Gap Denim Haul: Tried 10+ Pairs Size 14-16/32-33

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Gap denim haul by Wardrobe Oxygen: a review of over 10 pairs of Gap jeans from their 2022 collection as modeled on a size 14 woman.

Several members of the Wardrobe Oxygen community have shared that they have found success at Gap this spring for jeans. The fit is better than it was in the past, the washes and cuts what they're looking for. I decided to have my annual spring denim haul be Gap. My Gap denim haul was as many pairs of jeans they had available in styles I'd actually wear that had my size in stock. I ended up ordering 11 pairs of jeans in sizes 32/14 short and 33/16 short, one being the same style and size of Gap jeans I bought last year to compare fit.

What Size I Wear in Jeans

I am 47 years old, 5'3″ tall, and most of the time I am a size 14 or 32 in jeans. If petite is available, I usually take it, but often choose the “short” option instead because it sometimes better fits my curves. I don't have much curve in my hips, but I have a lower belly and a round rear and jeans don't always accommodate both curves.

For reference, some of the best fitting jeans in my closet are the Chico's Girlfriend Jeans in size 2, the Universal Standard Seine High Rise Skinny in size 10, the Universal Standard Joni High Rise Curve Slim Leg Jean in size 12, and the Talbots Slim Ankle Jean in 14 petite.

Based on what jeans fit me through the winter, how the Gap jeans I own currently fit, and previous try-ons from other denim retailers for campaigns, I chose to order my usual size 32 for most of the jeans in this Gap denim haul, and a few in size 33. I would have ordered more in size 33 if they were available but they were often sold out. I actually would have ordered more jeans but the larger sizes were sold out in many styles. Hint hint Gap, maybe it's time to extend your size range?

You may also like: Universal Standard Denim Review

Why Gap Jeans for This Denim Haul?

I have been a Gap fan for years. Growing up there was a Super Gap in the strip mall closest to my home and my first day of school looks often came from there. The first pair of jeans I remember being obsessed with was the Gap Long and Lean; they fit me so perfectly, while also fitting my friends and family members who had different body shapes.

gap size chart
The current Gap size chart

I appreciate the reasonable pricepoint (every pair I tried for this denim haul was under $80) and while their size range should extend like their sister companies Old Navy and Athleta (Gap only goes up to size 20/22) they at least have a range of lengths with petite, short, regular, tall, long, and extra long.

And I have been rooting for Gap for YEARS. When crafting this Gap denim haul post, I went through my archives to see previous times I have worn Gap jeans. And I found this open letter I wrote to Gap back in 2007. After being astonished at how much my writing voice has changed in the past 15 years, I was also astonished that for 15 years I have been wishing for Gap to be what it used to be – a reliable retailer for basic staples like jeans.

gap jeans wardrobe oxygen
Wearing Gap Jeans on Wardrobe Oxygen through the years

I have tried over the years. In 2006 it was all about the Gap Long and Lean jeans. In 2012 I was again wearing Long and Leans; this time a pair my mom was going to donate. In 2014 I was a big fan of the Gap Real Straight jeans; in 2016 the Gap Girlfriend jeans were a favorite. But more often than not, I would try Gap jeans and either find them not fit in the fitting room, or fail me a few hours into my first wear.

gap cheeky straight jeans on wardrobe oxygen
Wearing the Gap Cheeky Straight jeans in size 32 Short back in 2021.

Last spring, when looking for an alternative to my collection of skinny jeans, I found a pair of Gap Cheeky Straight Jeans that fit the bill. After my disappointing Madewell denim haul from last spring, these Gap jeans were like a breath of fresh air and I wore them a lot (you can also see the jeans in this blog post).

I want Gap to succeed; motivated by these jeans I loved over the years and a few positive comments on the new Gap jeans, knowing that Gap is pretty accessible online and in stores, and appreciating the variety of lengths (I see you, my tall readers and fellow shorties), I chose Gap for my annual spring denim haul.

