Clothing Comparison: Black Denim Edition!

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Remember my White T-Shirt Contest post from a few weeks ago? Well, I’m back with another edition albeit with a less witty name.

I’m comparing 6 different styles of black straight-leg denim!

For these “clothing comparison” challenges, I try to keep as many things consistent from piece to piece so it makes the most sense. In this case, I fluctuated on sizing for one of the pairs of pants, and there is some variety of distressing as well. All of the inseam measurements are for regular/standard sizing (as opposed to tall or petite). Generally, though, they all look quite similar and if you’re looking for a straight-leg ankle-length pair of black denim this season, I hope this post helps you in your search!

I kept the same grey t-shirt on, and opted out of shoes to show you the truest shape of the denim!

First up, we’ve got the Target High-Rise Vintage Straight Cropped Jean.

size range – 00 to 18 (plus 14W to 26W) // material – 99% Cotton, 1% Elastane // inseam – 26.5″ // price – $29.99

I’m wearing a size 8, which is a pretty typical size for me these days. I like the length of them for ankle-length jeans as they hit right below my ankle bone. They felt a bit snug in my thigh but otherwise fit in a way that I would expect a “vintage” jean to fit. The distressing is minimal. These are a true straight fit, there isn’t any tapering at the ankle.

Next up, the Old Navy High-Waisted Slouchy Straight Cropped Distressed Jeans.

size range – 00 to 30 // material – 100% cotton denim // inseam – 26″ // price – $49.99

I’m in a size 8 in these, and they fit more like a mid-rise. There is a bit of distressing but it’s minimal. The hem is finished and these are a crop cut. It’s hitting above my ankle bone. They feel good and I like the rise on these! These are also a button fly. The thighs feel a little tight so I wonder if a size 10 would be more of that “slouchy” fit.

Another Old Navy pair here is the Extra High-Waisted Sky-Hi Straight Black Jeans.

size range – 00 to 30 // material – 94% cotton, 5% recycled cotton, 1% spandex // inseam – 28″ // price – $39.99

These are classic with no distressing and a finished hem. I’m wearing a size 8. These are hitting below my ankle bone so they do look and feel like a full black pant more than the other pairs I’ve tried on today. The rise is capital H, HIGH. I can *feel* the secret pockets that nip in your waist area, but it doesn’t feel too constricting. I don’t love where these are hitting on me as someone who is 5’5”, they feel like high waters instead of intentional ankle denim. These are nice and stretchy though!

Now we’re moving to Walmart Free Assembly Original 90’s Straight Leg Jeans.

size range – 0 to 22 // material – 99% Organic Cotton and 1% Elastane // inseam – approx. 28.5″ // price – $27.99

If you would have told me these are Madewell, I would have believed you. The wash is very similar to the pair of Madewell black denim I own, and they fit beautifully. I’m wearing a size 10 in these, I find Walmart denim to run small. They hit at a great spot on my ankle. They are thick with a bit of stretch, but not so much that they bag out when worn all day. I like the rise on these as well, it’s right between a mid and high rise in my opinion! At this point of my try-on, I was happiest with the way these feel on me.

Moving onto a tried and true favorite, the Madewell Curvy Perfect Vintage Jean in Lunar Wash.

size range – 23 to 33 (plus 14W to 28W) // material – 99% cotton, 1% elastane Heritage Stretch denim // inseam – 28″ // price – $128

Madewell jeans just make me feel like a million bucks. I noticed that they have a bit more stretch than the Walmart Free Assembly pair I just had on, but in general, they do look very similar. The Madewell pair tapers in a bit more toward the ankle, but not enough to qualify as a skinny jean. I love the rise on these, and the “curvy” fit allows for a bit more room in the butt and thighs. I’m wearing a size 29 in these.

In an effort to compare another “curvy” fit, I picked up the LOFT Curvy Destructed High Rise Straight Crop Jeans In Washed Black Wash.

size range – 24 to 32 // material – 99% Cotton, 1% Elastane // inseam – 27″ // price – $79.50

I really did not like these on me. When I moved, I felt like the jeans looked like a diaper where they wrinkled. They are gently distressed through the leg and look more grey than black. They have a high rise and the most dramatically frayed hem compared to the other pairs I tried on. I think the curvy fit here is too generous for my needs, it would be interesting to compare these to the regular fit from Loft.

Overall, if I had to choose ONLY one pair to keep, it would have to be the Madewell Perfect Vintage in Lunar. It’s hard to explain without wearing them but they just fit me and do all the right things for me. Second in line, though, would absolutely be the Walmart Free Assembly pair. Those were fantastic and I ended up wearing that pair the rest of the day because I was so happy with them.

If you enjoyed this, make sure you check out my white crew neck t-shirt comparison post!


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kerry0n says · 09.30.21

Just a comment to say you look great in all of these. I struggle finding a black denim that I like – so thanks for laying out so many options

Caleigh says · 09.30.21

Love this comparison! I always love a good black jean. What about the smell of the dye? That is one thing I search for when buying black jeans….is the dye smell strong? πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Michele says · 10.01.21

The thing that keeps me from buying black jeans is the fading. What do you do to cub this, or is there a specific fabrication you look for when buying black jeans?

Geralin Franchina says · 10.01.21

Thank you for this!πŸ–€

Haley says · 10.02.21

Love posts like these! Appreciate that you compared really similar ones.

Jaclyn says · 10.04.21

Thank you ! This was helpful! I can’t seem to find the walmart ones – the link doesn’t work for me and then I can’t seem to find them on their site. Wonder if they are sold out?

Jessica Fischer says · 10.04.21

I love these comparisons! I watched the stories last week but came to read the blog since Instagram is down and the world is ending πŸ˜‰ keep doing what you do, I love your content! What’s up next? Blazer comparisons?!

Cindy says · 10.17.21

Just curious…how tall are you? I’m 5’3″ ish.

Kate says · 10.18.21

I’m 5’5”