Shop The 25 Best Jeans for Curvy Women of All Sizes


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Best Jeans for Curvy Women

InStyle / Kristin Kempa

Finding well-fitted jeans is one of life’s never-ending quests that requires a lot of trial and error, no matter what size or body type you are. For women with curves, whether that be plus-sized body types or curvaceous figures, looking for the right fit and finding extended sizing can sometimes be another add-on to the research checklist. However, once a brand or particular style is found that works, the floodgates are opened. 

On your hunt, you might be puzzled by the terminology retailers use and their sizing qualifications. Model and size-inclusive fashion expert Lauren Chan tells InStyle that curvy-fit denim vastly depends on the brand. “Be sure to read fit notes when it comes to ‘curvy’ denim because sometimes it simply means that the standard-size jeans have been graded up into plus-sizes, but other times it means that the jeans have specifically been designed for curvier folks — i.e., with larger than average waist-to-hip ratios,” she says. 

We tapped a group of four fashion experts to decipher between brands and share their picks for the best denim for curvy women, including a mix of both extended-sized styles and curvy fits designed specifically for those with smaller waists and fuller hips. Let’s hear it for no more waist gap!

Our Top Picks
Best Overall :
Universal Standard Etta High Rise Straight-Leg Jeans at (See Price)
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Best Everyday:
Madewell The Curvy ’90s Straight Jean at (See Price)
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Best Relaxed:
Levi’s Baggy Dad Jeans at Amazon ($108)
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Best Shaping:
Spanx Crop Kick Flare Pull On Jeans at Nordstrom ($148)
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Best Bootcut:
Old Navy Mid-Rise Wow at (See Price)
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Best Distressed:
Abercrombie & Fitch Curve Love High Rise '90s Relaxed Jean at (See Price)
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Best High-Waist:
Good American Good Curve High Waist Straight Leg at Nordstrom ($88)
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Best Straight:
La Ligne Molly Straight Leg Jeans at (See Price)
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Best Skinny:
Amazon Essentials Women's Mid Rise Curvy Skinny Jean at Amazon ($28)
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Best Cheeky:
Gap High Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans at (See Price)
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Best Overall

Universal Standard Etta High Rise Straight-Leg Jeans

Universal Standard Etta High Rise Straight-Leg Jeans

Universal Standard

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What We Love: The extensive size range.

What We Don’t Love: Some customers review that they run large.

“These jeans are a great option for literally everyone, thanks to the fact that they come in Universal Standard’s epic size run of 00 to 40 and in 31- and 28-inch inseams,” says Chan. “Also, they’re designed on a size 18 fit model, so they’ll have a shape that accommodates larger sizes well — none of those typical issues that come with sizing plus-size garments up from a size 4 pattern here.” This classic, straight-leg jean was designed with those that have less than a 10-inch waist-to-hip difference in mind. Made with a hint of stretch, the Etta can be styled in a variety of ways. “I’d wear the distressed washed indigo with a blazer — maybe in the season’s poppy red — for daytime or the black pair with a matching black corset for a night out,” Chan suggests. 

Size: 00–40 | Washes: 4 | Material: Cotton, polyester, rayon, elastane 

Best Everyday

Madewell The Curvy ’90s Straight Jean

Madewell The Curvy ’90s Straight Jean


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What We Love: The pair is made sustainably with 100 percent Better Cotton Initiative-certified cotton.

What We Don’t Love: Some customers note sizing runs on the large side.

'90s-style denim has made a comeback over the last few years, much to stylist and content creator Derria Underwood’s excitement. She explains that the vintage-fit silhouette normally sits higher on the waist, giving a nostalgic feel to most looks. Madewell’s curvy version was designed with a snug fit through the hips and thighs and a higher back rise for a more curve-enhancing lift. Try this pair for yourself to truly see the ability of the brand’s Magic Pockets, which help hold the midsection in, as well. 