What Jeans I Ordered from Gap

Spring denim to me is lighter in color and often in weight. I was looking for a non-skinny jean that would look great with a t-shirt as well as a blouse or blazer. I like a bit of distressing to achieve a vintage effect.

As for silhouette, I was down for most anything; denim trends have been changing the past few seasons and looks are more relaxed and more creative. I used this Gap denim haul as a chance to try a range of cuts I may not normally try to see how they worked on my short curvy frame.

I ended up ordering:

As previously mentioned, at the time of my order I would have gotten more in size 16/33 for comparison but the sizes were not in stock (though at the time of writing this there was much more denim in stock at Gap). I was not looking for a skinny jean and did not desire any darker washes of denim for spring.

You may also like: the 3 best denim trends that will last more than one season

Gap Denim Haul: Sizes 32-33 on a Size 14 Body

I really wish there were more jeans available in my size for this review; I think a few styles may have worked in a larger size, and I bet a few other Gap denim styles would have been a better choice for my shape. But we're all used to going to shop for jeans and struggling to find the size, wash, and cut we desire. So like how we all do when buying jeans, I gritted my teeth and did what I could do with what was available. In the carousel below I have the jeans I ordered:

All of the jeans were photographed on me within the same hour on the same day. The shirt I am wearing is a now-discontinued tee from Universal Standard. The lipstick is Flyte.70 Lip Lacquer in “Relax”.

Gap High-Rise Wide Leg Jeans Review

Figure flattery be damned, this short curvy body loves rocking a wide-leg pant and jean. I liked that the Gap High-Rise Wide Leg jeans were soft, stretchy, and a faded color. I didn't love the hem, but I knew that it would be easy to modify them, assuming that they'd be a bit long even choosing the short option. Reviews said these ran a bit big so I went with 32/size 14 short.

gap wide leg high rise review

This is a situation where I really needed petite. The short option for these jeans made the length right, but the rise was too high on me. They almost felt like they scooped down in back, likely because my bum was taking up fabric. The pockets weren't cute, and the faded wash was a weird color – too blue, a bit grey, and the hem looked cheesy. Unfortunately, Gap is one of the many retailers who stops their petite offerings at a size 10.

You may also like: Stores that offer petites over a size 10

petite wide leg jeans review

Details like this are why some jeans are $35 and some are $350. Originally $79.95 and on sale for $55, these jeans looked like $45-$50 jeans. I could see a teenager rocking the heck out of them, but the missing details were what made them a bad choice for a grown-ass woman.

gap wide leg jeans review

If they were more distressed, the blue a bit more washed out, the hem a proper hem but frayed a bit, the pockets a bit smaller and placed higher. Or if they are a darker wash, crisper details, again with better pockets. Gap has the same jeans in a different wash with finished hem, but at least with the online photo, I thought these looked even more cheesy.

gap high rise wide leg review wardrobe oxygen
Me vs. the Gap model.

I think if I were slimmer and taller, these jeans could work. A smaller rear and a flatter stomach could carry off the pockets and hem, could make these jeans look cool with a simple tank and boots. But I feel in general, these jeans look like they're from the Juniors department. As a grown-ass woman, I'd prefer to go more vintage, or else more crisp. This middle ground just looks try-hard and sad.

Gap Classic Straight Leg High Rise Jeans Review

“A five-pocket classic with an old-school fit” is how Gap describes their Classic Straight Leg High Rise jeans. This style is high stretch, fitted through the hip and thigh with a straight leg. Having great success with high-waisted jeans from Universal Standard and high-rise jeans from Everlane, I thought these jeans in a high rise may be just what I was looking for. I ordered both 32 and 33 in the “Faded Indigo” color.

gap classic straight jeans review

First, let's check out size 32 short in the Gap Classic Straight Leg High Rise jeans. When I was putting them on, it was tough at first to get over my large calves and I was thinking, “These jeans are a definite no.” But then I got them on and looked at my reflection and thought, “They're not half bad.”

