Fall Denim Try-On Haul

Hi friends! I’ve got a rare Saturday post for you today because I wanted to get this try-on haul up before anymore time goes by. This one is all about the fall denim.

SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and I usually wear a small or medium in tops and dresses, a 29 or 30 in jeans, and a size 8 shoe. 

Fall Denim Try-On Haul

I’ve been looking for a pair of black jeans to replace this pair of Fidelity Denim for months, and I keep coming up short. I’m determined to figure out this fashion dilemma this fall, so I ordered several options to try.

Fidelity Cher in Nova Black

These jeans have been a favorite in my fall/winter wardrobe for going on two years, now. They have the perfect slim straight ankle fit that goes with every heel height and style of shoe, in the perfect washed black finish that I can dress up or down, depending on the look I’m going for.

The problem, you may ask? Well, besides the fact that they’re starting to feel a little tired and they tend to bag out faster between washes, I can’t link them.

Yep, that’s basically it. I would keep wearing and loving them, and I probably still will occasionally, but I really need a pair of versatile black jeans that I can link when I style them with outfits including other current items.

I realize these are #fashionbloggerproblems, and I don’t expect you to relate to that aspect of my dilemma, but I thought you might want to come along for the ride, as I try a bunch of black straight leg jeans and try to find another unicorn as magical as this pair.

Their measurements, for comparison purposes, are 27″ inseam; 13″ leg opening; 11″ front rise.

Good American Always Fits Good High Waist Straight Leg Jeans (Black 253)

at Nordstrom (6-12) // line and dot top (S) // P448 sneakers (39)

Good American jeans are known for their contoured waistband, gap-free fit, and rear-enhancing effect, and these jeans have intrigued me ever since I noticed the unconventional sizing. They come in sizes 00-4, 6-12, 14-18, and 20-26; and they claim to stretch up to 4 sizes, guaranteeing the perfect fit every time.

I’m wearing the 6-12, and they fit really well. I like the subtle off-black wash and the sleek, straight leg fit, and the length is just about perfect for wearing with sneakers. I like how they end just above the top of the shoe.

I also wanted to see how they look with boots, especially my flatter styles, and they actually work really well with these Tory Burch Chelsea Boots.

The measurements on the website were clearly off, so I measured mine, and these jeans have a 28″ Inseam and 14″ leg opening, which makes sense.

A 28″ inseam has always been a nice, classic ankle-length on me; although I’ve been gravitating more towards the 27″ length for the past few years. That isn’t quite a crop on me, but a “shorter ankle length”, so to speak.

And then, for the true test, I tried them with loafers. (I feel like loafers are tricky and require the jeans to be the exact right length to look right.)

I think this works too, making these jeans highly versatile… much like the magical Fidelity Cher.

VERDICT: Deciding. I also really like the next pair. My only complaint about these jeans is how thick the denim is. This is always my issue with Good American jeans. It’s nice and stretchy and has great shape retention, but it’s not a pair of jeans I want to wear all day, if that makes sense. Still, I think they’re worthy of consideration.

Mari High Waist Slim Ankle Straight Leg Jeans in City View

25% off at Bloomies (29) // at Nordstrom (29) // line and dot top (S) // boots (8)

AG Mari in City View (size 29)

This is the AG Mari, which I’ve worn before, and I’ve always liked the fit, but they’re a little longer than I typically wear with flats. In the past, the AG Mari has had a 29″ inseam, but these are 30″ inseam; 13 1/2″ leg opening; 10 3/4″ front rise.

Of course, they can be hemmed, and I’ve been really drawn to this off-black wash, so I decided to try them again.

The first thing I noticed was how soft and stretchy and comfortable they feel. It’s like pulling on pajamas, which is hard to find in a black wash. For some reason, black always seems to feel stiffer than blue denim washes.

The length looks fine with these flat Chelsea boots, but I might want them hemmed a tad shorter for the sneakers. I don’t know, I’m conflicted on that.

I’m not sure what is up with that super faded spot on the hip. It’s a little too exaggerated for my taste, but otherwise, they fit and feel great.

