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Whether you dress purely for function or you have a serious obsession with fashion, you likely own at least a few pairs of jeans. These versatile, comfortable pants should last many, many years — in theory. If you’re not shopping the right brands, you could be left with poorly constructed jeans that don’t feel good or last very long.
Since jeans will never go out of style (at least, we hope they won’t), it’s a good idea to invest in premium quality pairs. If the word “premium” scares you, don’t back away just yet. Nowadays, startups are getting smarter with the way they make and sell top quality jeans.
Sourcing directly from top denim mills, using sustainable and innovative production methods, and employing the design expertise of denim industry veterans, they’re able to offer customers really great jeans for less than $150, and often, less than $100.
Once you’ve tried the denim from these online companies, you won’t be able to go back. The jeans are stylish, incredibly comfortable, and surprisingly affordable.
Mott & Bow
Mott & Bow
The founder of Mott & Bow grew up learning all about jean-making in his family’s denim manufacturing facility in Honduras, where Mott & Bow’s jeans are still manufactured today. Likening the process to fine wine-making, where source matters, the company buys its premium denim from respected mills in Turkey and Italy, then measures and treats it to maximize comfort and style.
We’ve tried its women’s skinny jeans and Mom jeans, as well as the men’s Wooster jeans, and had glowing things to say about their comfortable, flattering fit. But Mott & Bow knows you can’t always get the perfect fit right away, which is why it lets you you add a free try-on pair in the next size up or down to your order. Its jeans range in price from $96 to $128, and you’ll find slim, straight, skinny, and “mom” jeans in a variety of washes.
Everlane has always espoused transparency, telling you exactly where its products are made and how much it costs to make them, from materials and labor to transport. The path to its denim apparel (which attracted a 40,000-person waitlist in 2017) is no different. Its LEED-certified factory in Vietnam recycles 98% of its water and relies on alternative energy sources to make stylish jeans you can feel good about wearing.
The startup is always dropping new styles for men and women, but if you’re not sure where to start, the Slim Fit Jean is a bestseller for men, and the High-Rise Skinny Jean is a favorite among women. Our personal favorite is the Kick Crop Jean, which looked surprisingly good on every member of the team despite our height differences. Every Everlane jean style only costs $68 or $78.
DUER combines fashion and function, so it’s no wonder the brand is a favorite among athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and commuters. The company was founded by a denim expert who spent 25 years making jeans for Levi’s, Guess, and Lee, and a performance fabric expert who spent 25 years working with technical brands.
Its unique Performance Denim is super stretchy and light, while wicking away moisture and neutralizing odor. These features are optimized for outdoor use, which is why you can find DUER jeans at retailers like REI. The easy-to-wear styles cost $120 to $140.
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