Fashion Favorite Things

My Favorite Non-Designer Jeans

If you’ve been here a long time, you know that I LOVE jeans.

American Eagle Jeans

I pretty much wear jeans 5-6 days a week, all year long (even when it’s 117 degrees here in the summer).

When I was pregnant with Star, I bought my first pair of designer jeans (these DL1961s)and I never looked back.

After I wasn’t pregnant anymore, I bought a pair of regular DL1961 jeans and I still wear them all the time, nearly three years later.

I also snagged some Madewell and Frame Denim pairs on thredUP and loved them both.

When I was pregnant with Tally, I purchased two pairs of AG maternity jeans even though the price tag made my eyes bulge out a little.

And then they were worth every penny because I wore them every day for six months until she was born.

Basically, I was convinced I was never going to buy a pair of non-designer jeans again.

But then, on a whim, I bought a pair of American Eagle jeans on thredUP and when they came . . . I liked them a whole lot.

AE jeans

And then I bought a second pair of American Eagle jeggings and despite the fact that I have multiple pairs of jeans that retail for nearly $200 in my closet, these American Eagle jeans are the ones I reach for the most often.

I LOVE them.

And then I got ANOTHER pair of the jeggings, this time in a high-waisted style.

You guys, I am ALL in on the American Eagle jeggings.

And of course, this wouldn’t be Everyday Reading if I didn’t tell you all about why I love them so much.

Why I love my American Eagle Jeans

When I was flying a couple of times last week, I reached for my jeggings because they are so comfortable. Even my pajamas are only about one step more comfortable than the American Eagle jeans.

I love the massive variety of washes they have – from colored denim to high-waisted to distressed denim. Pretty much you name it, they have it.

I’ve been unsuccessfully looking for a pair of white denim for the last three years and never found a pair I really liked, but I’m ordering a pair of these Bright White jeans and I’ll keep you posted on how I like them.

American Eagle jeggings

Of course, the most important part of a pair of jeans for me is that I don’t have to think about them while I’m wearing them – I don’t want them to sag out or need constant adjusting or hitching up – and the American Eagle jeans do their job here perfectly.

The regular American Eagle jeans are pretty good about not losing their shape, but the jeggings are insanely good. I can wear them indefinitely assuming none of my children decide to wipe their sticky hands all over my lower half, which is a big assumption to make.

I also think they run pretty true to size – I generally wear a 24 or 0, but my first two pairs were 00, and my newest pair of high-waisted ones that are a 0 and they fit great too.

Also the pair I’m wearing in this post are a Short version, which I really like, although I’d probably like them just a HAIR longer. I’m just under 5’4″, so if you’re not as short as I am, definitely go with the regular length.

American Eagle

And I really love that they’re about a quarter of the price of my favorite brands like AG jeans or DL1961 and about half of what Madewell runs.

Most of American Eagle jeans cost between $50 and $60 per pair and they are often on sale for Buy One Get One 50% plus free returns, so it’s a low-risk buy (and since basically every mall in America has an American Eagle Outfitters, you can probably just go try them on in person). These jeggings I have on are currently $37 (apparently there is a big sale going on right now) and the high-waisted pair is just under $70.

I know that jeans are totally individual and what looks great on one body doesn’t look great on another body, plus brands can vary massively from style to style.

best jeans

BACKPACK ($30 off through Sunday night!)

But if you’re looking for a reasonably priced pair of jeans that have the same sorts of qualities that designer denim has, American Eagle jeans are a good place to start.

And if you have other recommendations for great denim that doesn’t cost over $100 a pair, I’d love to hear!