AG Mari in City View (size 29)

They’re definitely too long with the loafers; I feel like they need to sit up off the top of the shoe, or be a little longer for a truly full-length fit.

AG Mari in City View (size 29)

The AG Mari is always a little snug in my waist, and black washes tend to run smaller than other colors, so I also ordered the 30 to try.

For some reason, the wash is totally different on this pair. I even double checked that they are both the City View wash. I like this pair so much better; that faded area on the hip is there, but it’s so much more subtle.

AG Mari in City View (size 30)

I also think I like the fit of the 30 better. They’re a little looser, and since relaxed styles are trending, I feel like they look a little more modern than the super slim straight fit.

I was worried they would bag out and look bad, but I’ve worn them for a couple days, and they hold their shape pretty well. They’re still looser through the leg than I’m used to, but I don’t think it looks bad.

This pair seems to sit up a little higher off the loafers, which makes no sense, since they’re bigger, but I like this length a little better.

AG Mari in City View (size 30)

VERDICT: Keeping the 30. I like the wash better, and they fit well too. It’s always hard to swallow your pride and go up a size, but it also feels amazing to wear jeans that fit comfortably.

AGOLDE High Waist Stovepipe Jeans (Captivate)

at Nordstrom (29) // BR sweater shell (S) // similar loafers

Yikes, okay. I don’t know why I keep trying these. I follow a few influencers who make these look so good, but they’re probably 5 inches taller than I am and half my size.

They really need to be shorter to look right, an I don’t care for the rag-tag hems and the ginormous rear pockets.

These jeans have a 29 1/2″ inseam; 15 1/2″ leg opening; 12″ front rise; and they look best with fitted tops tucked in, so even though I knew I wasn’t keeping them, I decided to try tucking this ribbed top.

I did a full tuck on the left, and a front tuck on the right, but neither does very much for me. I can get away with it when I have a layering piece on top to break up the expanse of midsection, but I just don’t care for this look on me.

And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I also tried them with sneakers and a more relaxed pullover sweater.

I know the slouchy denim pooling on top of sneakers look is a thing, but this is just not a look that I’m going to be embracing. I realize this needs a totally different top to look relevant to the current trends, but it’s still not a good look for me.

My personal style goals are to look polished, modern, and understated, and this seems everything but.

VERDICT: These are going right back!

Banana Republic The Straight Jean

at Banana Republic (29 Regular) // Essential Long Sleeve Polo Shirt (S) // Tory Burch flats (8)

These are a similar style, but they look a little better. They have that same rigid denim look, but more of the stovepipe-straight fit that I was going for. This is the length that I like with the ballet flats.

They have a 29″ inseam and 11″ rise, so they’re similar to the AGOLDE pair, but just enough shorter that they work with these shoes. Plus I like the wash and the finished hem much better.

All that said, I still don’t care for how they look on me, and they’re also really tight in the waist. I tried tucking in this top, and I was verrrry uncomfortable. All in all, I just don’t think this look is for me, even though I like it on others.

VERDICT: Going back.

Banana Republic The Relaxed Flare Jean

at Banana Republic (29 Petite) // Nezha Merino Sweater Polo (S) // Vince Hilda (8)

Now, these, I like! For one thing, they fit much more comfortably than the straight pair, even though they’re the same size. I don’t know what is up with Banana Republic’s sizing; I also ordered some trousers, and they all fit very differently.

They have an 11″ rise and 31.5″ inseam (I ordered the petite) and they describe them as having a relaxed fit with flare leg. Compare these to the Frame flares below, and I feel like these have more of a modern vibe.

VERDICT: Keeping!

FRAME Le High Waist Flare in Kerry

on sale at Saks (29) // BR sweater shell (S) // Marc Fisher boots (8)

I love a good pair of flares, and these are sooo comfortable. The fabric is thin and stretchy and soft. I actually have a similar pair in a raw hem style, but I want a finished hem, so I ordered these since they’re on sale at Saks.

