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10th June 2024

My favourite jeans: Student journalists share their top denim picks

Looking for the perfect jeans? Look no further! Our writers and editors share all their top tips and fave pairs
My favourite jeans: Student journalists share their top denim picks
Credit: NEOSiAM 2024+ @ Pexels

Finding jeans isn’t always an easy task. With so many on the market, and so many variations in wash, cut, and size, it can be frustrating trying to find your perfect pair. If you’re on the hunt for some new denim, or just want to improve your jean buying game, our editors and writers are here to help with their recommendations and advice on finding your best jeans yet, with student-friendly price tags.

Uniqlo Wide Straight Leg Jeans

Credit: Uniqlo @, £34.90

Finding good jeans second-hand can often be a bit hit or miss, so if I’m looking to invest in some new jeans I always go to Uniqlo. Am I biased because I’m Japanese? Quite possibly, but the jeans are so good that my mum waits for our annual pilgrimage back to Japan whenever she needs some new denim. They have a range of different styles and colours, which makes it easy to find a pair that suits you.

The icing on the cake is definitely that you can get your clothes tailored in Uniqlo, which I’ve found so helpful as someone who loves massively oversized jeans, but is also on the shorter side; it saves having to wear a pair you half-love, and means you can find jeans that fit perfectly!

Words by Eleanor Duke, Fashion & Beauty Writer

Carhartt WIP Single Knee Pant in Blue (rinsed)

Credit: Carhartt @, £110

Having not bought a new pair of jeans in many years, beyond maybe a low-quality Primark pair bought with a Christmas voucher, I decided to treat myself when I received the Turing grant for my year abroad. Perhaps not what the UK government had in mind when they overhauled the Erasmus scheme. Nevertheless, the jeans are now a staple of my wardrobe and I’m glad I made the investment.

The durable heavy-weight denim exudes quality, and the rich darker blue shade of denim has maintained well after washing. I really enjoy the little utilitarian details such as the tool pockets, which give the jeans a little edge above competitors and make them into an almost carpenter-style pant without overcomplicating the simplicity of the jean itself. These nods to the Carhartt brand heritage, plus the gold colour of the stitching matching that of the logo, place these jeans in the top tier for me. They are perfect to wear casually on a cold day in Manchester, but can also be styled up to wear on a night out. In essence, just an all-around great pair of jeans.

Words by Daniel Collins, Film & TV Editor

Stradivarius D92 Straight Wide in Overdyed Denim

Stradivarius D92 straight leg jeans
Credit: Stradivarius @, £29.99

As a petite girl, I don’t take buying jeans lightly. They’re not usually an item of clothing that I can just walk into a store, try on, and buy, much less wear on the day. Up until recently my go-to pair of jeans had been some Hollister flare jeans in a dark wash which I’d hemmed, but I was looking for some classic straight-leg jeans for that Zoe Kravitz, model off-duty look.

Then on a spur-of-the-moment shopping trip in Mallorca, I came across the jeans I’d been looking for: perfect colour, the style I wanted, and very reasonably priced. I tried them on and to my surprise, they fit beautifully. They were slightly too long, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed by turning them up (for short girls this is a win!) so I went ahead and bought them – I even wore them to dinner that night.

One month in and they’re holding up in Manchester weather nicely. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend flying to mainland Europe just for some jeans, I would suggest trying Stradivarius at the Trafford Centre if you’re searching for new denim. Note to all my petite girlies that straight-leg jeans can be turned up, but flares can’t, so if you don’t want to hem opt for the straight-leg pair!

Words by Imogen Mingos, Head Fashion Editor

Weekday Rail Mid Straight Jeans

weekday jeans
Credit: Weekday @, £55

I, along with almost everyone else, find buying jeans a truly humbling experience. Being in a Zara changing room, overhead lighting making you question if you normally look this crazy, trying on a pair of jeans three sizes bigger than you need that won’t go over your calf… truly makes a person question their existence.

I haven’t made such a pilgrimage in a while now because A) why would I want to, and more importantly, B) because I found a pair of jeans that I finally love. Everyone online would rave about Weekday jeans and how they always fit, but £50 for a pair of jeans felt excessive. Nevertheless, after months of jeans-induced rage I decided to give the Rail jeans a whirl. They’re the perfect not-too-baggy style that can be worn mid or high-rise, and are sized by waist and leg so you can get the fit you really want.

Ever since I bought them, I wear them pretty much everywhere. I even wore them on a 4-hour flight and it felt like I could’ve been wearing sweatpants. Colour-wise, I have the ‘seventeen blue’ and they go with pretty much all of my other clothes, but fear not if you aren’t into light-wash jeans as they come in eight other colours. Word of caution though – just because you buy one colour, it definitely does NOT mean they will fit the same in another colour – take it from me.

Words by Poppy Clayton, Fashion and Beauty Writer

Motel Rocks Roomy Extra Wide Low Rise Jeans 

Credit: Motel Rocks @, £59

Forget the whole ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ malarky; these jeans are mine. The low-rise roomy jeans from Motel Rocks have defined my final year. I have them in three different colours, but I would say that at this point, my house’s washing machine has absorbed most of the colour. And some of their bagginess. But that’s because they’ve stuck with me through everything – waterfalls of wee in toilet stalls, warm white wine evenings, and also acted as a free hoover, sweeping the crumbs off the floor of the Students’ Union. These jeans have put in a shift.

