I don’t know about you, but shopping for jeans, especially those that provide some amount of comfort, is one of the most daunting tasks when it comes to clothing. There are so many styles (a combination of various rises and lengths, and fits), so many brands, and so many washes to choose from—it’s immediately overwhelming. But you needn’t worry, as this roundup is all about the best stretchy jeans, i.e., where to find the best picks and how to discern between pairs when shopping outside of this list.
To help us research, we consulted with fashion influencer and journalist Charlene Masona, who says she regularly wears stretchy jeans for their comfortability and size-inclusivity, especially for people who have varying proportions. “For example, I have a smaller waist and bigger hips and thighs, so most pure denim jeans get stuck on my hips and thighs,” she says. “Stretchy jeans give me more wiggle room.”
Old Navy High-Waisted O.G. Straight Ankle Jeans
These Old Navy mom jeans are our absolute favorite for their quality, design, and affordability. For less than $50, they provide a balance of style and comfort. The fabric blend contains Lycra, a stretchy fabric that makes taking them on and off easy. It also helps them to fit snugly from hip to thigh. They’re also designed with a slim straight leg that tapers at the ankle to look and feel as though they’ve just been broken in. So, you can rest assured you won’t have to go through that awkward “freshly new jeans” phase.
Price at time of publish: $45
Material: 80% cotton, 10% recycled polyester, 5% recycled cotton, 3% other fibers, and 2% recycled Lycra® | Size Range: 00–30 plus tall and petite sizing | Inseam: 26 inches for petites, 28 inches for regular, and 32 inches for tall sizing
H&M Slim Mom High Ankle Jeans
If you’re looking for a slightly lower price point than the above offering, then this pair from H&M is a good option. You’ll get a similar silhouette that’s available in three washes—two shades of light blue and a shade of beige.
Price at time of publish: $25
Material: 99% cotton, 1% spandex | Size Range: 0–20 | Inseam: 27 inches
Best Size Range
Good American Good Legs Straight
Good American has become a hotspot for shoppers in search of curve-hugging jeans for under $150 and up to size 30. With their Good Legs straight-leg style, you can expect nothing less than “body-hugging and “booting-shaping,” according to the brand.
Price at time of publish: $99
Material: 69.5% cotton, 26.5% polyester, 3% rayon, 1% elastane | Size Range: 00–30 | Inseam: 27.5 inches
Frame Le High Flare Jeans
These high-rise, hip- and thigh-hugging jeans are great for mobility thanks to a small percentage of elastane woven into the fabric and an easy flare from the knees. Whichever wash you choose will pair perfectly with virtually any style top, from fitted ones to cropped ones and even oversized button-down shirts.
Price at time of publish: $209
Material: Cotton, polyester, spandex/elastane | Size Range: 23–34 | Inseam: 35 inches
Abercrombie Curve Love Low Rise 90s Baggy Jean
Grungy, ‘90s-inspired jeans are a fan favorite as of late, and perhaps no brand makes it easier to get the look than Abercrombie. This relaxed, low-rise pair has a vintage flare that will add a bit of edge to any outfit. It also features an additional two inches throughout the hip and thigh to prevent a waist-gap, or when your jeans fit snugly in the butt, hip, and thigh area but gape at your waist and lower back area.
Price at time of publish: $90
Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Size Range: 24–34W plus short and long sizing | Inseam: Depends on the chosen length
Hatch The Crop Maternity Jean
Hatch maternity jeans are a must-have item because they’re made to grow with you as your belly develops. They feature a bamboo/spandex wedge so they can be worn during and after your pregnancy. Choose from three versatile denim washes, or add all three to your collection for the perfect variety.
Price at time of publish: $198
Material: 60% cotton, 37% TENCEL™, 3% elastane for True White | Size Range: 24–34 | Inseam: Varies based on the wash (see the measurements tab in the product description for details)
Levi’s 311 Shaping Skinny Women’s Jeans
Believe it or not, even skinny jeans can offer a good amount of stretch. Case in point: this pair from Levi’s, which reviewers said they love for its glove-like fit and overall comfort. They also have a sculpting element, meaning that the fabric and cut help to lightly contour your body.