gap high rise classic jeans
This is the size 32…

The denim is super stretchy, and immediately molded to my figure. The size 32 in these jeans was more snug than I was comfortable with though. It's the fit I would have worn two years ago as a skinny jean with sweatshirts and sweaters, but now I want something looser to wear with shorter and tucked-in tops.

gap jeans size 16 petite
…and this is the same jean in size 33

I am glad I got the 33 so I could compare the two. The 33 in the Classic Straight Leg High Rise was far more comfortable and the fit I desired but the back of the waistband seemed to slope down to where if I bent over and didn't have a tucked in top, you'd be seeing my underwear. I found it weird that this didn't happen with the size 32. Maybe this jean was cut a bit more narrow in the bum, and my curve there was causing the jean to pull down?

size 14 fashion blogger wardrobe oxygen

I liked the weight of these jeans – not too thin, but not thick. These jeans are 81% Cotton, 13% Recycled Cotton, 4% Elasterrell, and 2% Elastane and were what I'd say is a warm weather jean. Enough to cover lumps and bumps but not so heavy you'll be sweating in the middle of May. The jeans were slim, but not skinny, making them look great with a range of shoes and tops.

gap denim haul review 2022
Me vs. the Gap model… and showing the subtle difference between the size 32 and 33 of the Classic Straight Leg High Rise jean.

As I wore the 33s, I again wished that Gap offered petites. These jeans fit, but not well. The rise was a hair too high and those who have experienced this know that if it doesn't hit at the right spot the jeans end up sliding down. Just walking down the stairs for the shoot I had to hike them up.

And if you're thinking that midrise would do the trick… then the next jeans from this Gap denim haul will provide that answer!

Gap Classic Straight Leg Mid Rise Jeans Review

While I find a high rise better on my soft curves (mid rise usually hits right where I end up with a muffin top), since Gap doesn't offer petites over a size 30, I decided to try their Classic Straight Leg jeans in a midrise. Again, I ordered these jeans in both a 32 short and a 33 short.

gap jeans review over 40

I can't even believe these are considered the same style of jeans, just with a different rise. They're made with 81% Cotton, 13% Recycled Cotton, 4% Elasterrell, and 2% Elastane like the high rise, but are thinner and softer.

gen x fashion blogger wardrobe oxygen
This is the 32…

This may appeal to some because it did make for comfier jeans, but I like my jeans to have some heft to them to sort of hold everything in place, and these didn't do any holding. And then with the midrise of these jeans hitting right at my belly button, I felt like a popped can of biscuits spilling out everywhere. Again this is a Juniors vs. Grown-Ass Woman difference.

jeans gaping at the waist
…and this is the same jeans in a size 33

I love a soft jean if it's a looser cut, but a soft jean that is this fitted for me is uncomfortable because it's doing my body no favors. I have muffin top, lumps from buttons and beltloops, usually too small of pockets to be functional, and everything is just sloshing around. I've learned in situations when I want soft and comfy jeans to just wear leggings or joggers. But maybe a larger size in these jeans wouldn't be so disappointing? Newp.

how do gap jeans fit

This is the 33 short in the Classic Straight Leg Mid Rise jean. It's even softer than the 32 shorts, and they're much longer while not doing my body any favors. And while the hips and thighs fit, the waist is way too big.

gap mid rise straight leg jeans review by wardrobe oxygen
Me vs. the Gap model… and showing the difference between the size 32 and 33 of the Classic Straight Leg Mid Rise jean.

Please use this example of these jeans to remind yourself that it's not your body that is the problem, it's the clothes. To have the jeans such different fabrics, different fits, different everything is common with pretty much any mass retailer sold in a department store or the mall. It's not your fault, your body isn't bad.