Although they’re on the more expensive side, if I calculated the cost per wear, it comes down to pennies; and obviously way cheaper on Vinted, which is where I bought my third pair. Check your sizing too: I thought I’d bought the right size, but they end up lower than is suitable for a lecture on anti-racism activism in Haringey, and I have spent hours hunting charity shops for belts. But I shall wear these to my grave (one contributing reason for such a claim is that I can’t be bothered to trawl through ASOS’ jeans section again, order a pair, and realise they’re horrific).

Words by Lexie Baynes, Head Opinion Editor

New Look Jenna Jeans c.2016

Look, I know nobody thinks about New Look when it comes to jeans, or any fashion choice really. However, I was a young emo-in-denial with not a lot of options in town. Who has the money for Levi and Carhartt at 15!? Not me ma’am.

Continuing the millennial legacy of skinny jeans, the Jenna jeans were both ‘slimming’ and breathable. For someone who didn’t want to merge into the jean crowd, and distrusted that blue wash most jeans had the dark grey wash of these jeans was ideal. They didn’t overpower or scream ’emo’ like black jeans, or suggest that I owned a pair of white Adidas like blue jeans. Add in a high waist and ripped knees – all for £18 – and it was a match made in heaven.

These jeans fit pretty well. Sometimes. Over time the rips grew bigger with wear, and the back would be a little looser than preferable. In comparison to other jeans I’ve worn from Primark and Uniqlo, the Jenna jeans left room to indicate if you had a figure back there, without it just being baggy and broad. Yet, despite liking my new acid blue jeans from Primarni and Uniqlo, I still dream about my Jenna jeans, succumbing to the grave with my Checkered Flame Vans and Frank Iero hoodie. RIP Ms. Jenna jean.

Words by Erin Botten, Culture Managing Editor

BDG Y2K Low Rise Rinse Cargo Jeans

Credit: Urban Outfitters @, this colour currently unavailable, but other styles in this silhouette from £65

Even though shopping for jeans is my least favourite shopping sub-genre (they rarely look how I imagined and I usually get too frustrated to make it an enjoyable experience), I managed to buy my favourite pair of jeans during a 75% off sale at Urban Outfitters. If you’ve never been to an Urban sale, let me paint the picture for you: it’s crowded, still not that affordable, you can’t find your size, but somehow you still end up with some great finds.

I was looking for some nice fitting black jeans with interesting details and that’s exactly what I found during my year-abroad shopping spree. What I like about the jeans is that they sit low (but not too low), are really light so you can even wear them in summer and not boil alive, and they go well with loads of tops because of their washed-out, dark colour. They also have fun stitching on the back, which makes the whole silhouette look more interesting.

I’m not sure what advice I’d give on buying denim, because I could probably use some advice myself, but from what I’ve gathered over the years I’d recommend looking at what Bershka has to offer – they usually have a good selection of jeans in many different fits and colours. I have a few pairs of Bershka jeans myself and I wear them all the time. I also know that buying jeans on Vinted can be hit or miss, but I’ve found my most interesting pairs on there and would definitely recommend buying second-hand.

Words by Letycja Oczkowicz, Deputy Fashion Editor

Second-hand ‘VB Rocks’ Victoria Beckham x Rock and Republic Jeans

Credit: Maia Penny @ The Mancunion

As a Vinted addict, picking a favourite pair of jeans is a difficult task. Most of my pairs have some kind of special embellishment, text, or design, so I love them all individually, but for our purposes, I have selected my early noughties Victoria Beckham x Rock Republic jeans. They check all my Y2K boxes: flared, low rise, figure-hugging, and like any self-respecting pair of 00s jeans, are covered in rhinestones.

Of course, these jeans aren’t available to purchase new, but there are loads of pairs from about £20 on second-hand sites like Vinted and Ebay. If you love fashion from a particular decade, I highly recommend finding brands that lived and died in that era so you don’t have to trawl through hundreds of items from fast fashion brands or the dreaded 2010s.

You can find brands like these on Vinted by searching generic terms like ‘Y2K’ or ’70s’, and then clicking on the brand names of items you love. It can be hit or miss, but if it’s cool, bookmark it with the little turquoise button in the top right corner so you can go back and look at all the new pieces listed every now and then. This way you’re more likely to be able to snatch up that amazing pair of jeans a millennial woman has unwittingly uploaded at a ridiculously low price because she’s unaware how valuable the Y2K revival has made her denim.

Getting the perfect size without the option to try before you buy can also be a dilemma. My top tip for making sure a pair of trousers will fit when buying second-hand is to ask sellers for a photo of the waist next to a tape measure, so you can compare it with a pair you already own. This is so necessary because sizing can vary hugely depending on the brand or decade.

Buying denim second-hand requires courage – you have to accept the very real possibility that it’ll be a flop and believe in your ability to resell said item if worst comes to worst. But I find the thrill of the chase far more rewarding than buying something selected for me in a high street shop, and older pieces are often of much higher quality and last a lot longer.

Words by Maia Penny, Beauty Editor

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