Shopping for jeans is inarguably the worst. Jeans are a staple in most closets—the workhorse item in a wardrobe—and yet the act of searching through thousands of cuts and washes to find the pair that fits your singular body shape and sense of style can often feel like a maddening and expensive scavenger hunt. Luckily for me, this year my best friend decided to do the heavy lifting and went on a mission to find the perfect pair of jeans for her (and thankfully also my) body type. These were the criteria: the jeans had to be straight leg and high-waisted, hit at the right length for a short girl, and fit over one’s hips/thighs while not gapping at the waist. And the winner? The godsend? The pants that made my co-worker stop me while I was walking to the bathroom? Madewell’s Petite Curvy Perfect Vintage jeans. Here’s why they’re so good:

These jeans fit over my hips yet are still tight around the waist—a scientific marvel.

As a petite girl who has a smaller waist but bigger hips, I’ve always wanted my jeans to do the seemingly impossible: be big enough to fit over my thigh area, but small enough to secure tightly around my waist. The science of how this might happen was unclear to me—I’ve had many high-waisted jeans that fit over my thighs but then gap around my midsection—but Madewell cracked the code. While I do have to wiggle my way into a pair, once these jeans are on, they fit snug around the waist while feeling comfortable everywhere else.

These jeans hit the ankle at the perfect Cool Girl spot.

I’m 5’1”, so you can imagine my frustration trying to find a pair of straight-leg jeans that hit exactly right. The length can’t be too short, as to suggest I’m wearing capris; it can’t be too long, or I’ll lose the vibe entirely. It should be right in the middle, cropped enough to show a peek of the ankle or sock. For me, these jeans are the Goldilocks of inseams.

author wearing black straight leg jeans with black boots and a red puffer coat

Me, wearing my Madewell jeans in the Lunar wash. Feeling smug.

Note: The reason these jeans check both of the above boxes is because they come in the petite-curvy combo. This is essential! Only some Madewell jeans can be bought as both, and the Perfect Vintage are one of them.

These jeans consistently keep their shape.

I have some jeans that I’d otherwise love, except for the fact that, throughout the day, they lose their shape, becoming baggy in all the wrong places. These Madewell jeans do not do that. Just be sure to throw them in the wash every two or three wears.

You can buy a pair for under $100.

For a limited time, Madewell is selling select jeans for $75 with the code STOCKUP, including several Petite Curvy Perfect Vintage styles. But even when there’s not a sale, there are several Madewell-specific hacks you can employ to bring the price down. One is that Madewell has a denim recycling program where you can bring in an old pair of jeans from any brand, and Madewell will donate them to be used as housing insulation for communities in need. In turn, you’ll get $20 off a new pair of Madewell jeans. Plus, if you’re a teacher or a student, and you show your ID, you can score another 15 percent off your purchase, bringing the total price to just under $100.

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