8 Denim Brands That Changed Our Lives

It’s impossible to think about your go-to outfits without first envisioning the one staple that always has you (your legs, specifically) covered. And, like ice cream flavors or Netflix-binge shows, you have your favorite pair of jeans; the one that just always works. Sure, you’ll try a new style every season — like the latest take on distressing — but when it comes down to the pair you actually wear every weekend, you have your one. Everyone does.
To give you some insight into the ones we're seeing a lot of around R29 HQ, we polled our fashion team to get the scoop on the jeans they wouldn’t dare live without. (Like, wouldn’t even trade for a closetful of Chanel.) Ahead, eight brands that changed our lives, along with must-have styles to shop. You may just spot your favorite on the list or (gasp) get inspired to try something new. No pressure, just a few great picks if you feel like going that route.
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"I'm a skinny-jeans girl at heart, but I've come to terms with the fact that sometimes the world's favorite style just looks like leggings. With their cool moto-inspired pockets and textured knees, Paige's Demis are firmly planted in pants territory. They are a little on the cropped side, too, so they look great with ballet flats and Chelsea boots. I love them so much I literally own them in every color, from black to dark blue to gray." — Naomi Nevitt, shopping and market director
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Cheap Monday

"I got my first pair of Cheap Monday Lady Teddy jeans two years ago with a lot of inner conflict. Here they were, a pair of awkwardly cropped, awkwardly baggy, awkwardly saggy, awkwardly high-waisted jeans that stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of skinny-fit denim; and yet, I loved them. These days, the trends seem to have come to my side, and I now own three pairs of the Lady Teddy pant. They're the perfect crop for my 5-foot-3 frame, look great with both flats and heels, and cost under $100. Ding ding ding!" — Connie Wang, style director

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Mossimo At Target

"I tend to find the best things when I'm not looking for them, which is probably why I've found some of my favorite pairs of jeans (for a steal!) at Target — likely when I was looking for socks, toothpaste, wrapping paper, etc. Not only have I picked up some amazing options that look so much more pricey than they actually are, but unlike other low-end denim lines, they actually fit well and hug in all the right places. It's kind of my own little style secret...until now, of course." — Gina Marinelli, associate fashion features editor
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"I recently walked into the 3x1 boutique on Mercer Street in Soho and immediately fell in love. It's part store, part factory, where founder Scott Morrison and his team craft a wide variety of on-trend selvedge styles from over 460 different denim fabrics. I'm pretty minimalist, so it's all about the crisp black iteration for me — I literally live in them. Like, I would them wear to bed I'm that diehard." — Bobby Schuessler, senior market editor
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"AYR is my go-to denim brand because they just look so damn good on. The Ciggy is the elegant, gamine, slightly cropped jean Audrey Hepburn would wear if she wore jeans. The Slouchy Jean is the effortlessly cool pair that boyfriend jeans were meant to be. The Skinny Flare is sexy and flattering — seriously, they'll make you forget Mudd jeans forever. Not really a surprise, given that AYR's design director, Jacqueline Cameron, is the former senior denim designer at Madewell. These folks know their denim and it seriously shows. Get on this brand, denim heads!" — Leeann Duggan, style features editor
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"Levi's are the Coca-Cola of denim. The 501s have been around since the brand's beginning, and the classic fit and sturdy denim speak to my fashion sensibility." — Emily Holland, styling director
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Junya Watanabe

"Whenever I'm looking for super special-feeling jeans that look one-of-a-kind, I always turn to Junya Watanabe. This multi-patterned patchwork pair has my name written all over it and will look awesome paired with a fuzzy sweater and sneakers this fall." — Rachel Besser, assistant market editor
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“I've never been much of a jeans-and-T-shirt girl. Heck, I've never been much of a pants person. But, AG’s jeans may just turn me into one. The skinnies are incredibly comfortable, sit at my natural waist, offer a hint of stretch, and taper at my ankles. Most importantly, they pair well with everything I own.” — Ellen Hoffman, editorial assistant