I’m just not sure I like the way they fit so tight in the thighs. I feel like today’s styles are a little looser, like the BR pair above. They would also need to be hemmed, which isn’t a deal breaker, but I need to be sure I love them before I take that step.

VERDICT: Deciding…

FRAME Le High Raw Hem Ankle Straight Leg Jeans (Dublin)

at Nordstrom (29) // Gap sweater (S) // P448 sneakers (39)

I ordered these as another update to another pair of jeans I wear a lot, but can no longer link. I thought I might like this darker wash, but I’m not sure I’m feeling that crop length these days.

The measurements are 27″ inseam; 14″ leg opening; 10″ front rise; so technically they’re the same length as the Fidelity Cher, but because the leg opening is wider, they seem to cut the leg off in an awkward spot. I still think I like this style for summer, but probably not for fall.

VERDICT: Returning.

Since I’m doing a denim try-on, I thought I’d show you a few other styles that I like, even though you regulars have probably seen them before.

MOTHER The Roller

similar on sale at Saks (size up) // similar on sale at motherdenim.com // Banana Republic sweater (S) // Vince boots (8)

These are more of a wide leg than a flare, but this is where I see styles going right now, and I really love this pair. Mine have a 10″ Rise and a 31″ Inseam with a 26″ Leg Opening, for reference. They’re an older style, but there are lots of different MOTHER Roller options out right now.

This pair is on sale at Saks, but they run really small. I ordered them and realized they’re 100% cotton, and I couldn’t even get the size 29 to fasten over my belly.

This pair is probably more like the pair I have, as far as the fabrication goes, but the sizes are a little picked over. If in doubt, I’d order multiple sizes and return what doesn’t fit.

PAIGE Anessa High Rise Wide Leg Ankle Jeans

on sale at Saks (29) // FRAME tee in Surplus on sale at Saks (XS) // sandals (8)

This is another pair I have that I like a lot, but I feel like they’re more of a summer jean. I need to try them with boots and see what I think. I wanted to link them here because they’re on sale at Saks.

MOTHER The Dazzler Ripped Mid Rise Ankle Slim Jeans in Hopeless Romantic

at Nordstrom (29) // Sunwashed pullover // P448 sneakers (39)

These were an #NSale purchase, and I sized up to the 30 because they didn’t have the 29 in store, and I felt like I could use the extra wiggle room.

They have a 27 1/2″ inseam, 13″ leg opening, 10″ front rise; and I like this length and silhouette a lot, even though it isn’t as fashion-forward as some. I feel like it still looks relevant, and it’s such a flattering fit.

J.Crew Denim Midi

at J.Crew (28) // BR sweater shell (S) // Sam Edelman knee high boots

This skirt keeps going in and out of stock, but I finally got the size 28 in, and I wanted to share it with you. It runs reeeeally big, so definitely size down. I don’t wear 28 in anything these days, but I needed the 28 in this.

I tried styling it with knee boots. I love this look! It needs a belt and some jewelry, maybe a different top, but it’s something I can work with.

And that, my friends, is a wrap!

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29 Responses

  1. I just found the Madewell stovepipe Jean. I’m not a fan of wide leg or flare jeans so they are a nice compromise between skinnys & most straight jeans. I’m at the point where I don’t care what the tag says – I have 3 different sizes of jeans in my closet that fit. My biggest issue these days is menopause (ugh) and needing my pants to be comfortable against my hysterectomy scar. Having jeans trend more relaxed these days helps

  2. For a less expensive jean I found great straight black jeans in petite at Old Navy for under $20! I think the look compares with the pricey brands. From experience I know they wear and wash well. Target jeans are also great.

  3. Thank you for showing so many different styles. Your comments on length and where they should land on the ankle are so helpful!

