The Ultimate Denim Guide

Where To Buy From & What To Look For…

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Jeans are a bit like the clothing version of what foundations are for me when it comes to makeup. The perfect number is n+1 – you know? In my defence not only are they something that I wear 95% of the time, they are also timeless – even the styles that might not be ‘in’ right now, will always come back around. So I’ve grown quite the collection over the years and today I thought I’d try and collate all my findings here – from the styles that I rate the most (and some helpful sizing info), to my top tips when it comes to shopping for denim…


Measure Up. Most denim is sold in terms of waist measurement – usually in inches. So whilst I’ve stupidly just been guessing my size for years and hoping for the best it turns out that taking a measuring tape your waist can stop the endless back and forth of returns. Relax your stomach and measure the smallest part of your waist to get your measurement. Most retailers will have a size guide too so refer to that as well as taking in any notes on fit. If there’s ever a pair that I’ve worn and you’re eyeing up I’ve actually got all my sizes and fit details added here (once you sign in).

Try Them On. This might seem like an obvious one, but reeeealllly try them on. This is why I personally like to internet shop for denim because it allows me to try them on in the comfort of my home and see how they work with other things I have in my wardrobe, or different kinds of shoes. You really get the proper feel for them. Don’t rush it and don’t rip out the tags until you’re 100% (I’ve made that mistake WAY too many times). I’d also recommend trying them on at different times in the day as our body changes from AM to PM. Whilst you don’t want something that is too tight, denim does naturally stretch so keep this in mind too and really think about what type of fit you’re looking for.

Composition. Get familiar with checking the composition of garments. It’s always listed on the website or clothing labels and can be so helpful in leading you to get exactly what you want. If stretch in your denim is a non-negotiable, then look for ones that contain even a small percentage of a elastane. The higher the percentage of elastane the more stretch they are going to have. If you prefer that more rigid, vintage feel, then look for styles that are 100% cotton.

Aftercare. It’s best to wash denim, inside out in the washing machine on a wash at or below 30℃. NEVER tumble dry them – I always hang mine to dry on an airer and if you can avoid washing them then do. They aren’t a garment that requires frequent washing. Sometimes I just give them a spritz of the Blackhorse Lane Atelier Denim Spray* and pop them back on the hanger. I like to hang them by the waistband on a trouser hanger just so it’s easy to spot the different styles as they can all the same to me when they are folded sometimes! But also it lets them air between uses.



The straight leg style is THE style of the moment and I can see why because it just looks good with whatever shoe you pair it with, has that 90’s minimal feel and can be worn a little looser or a little tighter as you wish. Now you all know I’m going to say that the AGOLDE 90s Pinch Waist Jean* is my fave and for good reason. I don’t think I’ve ever found a pair of jeans that fit me so well. I’d also recommend the black* and I’ve just spotted this more indigo* shade that is DOING THINGS for me. Now I haven’t tried the Abercrombie High Rise 90’s Relaxed Jean*, but the length and size offering is just unmatched, so I might have to pick up a pair to give them a go. Or if it’s another high-street altnerative you’re looking for, I love the ARKET Dhalia Jeans* too for something similar (I’d recommend sizing up one or two sizes for a slightly more oversized fit). For vintage styles I’d also recommend checking out Pin Denim & Cheeky’s Online, both sell A LOAD of Levi’s 501s.


I can feel the wide leg creeping back in. I actually really like it in the summer as it looks so great with flip flops, but it makes a great autumn denim style too, especially paired with a pointy shoe. You could do down two routes here – something that acts as more of a classic flare and sits tighter on the thighs, or a style that is more straight on the thighs with a wider cut calf section. I personally prefer the later and really love the Citizen’s of Humanity Paloma Jeans* for that (I’d recommend going a size down). If you’re a bit shorter than me, then give the Citizen’s of Humanity Ayla Jeans* a go, the turn up looks so good, especially when it’s floor-length. For a high-street option try the ARKET Shore Low Relaxed Jeans* – I’d recommend going two sizes smaller than usual so they sit a little higher on the waist. Now you could go cropped with these too – personally I like a cropped leg in a cream as it just feels a bit more trouser, than jean and I find I get a bit more wear of out of them. The ones I have are now sold out everywhere, but the Sézane Le Crop* look extremely similar.


It might not be the most popular style at the moment, but I’ve held onto my favourite pair of RE/DONE High Rise Stove Pipe Jeans* because you just *know* they’ll come back around at some point. Plus autumn is a great time of year for them because they work really well when you want to show off a sock-boot or fancy boot situation. the ARKET Rose Cropped Straight Stretch Jeans* look to be a very convincing high-street dupe and once again the Abercrombie High Rise Ankle Straight Jeans* come in a huge range of washes, lengths and sizes.


Photos by Mark Newton