Digital creator and stylist Michelle Blashka also has these straight-leg jeans on her wishlist. “For $138, you get the perfect, basic jean, which will quickly become an everyday staple,” she says. Styling it is simple, with both our experts recommending simplicity. “I would style this pair with a simple, white, button-up shirt with a white tank underneath,” Underwood says.

Size: 23–34 standard; 23–33 petite; 23–33 tall; and 14W–28W plus | Washes: 3 | Material: Cotton, recycled polyester, elastane

Best Relaxed

Levi’s Baggy Dad Jeans

Levi's Women's Baggy Dad Jeans


View On Amazon $108 View On

What We Love: The style has a comfortable leg width that doesn’t hug too tightly but still remains fitted around the midsection. 

What We Don’t Love: It only goes up to size 34.

“Levi’s is my top brand when it comes to denim because they have various styles, lengths, and colors,” Underwood says. Her favorite? This baggy, “dad-fit” jean, of which she owns two pairs. Made with plenty of room through the hip, the mid-rise silhouette is subtly baggy without being too overwhelming or having excess fabric. “Though these are 100 percent cotton, they are the perfect, relaxed denim jeans,” says Underwood. To get an oversized fit, she recommends sizing up from your normal size; however, you may need to try multiple sizes to find your ideal pair, since reviews are inconsistent on fit. 

As for styling, we love keeping with the relaxed feel. Wear this style with a cropped top, loose button-up, and sneakers for an easy weekend look while running errands. If you want to take things in a more polished direction, try tucking a fitted turtleneck in, topping it with a smart blazer, and finishing the look with a leather belt and boots. 

Size: 23–34 | Washes: 3 | Material: Cotton, lyocell

Best Shaping

Spanx Crop Kick Flare Pull On Jeans

Spanx Crop Kick Flare Pull On Jeans


View On Nordstrom $148 View On Spanx

What We Love: It's built with the brand’s signature, core-shaping technology.

What We Don’t Love: Many reviewers note that the style runs on the small side.

Hear us out: Pull-on jeans can be totally stylish. For those who might shy away from denim that doesn’t have a traditional, button-fly waistband, this pair will change your mind. The smoothing and booty-lifting properties are major reasons to take these for a test drive. A functional waistband and back pockets give this cropped, kick-flare silhouette classic denim structure, so throw on a belt and no one will know the difference. With a full size range and three inseam options, we are sold. Wear the style with everything from fitted tees and tanks to a chunkier sweater during the colder months. 

Size: XS–3X in standard, petite, and tall | Washes: 2 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane

Best Bootcut

Old Navy Mid-Rise Wow

Old Navy Mid-Rise Wow Boot-Cut Jeans

Old Navy 

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What We Love: It offers a classic fit at a great price.

What We Don’t Love: Customers say the style runs long.

“My first well-cut jeans actually came from Old Navy,” says Blashka. “While I don’t love that they no longer offer larger sizes in store, they're a great resource if you’re ok with the buy and return game — and you really can’t beat [its] prices.” Coming in at just $35, this style is highly recommended by Blashka. “I love the dark wash and the bootcut gives you that subtle flare to balance your curves,” she says. Sitting just below the belly button, the mid-rise is snug at the hip and thigh then gently widens to a boot shape. 

The modern version of the style that Blashka has loved for years, they’re a classic that you simply can’t go wrong with. “I used to style mine back in the ‘90s with sleeveless turtlenecks, my super fitted, vintage leather blazer, and black booties,” she says. We think this outfit combo is equally worthy of a current OOTD interpretation.

Size: 0–30 regular; 4–18 tall; and 2–18 petite | Washes: 4 | Material: Cotton, polyester, recycled cotton

Best Distressed

Abercrombie & Fitch Curve Love High Rise '90s Relaxed Jean

Abercrombie Relaxed Curve Love


View On View On Zappos $90

What We Love: There are five length options.

What We Don’t Love: Color might transfer without washing before wearing.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s answer to the curvy fit is their line called Curve Love, made for those with a smaller waist-to-hip and butt ratio. Each pair of jeans in this collection was designed with an additional 2 inches through the hip and thigh, eliminating waist-gap. 

