Our Editors' Dream Jeans Don't Include A Single Pair Of Skinnies

Here's the thing most people don't realize about fashion editors: Most mornings, we wake up, drag our feet to our closets, and reach for a pair of jeans. And we can attest that no matter how many rare, limited-edition, beautiful items you have access to because of your job, few are as satisfying as your favorite pair of jeans. Fashion editors will go to extreme lengths for them, too. We'll buy the same pair in multiples, get them regularly re-patched, engage in battles of attrition on eBay with total strangers, and — when we get really, really intense about it — hit up a denim brand to make our own.
The creatives at Earnest Sewn were generous enough to extend their expertise (and, you know, access to high-quality denim and its attendant production infrastructure) to help five of our editors create the jeans of their dreams. The pants we manifested fulfilled denim desires that we think are universal: They were versatile, they had personality, they made us look and feel like our best selves, and they were easy to wear. But, like the women who made them, they were all very different from one another, ranging from wide to cropped to dark-washed to light (though not a single one of us chose a skinny-jean silhouette — take that how you will!). Below, our five editors talk about the obsessions, neuroses, and secret habits that led them to their perfect pair, and how you can cop one for yourself, too.
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Photographed by Mindy Byrd.
Earnest Sewn Christene Flare Jeans Raw White, $185, available at Earnest Sewn; Marc Jacobs Sequin Collar Silk Tunic, $315 $525, available at Shopbop; Paula Cademartori Lotus Lace-Up Leather Sandals, $372 $744, available at Matches Fashion.

Christene Barberich, Global Editor-In-Chief

The Origin Story
I've had a wonderful vintage pair of cropped, bell-bottom Levi's for as long as I can remember. The one fatal flaw is they were about 12 sizes too small...and, well, I wore them anyway. When I heard we would have the chance to design our own signature pair, all I could think about was having the same breezy '70s effect of those Levi's, and being able to breathe at the same time.

My new pair is just the everybody jean. The rise is just right — right on the hip and a smidge below the belly button. There's just enough stretch to get your groove on, but not so much that you add two sizes by the time you take them off. I love them with heels, with Birkenstocks, with Stan Smiths... They do not discriminate when it comes to shoes. And best of all, they look sick underneath a long shirtdress — nothing chicer.
The Game Plan
I plan on wearing my jeans with everything. And if everyone else is saying that about their jeans, too, then I'll just say crop-tops, vintage football jerseys (my new obsession), shrunken button-downs, lace, brocade, an oversize navy-blue cashmere sweater, big earrings, satin Prada Mary Janes, a faux tan, maybe an ice cream cone and a margarita?
The Other Stuff
I literally have a mental list of items to grab in case of an emergency. The items in my collage are some of those things...along with Phoebe, my three-legged cat, but she wasn't interested in coming in for the shoot. You know, cats.
Earnest Sewn Christene Flare Jeans Raw Blue, $185, available at Earnest Sewn
Earnest Sewn Christene Flare Jeans Raw White, $185, available at Earnest Sewn
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Photographed by Mindy Byrd.
Earnest Sewn Connie Cropped Boyfriend Jean, $185, available at Earnest Sewn; Marc Jacobs Ruffle Button Up, $237 $395, available at Shopbop; Giuseppe Zanotti Emmanuelle Sandals, $312.50 $625, available at Farfetch.

Connie Wang, Fashion Features Director

The Origin Story
Confession time: I have a secret Pinterest board containing screengrabs of women who've worn what I consider to be the holy grail of pants. They're slightly oversized, slightly droopy, but still stiff-looking. They range in brands, too, from vintage Lees to new Junyas to men's Marnis — and these women look totally confident and cool when they're wearing pants like these, and not in that sort of "my legs look so long" way. They were too self-actualized in their pants to care about things like looking skinny or taller. I wanted in.
Beyond that holy-grail shape, I love jeans that are soft and cushy (but have the look of something more structured). The rise goes up high enough to be flattering, but not so high to make me feel like my belly's on display. The crop, too, is perfect for women like me who've typically had a hard time finding cropped pants without the help of a tailor.
The Game Plan
I wear jeans a lot — and the great thing is that this pair already works with all the weird blouses, graphic tees, and shrunken sweaters that make up my closet. Shoes-wise, the healthy crop of these means that I can wear them with flats and low socks while still flashing some ankle.
The Other Stuff
I am a hoarder, both digitally (see: the aforementioned Pinterest board) and IRL. All these items were on one shelf in my apartment; most are silly mementos from trips and moments, and others are items I literally cannot live without. In the latter group are my Muji checklist notepads and 0.5mm pens — I always have a set on me at all times — the best scented hand lotion ever created, good books, and a variety of hot sauces.
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Earnest Sewn Connie Cropped Boyfriend Jean, $185, available at Earnest Sewn
Photographed by Mindy Byrd.
Earnest Sewn Emily Carpenter Jean, $185, available at Earnest Sewn; Vince Favorite Tank, $48, available at Vince; 3.1 Phillip Lim Zip-Front Jacket, $550, available at 3.1 Phillip Lim; Alumnae Knotted Sandal in Bronzo. $650. available at Alumnae; Apple Watch Sport, $299, available at Apple.

