Fall calls for cozy couch-sitting, crisp coffee dates, and farmers market trips. To take us through these autumnal festivities, we’re beginning to pair our cozy cable-knit sweaters with a style of bottom that offers a little more oomph than our worn-in sweatpants: oh-so-cool-and-classic black jeans.
Comfy, chic, flattering, and available in a surplus of versatile silhouettes that match just about any aesthetic, black denim is one of those wardrobe staples that transcends trends. It does not matter if your vibe is more grunge with black ripped jeans or glam with flare styles or if your budget is tight or loose, there’s a pair out there for you. And before you go a-searching, stop — we already hunted the best ones down. Ahead, scroll 20 pairs of black jeans worth shuffling into your peak-comfort clothing rotation.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Free People Jayde Flare Jeans
Meet the flare jeans of the 2000s but with an edgy twist. The bottoms feature an exaggerated yoking throughout with a super-high-rise waist and double-button fly.
We The Free | Free People Jayde Flare Jeans, $, available at Free People
Embody that grunge look with these skinny black ripped jeans. They have a cropped look that calls for a graphic top and your favorite pair of chunky boots.
Topshop Jamie High Waist Ripped Skinny Jeans, $, available at Nordstrom
Nothing beats the feeling of jeans that hug you perfectly in all the right places. Kut From the Kloth delivers that feeling through skinny black jeans that are soft and oh so stretchy.
Kut From The Kloth Carlo Skinny Ankle Jeans, $, available at Nordstrom Rack
Saks Off 5th
Add new work-approved black jeans to your roundup. The relaxed-fit denim has the attractive details of a paper bag-styled waist with a removable tie belt that you’ll adore. It gives off the appearance of sophisticated trousers, but they’re jeans.
Hudson High-Rise Paperbag Belted Jeans, $, available at Saks OFF 5TH
TRF Cargo Split Jeans
First, it was skinny, and now it’s cargo jeans. If you like staying on top of trends, you’ll adore this sleek black pair from Zara with a split hem and side-patch pockets.
Zara TRF Cargo Split Jeans, $, available at Zara
Anthropologie Pilcro The Skipper Wide-Leg Jeans
Grab your booties, heels, sandals, or sneakers because the abbreviated inseam of these wide-leg jeans allows you to show off your favorite footwear.
Pilcro The Skipper Wide-Leg Jeans, $, available at Anthropologie
Madewell The Perfect Vintage Jean
This top-rated iteration from Madewell blends comfort and style in these ’90s-inspired tapered jeans. It’s made from the brand’s signature black wash and best-selling Heritage Stretch denim, which gives off an old-school vibe.
Madewell The Perfect Vintage Jean, $, available at Madewell
H&M Vintage Straight High Jean
Similar to Madewell’s Perfect Vintage Jean above, this version from H&M is a bit different and comes in a slightly washed-out denim with a rip on one knee and a looser fit.
Contrast stitching is another nostalgic trend that we can get behind — and no denim color showcases this Y2K-era detail better than black.
Reformation Cowboy High Rise Straight Jeans, $, available at Reformation
Levi’s Baggy Dad Jeans
A mid-rise silhouette that has a slouchy straight leg and falls just below the ankle sounds too good to be true. Yet, it’s right here.
Levi’s Baggy Dad Jean, $, available at Urban Outfitters
Lucky Brand High Rise 90s Loose
If you already have a plethora of black jeans, but you don’t want to give it up then it’s time to add this distressed dark wash from Lucky Brand. It has a high rise with a straight fit and leg for a retro look.
Lucky Brand High Rise 90s Loose, $, available at Lucky Brand
Everlane The Way-High Jean
With a 12-inch rise, these jeans are about as high waist as they get. For the most part, customers found that they offered a rare mix of structure and comfort, thanks to a hair of stretch woven into the organic cotton. Bonus points for being made at a factory that uses renewable energy.
Everlane The Way-High Jean, $, available at Everlane
Good American Good Legs Crop
The reputation of Khloe Kardashian’s denim and activewear line has almost eclipsed her own stardom, thanks to an inclusive mix of sizes and fits that boast a “no-gap” superstretch waistband.
Good American Good Legs Crop, $, available at Good American
Levi’s Wedgie Straight Jeans
Where would a denim roundup be without mention of the Wedgie? The butt-boosting powers of this vintage-inspired fit is legendary, and, of course, it comes in black.