This ’90s style features built-in stretch and a slimmer fit at the top, billowing to a wide-leg silhouette. It’s also a favorite of model and content creator Catherine Li. “This is the jean I get the most compliments on,” she says. “It is a higher waist, medium wash with destroy features on it.” Although she loves the distressed feel, the jean shape is also offered in plain denim as well. “I typically style this with a tucked-in T-shirt, sneakers, and statement jacket,” she notes. “It’s a staple, my go-to for comfortable looks.” Alternatively, these can be dressed up with a kitten heel and sheer blouse for a night out. 

Size: 23–37 in extra short, short, regular, long, extra long | Washes: 23 | Material: Cotton, elastane

Best High-Waist

Good American Good Curve High Waist Straight Leg

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View On Nordstrom $88

What We Love: The style works well for those with hourglass figures, according to reviewers.

What We Don’t Love: Sizes sell out quickly.

“Good American is known for [its] curve-enhancing denim,” Underwood says. “I can attest that [the] denim definitely keeps women with curves in mind which is important.” Both experts Underwood and Blashka recommend trying the Good Curve High-Waist Straight-Leg cut from the brand. Blashka is a fan of the stretch that this super high-waisted style offers, with a soft straight-leg fit that hugs just so. This version comes in classic blue, but we are leaning into the whiskered, faded, black wash with a raw-cut hem for something fresh. 

“I love the washed black — you never have to worry about fading because it’s supposed to be faded — that would look so good with a little, black, cashmere turtleneck or an oversized, off-the-shoulder sweater,” says Blashka. “These are screaming to be styled with heels or flats to show off the raw hem detail.” Underwood agrees on the boot and sweater combo. “The best way to style this pair of jeans is with a cute, ankle boot and an oversized sweater,” she recommends as an easy and effortless outfit that will work every time. 

Size: 00–30 | Washes: 2 | Material: Cotton, recycled polyester, recycled cotton, polyester, elastane

Best Straight

La Ligne Molly Straight Leg Jeans

La Ligne Molly Straight Leg Jeans

La Ligne 

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What We Love: The attainable price point for designer-quality denim. 

What We Don’t Love: Sizing doesn’t go beyond 34.

“For some plus-size shoppers — ahem, me! — ‘curvy’ isn’t actually the ideal denim fit, because we do not, in fact, have curvy hips,” Chan explains. “I personally prefer a denim that is much straighter through the hips, bum, and thighs, so I rejoiced when I first tried on La Ligne’s Molly jean.” Made from 100 percent cotton, Chan likes the super luxe look and feel the non-stretch denim gives the jeans. She also notes that these jeans currently stop at a size 34 (or 14/16). Named for the brand’s cofounder, the style was designed with a 9-to-5 approach, allowing you to effortlessly transition to all hours of the day. “To keep it elevated, I’d wear it the ivory colorway with a matching winter-white cashmere top and loafers,” Chan says. We can also envision this pair worn with a pointy, stiletto pump and silk blouse for a cocktail event or date night. 

Size: 23–34 | Washes: 5 | Material: Cotton

Best Skinny

Amazon Essentials Women's Mid Rise Curvy Skinny Jean

Amazon Essentials Women's Mid Rise Curvy Skinny Jean


View On Amazon $28

What We Love: It still feels like a jean, rather than a jegging.

What We Don’t Love: There’s no stretch in the waistband.

Designed curvier through the hip with a narrower waist, the Amazon Essentials skinny jean is a fan favorite. Customers love the proportions on this mid-rise option, built with plenty of stretch for a favorable fit, thanks to a little elastane. The classic, five-pocket design has a shank button closure and is offered in three inseam lengths — standard, short, and long, allowing those of every height to be serviced. Two classic blue washes, a dark denim and a medium version, allow you to play in an effortless way. Try wearing the darker wash for work with a blazer and ballet flats, then swap for the medium wash when more casual occasions are on the horizon, such as weekend brunch or attending a sports game.

