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10 best high-waisted jeans

From cropped styles to a mom-fit pair, embrace denim's most flattering trend this autumn

The denim landscape offers a dizzying array of styles and the quest to find a pair of figure-flattering jeans is never easy. Luckily for us there’s one fit that suits all: the high-waisted jean. It’s time to wave goodbye to anxiety-ridden shopping trips because this is a style that flatters most shapes. It gives the illusion of slimming the waist, lengthening legs and accentuating the derriere all at once. So take your cue from the Nineties and opt for a tummy-hugging waistline.

They’re also a pretty amazing day-to-night staple that look just as stylish paired with trainers as they do with a set of skyscraper heels. Whether you’re looking for a new pair or just want to try the style, the high street has got you covered with a variety of shapes and colour-ways on offer; from true blue crops to washed-out styles with busted knees. It’s the fit of the moment that promises to stand the test of time. Here, we’ve put together our pick of the pairs to look out for right now.

1. BDG High-Waisted Washed Black Girlfriend Jeans: £55, BDG

If you’re looking for an alternative to the black skinny jean but don’t want to stray too far, this washed-out pair from BDG certainly fit the bill. The Urban Outfitters original label offers a stylish update to the classic boyfriend fit with this vintage-inspired pair that sit high on the waist and slim on the hip. Built from authentic rigid denim, they’re surprisingly soft and provide support in all the right areas, with just the right amount of stretch. They’re also the one pair of jeans that didn’t sit too tight on the thigh area making them a great option for pear or hourglass figures. We love the worn-in, faded look of the fabric and think they look best styled with a turned-up hem.  Wear yours with a tucked in silky cami and a leather biker for added edge.

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2. Topshop Moto Stepped Hem Orson Jeans: £45, Topshop

A pair of Topshop jeans are bound to have graced your wardrobe at some point or another; they’re the high street go-to for on trend denim and with so many styles on offer it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. This particular fit offers a stylish update on the classic skinny jean with a high-rise waist, slim leg and authentic, rigid denim. Sounds pretty standard so far, right? Enter the cropped, stepped hem. This fashionable twist offers something a little different for the seasoned high-waisted wearer and it’s also a really flattering cut that works just as well with flats as it does a pair of heels.

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3. Cheap Monday High Spray Black Sin Jeans: £49, Cheap Monday

If black jeans are your usual go-to, this style from Cheap Monday promises to be your new favourite pair. With a high rise and super skinny fit they’re the perfect staple addition to any wardrobe and promise to look just as good with trainers as they do a pair of heels. This style is the most skinny fitted jean in the brand’s range but don’t let this put you off because the super-soft stretchy fabric makes for a really comfortable fit. These are finished with the brand's trademark skull-stamped waist button, zipped front and two back pockets; one thing to note here is that the front pockets are sewn shut but who really uses them anyway?

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4. Missguided Extreme Fray Hem Cropped Slim Leg Jeans: £30, Missguided

Frayed hems are having a moment in the fashion world, so if you’re looking for an on-trend pair to add to your collection Missguided have got you covered. Crafted from a soft cotton-denim in a classic blue hue, these jeans are nipped in at the waist with a subtly tapered leg. While the frayed hem is eye-catching, it’s also extremely wearable and promises to add a bit of edge to outfits. Finished with two front and rear pockets and nifty belt loops, the details are classic and restrained. If you’re a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, give these ones a whirl for the ultimate off-duty style.

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5. Levi Wedgie Fit Jeans, Classic Tint: £95, Levi

Global leader and inventor of the blue jean, Levi has been mastering the art of denim since 1853 and we’re still obsessed.  Launched earlier this year, the Wedgie Fit jeans are designed to lift and support your bum while hugging your waist and hips and that’s exactly what they do; it’s just like wearing a pair of old-school vintage Levi’s minus the excess of bulging material at the front. Instead, this version sits flat on your tummy with a multi-button fastening, providing extra support just where you need it. Design wise, they come fitted with the classic five pockets, belt loops, a tapered leg and the trademark Levi patch stitched to rear. This might be slightly pricier than your standard high street pair but they’re well worth the investment.

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6. Pull & Bear Mom Fit Jeans in Dark Blue: £25.99, Pull & Bear

Sister brand to market leader Zara, Pull & Bear has been bringing on-trend, youthful and affordable fashion to the masses since 1991, so it seems only fitting that they should execute the so-called "Mom" jean so well. While this style might be the most purse-friendly option, it’s anything but cheap quality with rigid yet surprisingly soft denim that’s lightweight and cut close to the body. The extreme high rise sits comfortably on the waist with a slightly tapered leg that finishes above the ankle; it’s also finished with five classic pockets, bronze multi button fastening and a stitched patch to the rear. Available in three different shades of blue that promise to suit all, these are a great entry pair of high-waisted jeans.

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7. Asos Farleigh High Waisted Jeans in Washed Black with Busted Knees: £35, Asos

Designed in an uneven, washed black hue with distressed ripped knees, this pair delivers a worn-in feel that we just can’t get enough of. The extreme high rise nips in perfectly at the waist, while the slim leg elongates, stopping just above the ankle. The fabric itself is great quality without feeling too weighty or rigid and makes for a stylish yet comfortable wear. With a total of five pockets, silver hardware and a zip fly fastening, the details are classic and super-functional.

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8. Whistles Cigarette Jean: £95, Whistles

We expect quality from high-end high street favourite Whistles, but the dark denim used for this pair is really something else; it’s sleek, slightly rigid and ever so comfortable to wear. Fit wise, they sit securely on the natural waist with a slim cigarette leg that slightly tapers out towards the hem; speaking of which the ends are slightly frayed for a touch of up-to-the-minute flair. Finishing just above the ankle, this pair looks great styled with a pair of flat mules and a silky pyjama shirt.

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9. M.i.h Jeans Jeanne Jean: £235, M.i.h Jeans

London-based cult denim label M.i.h Jeans is known for its figure-flattering trousers.  This pair of straight-leg jeans has been reworked in classic M.i.h style; think loose fitted legs and ankle-grazing hems designed with modish rips at the rear. The pre-loved feel continues through to a single torn knee and detailing on the front pocket as well. Fit wise, they sit high and naturally to the waist with a slim but not tight leg. While these are the most expensive pair on our radar, the price tag is  justified by the quality of fabric, the fit and the detail in the design. Available in a light or a dark blue wash. 

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10. Replay Joi Faded Effect Jeggings: £115, Replay

Technically a jegging, this last pair are a great option for those of you who find traditional denim a bit restrictive. Made from lightweight, super-soft denim that’s woven with plenty of stretch, they’re extremely fitted with a really skinny leg that makes them feel like a second skin. The high rise waist sits comfortably on the natural waist, which incidentally plays host to a hand sanding technique for a pre-loved feel. Finished with classic five-pocket detailing and a zip and button fastening, Replay injects a little playfulness into the design with embroidered back pockets and a branded silver patch sewn along the rear waistband. Balance out the skinny fit by teaming yours with oversized blouses or chunky knitwear.

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For us the standout winner here is BDG’s High-Waisted Washed Black Girlfriend Jean. The lightweight denim is really soft to the touch, meaning they’re a super-comfy wear and we couldn’t get enough of the washed-out black hue that promises to go with virtually everything in your wardrobe. Runner up has to be Levi’s Wedgie Fit Jeans; the brand certainly knows its stuff and if you’re looking for a pair that will stand the test of time, this new style should take a well-earned spot in your denim collection.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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