Where The SL Team Buys Denim

Everyone should own at least one pair of jeans they feel great in. But, in a crowded market, finding the right shape, style and fit can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. To help you narrow the search, we asked members of the SL fashion team to share their denim shopping tips…
All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Lu Hough, Fashion & Creative Director 

I like my denim relaxed but not so baggy that it looks scruffy, so a straight leg is my go-to shape. The rise on the waist is also important – as someone with no waist whatsoever, those high-waisted mom jeans look terrible on me, so I tend to opt for a mid-rise button fly instead. I then tuck in my top and perhaps add a belt for a bit more definition. As I wear denim most of the time, I’m prepared to invest a little more money into it – my favourite brands are Mother, Agolde and Frame, all of which are fairly expensive, but totally worth it in my opinion. One of my most-worn pairs are probably the Mother’s Tomcat style, which were so tight when I first tried them on I could barely move. Thankfully, after a bit of breaking in, they’ve now relaxed to form the perfect shape. I’m also a big fan of Agolde’s Parker style, which have a lower-rise waist, relaxed leg shape and are slightly cropped. Sadly, the brand has since discontinued them, but the Lana is a great alternative – the full leg length makes them feel a bit more modern anyway. I’m pretty fussy when it comes to the wash, but I find a light indigo is usually a winner – just check there aren’t any green tones in the mix. For winter, I love dark grey – it’s a little softer than jet black and goes with everything.  

Charlotte Collins, Deputy Editor 

I'm a recent convert to Rails denim – mostly because the brand only launched it last month. You may be familiar with the label for plaid shirts and impossibly soft pyjamas – now it’s applied its comfort-first formula to jeans. Trust me when I say the straight-leg denim is some of the softest, stretchiest I've tried. Having a narrow waist and wider thighs (and a bit of a bum) can make buying denim quite tricky: mid-rise is often very uncomfortable and high rise sometimes leaves a big gap around the waist, but this pair just sits perfectly. Plus, the cropped length is good for shorter girls like me.

Laura Black, Managing Editor 

There are a lot of pricey jeans out there but, in my opinion, denim is denim. You don’t need to spend a fortune to find a good pair. The high street has plenty of great options and Gap is a personal favourite – its cigarette style is my go-to and perfect for more petite frames. My general rule of thumb is to go for something with minimal stretch – they’ll last longer and are less likely to lose their shape over time.

Elaine Lloyd-Jones, Senior Fashion & Shopping Editor

I’ve been looking for a straight-leg jean that wasn’t too fashion-y, nor too high rise, as some mom styles can be really unflattering. Totême’s jeans are modelled on a vintage pair co-founder Elin Kling already had in her closet. They’re straight-cut, made from pure cotton and sit just above the ankle which, in my opinion, is the perfect length. I started with the Black Original High-Rise, then recently purchased the blue Cropped Mid-Rise – I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a pair of jeans more. The off-centre seams are a discreet brand signature and help to accentuate the straighter style. I’m a standard UK 10 and the size 27 fits perfectly.

Polly Sayer, Junior Fashion Editor 

Like Laura, I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on jeans. I’ve got a pair of Agolde Pinch Waist which are excellent, but if I’m honest, my most-worn pairs are probably from Zara. I started wearing the brand’s High Rise Straight style which, at £26.99, you might not expect a lot from, but I’ve not found anything more flattering for my body shape. I’ve got a small waist with quite wide hips and shapely thighs, so finding jeans that aren’t skin-tight on my legs or gape around the waist is difficult. This pair strikes just the right balance between fitted and relaxed. Most of the designs in this style come with a raw hem, which is a little annoying as it means you can’t machine wash them too often if you don’t want them to fray. Instead, I tend to spot clean them and wash them properly once a month. It might be controversial, but your jeans will keep their shape for much longer this way.

Amrit Mann, Editorial Assistant 

Topshop is a brand I come back to time and again for denim – sadly you can no longer try anything on in a store but there’s a great selection on ASOS. There’s such a wide variety of sizing available, which means they work for most body types. I’ve got very long legs, which is not a terrible problem to have, but finding jeans that are long enough can be an issue. Thankfully, Topshop’s Premium Mom style does the job, making them my all-time favourite. I like the bleach wash, but they’re available in a few different colourways – the slim tapered fit makes them really easy to dress up and down. 

Winnie Malcolm, Content Co-ordinator 

If I want to look polished but still add an edge to my outfits, Mother is my brand of choice. I'm a huge fan of high-waisted jeans because they make my legs look longer and cinch in my waist. I tend to opt for a wide-leg fit when I don’t want to draw attention to my thighs, but if I want to show off some killer leather boots, I’ll wear a skinny pair in a dark wash for a more sophisticated look. Don’t be tempted to size up – I find MOTHER’S jeans tend to relax a little over time, so it’s best to buy them a bit tighter at first. 

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