Size: 0–20 standard, short, and long | Washes: 2 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane 

Best Cheeky

Gap High Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans

Gap High Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans


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What We Love: The soft, comfortable feel of the denim.

What We Don’t Love: Some reviewers found they don’t run true to size.

The viral jeans that became TikTok famous, Gap’s High Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans are, in our opinion, worth the hype. Not only are they offered in a variety of washes and sizes, including tall and petite, but they also have a fit that enhances the backside. Cheeky jeans are meant to show off the bum, and therefore generally have back pockets that are fixed slightly higher than regular, five-pocket jeans. The high-rise shape is fitted through the hip and thigh, in order to hug your curves, then extends into a straight leg. Go for a modern, Canadian tuxedo and pair these with a coordinating, denim button down, baseball cap, penny loafers, and trench coat for a cute weekend look that is no-frills, but super stylish. 

Size: 24–35 regular; 27–33 tall; and 23–30 petite | Washes: 4 | Material: Cotton, recycled cotton, elastane

Best Flare

Silver Jeans Co. Suki Curvy Mid Rise Flare Jeans

Silver Jeans Co. Suki Curvy Mid Rise Flare Jeans


View On Nordstrom $84

What We Love: The curvy fit designed for an hourglass frame specifically.

What We Don’t Love: The hem might be too long on petites.

A best-selling style for the brand, as expected, the curvy fit is designed to enhance curves. Hugging the hip and thigh just so, the mid-rise shape has a contoured waistband guaranteeing zero-gap fit. This style boasts a high level of stretch with flexibility and shape retention. The full-length flare is available in both a 31- and 33-inch inseam allowing you to choose the length that fits best. And styling is a breeze. We love these with a white T-shirt, straw basket, and flat sandal à la Jane Birkin in the summertime, and a suede jacket, turtleneck, and heeled boots come fall winter for a retro-inspired look that transcends the decades. 

Size: 24–33 | Washes: 1 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane

Best Cargo

Eloquii Wide Leg Cargo Jeans

Eloquii Wide Leg Cargo Jeans


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What We Love: The rigid, quality denim fabrication.

What We Don’t Love: The style might be too long on petites due to the 32-inch inseam.

Lean into the early aughts trend with a cargo jean that borrows from the past, but focuses on an entirely modern shape. This one is high-waisted, with an easy, front-fly zipper and button closure. It also boasts wide legs and an extra long inseam for a slouchy trouser shape! Available in sizes 14 to 28, plus-sized readers will rejoice. The rigid denim is high-quality and easy to care for. We recommend letting these jeans be the focal point of any outfit and style the rest of your look with simplicity. A fitted turtleneck T-shirt or tank pairs beautifully when tucked into the waist, while those who need a little extra height can pair the jeans with stilettos or block heels to keep the hem from dragging.

Size: 14–28 | Washes: 1 | Material: Cotton

Best Black

Everlane The Curvy Way High Jean

Everlane The Curvy Way High Jean


View On $118

What We Love: It has the perfect waist-to-hip ratio, reviewers say.

What We Don’t Love: The brand recommends sizing up since there’s only a 1 percent stretch content.

If you’ve experienced gaping with super high-waisted jeans before, then give Everlane’s curvy line a whirl. With hourglass shapes in mind, this pair of jeans has gotten a positive reaction due to the great fit and high-quality fabrication. Choose from two inseam lengths (27.5 and 29.5 inches) and four washes (we love the rich coal-black colorway). The secret is the brand’s two-piece contour waistband, which accentuates the natural waist while providing sculpted-looking hips. True to the brand’s sustainability ethos, the fabric is made almost entirely from organic cotton in a factory that reduces water use through the production process.

The bottom line? It’s a style that can be worn in all seasons, with a T-shirt or button-up tucked in and a cute belt, layered according to the season you’re dressing during. 