Emily Holland, Styling Director

The Origin Story
I, by and large, wear vintage Levi's with a higher waist and a straight leg — they feel classic. I look for ones with a lot of weight and not a lot of stretch. When coming up with my own pair, I wanted to mimic a lot of the durability and timelessness I love, while also adding in some kookier touches, like the carpenter loop.
The Game Plan
I wear jeans almost every day. Because these are so classic, they can be worn with almost anything and for any occasion. First and foremost, I'd wear my jeans with a tighter knit top or T-shirt but I'd dress them up with a lacey silk camisole and a pair of kitten-heel sandals for a nighttime look.
The Other Stuff
Part of the reason I love a great pair of jeans is that I can easily hop on my bike and not feel constrained when zipping around town. My baby blanket was a handmade gift from my great aunt given to me when I was born. I still have it to this day, and while it's basically a rag at this point, it's been with me throughout my life. The two pieces of jewelry are from each of my grandmothers. The EH ring was a gift from my father's mother on the day of my bat mitzvah. On the inside, there's an engraving of the date of my bat mitzvah and the word l'chaim ("to life" in Hebrew). The bracelet was passed along to me from my mother's mother after she passed away recently. Both women are huge influences and role models in my life.
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Earnest Sewn Emily Carpenter Jean, $185, available at Earnest Sewn
Photographed by Mindy Byrd.
Earnest Sewn Rachel Denim Trouser, $185, available at Earnest Sewn; Off-White Cringe Suit Jacket, $1,555, available at Intermix; Nike shoes.

Rachel Besser, Market Editor

The Origin Story
My absolute favorite pair of pants are these high-waisted black trousers with a cropped bell bottom. I love them so much that I have three pairs...when you love something, you love something, you know? Those pants have inspired a bunch of my fellow R29 editors to buy them, too. That's when I knew we were cooking with gas — I wasn't the only one catching feelings. That being said, I yearned for a denim version; I wanted a slightly more casual look that still had the same dressy, crisp feel of my OG trousers. There are a lot of cropped flares out in the market, but none of them really captures the upscale feel I love so much about these, like the ironed crease on the front of the pant leg. If you notice a void in the market (and have the amazing opportunity to fill that void), you definitely fill that dang void.
The Game Plan
I'll mostly be wearing these jeans with my daily uni — longer, baggier tops and jerseys, and my Airmax '97s or '95s. Since they're tight on the leg and flare out, these are trés flattering for the ankles, and more dimensional than your average pant leg, making it so both baggy and tight tops work.

The Other Stuff
I looked at the designated pile-zone on the floor of my messy bedroom and all the things collaged up there made up said piles. If they're outside my black hole of a closet, it definitely mean those items are in my starting five.
On another note, it's easy to see how my jean can pair well with retro items (because, obviously — there's a bell bottom involved). But, I wanted to visually show people how they are meant for all of us sporty girls, too, without having to go for a traditionally baggy silhouette. Also, shoutout to Razor scootering around NYC. No shame, no gain.
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Earnest Sewn Rachel Denim Trouser, $185, available at Earnest Sewn
Photographed by Mindy Byrd.
Earnest Sewn Bethie Denim Jacket, $210, available at Earnest Sewn; Audra skirt.

Bethie Girmai, Associate Stylist

The Origin Story
I think finding a flattering jean jacket can be just as challenging as finding a great-fitting pair of jeans. I've been seeing different iterations of let-down, frayed-hem jeans all over the market but noticed its jacket counterpart was missing! That's how the Bethie jacket was born; no hospitals were involved in this labor, but it was definitely one of love.
I'm rather petite and I've found that cropped tops give the illusion of a taller frame, a trick I definitely wanted to utilize in my Earnest Sewn piece. A lot of the denim jackets I see are of the boyfriend variety so I wanted to offer a style you were less likely to find elsewhere.
The Game Plan
I love dressing up, but it's not always conducive for my line of work, as I spend more time out in the field than I do at my desk. I compromise that aspect of my style ethos by supplementing casual options with statement pieces. I love the contrast of my denim jacket with a ruffled or pleated skirt.
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The Other Stuff
I'm a self-proclaimed wizard in the kitchen, which explains the cookbooks (follow me on Snapchat for periodic episodes of my low budget, self-produced show, Bethie's Bodega). I've always had a fascination with elaborate journals. This one from Etro is almost too pretty to write in. The Mikimoto pen is a memento I snagged while working at Glamour; it was a hand-me-down from my boss who was the accessories director at the time. The scarf is YSL but was a total steal for $75. I bought it from Century21 on the last day of my first summer in NY. I had spent the summer interning at Teen Vogue, so the scarf is a souvenir that reminds me of the summer I fell in love with the city.
Earnest Sewn Bethie Denim Jacket, $210, available at Earnest Sewn
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