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How to Shop for Denim Online — and Actually Find a Pair You Love

Your denim wardrobe could probably use a refresh
By Madeline Diamond
March 24, 2021
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Many of us have been living in sweats for the past year, but that doesn't mean you can't start dressing up again at any time, even if it's just to stay at home. If you're interested in reincorporating jeans back into your daily uniform and could use a wardrobe refresh, we have you covered. Travel + Leisure spoke with Madewell's SVP of Denim Design, Mary Pierson, about how to find jeans comfortable enough to wear while working from home, as well as how to successfully shop for denim online.

Related: More must-have denim

As someone who enjoys fashion but has primarily worn leggings, joggers, and t-shirts while working from home over the past year, I was initially skeptical about returning to wearing jeans on a day to day basis. However, thanks to some guidance from the experts at Madewell, I was able to find several pairs of jeans that are not only comfortable enough to wear all day at home, whether I'm writing from my couch or taking meetings at my desk, but also stylish enough to give my wardrobe a much-needed spring update.

Madewell has plenty of options when it comes to jeans, ranging from skinny to flare styles, in vintage-inspired light washes to dark, true blues, most in sizes 23 to 35. You'll also find Petite, Tall, Plus, and Maternity styles, making the brand's line of jeans accessible to a wide range of body types. The Classic Straight Jeans, Perfect Vintage Jeans, and Cali Demi-boot Jeans were all comfortable enough for me to wear all day long, whether I'm working from home, running around town, or lounging in the park (I wore mine during all of these activities).

Below, find more tips from Madewell on finding your new favorite jeans.

Consider the Fabric and Fit

Women wearing dark wash skinny jeans
Credit: Courtesy of Madewell

To buy: Curvy High-rise Skinny Jeans in Wendover Wash, madewell.com, $135; 10" High-rise Roadtripper Authentic Jeans in Vinton Wash, madewell.com, $80

"When shopping for denim, if you're specifically looking for comfort you should check for two big things: how much stretch the fabric has and how relaxed the fit is," Pierson said. For skinny jean fans, she recommends the Roadtripper or Curvy High Rise, since these styles "have lots of stretch so it feels like a second skin that moves with you." You can also find plenty of comfort and stretch in the Perfect Vintage Jean and Boyjean if you're a fan of relaxed fits.

Get to Know Your Body Type

Woman wearing black straight leg jeans
Credit: Courtesy of Madewell

To buy: Classic Straight Jeans in Lunar Wash, madewell.com, $128

"Whether you're straight from waist to hip or curvy, we've worked really hard at Madewell to make sure we have the perfect fits for every body shape," Pierson said. She also reiterated that it's important to understand how much stretch you prefer in your jeans in order to pick the right size. "The amount of stretch really affects how the jeans will fit over your hips, and whether you'll want to go true to size or size up/down (depending on how tight or relaxed you want your jeans to look)."

Find Your Signature Cut

Women wearing light wash, distressed jeans
Credit: Courtesy of Madewell

To buy: Perfect Vintage Jean in Coffey Wash, madewell.com, $135; The Slim Boyjean in Eames Wash, madewell.com, $128

"Thanks to the great Gen-Z debate, we know that high rise straight legs are really trending (we're especially seeing an uptick in styles like our Perfect Vintage Jeans in Coffey wash), and lighter/faded vintage washes with some destruction," Pierson said. She also calls out Madewell's Dadjean and Boyjean styles as some of her favorite straight let styles at Madewell.

But if you're not ready to part ways with your skinny jeans, don't fret, because Madewell still has plenty of options of comfortable, versatile slim cuts. Plus, Pierson says that skinny jeans are one of her top picks for working from home since they "go well with oversized tops [and] they're versatile to tuck in."

Madeline Diamond is a Brooklyn-based e-commerce editor at Travel + Leisure, and she's constantly fighting the impulse to overpack for her next trip. You can follow her on Twitter @madgdiamond and Instagram @madelinediamond.

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