Levi’s Wedgie Straight Fit Jeans, $, available at Levi’s
Agolde Ultra High Rise Balloon Leg Jean
This becoming new iteration of bow-legged dungaree has many aliases — from balloon to barrel. Whatever you want to call it, we’ve fallen very hard for this strangely appealing new silhouette that has an ultra high rise. How high can you go?
Agolde Balloon High-Rise Tapered Jeans, $, available at Net-A-Porter
Mango Pocket Cargo Jean
These straight-leg, low-waist cargo jeans are a keeper for their effortless look. They’re also part of Mango’s Committed collection made from sustainable cotton and treated with an eco-friendly wash.
Mango Pocket Cargo Jeans, $, available at Mango
Universal Standard Marne Bootcut Jeans
We love the classic bootcut and high waist on these expertly tailored jeans — and so do many of Universal Standard’s customers. Most rave about how comfy the denim is, and that it doesn’t dig into your waist but lays perfectly against it.
Universal Standard Marne Bootcut Jeans 32 inch, $, available at Universal Standard
& Other Stories Mood Cut Jeans
The boot cut or “kick flare” that has ruled our shopping carts in the past few seasons is still alive and well, and it looks extra sleek when rendered in an inky black.
& Other Stories Mood Cut Jeans, $, available at & Other Stories
J.Crew Curvy Vintage Slim-Straight Jean
J.Crew’s Curvy Vintage Jeans come in a charming charcoal wash with a nipped waist that removes that unwanted back gap when you sit down.
J.Crew Curvy Vintage Slim-Straight Jean, $, available at J.Crew
Abercrombie & Fitch High Rise Skinny
It’s the iconic figure-defining black skinny jeans with a cheeky split hem. Top it off with your beloved strappy heels for a little pizzazz.
Abercrombie & Fitch High Rise Skinny, $, available at Abercombie & Fitch
BDG High-Waisted Contrast Stitch Skate Jean
Contrast stitching is another nostalgic trend that we can get behind — and no denim color showcases this Y2K-era detail better than black. These BDG trousers seem to be a winner: despite having only 3 sizes remaining, these throwback trousers have racked up 389 reviews and 4.6 stars.
BDG High-Waisted Contrast Stitch Skate Jean, $, available at Urban Outfitters
Reformation Kaiyo High & Skinny Jeans
Leave it to Ref to turn out the skinniest pair of skinny jeans we ever laid eyes on, complete with an ultra-high rise and cool vintage-y waistband detail that makes us yearn for a good body suit or bra top to go with it.
Reformation Kayo High & Skinny, $, available at Reformation
Boyish Billy Jean
Boyish gets our seal of approval for their manufacturing practices, which include minimizing the consumption of excess water and toxic dyes and employing ethical factories. The brand’s stylish and well-priced wares don’t hurt — and of course they have plenty of on-trend dark denim to choose from.
Boyish The Billy, $, available at Boyish
Goldsign The Low Curve High-Rise Tapered Jean
We’ve been spotting a lot of these slouchy, bow-legged styles ’round the web these days; eagerly ambulance-chasing the damaged reputation of skinny jeans (which, by the way, are very much still alive) in the hopes of hopping into our carts. As lovers of nearly every shape of pant, we’re falling hard for this new silhouette — and Goldsign’s chic iteration is calling our names.
Goldsign The Low Curve high-rise tapered jeans, $, available at Net-A-Porter
Express High Waisted Slim Jeans
This unassuming and straightforward trouser appears to hit the mark with exacting jeans-wearers. One reviewer testified: “All I wear is Express jeans and it was time for a new black pair. Comfy, soft, sophisticated, and sleek. Ideal for all occasions.”
Express High Waisted Black Slim Jeans, $, available at Express
MM6 Maison Margiela Black Carrot Jeans
We didn’t know that our wardrobes were missing a cropped stovepipe black jean with an exposed button fly until we laid eyes on these perfecter-than-perfect pair from avant-garde French fashion house MM6. Sure, they cost a pretty penny — but they’re certainly very pretty.
MM6 Maison Margiela Black Carrot Jeans, $, available at SSENSE
Old Navy Mid-Rise Super Skinny Plus-Size Black Jeans
“Yessss +1,” wrote a satisfied customer of these top-rated black skinny jeans. With an under-$40 price tag, sizes that range from 16 to 30, over 200 reviews and four stars from Old Navy shoppers, the numbers of this mathematically perfect pair certainly add up.