Gap High Rise Barrel Jean Review

I have loved the look of a barrel jean since it became popular last spring. I've tried a few brands and found that the rigid denim and lack of petites makes me look ridiculous in them. But knowing Gap in general has lighterweight denim and the offering of a short length, I took a chance and ordered Gap's high waisted barrel jean in this wash in 32 short and 33 short.

petite barrel jeans

I don't know on what planet such jeans could be considered high rise. Especially considering previous high rise styles from Gap I tried were brushing my ribcage, it seems ludicrous to have these jeans barely reaching the belly button of my short-torsoed self.

gap barrel jeans review
This is the 32…

The 32 had no tags on it at all, likely a return because someone else got them and thought, what the heck are these jeans? They're so tight, so low rise, so weird! One plus… I liked the wash. I went a bit darker with this style since the faded option was sold out in both of my sizes.

petite barrel jeans 1
…and this is the 33

I knew the 33s had to be better, right? Well… they do fit better at the waist. However, they are really narrow through the hips and bum and I could feel the denim pressing down on my butt. They were a longer rise, but because of this narrowness I couldn't get them where they were supposed to be and had drop crotch.

best barrel jeans for women
I don't know if this photo clearly enough showcases how random the fit of these jeans were

One leg of these jeans was more narrow than another, there was a weird divot in the bum, and the legs bowed out strange at the knees. One pocket was deeper than another, it was like this pair was at the bottom of the pile for the cutting machine and everything was just off. Think the shirt Denise made for Theo.

gap high waisted barrel jean review by wardrobe oxygen

I don't know, these jeans didn't fit me like the model at all, but if they were cut correctly, I think I could have liked the 33 short in these. But how can one know when you're wearing such horribly manufactured denim?

Gap Kick Fit High Rise Jean

I have never been a fan of the kick flare style. As someone with thicker legs and ankles and being short, the combination just doesn't look fun or flippy but like my cropped jeans have a weird hem. But hey, I'm going to take one for the team and gosh knows, maybe these would look cool? I ordered a 32 Short in the Gap Kick Fit High Rise Jean.

can petite women wear kick flares

When I do these reviews, I write in my journal initial thoughts on the jeans, along with the number they were in the order of photography. These jeans were the 8th jeans photographed and about them I wrote, “Gape in back, stupid hem, lazy jeans.”

gap kick fit jeans

These jeans feel like another style didn't sell so they hacked off the hem, and didn't even do a very good job of it. The denim is thin like the mid rise classics above, the wash is dorky, the fit sucks… these feel like a pair of flared jeans you bought at a discount mart and hacked off the bottom with a pair of kitchen shears. The quality of the denim, the wash, the styling… these are some lazy discount jeans.

gap kick fit jeans review by wardrobe oxygen
Me vs. the Gap model

I gotta say, the jeans fit pretty well, though they were of the kind of denim that meant I was hiking them up just after walking down the stairs and they're not especially high rise. These are a 32 short too, and the only 32's from the entire lot that fit me. They look far better in photos than IRL. I just think these are some lazy dumb jeans aren't even worth buying on the clearance rack.

Gap Girlfriend Mid Rise Jean Review

Going through my Gap archives, I saw how much I loved the Gap Girlfriend jean in the past. I figured they may work for me now, especially with so many positive reviews. At the time they didn't have 33 short so I only ordered the Girlfriend Mid Rise Jeans in 32 short.

midrise girlfriend jeans

These were the 10th jeans I photographed and my notes say, “Bellow belly button if this is midrise what was Britney wearing?” I double-checked the labels sewn inside to be sure I didn't get a different style of jean but nope, they too said this was a mid rise girlfriend jean in size 32/14 short. Huh.

gap mid rise girlfriend jeans

These jeans were so low, my underwear was higher than the jean's waistband. I may not wear string bikinis anymore, but I can't think of a single pair of jeans or pants I have purchased in the past decade that were so low I had to consider which underwear I would wear with them. For reference, I was wearing these from Soma, a perennial favorite.

a review of the gap girlfriend mid rise jeans
Me vs. the Gap model… why do the larger models hide part of the jeans with their shirts?

And these jeans were snug below the waistband, but the waistband itself was too big and gaped. These felt a bit like “Theo's shirt” jeans as well, like something went wrong at the factory and there wasn't any quality control. The only plus is I liked the weight of the denim as well as the wash/distressing. If they were cut properly and truly were a midrise, I think these would be nice jeans.