Size: 23–35 | Washes: 4 | Material: Organic cotton, elastane, other fiber

Best Wide-Leg

Madewell Curvy Perfect Vintage Wide Leg Jeans

Madewell Curvy Perfect Vintage Wide Leg Jeans


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What We Love: The incredible bounce-back technology in the stretch of this denim.

What We Don’t Love: It’s only available in one wash.

“Madewell’s Curvy denim line is similar to its hit standard-size line, but designed for bodies that fall into the hourglass category,” Chan explains. “Specifically, these beauties are designed with a 2-inch smaller nip in the waist — so if you always have a gap in the back waist of your jeans, these are for you.” With a full-size range and three inseam options, there will be a winner for everyone. Crafted with ISKO™ stretch denim, the bounce back on this fabric is incredible and the specialty dye ensures that the black color will keep after lots of wear and washes. We are obviously fans of the recycled fabric qualities, too, which support the regeneration of products, keeping trash out of landfills. The recycled polyester in this pair is made from post-consumer plastic. 

When it comes to styling, lean into the elegance of the wide-leg cut and dark wash by coordinating these with a monochrome outfit. “I’d wear the jet black wash with a matching black leather boot and longline, black wool coat for a strong, chic feel,” Chan recommends. For work, you could also try them with a structured blazer to bring on the boardroom vibes. 

Size: 23-33 standard; 23-33 petite; 23-33 tall; and 14W-28W plus | Washes: 1 | Material: Cotton, recycled cotton, recycled polyester, elastane

Best Coated

Paige Flaunt Denim Hourglass

Paige Flaunt Denim Hourglass


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What We Love: The cool, coated finish that looks like leather.

What We Don’t Love: The size range doesn't extend past a size 34.

If you’re looking to mix up your denim wardrobe, then why not try coated jeans? This pair from Paige looks like leather pants, but instead, has the stretch of a pair of jeans with a coated exterior. You can still move, work, dance, and more in these without discomfort. And these are designed with an hourglass figure in mind. The Flaunt collection from Paige embraces curves, enhancing the small waist and fuller hip body type. There are even specialty pockets designed to accentuate the backside and highlight the booty. Wear this high-rise, ankle-length straight-leg style with your favorite knitwear and block-heeled boots all fall and winter long.

Size: 23–34 | Washes: 1 | Material: Rayon, cotton, polyester, spandex

Best Stretch

Joe’s Jeans H-Curvy

Joe’s Jeans H-Curvy


View On Amazon $179 View On

What We Love: The ample stretch in the fabrication.

What We Don’t Love: Some shoppers found the inseam to be too long.

A signature for Joe’s Jeans, the Honey Bootcut has long been a customer favorite style. Now, the same amazing fit comes in a curvy option. This dark wash pair is high-waisted, making it a great option for dressing up or down. The combination denim fabric has a touch of stretch, so you’ll be comfortable all day or night. With a classic, five-pocket design and zipper front, these are a no-brainer. Wear them with your favorite button-up blouse for a casual work look, then try with a silky camisole for a night out. Whatever pairing you decide, they are a yes. 

Size: 24–32 | Washes: 1 | Material: Cotton, polyester, TENCEL Lyocell, spandex

Best Trendy

Universal Standard Katie High Rise Crossover Jeans

Universal Standard Katie High Rise Crossover Jeans

Universal Standard  

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What We Love: The unique, crossover waistband.

What We Don’t Love: The style runs generous, so you might need to size down.

These crossover jeans caught Blashka’s eye, thanks to their of-the-moment, modern design. “Fashion denim is especially hard to find in larger sizes so I would be excited to try the Katie High Rise Crossover Jeans from Universal Standard,” she says. “I look for special design details like the crossover waistband for a little extra flair.” Available in a fully inclusive size range, this soft and stretchy jean is fitted through the waist and hip but has a tapered leg that ends just above the ankle. The crossover waistband will add a bit of spice to your wardrobe. Pro tip: “Just add the perfect white T-shirt — tucked in, of course — with an oversized, black moto jacket and you’re good to go,” Blashka says.

