I Tried On Plus-Size Jeans From 7 Popular Denim Brands

Finding jeans that not only fit but flatter our unique shapes is a challenging pursuit. Denim in all forms (from denim skirts to denim dresses, denim jumpsuits, or denim shorts) can be a literal pain to wear when not made properly. Now, throw being plus into the shopping mix and the number of quality denim options dwindles even further. Whether it's a pair of wide-leg, skinny, boyfriend, light-wash, or dark-wash denim, plus-size folk deserve to find jeans that feel perfectly tailored to their bodies. When shopping for jeans, I believe comfort is key — and, as a tall (5’9”) plus-size woman with larger hips, finding jeans that hug properly without feeling too snug in the thigh area is my biggest dilemma. (But, mobility and gaping in the hip area can also be problem areas to look out for when finding the perfect pair!) To help provide some first-person perspective, I decided to detail my trying on of seven pairs of jeans from popular denim brands — including details on the fits, feels, styling possibilities (pictures included!), and overall comfort levels with a focus on mobility. Scroll to follow along my journey and hopefully find yourself one step closer to the plus-size denim of your dreams.
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**All featured jeans, except for the American Eagle pair, were gifted for review!**

Universal Standard

Size Worn: 22
Size Range:
00-40
Comfort Level:
10/10
Do They Pass The Squat Test? Yes! I can high-kick, too!

These faded jeans from Universal Standard are a force, plain and simple. They are the comfiest and easiest pair on the list to move around in. The structure maintains itself while also feeling very soft yet thicker to the touch. If you are between sizes, like me, then you may be able to get away with sizing down because of the secret stretch of these jeans. I've worn these with a heeled bootie and also with sneakers out around town. They are very easy to take from night to day seamlessly. As mentioned above, I'm 5'9" so I went with the 27-inch Donna's for a cropped look — but, these do come in a 31-inch inseam option for a longer look!

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Old Navy

Size Worn: 22
Size Range:
16-30
Comfort Level:
8/10
Do They Pass The Squat Test? Yes.

Old Navy is ultra budget-friendly with a wide variety of options in various cuts and washes. It's a pretty dependable spot for plus-size folks to find simple options in each product category. I tried on a few pairs of jeans from Old Navy, but my favorite pair would have to be the Sky HI Straight Plus-size Button-Fly Ripped Jeans. These definitely had a relaxed fit when I slid them on. They were slightly big in the waist area but otherwise fit pretty well. I'd say they are pretty true to size because I'm in between a 20/22 in most pairs, so the fit makes sense. I don't love my jeans feeling super tight and these definitely gave me the room I needed. It's a nice classic neutral wash, and I love the slightly distressed look. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of Old Navy denim For the affordable price point. These are the ultimate budget-friendly, casual pair.

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Madewell

Size Worn: 22W
Size Range:
16W-24W
Comfort Level:
7/10
Do They Pass The Squat Test? Yes.

Madewell has always been a crowd favorite for denim; it's got that sturdy feel to it like it can stand the test of time, so you know the construction must be top-notch. I tried on a 22W in few pairs and I found that the denim (especially the pairs with less stretch) fit a bit snug — so, I'd probably have to size up on those. The pair I liked the most was the Plus Curvy Perfect Vintage Jean In Coffey Wash: Worn In Edition. This particular pair had some stretch and, therefore, slid up my hips easily and were pretty comfortable — but they were formfitting so still a teeny bit snug. They're also a lighter wash (which I love for the summer) and were slightly cropped on me (which I also love).

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Eloquii

Size Worn: 22
Size Range:
16-30
Comfort Level:
6/10
Do They Pass The Squat Test? It was slightly uncomfortable when attempting a squat.

Eloquii is really great for staying up to date on the latest fashion trends. The plus-size retailer makes trendy clothes that are of decent quality and offered a much more extensive size range than most. (Apart from denim, there's a great selection of dresses and skirts!) I tried on two pairs I thought were very cute: the Neutral Wide Leg Jean and Color-blocked Pleat Front Relaxed Jeans. (I'll speak about the color-blocked pair a little more because I've been looking for a pair like this for a long time now.) The color-blocked denim felt a little on the thinner side; it didn't have that full-body denim feel like some of the other pairs on this list. But, once I pulled the jeans on, they definitely felt comfortable enough to walk around in. However, it should be noted that there was a bit of gaping in the back for me with this pair — something to be mindful of if you have a larger bottom. They are relaxed, too, which offered an overall fit that was not too tight or constricting. Plus, you really can't go wrong with that trendy two-tone look!

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Torrid

Size Worn: 22
Size Range:
10-30
Comfort Level:
7/10
Do They Pass The Squat Test?
I can't do a squat with my hands touching the ground BUT I can do a regular chair squat.

I use to be afraid to wear white jeans because I thought I'd be unable to keep them clean. But I've learned that as long as you have Shout, there's no need to deprive yourself of this classic summer color. This wide-leg pair from Torrid was pretty comfy as far as jeans go — and I love how they are a super crisp white. While it's not a thicker denim, per se, I had no problem with my underwear showing through the light-white fabric. I bought the regular inseam which ended up not looking super long on me — thankfully — but, I could have gotten the long for a very solid full-length look. (Torrid offers short, regular, and long inseams.) I love the look of wide-leg denim, so this summery style is really up my alley.

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American Eagle Outfitters

Size Worn: 20
Size Range:
00-24
Comfort Level:
6/10
Do They Pass The Squat Test?
I can't fully squat in these as they are a little bit snug.

While I recognize that American Eagle isn't the most inclusive of retailers with denim and some swimwear being the only plus-friendly categories, I've owned this here pair of jeans for over a year now — so, I figured it was worth diving featuring! The American Eagle Curvy Mom Jean is a solid pair of denim, and honestly one of the first "mom" jean cuts that I ever could actually wear as a plus-size woman. There is a little stretch in the fabric which helps with getting the jeans to slide over my wider hip area. The quality has mostly held up after many washes, with the color only fading slightly over the past year. At a $50 price point, I do believe they are a good deal. However, due to limited sizing, many cannot partake — so if budget is the issue, then look to Old Navy instead. I've gained a little bit of weight since I first bought these, so if I were to purchase a pair now I'd probably size up to a 22.

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Warp + Weft

Size Worn: 20
Size Range:
00-24
Comfort Level:
6.25/10
Do They Pass The Squat Test?
I can squat in these but I'd need a belt to make sure my underwear doesn't show.

I really wanted to include a sustainable pair of denim In this review and Warp + Weft is the perfect brand for it. The label boasts sustainable manufacturing processes and creates a wide variety of sustainable denim in a range of plus-friendly sizes. (Although we'd still love to see an increase beyond size 24 for the future!) I'm wearing the MIA Plus High Rise Flare Jeans here and to get them on I, admittedly, had to do a bit of jumping. Once they were up, there were some gaping issues — I'd just recommend wearing a belt to solve this. I haven't owned a pair of flare jeans for a few years now and these were definitely the right pair for me to hop back into this style with. If you're into a darker wash, then let it be known that this pair is available in another deeper hue!

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We often run into products that not only have to be seen to be believed but also put to the test. Tried & True is where we suss out these trending goods & services by taking them for an IRL spin to discover if they're up to snuff. 
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