While finding jeans in that elusive butt-lifting or ankle-grazing style is hard enough, it becomes that much harder for plus-size women who are seeking something both flattering and comfortable. For the 67 percent of American women that are above a size 14, it’s practically impossible due to a lack of plus-friendly options. The tide has been turning lately though, with new brands cropping up to accommodate plus-size women and “straight-size” brands offering plus options. So we turned to the experts — real women who range in size from a 12 to a 26 — on the best plus-size jeans for their figures.
Best high-waisted plus-size jeans
“I used to avoid jeans because I couldn’t find any that flattered my figure. As a curvy girl, some high-waisted jeans are barely high-waisted and don’t cinch in as much at the waist as they should to create a silhouette, but these do. I love that the multiple buttons on these go the entire length of the torso and pull in any rogue parts of my stomach that most jeans don’t even start to. Because it’s buttons instead of a fly, there are no accidental zipper slips either. I live for the black wash because they go with everything; they make your legs look long and sleek.” — Samantha O’Brochta, travel blogger and digital strategist, size 16/18
Best small-waisted plus-size jeans
“I’m an extreme pear shape; I have a 20-inch difference between my waist and hips, so I usually have that large gap in the back of my jeans. I find that the NYJD Sure Stretch Skinny has more of a tapered waist. I live in them because they are so easy. I also liked that the ankle opening is small because sometimes you get jeans with three or four inches of extra fabric around your ankle. I love the amount of stretch in these jeans because it’s great for accentuating my kind of curves — I have a butt. I’ve owned five to eight pairs of these jeans, but they haven’t worn out.” — Chastity Garner Valentine, The CurvyCon co-founder, size 26
Best stretching plus-size jeans
“I’ve been living in my Lucky jeans for the last two years because my body changes constantly, and these jeans just always fit no matter where I am. I’m a size 14, but sometimes I’m a 16, and I always know these fit me just the way I want. I wear them to every single one of my castings with a white T-shirt, black T-shirt, tank, everything.” — Karissa Rodriguez, model, size 14/16
Best plus-size jeans for chub rub
“I was never a jeans and T-shirt girl because I have thick thighs that rub against each other when I walk. I’ve had issues with jeans in the past that tear or rip in the thigh area because of the constant friction, but not with these Super Skinnies. They have just enough stretch to be comfortable and supportive without being restrictive or so stretchy that they lose shape easily.” —Annette Richmond, fashion, lifestyle, and travel blogger, size 20
Best butt-lifting plus-size jeans
“Accessible quality denim in my size is a very hard find — I’ve been hunting for them my entire life, but Good American definitely got it right. The fabric is soft and stretchy, but doesn’t lose its shape after you wear them. The high-waist pair make my butt and waist look phenomenal and I feel beyond comfortable running around town when I’m wearing them. Comfort is really important because if jeans look good but feel like you’re constantly pulling them up or cut in a weird way, it can be really tough.” —Denise Bidot, model
Best bootcut plus-size jeans
“I have this black pair of Levi’s 315, they are my everyday go-tos for work. The first time I tried them on was on set and I thought, Oh, these are really nice, I need to get a pair, so I did as soon as I got home. They’re a mid-high to high-waisted jean that comes in right at my belly button and sucks in everything. The leg isn’t straight and narrow; the bootcut flare actually balances all my curves. The pockets in the front are tiny — it’s less fabric — but the back pockets are wider and fan out to the side a little, so my butt looks great.” —Yasmin Geurts, model, size 14
Best plus-size jeans for comfort
“This pair by AYR changes the game. The higher you go up in jean sizing, the harder it becomes to find a pair that doesn’t also come embellished with patches, intentional rips, or worst of all — whiskering. One or all of the above can be fun on occasion, but sometimes you just want a simple pair of jeans that say nothing. The fit on these jeans is comfortable enough to enjoy a full range of activities and flattering enough to want to be photographed doing said activities. Simply put, I’d wear these on a plane.” — Christina Andrew, model
Best belly-flattering plus-size jeans
“I’m tall and plus-size, so there are a lot of different things I need to look for. The Curvy Skinny Premium jeans by Torrid have a waist that sits in a really good place — it’s not low, or too high-waist. It hits me right below the belly button. My shape is more like an apple-glass versus an hourglass because I carry a lot of my weight in my stomach, and this rise creates a smooth line from my hip to my waist so I feel comfortable standing and sitting. With plus jeans, stretch material is sometimes overdone to the point where you have to size down, but the Curvy Skinny feels like regular denim. I’ve had these jeans for more than a year, and I’m a size 20 now, but I’ve worn them at a size 24, and the shape and the structure holds up whether you size up or size down.” — Cece Olisa, TheCurvyCon co-founder
Best shape-retaining plus-size jeans
“It’s rare for plus-size women to have a favorite pair of jeans, it’s only been in the last three years that could happen. I wear a 22, 24 or 3XL, 4XL and one that really fits me well is the Lane Bryant high-waisted skinny jean. It’s one of their newer styles that came out at the end of last year. They’re actually great because they don’t feel like jeggings. One of the worst things about plus jeans is that they fit one way in the morning and then by the end of day, they become too loose. But these stay up without any of that gross gapping in the back. I’m an hourglass, and these hug my every curve all day.” — Essie Golden, model, size 22/24 or 3XL/4XL
Best mid-rise plus-size jeans
“Levi’s also has a good pair — I wear a 22 in them — and I didn’t even know Levi’s went up that high. They shape you out and hold you in place without creating rolls. After two or three months, I always get holes in my jeans in the thigh area, and these have lasted after two or three years without doing that at all. These also make my butt feel good and create tummy control, which I appreciate. When I bend over, I never have to worry about hanging out and they’re mid-rise jeans. They move with me.” —Golden
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