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Which skinny jeans are best?

Skinny jeans can’t be rigid or heavy because you lose circulation when you combine that with form-fitting. Skinny jeans need to be lightweight, flexible, soft and durable–and fit similarly to your favorite pair of yoga pants. If you have had a bad experience with skinny jeans, you might think those claims are rather lofty. However, they are all very doable. The B(air) Skinny Jeans by 7 For All Mankind is a top pick that fits that criteria.

What to know before you buy skinny jeans

How skinny jeans fit

Skinny jeans are intended to hug your body from the waist down to the ankle. You should be able to sit down without risking exposure of your back end regardless of your chosen rise, and you should be able to move about as you would in yoga pants.

Unfortunately, even the best skinny jeans tend to display one common fit issue: the dreaded “waist gap.” However, it usually accompanies a perfect fit on the hips. The alternative is often a fitted waist with a too-tight fit on the hips.

The solution is quite simple. Select a pair of skinny jeans that comfortably fits the largest part of your body and spend roughly $10 to have a tailor take in the waist. While you are there, have the tailor perfect your inseam as well. That will elevate the fit of your skinny jeans to a new level, and it requires minimal effort and money.


The best skinny jeans are available in four rises. Since bodies are diverse, pay attention to the measurement of the rise and the intended placement.

  • Low-rise is 5-8 inches high and should land about 2 inches below your belly button.
  • Mid-rise features an 8-9-inch rise and should sit below your belly button. 
  • High-rise is 9-10 inches high and should land right at your waist.
  • Ultra-high-rise is over 11 inches high and should land above your belly button.

Regardless of your chosen rise, many manufacturers have cued in to the fact that people enjoy sitting down without being pantsed. Thus, the best skinny jeans will boast a lower front rise and a slightly higher back rise to accommodate the dissonant sitting and standing coverage requirements.

Inseam options

Your selection is a matter of preference and body type. Generally, skinny jean inseams are available in ankle, regular or tall.

What to look for in quality skinny jeans


The best skinny jeans offer the same benefits as any quality denim and should not be mistaken for leggings. The durability of denim lies in the mix of premium cotton with synthetics such as spandex/elastane, polyester and rayon. Occasionally, you will find premium skinny jeans with lyocell in them, an ultra-soft semi-synthetic.

Many cheaply-made “skinny jeans” tend to skip the cotton, and since durability correlates with fabric weight and premium fibers, those imposters wear out very fast.

High stitch count

The number of stitches per inch on your pair of skinny jeans dictates the strength of its seams. The best skinny jeans boast eight to 10 stitches per inch, and cheaply made skinny jeans have fewer than eight stitches per inch.  

Hand-sanded whiskers

Inspect the wear patterns, or “whiskers,” created by the manufacturer. A laser likely created them if the marks are uniform and lack depth. However, if they mimic actual wear and tear with depth and irregularities, they were expertly made by hand with sandpaper.

How much you can expect to spend on skinny jeans

Affordably made yet quality skinny jeans cost $30-$80. In comparison, many of the best skinny jeans cost $100-$350.

Skinny jeans FAQ

What if you do not have time to take your skinny jeans to a tailor but want a perfect fit? 

A. Many department stores nowadays have a professional tailor on staff who will take your measurements on the spot and send your new jeans to you when they are done.   

How should you wash your skinny jeans? 

A. Follow the instructions on the jeans but make sure to turn them inside-out before washing them. For best results, hang them to dry.

What are the best skinny jeans to buy?

Top skinny jeans

B(air) Skinny Jeans by 7 For All Mankind

B(air) Skinny Jeans by 7 For All Mankind

What you need to know: These are the best skinny jeans and feel like an ultra-soft pair of leggings.

What you’ll love: The B(air) skinny jeans collection is amazing regardless of the rise, wash and inseam you choose. It effortlessly molds to your body, and its mix of cotton, lyocell, polyester and spandex makes them incredibly comfortable. These jeans are mid-rise with a 28-inch inseam.

What you should consider: The sizes range from 23 to 32, so 7 For All Mankind has a lot of room to become more size inclusive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Macy’s and Revolve

Top skinny jeans for the money

721 High-Rise Skinny Jeans by Levi’s

721 High-Rise Skinny Jeans by Levi’s

What you need to know: These are the best skinny jeans for those who do not want to sacrifice quality for price while on a budget.

What you’ll love: These boast 23 washes in sizes 20-46, and they are sturdy, with a mix of 60 percent cotton. The front rise is 10 inches and the back rise is 14 inches, with an inseam range of 28-32 inches.

What you should consider: While these skinny jeans are very affordable, the prices vary by the wash you select.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Ultra Skinny Jeans by Paige Jeans

Ultra Skinny Jeans by Paige Jeans

What you need to know: These are flexible and comfortable jeans that have just the right amount of stretch in all the right places.

What you’ll love: These jeans are available in four washes, sizes 23-32 and boast a rise of 8 inches with an inseam of 29.5 inches. They are buttery soft and so comfortable that you may forget you are wearing jeans.  

What you should consider: As with the 7 For All Mankind jeans, Paige could greatly benefit from expanding its range of available sizes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ella Scott writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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