We're Maryal and Chris Carter, the crazy-in-love couple behind the blog and the specs. Our love of chambray and mutual blurred vision unites us, and this is where we share our adventures in love, style, food, DIY and so much more, seen through our bespectacled eyes. Thanks for joining our journey!

The Best Jeans: Denim We Love

The Best Jeans: Denim We Love


Another day, another summer fly fishing adventure! Clearly we've been trying to escape the heat to cooler (and wetter) climates as much as possible, which for the last few weekends has meant packing up and heading up north to Flagstaff and one of the prettiest hikes in the state, Oak Creek on Saturday morning. Rivers, rain, an abundance of shade and a whole lot of green? We need it, guys. We need it!

And as you may have noticed, that means that our favorite denim styles have been hard at work keeping us comfy (and covered up) on these outdoor adventures. When we hike and engage in other excessively sweaty activities we definitely opt for more breathable athletic wear, but when we're in the woods or on the river fishing and battling prickly blackberry bushes, all sorts of bugs and other elements (most likely in the shade), we always turn to our most comfortable, lived-in and loved denim styles to get us through. We're pretty passionate about our denim, as you may have gathered over the years, and if a pair of jeans doesn't keep us comfy during our outdoor adventures, wash and age well, transition perfectly from casual Friday at the office to casual weekend wear, it doesn't last long in our closet. We know that's asking a lot, but we're cutthroat like that! 

So it's in that spirit that we bring you today's post all about our denim staples, why we love and can't live without them, where to find them and a little fit guidance so you're not left wondering. Because life's too short to dabble in lame denim styles that you don't love - ain't nobody got time for that! We both have two specific styles that we love and will break down why below, and then we're also rounding up more styles that we really like in addition to that in the "Shop" widgets. Because you guys need options and not everyone can love the denim we love as much as we do --  it's science, guys!

Also, we think it's important to note that as much as we wear denim and for as long as we've worn it, we've found one thing to be absolutely true -- a higher price point does not necessarily equal 1) better quality 2) better fit or 3) max comfort. The denim we love and wear the most is all actually found at a relatively reasonable price point and that's the way it should be, right? Right.

And if you have any questions at all about fit, care, wash, etc. just let us know in the comments section below. We're happy to answer all of your denim questions, share our experience with whatever style you're considering and get you into a pair of jeans that you can wear and love for years to come!

Her Essential Denim Styles

Levi's Wedgie Icon Jean

1. My first pick won't come to a surprise to any of you that have followed the blog for the last couple of years -- the Levi's Wedgie Icon (seen here, here, here and here... which is just a few of the posts I've worn them in)! I fell in love with them almost 2 years ago and I'm just as in love with them now. Not only do I absolutely love the perfectly high waist that allows me to wear and tuck in the slightly more cropped top styles that are everywhere right now without feeling ridiculous (it's is the perfect rise/height, in my opinion), I love how super, super soft they all are. Most of the Wedgie Icon styles are 100% cotton with no stretch, and though I know that a lot of you don't like that, I prefer it now. The denim is thick and holds it all in without feeling tight or uncomfortable. That's a huge win in my book! I also love the ankle length of the hem, which always hit me just where I want it. This particularly pair that I'm wearing in the pics today is my favorite wash that I own (and I own a lot of pairs of these jeans) and it's called "Classic Tint". Sizing Note: as long as I've been buying and wearing these jeans, I've had to play with sizing a bit from pair to pair. Sometimes I order my normal size, the 26 and it's perfect, sometimes it's big, and sometimes it's small. Most of the time, I end up sticking with a 26, but I do have a couple of 25s in there, too.

Madewell High Rise Slim Boy Jean

2. My second pick is another one that you guys might be familiar with and can see my wearing here, here and here -- the Madewell High Rise Slim Boy Jean. I absolutely love the straight leg on these jeans which I think looks absolutely perfect cuffed at the bottom ever so slightly for the ideal ankle length. The straight fit is just so good. And again, I love the high waist on these, which is pretty high in comparison to others that I've tried... and I love it. It's a forgiving high waist, too so it's in no way uncomfortable. Also, the denim used for these is some of the softest I've ever encountered and 98% cotton, 2% elastane mix is the perfect blend of comfortable and forgiving, but substantial to hold that straight fit that I love so much. Sizing Note: I had to size down 2 sizes in these, as at the time I purchased them last spring, they ran really large. I can't say for sure if that's still the case, but if you're ordering I'd at least order your normal size and one size down and see what works. 

Anthropologie Top | Levi's Jeans | Hunter Boots | Brixton Hat

Shop Her Denim Essentials

His Essential Denim Styles

J.Crew Driggs Jean

1. I was somewhat new to J.Crew before I met Mar and as you've probably noticed, it has been kind of a revelation as far as my wardrobe is concerned. They do good garment! I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon The Driggs jeans at J.Crew/J.Crew Factory, but somehow they made their way into my closet and I've been reaching for them over and over again ever since. Between the perfectly dark wash with only minimal fade, the slim, but not overly skinny fit and the comfortable, soft cotton with only a slight bit of stretch, I'm a believer. They've served me well both at work, on the weekend and for outdoor adventures like this one, and I personally think they keep getting better with age. Sizing Note: I think they fit completely true to size and length... if you're honest with yourself about what your waist size is these days. 

Levi's 511 Slim

2. The Levi's 511 Slim has been my go-to denim style for years and years, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly how long I've been wearing these things, but I think I appreciate their versatility even more now that I work in an office with a business-casual dress code and need office-appropriate jeans to get me through the week. The fit on these is just second to none in my opinion, with a slim cut that doesn't look or feel overly "hipster" or obnoxiously tight. Just modern and polished. I prefer the dark washes like "Chain Rinse" and this Wellthread collaboration style, but they make these in pretty much every wash imaginable, so there's something in there for everyone. Every pair I've owned has been super comfortable and aged really well -- I still wear pairs that I bought years ago and have washed a million times. They still look and feel awesome. Sizing Note: These run really true to size in my experience. 

Shop His Denim Essentials

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