Photos by Christie Knight Photography

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  • Reply Laura April 6, 2018 at 4:01 am

    I love American Eagle jeans. I have also been very impressed by Lauren Conrad Skinny Jeans from Kohl’s. They’re a perfect “ankle” jean and not even in a short length. (I’m also 5’4). I will caution though that the different washes fit differently in the LC jeans and they are less stretch than AE jeans. With the Kohl’s deals you can normally get them for about $23

  • Reply Miranda April 6, 2018 at 5:43 am

    This was the timeliest post EVER. For the past three years, I’ve been either pregnant or with a newborn and my old jeans just don’t work for me anymore. I spent a few hours last night looking at various stores online but couldn’t find a price I could stomach since I’m only a few weeks postpartum and might loose a bit more weight. I didn’t think about American Eagle (and to think I worked there in college! 😞)! This might be TMI, but their underwear is the best! I’ve been a diehard fan for about a decade now – which is why it’s doubly sad that I didn’t think about their jeans. Thanks for the post!

    • Reply Laura April 6, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Their underwear and their camisoles. I’m a diehard AE cami fan. The straps never rip like other brands.

  • Reply Kayla April 6, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Alright you’ve got me interested. I might give them a try.

  • Reply Mary Costello April 6, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Can you tell me about your backpack? I’ve been looking for a “nice” one— ie one that’s not a book bag!

  • Reply Paige Flamm April 6, 2018 at 9:42 am

    I LIVED in American Eagle jeans in high school, but haven’t worn them since my freshman year of college (at which point all my roommates convinced me to purchase an obscene pair of True Religions, and I hope those pictures never surface on the internet ever again), but I’m totally going to have to give these a second try! I recently switched to designer jeans this year after hating all my Target ones, but it would be nice to have less expensive options that don’t make me want to die when the kids get them messy.

  • Reply Whitney April 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    If you are into the mom jean look, I LOVE my Levi’s. They’re usually like $88-98 but sometimes select washes are a little over $100. I have the Icon Wedgie jean (funniest name ever) but I’ve also heard really good things about the 501 High rise skinny.

  • Reply Candace April 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I lovvvvvve AE jeans & pants – especially the jeggings. Been buying them for years and 95% of the pants in my closet are from there (and I have a few too many pairs of pants ha). I just got a high rise pair of jeans for $30 last week! I’m 6’ so I get the talls and they are perfect ankle length.

  • Reply Alex April 7, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    I ordered a pair of high-waisted Abercrombie super-skinnies (essentially jeggings but with a less offensive name 🤣) a year ago and have never looked back. Hadn’t shopped there in over 15 years, since early high school. But you can get them on sale for $35!! And they have held up way better than my Madewell or DL1961 jeans that both gave out after just under a year of wear. They keep their shape, the higher waist hits at the right place and helps me feel unconcerned lifting kids or sitting on the ground in public when needed (music class, story times), the short length hits at a flattering place (I’m also 5’4”)… Obviously I could go on and on, haha. Highly recommend!

  • Reply Linda April 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I had been buying madewell but last year I got two pairs from Abercrombie (a mid rise button fly and a high rise skinny) for about $30 each and I really like them. I can’t say how well they held up because about a month later I got pregnant and 😭😭😭😭 maternity jeans are the worst. I am due in about two weeks and really really looking forward to wearing a real waistband again! 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

  • Reply Kasey Holloway April 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    I too love American Eagle jeans! I love the variety and how comfy they are! My only complaint is that the dye sometimes wears off on things, like my phone case. I also just scored an awesome pair at Old Navy, however they can be hit or miss there!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw April 9, 2018 at 8:07 am

      YES! I forgot about that, but my first pair did that and it made me CRAZY.

  • Reply Kim April 17, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I really like my American Eagle jeggings too. I’ve been a die-hard designer denim fan for years, scoring them on eBay before thredUP came along, but I recently needed a pair and got some Gap jeggings that are okay, but not my favorites. I haven’t worn them, but my sister and another friend rave about their Universal Thread skinny jeans from Target. They sized down and the wash is really cute. If I needed jeans, I would definitely give them a try.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw April 17, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      I’ll have to try those on next time I’m at Target!

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