Old Navy Mid-Rise Super Skinny Plus-Size Black Jeans, $, available at Old Navy
We The Free Ellie Wide Leg Jean
If you’re in search of an old-school, early-2000s-scale leg opening, Free People’s easy-breezy throwback trousers may just do the trick. “Absolutely love these jeans,” wrote Jamie G on the brand’s website. “I’m so disappointed the blue hasn’t come back in stock in my size. They do run a bit small, I had to go up one size, and they are long but I love the high waist, plus they are super flattering! I need more colors!”
We The Free Ellie Wide Leg Jeans, $, available at Free People
Gap Factory Mid Rise Classic Straight Jeans
We always consult the elder statesbrand of denim to see what’s cookin’ in the world of affordable dungarees — and we were drawn to this slim, straight-legged pair. Turns out we weren’t alone: “I’ve been looking for black jeans for a long time. Tried ten brands. These are the winner. Enough cotton to keep them feeling like jeans but some stretch too make them comfortable. I’m 5’ 9” and I got tall. I could wear a heel,” wrote reviewer Shoop on Gap.com.
Gap Mid Rise Classic Straight Jeans, $, available at Gap
Mango Cotton Mom-Fit Jeans
These simple and slouchy, high-waisted jeans are part of Mango’s “Committed” collection, made from sustainable cotton and treated with an eco-friendly wash.
Mango 100% Cotton Mom-Fit Jeans, $, available at Mango
Warp + Weft MXP Plus
Our plus-size style expert Chichi Offor swears by denim brand Warp + Weft for their inclusive sizing and eco-friendly manufacturing practices — each pair uses 1,400 fewer gallons of water than your average jeans. They’re also low-impact in their pricing, with this pair of skinnies clocking in under $100.
Warp + Weft MXP Plus, $, available at Warp + Weft
BDG Premium High-Waisted Relaxed Straight Jean
Sometimes you just want a good, old-fashioned, (new) pair of ripped-up jeans — and Urban Outfitters’ BDG imprint has just the top-rated ticket. “These jeans are so cute they fit so well and I love the style and cut of them. They fit me perfectly which is hard to find with jeans. They are a thicker material which I love, because the are so much more durable and don’t lose their shape,” wrote xxchrisxx.
BDG High-Waisted Distressed Straight Jean, $, available at Urban Outfitters
Uniqlo U Regular Fit Straight Jeans
Christophe Lemaire always hits the mark with his no-fuss designs for Uniqlo’s U imprint — and these perfectly proportioned stovepipes are no exception. One reviewer added a tantalizing comment: “This is a steal for the price, very much like high-end denim minus the price tag. This is non-stretch denim with an 11-inch rise and they are fitted around the hips with a slightly balloon shape in the leg. Very on-trend and for the price, perfect.” (She also advised, as other reviewers did, that the style runs large.)
Uniqlo U Regular-Fit Straight Jeans, $, available at Uniqlo
Topshop Jamie High Waist Black Jeans
See? Even Topshop is still making them.
Topshop Jamie High Waist Black Jeans, $, available at Nordstrom
ASOS DESIGN High Rise Slim Straight Leg Jeans
If you’re looking for a narrow and seriously rigid pair of black dungarees, you may be able to end your search — these noir numbers from ASOS have customers singing the praises of their slim-legged, high-waisted fit. (Would-be-purchasers are also advised to size up.)
Anthropologie Pilcro The Heritage Boyfriend Jeans
The perfect pair of faded black boyfriend jeans does exist thanks to Anthropologie’s Pilcro label.
Pilcro The Heritage Boyfriend Jeans, $, available at Anthropolgie
Pilcro and the Letterpress Pilcro Ultra High-Rise Pleated Wide-Leg Jeans, $, available at Anthropologie
We The Free Florence Flare Jeans
If you’re in search of an old-school, early-2000s-scale leg opening, Free People’s easy-breezy seamed trousers may just do the trick. “I bought these on a whim and I’m so incredibly glad that I did,” wrote chelckt on Free People’s website. “They are perfectly high waisted and have the perfect flare. They are a tad on the long side for me, but that didn’t stop me from immediately buying the black color as well. The blue denim is true to its color. Don’t miss out of these!”
We The Free Florence Flare Jeans, $, available at Free People
Levi’s Trendy Plus Size 721 High-Rise Skinny Jeans, $, available at Macy’s
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