair like this. With a shorter hem in the front, you can still show off your long tan legs while your backside is still very much covered. I guess that fingertip rule in high school actually works.
3. Lovers + Friends Jack High-Rise Shorts
Your beloved high waisted style in black elongates your legs (if you’re 5-foot-something like me) and thins out your torso, so don’t worry about beer bloat for all those dagers. With the shorts being 10 inches long (which is more than enough before they become Bermudas), you’ll keep what’s meant to be hidden inside the denim. These will def be the next pair you abuse multiple times before realizing you should probably wash them at some point.
4. Missguided Shredded Detail Denim Shorts
This loose fit on your hips will make your friends think you actually lost weight this summer (LOL, as if) and make a super casual outfit a
slutty flirty one with its raw-cut hem. These fall a little before your mid-thigh, but at least you won’t look like you’re wearing a denim diaper.
5. MOTO Embroidered Ripped Mom Shorts
Everything about a white pair of high-waisted shorts with floral details is a yes for summer. You’ll still prove to everyone you have something worth showing off in the back, but without actually showing it off. The latest mom fit trend, because apparently all sizes have to be named after member of your family, makes for a longer, more comfortable fit. Wear this stylish pair with your fave bralette or bardot crop top so you don’t look like an actual mom.
6. Joe’s Jeans The Charlie Short
The right picture is bothering me just as much as you, don’t worry. Someone should’ve pulled her corner down, god. Anyway, these shorts come down to 11 and a half inches so I assure you that you’ll still slay a backside rooftop picture without being
semi-pornographic trashy on Insta. It’s only a plus that the millions of buttons make you look skinny AF but, um, have fun trying to undo them when you gotta break the seal.
By now, it’s as clear as day that this denim craze has really taken off. Everywhere I look, I see another article of clothing made out of denim—I’m just waiting to see denim underwear at this point. Apparently it’s socially acceptable to wear denim on denim, and then with some more denim. Who knew Britney and JT were such trendsetters? I mean, for fuck’s sake, every store has its own Denim Shop. The versatile material is emerging left and right in an assortment of colors and a variety of styles ranging from dresses to vests to overalls (because again, if it was cool in the 90s, it’s cool again).
This summer is all about dressing like you could be on the cover of Vogue just by wearing a distressed oversized sweater and some ragged denim shorts. With Bonnaroo this weekend, festival season is officially fully in swing. Perfect for any summer music festival or a night full of bar hopping, here are 7 denim pieces you should definitely strut (or stumble) in during summer nights.
1. A Cool AF Denim Jacket
I recently just found two denim jackets in my closet that I haven’t worn since middle school. Guess what? They still fit. And guess what else? I’m still going to fucking wear them. I guess that’s a perk of being 5’3” forever. This Shop Betches x Unemployed Denim Custom Vintage Denim Jacket is basically your new replacement for the stupid black leather jacket you wear all the time. Each vintage jacket is unique so two are never the same. Feel free to customize it with whatever embroidered message or patches you’d like to make it all about you.
2. Denim Shorts
I know you have denim shorts because like, no fucking shit. Add a raw, destroyed style like PRPS Goods & Co AMX Short to your collection to really bring out your IDGAF attitude. Dress them down for running errands or dress them up with a silk tank and a pair of Jeffrey Campbell booties.
3. Denim Overalls
Fashion trends are getting weirder by the day. First we’re back to wearing onesies, now overalls? Why is dressing like a toddler a thing right now? Someone please LMK. However, I have to say Kendall Jenner knows how to rock them best—as usual. If you’re into channeling your 8-year-old self, go for a light-washed cropped style like the Glamorous Dolores Park Light Wash Distressed Denim Overalls. When worn with your comfiest cropped T-shirt or lace bralette, you’ll look both skinny and effortlessly chic, which obviously are the most important traits in life. Use it as your next outfit for brunch Sunday morning.
4. Denim Dress
A fitted dress like the Vatanika High Zip Slit Mini Dress is made to define and enhance (any existing) voluptuous curves. Gold full-length zippers accentuate the sides, adding some street flair, and its spaghetti straps keep it caj (cas, cas’? Asking for a friend). Whatever, I’m trying to say casual in the cool way. Throw a denim jacket over this and pair with your Vans to look trendy AF.
5. Denim Jeans
Since we all have at least one pair of denim jeans (that we never wear), the trend has escalated into
being extra adding embroidery. Floral prints specifically add a feminine and flirty touch to any ordinary outfit. Find a fitted faded-wash style like these True Religion Halle Mid Rise Embroidered Skinny Jeans. Wear on those chilly summer nights with a cropped oversized sweater and block-heel sandals.
6. Denim Skirt
Here’s some food for thought: Just buy a denim skirt, but with more denim on it such as this Topshop Colorblock Denim Miniskirt. Contrast with a light-colored blouse to keep it balanced. Pair with wedges for a bold, spirited look that tells people you’re like, really into fashion or something.
7. Denim Shirt
Don’t get it twisted, it’s not the same as a denim jacket. Wear the Lovers + Friends Denim Shirt With Slogan Sleeve Detail alone over a pair of jeans or shorts for a casual, downtime look. Keep it open and wear your fave cami underneath, or keep it slightly unbuttoned because like, slutty duh.