this thing's incredible

These Plus-Size Skinny Jeans Keep Me Contained Without Choking My Guts

They’re high-waisted, skinny, and still comfortable. Photo: Courtesy the retailer

Everyone wants something different from their jeans. I live for high-waisted skinny jeans that hold me in (people with bellies and butts know — they jiggle), while remaining comfortable to sit in. There’s a sense of security that comes with feeling contained, but I am by no means looking for jeans as shapewear. In the plus-size world, where “amount of stretch” seems to be the focus when it comes to skinny jeans, finding a pair that offered me the structure I craved without feeling like my guts were being choked seemed like an impossible task.

And then I tried Universal Standard’s Slim Cut Seine Jeans. When I first put these jeans on, I legitimately giggled. (The size-inclusive range runs from sizes 6 to 32 with both 27- and 32-inch inseams.) I was excited. These jeans had the exact balance of structure and comfort I wanted. My stomach and butt have never felt so secure — there’s no jiggling here — and yet they have just enough stretch (2 percent spandex) to remain tight over my hips and calves, with only the tiniest bit of looseness at the ankles (a godsend for the thick-calved girl addicted to skinny jeans). I have an hourglass shape and there is none of that dreaded waist gap that happens when jeans hug your hips but get too baggy higher up. Even after multiple washes, there’s been no sagging. And, miracle of miracles, as structured as they are, I can still move (and sit) without restriction. I’ve danced in these babies. My only complaint is a minor one: My solid black pair attracts a lot of lint, so now I keep a lint roller in my bag. The jeans also cost $90, which is more than I was used to paying, but they’ve also yet to succumb to any inner-thigh wear and tear, even after being in heavy rotation for six months, so I know they’ll last.

And yet, for all of the pros I can list about these jeans, the one I keep coming back to is how secure I feel while wearing them. I used to laugh at the notion of “jeans that make you feel good,” because for a long time, as a plus-size woman I had so few options that how jeans made me feel was the least of my priorities. But times have changed and, you guys, these jeans just make me feel good. Who knew?

Universal Standard Slim Cut Seine Jeans
$90 at Universal Standard

More Strat-approved plus-size jeans

Lane Bryant Super Stretch Skinny Jeans
$70 at Lane Bryant

Fashion blogger Annette Richmond told us about these Lane Bryant skinny jeans in our guide to the best plus-size jeans: ““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.”

Lucky Brand Trendy Plus Size Ginger Navy Wash Skinny Jeans
$99 at Macy’s

Another favorite from our plus-size jeans guide were these Lucky Brand skinnies from model Karissa Rodriguez: “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.”

Levi 310 Shaping Super Skinny Jeans (Plus Size)
$70 at Levi

Plus-size model Essie Golden likes her Levi 301s: “Levi’s 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.”

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These Plus-Size Jeans Keep Me Secure Without Choking My Guts