Editors' Picks are the Fashionista team's true (#notspon) fashion and beauty obsessions, handpicked by professionals who see it all.
Ever since we, as a society, collectively decided that vintage Levi's 501s were the gold standard for denim, practically every denim brand has worked tirelessly to produce and perfect modern approximations of the style. Today, there are a slew of great options out there in a wide range of prices for those who don't want to shop actual vintage denim, but I can say with certainty that my personal favorite version comes from the brand that started it all — and costs under $100.
Last winter, Levi's debuted the 501 '90s Original jeans (full disclosure: the brand gifted me a pair at the time), and they were exactly what I was looking for: a true straight leg; no unnecessary fraying or distressing; rigid 100% cotton, but still comfortable; loose but not too loose, with a slightly lower rise and longer inseam than the ultra-high-rise cropped styles that had been dominating the market.
I got the Mad Love medium wash with the shorter 30" inseam (I'm 5'2"), and sized down in the waist for a slightly more fitted look, but they also look great worn slouchy and oversized. I've also tried the brand's modern-day 501 Original Fit jeans, and find this '90s version to be superior in every way. There's something about the way they're cut that truly makes them look like they were pulled from Jennifer Aniston's wardrobe rack on the set of "Friends" circa 1995.
They're still the only jeans I consistently want to wear, and I just got another pair in black. If you're listening, Levi's, I'm also going to use this space to make a plea for a cream/off-white version — thanks so much.
Levi's 501 '90s Original Women's Jeans, $98, available here (sizes 23-34).
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