A good pair of blue denim is an indisputable wardrobe essential, but the best black jeans are equally versatile. They can be found in all of your favorite cuts for creating looks ranging from punk rock to polished. Black jeans can look completely natural with a T-shirt, then magically skew formal under a blazer.
Skinny jeans have been enjoying the spotlight for a while now, because the uber-versatile style can be worn on weekends, to work or school, and for going out at night. On casual days, jeggings are a great alternative for when your comfy outfit needs a little more heft than your favorite leggings. A straight-leg pair of jeans is the most likely to be office-worthy with their borderline trouser-like fit, especially in pitch black. And in a washed or distressed finish, black denim has an edgy, rocker flavor. Black denim is such a workhorse that you’ll probably prefer having a few versions in rotation, and you’ll find so many silhouettes here.
In terms of comfort, jeans that blend cotton with other fibers like polyester and spandex (sometimes called elastane) for stretch will have more "give" for a less constricting feel.
If you’re in search of black jeans that don’t fade, make sure to wash them inside out in cold water, and use a laundry detergent designed for dark colors. Levi’s (who should know) recommends washing your jeans as little as possible (before you gasp, know that popping them in the freezer will help freshen) – or pre-treating them with vinegar to lock in the color (if you’re feeling DIY).
Whether you’re wearing all-black-everything or like to mix it up with black denim once and awhile, these six pairs cover all your bases.
1. These Grunge-Inspired High Rise Jeans With A Wider Leg
These Levi's straight leg jeans have punk rock details, like distressed knees and a raw cropped hem, juxtaposed against a straight leg and sleek high rise with a button fly. They're made from ultra-sturdy 99 percent cotton with a wink of spandex, so they'll feel closer to raw denim than almost anything on this list. And their downtown style is actually absurdly versatile, as one shopper discovered: "I was nervous to wear these at first because I usually only wear skinny jeans and don't branch out much with fashion trends," they explained. "I can literally wear them ALL different ways. Strappy heals, flats, loafers, vans, booties, you name it. I am SO pleased and I feel so confident wearing them."
- Available sizes: 24 – 31
2. If You Love Everlane's Cheeky Straights, These (More Affordable) Cropped Jeans
If you're in the market for a chic pair of high-rise cropped jeans, this pair from Levi's is a worthy option. They're almost a spot-on alternative for the Everlane Cheeky Straight. There are only slight differences in the measurements between the two pairs: The Everlane jeans feature an 11-inch rise with a 26.5-inch inseam and a 14-inch leg opening. Levi's differ by no more than half an inch: Its measurements are a 10.25-inch rise with a 26-inch inseam and a 13.5-inch leg opening. Where they differ is in the fabric — Everlane’s jeans are made from 98 percent cotton with a smidge of spandex; the Levi’s are softer because they’re made from cotton blended with polyester (but they feature around the same percentage of stretch). "These are perfect crop jeans. They fit true to size and super comfortable," one happy camper noted.
- Available sizes: 24 – 34
3. The Distressed Denim You’ll Live In All Weekend
Shoppers love these ripped skinny jeans for being wildly comfortable and distressed in all the right places. Plus, the higher mid-rise hits just below the belly button for a fit that isn't too high or too low. They are made from a cotton and spandex blend that reviewers swore felt absurdly soft and almost legging-like, although several noted it was prone to stretching out and advised sizing down. "A good pair of jeans can make or break your day in my book," one self-professed jean snob attested in their review. "They do not feel cheap, the distressed part doesn't feel like it's going to split and leave you with a gaping hole."
- Available sizes: 0 – 16
4. A Go-To Pair Of Straight Leg Jeans
Straight black denim looks polished but feels easygoing — and it doesn't get much more classic than a pair Levi's. Their 505s have netted over 4,000 reviews from Amazon shoppers for their soft and stretchy fabric (a cotton, polyester, and spandex blend) with a wide straight leg that several reviewers claimed was nearly as comfortably as their favorite leggings. "I have muscular legs and a lot of skinnier jeans are too tight for me," one reviewer explained. "These have a tiny bit of stretch, which makes a world of difference. They wash well and hang dry with no shrinkage." Plus, they're available in three different inseams, with 30-, 32-, and 34-inch options.
- Available sizes: 26 – 34
5. Some Budget-Friendly Skinny Jeans In A Range Of Sizes
Essential for tucking into boots or showing off a cute pair of sandals, black skinny jeans are a year-round staple. Shoppers raved about their fit, fabric, and quality construction, especially for such a budget-friendly price. "I know the idea of Amazon jeans seems funny, but seriously, I'm in love," one fan gushed. The jeans are made from cotton with a dose of polyester and a bit more spandex, and – here's the kicker – they come with full-sized pockets. "Nice 5 pocket jeans. The fit is exactly as expected. Well made fabric is quality denim not thin or skimpy. Fits snuggly with out strangling. Doesn’t bag or stretch out after wearing for a few hours," another review noted. Similar to the pick above, these also come in three different inseams (short, medium, and long) and in sizes ranging from 0 to 20.
- Available sizes: 0 – 20
6. A Pair Of Black Jeggings With A Cult Following
"Literally ditching every other pair of jeans I have and stocking my entire wardrobe with these," one avid fan wrote. 14,000 reviewers have weighed in on these classic Levi's jeggings, and more than 5,000 left five stars behind. They're made with a high percentage of cotton, plus some polyester and elastane, and feel extra durable (especially for jeggings) and shoppers were amazed that they didn't start to feel baggy even after a long day. A hidden mesh panel on the inside provides core support — but, since it's just across the front, you never feel constricted. The casual style doesn't have a zip fly or belt loops but, in black, it's hard to tell you're in a casual pant. Or, as another shopper put it: "These pants are magical." Choose from three different inseams: 27, 29, 31 inches.
- Available sizes: 2 – 28
- Available inseams: 3
Also Nice: Some Black Jean Shorts
These black jean shorts are made from 100% cotton denim for a soft and comfy — and durable — pair, even though pure cotton is more likely to fade over time. Shoppers loved the true high waist and a shorter inseam that wasn't at all cheeky and gave off cute vintage vibes, with one noting that the material was “delightfully stretchy” and comfortable. Also rave-worthy? Extra-deep front pockets you'll actually use. One shopper commented, "I can already tell I'll be living out of these shorts."
- Available sizes: X-Small – XX-Large