Jeans are the one staple in my wardrobe that are my go-to if I don't know what to wear. No matter what I style them with, be it an oversized shirt, a tank top, sweatshirt or silk blouse, they always make me feel confident.
It's taken me years of trying on different types of jeans (remember the spray on skinny jeans?) to finally figure out which styles go with everything, and more importantly transcend trends.
If you're unsure which style to go for, the foundation of any timeless wardrobe includes three pairs of jeans, all of which I own: a high-waisted wide-leg pair, a straight-leg pair and a slimmer-fitting silhouette.
From there, it's easy to build any outfit. You can add a t-shirt and an oversized blazer, a camel coat, a cashmere knit or a sparkly top and you've got three effortless day-to-night looks, whether you want to accessorise with trainers, ankle boots or heels.
Jeans trends for AW23
"Wide leg and looser fits as well as pieces with carpenter or workwear details are popular", says Betty Madden, VP Global Design at Lee.
"We are also seeing a return to straighter through the waist, low slung and slouchy styling with a classic to slim straight leg. An example of this fit is Lee’s Rider jean. Just launched this season, the Lee Rider jean is an ode to Lee’s first jean made specifically for women in 1947."
What are the best jeans for my body shape?
Time to ditch the sartorial rule book. Gone are the days that certain body types couldn't wear certain styles of jeans.
Betty explains: "With innovative fabric technology around stretch and recovery, women have much more opportunity to try a broader range of fits. This allows women of various body shapes to be more adventurous and find fits that help express their personal style. For example, flares used to be harder to wear if you aren’t tall, but we’re seeing women of all sizes and shapes wear and enjoy them. It’s more about personal expression and preference than ever before."
How can I prolong the life of my jeans?
Once you've found the right pair, you want to make sure they last as long as possible. We've got a whole guide on how to stop your jeans going baggy. But before you read that, make sure to check out Betty's tips.
"Do not over wash your jeans. Only wash them when they are stained or soiled, ideally hand wash in cold water or on the gentle cycle. Then, line or air dry. Take care of them like you would a work of art and they will deliver beauty in every wear. "
What is the one pair of jeans I should invest in?
If you want to own one pair of jeans for the rest of your life, Betty recommends a straight leg.
"I think a high or mid-rise slim straight is a forever jean option. Choose one that will age as beautifully as you do", she says.
For more inspiration, don't forget to check out our guide to the best sustainable jeans, too.
Shop the jeans that will slot into your forever wardrobe:
Flares may come in and out of style, but I find they're never away for long so they're worth having in your wardrobe. I'm wearing mine with an oversized denim shacket this season.
Every wardrobe needs a pair of straight mum jeans, flattering on every body type. This fun print adds a hint of nostalgia to the style.
I can't rave about my Paige jeans enough, the quality is long-lasting and the fit still impeccable after many wears and (not too many) washes.
The Frame Palazzo jeans are high on my wishlist for this season and a best-seller with the label for good reason: high-waisted and with slightly wider legs than your average trousers, it's super elegant.
A classic, high rise, straight leg style which goes with everything. I love wearing mine with an oversized chunky knit, tucked in at the waist.
Looking for the perfect 90s-inspired jeans? Then these are for you.
Mother has recently launched a line catering to petite frames, and as someone who always has to hem her trousers after buying them, I am thankful.
There's no point pretending cargo pants aren't everywhere right now. These Ganni jeans a re a subtle way to nod to the trend, and I love wearing my cream trousers beyond summer.
Good jeans don't have to cost the earth, and I've found my Mango jeans to last really well.
While wide leg jeans are having a moment right now, slim fit cuts (not too skinny mind you) will never go out of style, and work well for evening looks.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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