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You can’t deny the cozy allure of lounge pants, sweats, and leggings, but how about a happy medium? Our editors have found theirs in denim—the perfect pant that’s both practical and polished. And because fashion editors are notorious for having large denim collections, I asked a handful of my stylish colleagues to share their favorite jeans. More specifically, the most comfortable pairs in their wardrobes.
Wearing jeans while hanging around the house or at the office isn’t for everyone. Sweatpant supporters might say that jeans aren’t designed to be comfortable, but they can be. Finding a pair that’s somewhere between stiff and sofa-friendly is just a matter of trial and error. And by pooling our editor-tested and -approved pairs together, we’ve done some of the work for you.
Per our editors, those die-hard denim fans who gravitate toward non-stretch denim won’t even need to give up their preferences for a 100% cotton pair of twill trousers. As far as fabric goes, there are plenty of options cut from a softer and thinner denim that doesn’t cross into stretch territory. In fact, jeans are becoming so comfortable that denim has entered a whole new category, more on the non-jean jeans here.
But besides sharing their most comfortable pairs, editors also revealed a few styling tips and tricks: Jeans with a surprise elastic waistband, knowing when to size up, and focusing on denim that doesn’t require breaking in. Thanks to these 22 picks, the search for the perfect denim to wear just about anywhere can end here. Trust us, comfortable jeans do exist. You just have to know where to find them.
Lisa Aiken, Executive Fashion Director of Vogue.com
I am so happy that relaxed-fit jeans are trending right now, the slouchier, the better for me. This pair of Raey jeans comes in multiple shades, including a soft black and perfect mid-blue wash. They look great with something slim fitting on top, and either sneakers or a kitten heel… depending on just how comfy you want to be.
Irene Kim, Production and Editorial Coordinator, Vogue Runway
I think dark wash denim is super in this season for fall/winter and I’ve been loving the Khaite Danielle jeans. It’s rigid enough that it doesn’t stretch out after one wear and the length on my 5’7 height is also just right! I hate when jeans are too long that you need to cuff them and also prefer a mid-rise fit as I find them to be more comfortable when you’re sitting at the office for hours on end.
Charlotte Diamond, Assistant Market Editor
Though I, admittedly, don’t often wear jeans when I WFH, Everlane’s cheeky jean—which I have in two washes—is my go-to comfy pair. They look polished when I stand up and are as comfortable as my favorite pair of sweatpants when I’m sitting down.
Chioma Nnadi, Global Network Lead & Editor, Vogue.com
I love anything with gigantic pockets and so these carpenter-style Calvins tick all the boxes. The wide leg shape can be tricky to pull off, but these sit nice and low on the waist in a way that works well with my wardrobe of cozy knits and slouchy button-ups.
Madeline Fass, Market Editor
I am 100% a pants person, and my jean collection takes up a large portion of my wardrobe. I’ll wear any style of jeans, really, stiff vintage to baggy boyfriend, but over the past few months, I’ve taken to the pairs in relaxed silhouettes and a worn-in feel. I’ve been living in this pair from Boyish; the legs have the absolutely perfect amount of bagginess I’m looking for without having too much excess fabric for my 5’3 self. Even with the loose fit, they hug my waist just right and aren’t a mile too long. With a pair like these, who needs sweats?
Julie Tong, Commerce Director
I’m not a major denim fan, but if there’s one pair I’d slip on, it’s my straight-leg Levi’s Wedgie. I own them both in blue and white, and I honestly wear them year-round. I love that they have a slight wide-leg feel with a cropped hem, which is perfect for my shorter frame. If there’s any pair you buy today, make it this one.
Daisy Shaw-Ellis, Jewelry Director
There’s something about wearing my denim every day that has made the work-from-home dressing situation feel less like I’m giving up on myself from the waist down. This pair of Frame straight-leg jeans is a tried-and-true pair that I wear often. They’re the perfect straight leg—not too slim, not too wide, and not a mom jean. The wash is a true blue that (in my opinion and in my wardrobe) works with everything. And almost as important as all of the above, they don’t bag out after a couple of wears, a major pet peeve of mine.
Naomi Elizée, Market Editor
It is always a mission to find jeans that fit me perfectly at the waist and still have a good amount of length. Closed has been my saving grace! These pair of wide-length jeans have a great fit while still giving me enough length at the bottom so I can wear a boot or a chic kitten heel!