Size: 00–40 | Washes: 2 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane

Best Sustainable

DL1961 Coco Curvy

DL1961 Coco Curvy


View On Amazon $103 View On Bloomingdales $178

What We Love: It’s made from a high-retention stretch fabric.

What We Don’t Love: Reviewers say the legs run long.

DL1961 denim is notorious for its responsible fabrications and mindful production processes. Using sustainable fibers and saving 1,490 gallons of water per jean are just a couple of the ways they excel in the eco-friendly space. What’s more, the fit is hard to beat. DL1961’s denim has high-retention and sculpting properties, due in part to their comfortable stretch fabrics. They even have a line focused on the hourglass body shape. The Coco Curvy is a straight-leg jean that’s mid-rise and has a little extra room through the hip, seat, and thigh. It’s worth noting the 34-inch inseam as well, which may be overwhelming on petites, but also nothing that an easy hemming by your local tailor can fix. 

Size: 23–34 | Washes: 2 | Material: Cotton, spandex, elastane

Best Tall

J.Crew Curvy Vintage Slim Straight Jean

J.Crew Curvy Vintage Slim Straight Jean


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What We Love: They don’t stretch out with multiple wears.

What We Don’t Love: There are only three wash options.

It’s no surprise that J.Crew has dipped into the curvy denim category. The brand makes great effort to service a diverse range of body types, and this one is inclusive of both petites and tall buyers as well. The curvy-fit designs mean a longer rise, a narrower waist, and a contoured waistband. This cut is also designed with Perfecting Pockets, the secret tool that lifts and holds you in. The best part? These also are made responsibly, using Better Cotton Initiative cotton and crafted in a Fair Trade Certified facility. Try styling them with a denim jacket during the day, then reveal the waistline with a fitted tank, heels, and statement jewelry at night.

Size: 23–37 classic; 23–32 petite; and 25–32 tall | Washes: 3 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane

Best Light Wash

Good American Good Boy Straight Jeans Indigo381

Good Boy Straight Jeans Indigo381

Good American

View On View On Net-a-Porter $150

What We Love: The stretchy, comfortable fabrication.

What We Don’t Love: It only comes in one wash.

People love the super high-waisted options from Good American. The Good Boy fit is a classic straight-leg that hugs at the hips and falls directly to the long, side-slit details at the hem. There is slight distressing on the back pockets and the hem that add a bit of interest. “I have these in a medium colorway,” says Li. “[They’re] not only flattering but can be dressed up and down.” We recommend tucking your tops—anything from T-shirts to tanks, button-ups, and turtlenecks — into the waistband, to really show off the super high-waisted design. Top your look off with contrasting black accessories like a strappy kitten heel and a small shoulder bag. 

Size: 00–30 plus | Washes: 1 | Material: Cotton, elastane

Best Comfortable

Lee Ultra Lux Comfort with Flex Motion Straight Leg Jean

Lee Ultra Lux Comfort with Flex Motion Straight Leg Jean


View On Amazon $35 View On View On Zappos $35

What We Love: The stretchy waistband is comfortable. 

What We Don’t Love: Reviewers said that the fabric feels different between colors.

An iconic, American denim brand, Lee has been producing denim for over 100 years. Specializing in denim, the modern technology makes this pair stand out. Sitting just below the waist, the style is eased around the seat and thigh area. The high-tech features include an elastic waistband, that is flexible yet non-binding, meaning it won’t dig into your midsection in an uncomfortable way — a game changer for many who experience discomfort from regular waistbands. Wear it with a slouchy sweater and tuck it into knee-high boots in fall and winter, then swap for lighter layers and a high-top sneaker in the spring. 

Size: 0–18 regular, short, and long; 16–30 plus | Washes: 13 | Material: Cotton, polyester, spandex

Best White

NYDJ Waist-Match Marilyn Straight Jeans In Plus Size

NYDJ Waist-Match Marilyn Straight Jeans In Plus Size


View On QVC $50 View On View On Zappos $82

What We Love: The Lift Tuck technology provides hold and movement.

