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There’s no denying that the ’90s denim trend (Think: high-waisted, straight-leg) is surging back with a vengeance—and, admittedly, I was holding my breath waiting patiently for it to pass. As a curvy girl, I continued wearing my beloved skinny jeans in peace, blissfully aware that Gen Z was shaking their heads in disapproval. But weeks turned into months, and my curiosity finally got the best of me. I had to know: Can curvy girls wear straight-leg jeans, too?
The short answer is, of course we can. I couldn’t help but admire the cool-girl aesthetic that straight-leg jeans gave to every brave woman who wore them. The more I thought about it, I finally felt ready to take the plunge and play with pant proportions myself.
I’m a big believer in wearing what works best for your body type, but this daunting denim analysis got me thinking that maybe what I’ve grown accustomed to was in dire need of a refresh. After all, the idea of wearing a looser-cut denim bottom sounded inviting, especially after a year of wearing nothing but joggers, leggings and loungewear.
After a ridiculous amount of research (i.e. trying on way too many pairs of jeans) I’m happy to share that some denim brands really did deliver and I now own several pairs of straight-leg pants that I feel confident in. But, I should also mention that there was a lot of trial and error to get to this point.
It goes without saying that every brand is different and sizing can be a real buzzkill. Forget the stretchy forgiveness of your basic skinny jeans and mentally prepare yourself to sometimes size up (Levi’s, I’m looking at you!) to get the right look when it comes to rigid denim with a high waistband and a narrower cut for fuller hips and thighs.
My biggest style tip? Pair your ’90s-inspired jeans with a more streamlined top (like a chic bodysuit) to enhance your curves, ensuring that your womanly figure doesn’t get lost in all of that denim down below.
With that, read on for 10 curvy girl-approved straight-leg denim styles that live up to the hype.
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High-Rise Vintage Straight Jeans
If there’s any retailer that gets affordable curvy jeans right, it’s Target. This pair from Universal Thread has just the right amount of stretch and comes in a light and dark wash color shade. They’re available in sizes 00-26.
Daisy Denim Straight-Leg Jeans With Slit
If you’re just starting to explore non-skinny jeans options, you can ease your way into a wider cut. This pair of straight-leg jeans by Laurie Felt hit at the perfect ankle length to wear with any type of shoe (skinny jeans could never). Once you fall in love with this pair, you’ll want them in all three washes. Plus, if you’re petite, this pair is also available in shorter lengths in sizes 18-28.
Emilie High Rise Straight Leg Jeans
Luxury denim on sale? Say less. This pair of straight-leg jeans from DL1961 are perfect for fall and will pair well with any blouse or leather jacket in your closet.
Le Original Jeans
One of the best ways to make a classic pair of jeans more playful is by opting for a little distressing. The ripped knees on this pair of Frame jeans make a subtle statement.
The Curvy Way-High Jean
I can confirm that this pair of high-waisted jeans from Everlane will make your outfit so polished because the fit is sleek and the material feels (and looks) expensive. Everlane went above and beyond with four washes and two inseam length options.
The Loose Jean
In case you missed it, Banana Republic is totally cool again—and so is this pair of baggy jeans! The wash of this pair gives them the perfect worn-in vintage look.
Good Curve Straight Natural Fray Hem
Welcome to the Good American fan club! There has yet to be Good American product that hasn’t lived up to its hype and this pair of straight-leg jeans is included. The denim almost has a subtle ombre effect to really show off your curves.
Medium Wash Vintage Ankle Straight Jeans
Ok hear me out, Hollister has incredible denim! This pair of soft straight-leg jeans are honestly so comfortable and won’t make you dread wearing denim to the office! They come in eight sizes and three different lengths. Sold.
Curvy High-Waisted O.G. Straight Ankle Jeans
These jeans are almost too skinny to be considered straight-leg but they’re too good not to include. Available in sizes 00-30, this classic blue pair of jeans will be your go-to for everyday wear.
Curvy ’90s Classic Straight Jean in Rinse Wash
If you’re into a darker wash, this pair of J.Crew jeans is for you! I love dark wash because it instantly elevates an outfit and makes it appear dressier.