As always, you can count on the fast fashion clothing stores like Zara, H&M and, particularly, Uniqlo (pictured, both $49.50) for great looking denim at nearly a third of the cost of designer labels. What's great about stores like these is that they bring trends to the masses but don't charge runway prices, so you're guaranteed to find the latest denim cuts and washes. And while a lower price might mean shortened wearability, there's no better place to rush to if you need jeans that make your ass look good in a pinch.
Faithful. Trustworthy. Classic. There's too many words to describe Levi's, the ever ubiquitous name in denim. For a label that's been doing jeans for nearly 100 years, it's hard to go wrong with any pair. Go with the Skinny in Polished Grey (left, only $69.50!), or opt for Levi's Capital E (right, $138), the higher-priced but still affordable label.
Earnest Sewn tends to be one of the jean labels you always splurge on, but now, with the introduction of Earnest AM I, which retail for $99 and are just as stylish and durable as original Earnest Sewn's, you can indulge those urges and still afford dinner.
Rock & Republic can also be considered one of those flashier jean brands we splurge on when we want something with a fun back pocket or a shimmery wash, but we were thankful to see R&R introduce their own lower priced line of denim -- starting at $128 and aptly deemed The Recession Collection -- that are simple, dark and perfect.
-- SETH PLATTNER