Nudie Jeans is relatively new to the scene, but it’s already got a strong following and is making a name for itself in sustainability circles. If you click on the sustainability tab on the brand’s website, there’s over 20 pages of options from sustainability reports and strategy to living wages and repair kits. There isn’t a hint of greenwashing here – in fact the very opposite. Every sustainable aspect of the brand is there for you to see, in detail, and it’s reassuring as well as refreshing. The brand is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, meaning it limits the use of toxic chemicals, ensures its products contain at least 95 per cent organic fibres, and uses mills that enforce strict social and environmental standards.
The beloved high-waisted jean has evolved massively over the past decade. A trend that started off solely with the high-waisted skinny soon spread into popular mom jeans. Any style that emerged from that point on has come in a high-waist cut – and we are forever grateful. In our opinion, it’s the most flattering cut for all body shapes and works with every style, from bootcut to straight.
But of all the stressful shopping experiences we have to endure, nothing quite compares to looking for a pair of jeans that fit. For an item of clothing that is such a core part of our everyday wardrobes, the struggle of trying to navigate inconsistent sizing and the overwhelming variety of styles and cuts can be enough to turn us off wearing them ever again.
Finding a perfect pair of jeans is a pilgrimage you have to prepare for mentally and physically. First things first – headspace. You are not your jean size (repeat this until it sinks in). So you have to go up one or two sizes more than usual for a good fit – the number means nothing. If anything, you will feel better and more confident in a pair that fits well, regardless of the size, than you will in a pair that is too small. Acknowledge that all brands have different sizing systems and commit to trying on a range of these.
Secondly, give yourself time to try them properly. Wear something that’s easy to throw on and off, so you can change between pairs with ease, and have a couple of different pairs of shoes that you’d usually wear with jeans on hand when you do your trial run. This will help you navigate lengths, turn-up situations and cuts, and identify outfits that will work before you take off the tags.
If you’re ready to add some new high-waisted jeans to your collection, we’ve edited down the best lines below to give you a headstart.
How we tested
We tested each pair by wearing them throughout the day and engaging in a variety of activities: sitting at our desks, running errands, lounging on the sofa – all in the name of finding some great all-rounders.
The best women’s high-waisted jeans for 2022 are:
- Best sustainable jeans – Nudie Jeans clean Eileen gentle fade: £135, Nudiejeans.com
- Best straight leg – Gap high rise cheeky straight jeans: £36, Gap.co.uk
- Best slim leg – Jigsaw hayne slim leg jean: £90, Jigsaw-online.com
- Best vintage style – Lee Carol: £85, Lee.com
- Best skinny jeans – M&S collection magic shaping high waisted skinny jeans: £45, Marksandspencer.com
- Best mom jeans – Weekday lash extra high mom jeans: £40, weekday.co.uk
- Best girlfriend jeans – Boden girlfriend jeans: £70, Boden.co.uk
- Best for curves – Everlane the curvy 90s cheeky jean: £111, Everlane.com