  4. I’ve been on the hunt for a new pair of black jeans so this post is timely🙌🏻
    I don’t wear black denim a lot but right now I only have one pair which are skinny! I also don’t like a heavy rigid Jean. They have to be soft with some stretch. I’m 5’2 so I have to get short or ankle length!Sometimes petite works but then I need to watch the rise 🙈
    I really wish I had gotten wit and wisdom black wash ones before we lost Nordstrom in Canada!!
    Have you tried the famous talked about Risen jeans? I have the Margot Jean which are a nice soft stretch but found they were just a bit to high in the rise for me but not a deal breaker!
    My search continues!
    Have a great weekend

  5. Do you have any other options for the denim skirt, which is mostly sold out? I’ve seen many versions online that have a too-high slit in the front. This one looks perfect, like you could walk and sit in it.

  6. Great post! I say pass on the Frame in Kerry. They look too 90s to me, especially the back.

    What size belt do you wear? Could you do a post on belts please? Especially affordable (less than $50) options? I haven’t worn a belt in ages and I need a couple. Thanks!

    1. I was thinking the same thing! Very Y2K era, which I understand is trending (ironically with the kids young enough to not have been around for it). But for me, it makes me feel like I’m giving the impression I just haven’t cleaned out my closet since! The others look more refined and trendy in a current way vs a “dug out your old clothes” kind of way. Just my two cents

      1. Yes, that’s the tricky part about wearing trends that are coming back around after they haven’t been gone for very long. Those jeans also have a lower rise, which also contributes to that effect.

  7. I’ve ordered the same black City View and now I’m thinking maybe I should order a few pairs to see which fading I like best!! I totally agree that first pair looked a little odd with the light big dots on the front hip.

    1. Hit submit too soon… I adore Agolde jeans and think there’s a better style out there for you. Re-Done is also probably a good option for you to try!

  8. Thank you for this post! Thanks to your blog, I bought AG Mari’s in dark black last fall and they were my go to all winter, and will be this year too. I branched out to Hudson, and another AG Mari during the N Sale and am looing forward to wearing them with booties! Thank you! Also love the JCrew jean skirt with those boots. I have boots in a similar color so I clicked right on that link to the skirt!

  9. Always love seeing you try on denim. Even if I don’t end up being interested in any of the jeans it still helps me a lot to see what silhouettes you’re wearing and how they should fit.

  10. I love those BR relaxed flares on you, good choice to keep them! At 5’7″ I rarely think about ordering anything in Petite, but sometimes I’d rather have the petite size in a top or sweater so it is a little shorter. As for pants/jeans, the rise may be shorter on me, but sometimes that is a good thing! In other words, never rule anything out! I still constantly wear my Mari jeans from about 4 years ago, my favorite straight leg! They keep getting softer and softer!

  11. Hi thanks for all of the jeans options! I am intrigued by the Banana Republic jeans- I have not tried their denim before but have several of their dress pants- and I agree their sizing in general is not consistent, That being said, will you be reviewing some of the Banana Republic tops that you were wearing in this post?I am curious if you felt they run true to size or not, and what you think about sleeve lengths,

  12. I am so glad denim skirts are back on style. I keep a couple from years ago and how back in style. I have selected a couple the jeans you had in post. Thanks for sharing. Also could you share the color of nail polish you are wearing on finger nails on the picture your drink coffee. Have a great rest of your weekend.
    Thanks Ce Ce

  13. Regarding the black jeans you shared, I agree with you on keeping the size 30 and how much better they look in every way. Because I am thick in the belly area and backside, the baggy jeans do nothing for me. Straight legged and flares or bootcut suit my shape much better. I hope you’ve had a good day!

  14. Can you share the link for a post you did last year What to Wear & Pair – Denim and Shoe Pairing Guide? I cannot find it.

    Thank you.

  15. I love the discussion of lengths and shoe styles in this post. I pretty much live in jeans so it is very helpful. Would you consider doing a similar post with styles, lengths, and shoe styles with dress pants? I need help with this for the occasions that I wear dress pants.

  16. The denim skirt is really nice. I’m so glad I kept mine from two years ago. At $5 one of my best buys. (I had a good Banana Republic factory coupon and reward plus they were on clearance.). It looks like yours. I would like to find black bootleg jeans.

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