Gap Vintage Slim Mid Rise Jean Review

I am a sucker for the word vintage when describing jeans. Other than when I want a pair of nice rinse jeans, I want jeans that look as though they've been owned and loved for years. I like a frayed hem, a bit of distressing, some faded spots on the thighs. And since these slim mid rise jeans were described as vintage, I ordered a pair in 32 short. I wish I had also ordered a 33… I don't recall if they even had them at the time.

wardrobe oxygen gap review
My dog is a ham, and every time we do a photo shoot he HAS to get into the photos!

These jeans are too small. They're 86% Cotton, 7% Recycled Cotton, 6% Recycled Polyester, and 1% Elastane and some of the heaviest weight jeans in the mix, but also stretchy. I really liked this denim, I liked how they would hold things in without causing gas pains… that is if they were the right size.

vintage 3
I can't believe it but I like a midrise jean! I think it's because it's where a midrise, IMO, should hit

And these jeans were a struggle to close. And the “vintage” wash feels a bit too much like when I was in middle school and listening to Whitesnake and Poison. Like a hint of acid and while acid wash has come back, there's no way I could wear them in such a literal sense. Like, I feel I owned these jeans in the late '80s, but they likely had a Guess triangle on the back pocket.

wardrobe oxygens review of gap denim 2022
Me vs. the Gap model… though with this style of jean they didn't even grace us with a full body larger size model

But I liked these jeans and would consider trying them in a larger size. They remind me of my Universal Standard Joni's which are a go-to pair of jeans for me. Luckily they come in other washes, though none are the color I need at this moment. But I may try them again in the fall.

Gap Cheeky Straight High Rise Jean Review

When I ordered these Cheeky Straight High Rise jeans I didn't realize that these jeans in my closet were the same jeans. Same style, same size, same wash. I didn't even realize it when trying them on and realizing that the same size, a 32 short, was so tight I couldn't button them.

wardrobe oxygen gap jeans 2022
You can't help but laugh…

I didn't realize until the end of the shoot when I wanted to make some video to create an Instagram Reel and went to put on the pair of Gap jeans in my closet for it and realized they were the same damn jeans.

gap jeans run small

Here you go again, another example of how it's not you, it's the clothes. I literally own these jeans, they still fit (though a tad more snug than last year but that's not important) and these I could hardly get over my rear and could not button the last two buttons. That's not my jeans stretching out over time, that's the new jeans being cut wrong.

wardrobe oxygen jeans review
It's also fitting that this pair of jeans, Gap didn't even have a larger sized model for me to compare myself to.

I can't think of a pair of jeans more fitting to end this Gap denim haul review with than these jeans which are a perfect example of the disappointing denim available at this retailer.

Come ON Gap, you have ONE JOB. Gap, since 1969, has been known for denim (though their own label of jeans didn't start until 1974). We don't need designer collaborations, we don't need you to make trendy tops or fake Birkenstocks. I'd even give up your holiday Crazy Stripe pieces if you'd just focus on making halfway decent denim again.

gap jeans review by wardrobe oxygen

And it's not like I am some trend predictor or brand consultant, but I think if you stuck to the basics you may be able to survive. Because the past years haven't been kind to you Gap. Make jeans, make some jean jackets and other denim things, have a couple basic t-shirts, and instead on focusing on the rest, perfect these things. And with that extra funding you're giving folks like Kanye, consider extending your size range.

That being said, not all these jeans were bad. And I know my body and tastes are different than many of you. My fails may be wins for you and vice versa. I hope this Gap denim review proves helpful in some manner. And I hope for my next denim haul to find a brand that is equally as reasonably priced, accessible, but has a broader size range.

its not you its the clothes wardrobe oxygen
Remember, it's not your body that is the problem, it's the fashion industry. The clothes are the problem, not you.