Christian Allaire, Fashion and Style Writer
I’m a weirdo who wears jeans almost every day, even if I am not going anywhere. I swear I even think better in them! My go-to is a pair of black Levi’s 501s, which at this point, feel like a second skin to me. Once you break them in, they are so comfortable—promise!
Kiana Murden, Beauty Commerce Writer
I must admit that I am in no way a jeans girl, and that my search for the perfect pair has only just begun. I think I’ll make 2023 the year I unearth my forever jean. Anyway, my preferred silhouette is a wide leg that I can wear with boots or heels—a plus for a petite gal like myself. I love Rag & Bone’s Sofie and Agolde’s Low Rise Baggy styles in light washes or black for a subtle denim look.
Sarah Spellings, Fashion News Editor
These jeans—which are the only pair in my closet that have any stretch—make me feel good no matter what. Got a six-hour plane flight? Wear these. Long day of Zoom meetings? These are just two notches above leggings in my book. The wide-leg silhouette hugs in all the right places and helps me live out my ’70s dream girl vision as well.
Chloe Malle, Contributing Editor
I’ve had these Amo Topanga jeans for years, and the bottom is getting threadbare from too many desk days, that’s how comfortable they are for work from home! They have just the right amount of stretch, and the fabric is so soft without losing shape. I also love the high-rise waist and cropped kick-flare hem.
Lilah Ramzi, Features and Commerce Editor
In college I discovered a lot about myself—including which jeans worked for me. More than 10 years later, I’m still wearing basically the same exact pair of pants. Black, skinny-leg, very high-waist denim with a little stretch by Frame. When worn, I feel like Audrey Hepburn as a beatnik in Funny Face dancing in the cafés of Paris. Their extra-high waist means no fidgeting and retucking (blouses and, ahem, skin). Their slight stretch (2.5% of elastane that makes all the difference) allows me to crisscross my legs with ease. They look somewhat dressy and can almost pass as a no-denim pair of pants—which is perfect because I seem to be in the extreme minority of people who don’t wear blue jeans.
Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, Assistant Market Editor
Nothing is quite as comfortable as a loose-fitting, baggy jean. And as of late, my search for the perfect pair is on. Currently loving the Magnolia wide-legged jeans by Wandler, as they provide all the right give in all the right places without compromising that sophisticated, put-together look.
Lauren Valenti, Senior Beauty Editor
I’d been pining for a pair of Judi Rosen’s old-school, high-waist faded blue flares for years. They’re the stuff of peachy dreams: Sculpting and lifting your bum to the heavens as only a sturdy, extra-high-rise style can. The irony that I finally landed a pair now—a time when soft pants reign supreme—is not lost on me. It takes no less than five minutes to shimmy my way into them, and they’re made of a stiff, raw denim that stands in total contrast to lounging, but I’ve relished breaking them in and fantasizing about the day I can take them out on the town. They make me feel alive.
Kylee McGuigan, Associate Commerce Producer
I’m a jeans girl through and through, but they have to be extra comfortable if I’m going to wear them for hours on end. Thankfully, I came across this pair from Levi’s that hasn’t let me down—even after several wears. The high-waisted, straight-leg look is so in right now, and they pair with all my favorite T-shirts, sweaters, and turtlenecks. Plus, with the cropped hems, they’ll look great with all my go-to fall and winter boots.
Ian Malone, Experiences Manager
While I love a pair of classic blue jeans (typically from Levi or Acne Studios), I often crave something more unexpected. Y/Project offers the perfect twist on denim. The unisex styles are casual, conceptual, erotic, and whimsical. These western inspired jeans are perfect for a night out in the city or a day in the country. Creative director Glenn Martens worked under Jean Paul Gautier before assuming his role at Y/Project in 2013. The influence of his mentor is seen clearly here and in many of the brand’s styles.
André-Naquian Wheeler, Fashion News Writer
I feel most at home in jeans that are super roomy and lived-in. These unisex, enzyme-washed, wide-leg jeans from Eckhaus Latta definitely fit the bill. They have become my reliable go-to for the past two years, holding up in both shape and wash no matter what abuse I throw at them. They are everything blue jeans should be, in my opinion. Durable, utilitarian, and casual.
Eliseé Browchuk, Production and Marketing Manager
Without a doubt, my go-to jeans are Agolde. They feel worn like vintage jeans but hold the shape of a brand-new pair. The straight-leg style hugs me in all the right places without that uncomfortable “painted-on jeans” feeling. For a more laid-back look, I’ll grab the high-waisted criss-cross version and a white t-shirt. The light and dark washes are closet staples (and don’t forget about the shorts style, too!).