Price at time of publish: $70
Material: Depends on the wash | Size Range: 24–34 | Length: 28–32
Spanx Ankle Straight Leg Jean
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Spanx has made the list for the Best Shaping category. Their claim to fame is shapewear, and more recently, the brand has found a way to transfer the support used in their long-loved underpinnings to clothing, including jeans. This straight-leg pair is a perfect example, with a pull-on, buttonless design that seemingly offers all of the coverage and support you could get.
Price at time of publish: $128
Material: 91% cotton, 7% polyester, 2% Lycra® elastane body; 70% polyester, 30% cotton lining | Size Range: XS–3X with additional petite and tall sizing | Inseam: 27–31 inches
Everlane The Low-Rise Shortie Jean
We know what you’re thinking: Low-rise jeans, really? Yes, we’re putting our weight behind this low-rise option because it’s so relaxed and easy to wear, not to mention sustainable with its organic cotton composition. (The brand is also pretty good about sharing details of where their products were made. For example, in the product description, you can see this pair comes from the Saitex International Dong Nai (VN) Co., Ltd factory in Bien Hoa, Vietnam.) They’re designed to hit the ankle, so be sure to pair them with your best sandals, clogs, or ballet flats.
Price at time of publish: $118
Material: 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane | Size Range: 23–33 | Inseam: 26.5 inches
J.Crew Classic Overalls in All-Day Stretch
Denim devotees should try these stretchy straight-leg overalls. They have a touch of stretch thanks to a small percentage of Lycra® spandex so you won’t feel restricted. Wear them with a tank top in the summer or a knitted turtleneck in the winter for errands such as casual dog walks, grocery store trips, or a super casual lunch with friends.
Price at time of publish: $50
Material: 99% cotton, 1% Lycra® spandex | Size Range: XXS–3X | Inseam: 27 inches unrolled
Old Navy’s High-Waisted O.G. Straight Ankle Jeans deliver on quality, design, and affordability, which is why we made them our top choice. However, we almost equally love H&M’s Slim Mom High Ankle Jeans, which come in a few washes to choose from, for an even lower price. We also encourage denim devotees to try J.Crew Classic Overalls in All-Day Stretch; the denim onesie seems so comfortable and easy to layer over tank tops, T-shirts, and sweaters.
What to Look for in Stretchy Jeans
Before beginning your search for the perfect stretchy jeans, it’s important to understand how fabric composition plays a role. Note that any truly stretchy jeans should not be 100% cotton. For them to have some flexibility, the material must include a fiber with elasticity (e.g., elastane, Lycra®, or spandex). Higher percentages of these fibers on jeans designed for a close fit can also create a compressive feeling, similar to a pair of shaping leggings. (Example: this pair of Good American jeggings.)
Another aspect to consider is how comfortable the jeans are. Do you feel restricted when you sit? Do they dig when you bend over? These are a couple of questions you should ask yourself when trying on stretchy jeans.
Jeans come in all kinds of cut and color combinations. If you want a versatile everyday pair, consider a straight jean with a mid- or high-rise waist. Those who are looking for curve-hugging or lengthening might want to consider skinny jeans. Cropped, boot-cut, and flare jeans are other options to consider, too, depending on your style.
What type of jeans is stretchy?
The most popular styles are skinny and flare jeans because they’re cut to hug the body, and they’re typically made from a mix of cotton, polyester, Lycra, spandex, and/or elastane to create the effect. However, almost any jeans style can be found in a stretchy variation; you just have to look at the fine print.
Are 100% cotton jeans stretchy?
All-cotton jeans are not stretchy and should always be described as non-stretch denim. While it can be worn-in after significant wear, cotton is not inherently stretchy and will not provide the same give as a blend.
Why Trust Byrdie
Mallori Albright has six years of experience writing fashion and beauty content. You can check out more of her work at Marie Claire and NYLON.
Madison San Miguel is a fashion commerce contributor at Dotdash Meredith covering everything from the latest style trends to the best Amazon finds. Outside of Byrdie, her work can be found in InStyle, Bustle, Elite Daily, Brides, Travel + Leisure, V Magazine, and more.