Shitters. After a decade-plus of skinny jeans, the TikTok teens (followed by the New York Times) have declared that they are two thousand and LATE (I don’t know why I chose the lamest possible way to convey this information… teens make me nervous).
For those of us denim heads who have spent a small fortune over the past decade on all the different washes and rises and those god awful slashed versions of skinny jeans (2015… why?), this is not a particularly easy development to come to terms with. Especially if you are well aware that you will never look the same as a tiny teen in some patently unflattering pants. But if I took away anything from Econ 100, it’s that everything is a sunk cost and nothing matters, so we gotta get new jeans.
I think this is where I tell you that I was awful at Econ, which is a good thing because it means my advice is much more practical than “cut your losses, toss the jeans, and [insert some babble about diminishing marginal returns].” First thing: You don’t NEED to offload all of your skinny jeans (or ditch your side part) just because new trends showed up. I think our collective reentry into society paired with the perpetual “I have nothing to wear” feeling is causing a bit of panic around our appearances. Just like anything else, a) you are the only one who cares, and b) if you love your skinny jeans and/or have better things to spend your money on than new denim, you are fine. People will still wear skinny jeans. Brands will still make them. Everything will be ok, I promise.
But for those of you who are somewhere between cautiously and curiously eyeing the world of non-skinny jeans, YOU HAVE COME TO RIGHT PLACE! MY PEOPLE! Allow me to introduce you to my favorite starter straight leg jean: AGOLDE’s Riley Straight Crop.
AGOLDE’s are my go-to jeans (and shorts! A notoriously tricky item!), and this specific pair is my favorite of ALL TIME. The pictures do not do them justice—they are the best vintage-y wash, comfortable to wear while moving/sitting/living (harder to find than one would think!), and beeeeyond flattering. Expect about eight zillion compliments, even from strangers. Don’t get freaked out by the word “cropped”—they’re more of an ankle length if you’re in the 5’3-5’6 range (and if you’re taller and/or not into the cropped vibe, the Jamie’s might be more your speed).
A thing that I find tricky about straight leg styles (and tbh jeans in general) is that it can be a PROCESS to find pairs I consider flattering (note: heavy use of the word *I* in these sections because this is very subjective!). Like most human beings, I don’t have the same proportions as denim fit models—if a jean fits me in the waist, it’s usually tight in the hips. If it fits in the hips, there’s usually a gap at the waist. (S/o to the TikTok teens for finding the adjustable jean button pins that are made for this scenario—a life-changing $6 investment.)
I know my frame is relatively small and I’m in a size range that most brands make and stores carry, all of which makes jean shopping inherently easier for me than it is for a lot of people. But as someone who has never found it particularly easy or fun, my experience got a lot better when I found this brand. I know sizing/price/fit-wise they won’t be for everyone, but as always, sharing what I’ve tried in the hopes that it will make the process easier for at least some of you!
In general, this is the only label I’ve trusted with my forays outside of skinny jean territory because the fit is great, the washes are cool, and the denim holds up. I find that they tend to run a little bit bigger than other brands (sizing definitely varies style to style), but I usually order the smaller of the two sizes I run between.
It’s been a minute since I’ve added a new pair of jeans to my collection (not for lack of trying—between fit and wash and inseam this is a needle/haystack situation!!), but has anyone found any that they’re loving lately? Preferably in a teen-approved silhouette?? I’m eyeing these guys, but could be convinced to add more to a try-on haul. Drop a line. I’m listening!!!!
If you’re reading this on the internet or if a friend forwarded it to you (good friend!), you can sign up to get this sweet lil email in your inboxes every now and then right here at shitiboughtandliked.com! As always, would love to hear what you think, especially if you try the jeans!