What We Don’t Love: Some customers note these look more bootcut than straight-leg.

White jeans are notoriously tricky. If the denim is too thin, there might be a see-through quality that is unflattering. If too rigid, they might be uncomfortable. Thankfully, NYDJ has found a balance between, offering a white jean that sits somewhere in the middle.

This stretch jean was designed with a patented crisscross panel that helps flatten the stomach, while its signature Lift Tuck technology lifts and shapes curves, giving an almost instant slimming appearance (which is built into the front and back). The jean is so comfortable it almost feels like a pull-on style, though it still has a five-pocket design and traditional button closure. We’d wear these with a black T-shirt, black ankle boots, and a denim jacket for a twist on the classics. 

Size: 0–18; 0X–5X | Washes: 2 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane

Best Boyfriend-Fit

Silver Jeans Co. Slim Leg Boyfriend Jeans

Silver Jeans Co. Slim Leg Boyfriend Jeans


View On Nordstrom $74 View On Zappos $71

What We Love: The mid-rise fit works for a variety of body types.

What We Don’t Love: Some reviewers note they run a little big.

Powerful stretch denim in slouchy form—some might argue what jeans dreams are made from. This relaxed, boyfriend fit is made even more comfortable thanks to the high stretch, high recovery denim it's made from. A 9-inch mid-rise sits below the belly button, gently hugging the hips while falling into a relaxed, straight leg with plenty of room across the thighs and calves. Subtle distressing placed around the knees and a cuffed hem round out the design details. We will be pairing these with a striped T-shirt and sneakers for an easy weekend look in the spring and summer, and adding a chunky, cashmere cardigan for fall. 

Size: 24–34 | Washes: 1 | Material: Cotton, viscose, elastane

Best Mom

American Eagle Stretch Curvy Mom Jean

American Eagle Stretch Curvy Mom Jean

American Eagle 

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What We Love: The style is available in regular, X-short, short, and long lengths.

What We Don’t Love: The size range doesn’t extend past size 20.

Mom jeans. What was once scoffed at are officially back and better than ever. This time around, they’re fitted especially for the curvy body types. Characterized by a high waistband and tapered leg that hits just at the ankle, American Eagle has made these specifically with a bit more room around the hip and thigh area. They look like vintage jeans but are actually made from mid-weight denim with a bit of stretch (the ’80s and ’90s versions could never). However, we do recommend keeping the styling notes from the past eras. Wear them with everything from baggy henleys to polished, ribbed turtlenecks, oversized blazers, and more. 

Size: 000–20 regular, extra-short, short, and long | Washes: 2 | Material: Cotton, recycled cotton, spandex

Best Plus-Size

Levi’s Premium Plus Size Ribcage Straight Ankle

Levi’s Premium Plus Size Ribcage Straight Ankle


View On Zappos $70 View On

What We Love: Its vintage look with a touch of stretch.

What We Don’t Love: The true size is not always the right fit.

The Ribcage Straight Ankle is another Levi’s style that customers can’t get enough of — and this one is fit exclusively for plus sizes. As you’d assume by the name, it’s a straight-leg cut that is cropped at the ankle (more reason to show off cute shoes!). The super high, 14-inch rise defines the waist, slims the hip, and adds a lengthening effect to the legs. Fit-wise, they run a bit wider through the leg but still quite straight from the hip. Plus, the tiniest bit of elastane gives a touch of stretch to the overall elasticity, making for a comfortable feel. Tuck them a crisp white button-up shirt into the waistband, and wear them with loafers for a casual Friday work look, or grab a turtleneck, puffer jacket, and Chelsea boots for an easy winter look. 

Size: 16W–24W | Washes: 5 | Material: Cotton, organic cotton, elastane

What to Keep in Mind


“Style is the number one detail that should be considered when shopping for curvy women because you want to make sure that the denim will look good,” Underwood says. “Most curvy shapes look great in high-waist or mid-rise denim, along with wide-leg denim to help elongate the body and give the illusion of a longer torso.” However, all the experts agree that style should be based on preference. “These days there are no fashion rules and people can really wear whatever they feel most comfortable in,” Blashka says. Go for a style that you love, no matter what.


Clothing composition is also key Underwood says, when shopping for denim. “As a curvy woman, I stand clear of denim that is 100 percent cotton unless it's a jacket of some sort,” she says. “If there is elastic in the composition of the denim, I know that there’s a chance that the jeans won’t be as comfortable.” Blashka also looks for elasticity. “Stretch is key in a curve jean,” she says. “It allows for maximum comfort with movement, and helps accommodate your shape.” Take this into account while you look through the options. Our top pick, Universal Standard's Etta High Rise Straight Leg, has only a touch of elastane. For a stretch content that mimics shapewear, on the other hand, we recommend Amazon Essentials' Women's Mid Rise Curvy Skinny Jean or Spanx's Crop Kick Flare style,

And although many appreciate the qualities, not everyone is a fan of stretch denim. “There are a few brands that offer more of a limited stretch, which I prefer,” says Li. “I strongly dislike jeans that grow with you. The cut can sometimes look unflattering after a while or by the end of the day.” Chan is also on the non-stretch team. “Most of the time, curvy and plus-size jeans are made with stretch fabrics because as people are larger in size, their bodily projections vary more drastically. Some folks, like me, are widest through the mid-section, and others are widest through the hip,” she explains. Although it's a rare find, there are non-stretch, 100-percent cotton options out there.

Body Type

“If you google body types, there’s a chance you’ll see close to 12 different body types,” Underwood says. “In the case of shopping for curvy women, it's important to know what body type you’re shopping for so that you can accentuate and highlight the right things.” Knowing your measurements will also help narrow down the options for your best fit. Read the notes on each style to help find the best for you. 

Your Questions, Answered

What does a curvy-fit mean?

There is some discrepancy when it comes to what a curvy fit actually is. As Chan mentioned above, it greatly depends on what brand you’re looking at and how its sizing and language are quantified. Many assume that a curvy fit is a cut with a smaller waist-to-hip ratio, or one that provides more room in the hips, thighs, and butt.

“Curvy fit does not necessarily mean plus-size,” says Blashka. “Curvy fits typically have smaller waists (so there is less gapping at the waist), and more room in the seat, hips, and thighs and sometimes more room in the calf area as well.” She recommends curvy fits for hourglass or pear-shaped bodies.

What is the best way to care for denim?

All our experts have different washing styles. “I know some people like to dry clean their denim, but personally I wash on cold or warm inside out and air dry,” says Blashka. “Sometimes I’ll put them in the dryer for a few minutes or steam them to get the stiffness out.” She does discourage using high heat dry in case of potential shrinking. In terms of frequency, Underwood recommends limiting washes as much as possible. “A tip I follow is washing my denim after two or three wears to prolong the quality. Washing your denim on a gentle or delicate cycle and using color-preserving detergent is key to keeping the vibrancy of the denim,” she says. “Also, make sure that you lay your jeans flat to air dry instead of using the dryer.”

Chan has another tip for readers: “I’ve heard that it’s to put your jeans in the freezer to ‘clean’ them by freezing bacteria but I stick to a good ol’ wash and hang dry — more room for frozen pizza that way,” she says. Of course, consulting the care label is another way to care for your denim.

Why Shop With Us

Full-time freelance writer and fashion editor Kristina Rutkowski has been covering all things style, trend, and shopping for over 10 years. Living in New York City, she is often able to see and try out brands firsthand, directly through the designer showrooms, which has provided ample research opportunities for this story.

For this story, she also spoke to experts to discuss what to look for when selecting a pair of denim jeans. They included model and size-inclusive fashion expert Lauren Chan; plus-size model and fashion content creator Catherine Li; fashion stylist and content creator Derria Underwood; and digital creator Michelle Blashka.

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