And now I need to hear from those of you who HAVE had success with Gap jeans. What styles have worked for you? What tips do you offer for shopping Gap jeans? And even if it isn't Gap, where have you found really great jeans lately that don't break the bank? Share in the comments and help a fellow member of the Wardrobe Oxygen community. And who knows, your recommendation may be the brand I choose for my next denim haul!

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43 Comments

  1. Hi Ali,

    I just bought a pair of GAP balloon jeans and a pair of Madewell balloon jeans and I have some fit observations you might find helpful:

    GAP high rise Barrel Jeans size 31 short: Firstly, I am not skinny. I’m 5’4” and wear a size 31/12. I have average length legs for my height, 21 inch thighs and 13 inch calves. These jeans fit perfectly and here’s why: I have a small stomach projection AND NO ASS! The jeans fit perfectly across my waist, stomach and hips – however if the wearer has any stomach or hip projection whatsoever these jeans will not fit. This rules out the average middle aged woman, regardless of size. The fit issue with these jeans is one of shape and proportions- not size! For those of us with Asian Flat Ass Syndrome, they’re ideal! I got a second pair on sale in a different wash.

    Madewell Balloon jeans – size 31 regular: These are a more roomy and forgiving cut, but again, cut for a body without a tummy/hips/ass regardless of size. This is not the average middle aged woman in the US. If you have any thigh curve these jeans will not hang correctly.

    As you said, if you don’t resemble a manufacturer’s fit model, you’re SOL. That said, I’ve had to put hip darts in 3 pairs of Frame jeans because the stretchy ones will fall down on me. However, if you are curvy, these are the jeans for you! The only style I didn’t have taken in in the hip area below the waist band are the 100% cotton jeans which don’t stretch.

    Happy Hunting!

  2. Oh my goodness……how you were still smiling at the end of the photoshoot must be testimony to your inner strength! Thank you for taking the time to plough through all of these jeans. Laughed out loud at your brief immediate notes after wearing – felt so similar to the short analysis I do when trying on jeans – after the cursing under my breath part obviously!

  3. Phew, between this and reading Virginia Sole-Smith’s Jean Science feature…oof. Just oof. It’s the clothes. It’s definitely the clothes.

  4. Hi Alison,
    Loved this detailed review. I will pass on Gap jeans for now, but reading your blog has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone because as you say, it’s the clothes–not me! I have recently discovered American Thread jeans fit me really well (5’7, size 12, age 55+). I especially like their midrise boyfriend jean. I’ve purchased 3 pairs–and they look and feel great. Before, I had one pair of Levis boot cut, and some trouser jeans that were great for work but looked stodgy. The midrise boyfriend is a style I wouldn’t have tried if I hadn’t been a steady reader of Wardrobe Oxygen and seen how you constantly try new styles and cuts of pants/dresses/shirts. Thanks, Alison for being our advocate to buy clothes that fit and make us feel awesome.

  5. Thanks for such a thorough and helpful vetting of Gap jeans. I’ve never really bought jeans there and now I know I’ll keep passing!

  6. Wow, I had to take a nap after just *reading* this post, so thank you for all the effort you put in to actually try on jeans and put together the info. You actually got me to visit the GAP site and I will be checking out these 90s Loose Fits that people are mentioning.

    The lack of sizing standards/consistency in cuts even from the same size of one garment to the EXACT SAME garment, and the rapid decline in quality each year, are the most maddening things about current clothing IMO–and I say this as a 55+ plus-size woman who is basically excluded from 95% of current fashion to begin with. (Puffy sleeved floral dresses? Um, hard no.) Thanks for all the work you do to help us find the diamonds among the stones!

  7. I used to love Gap’s Long and Lean jeans back in the early 2000s. Then they stopped doing the 36″ leg, when their online shopping launched in the UK it didn’t have the Tall options that were available in the US and it was all a big disappointment. Then they closed a bunch of their UK stores and now I just kind of forget they exist.

  8. Wow, this post is so helpful and must’ve taken a ton of time! Your blog has taught me that Talbot’s and Universal Standard jeans are nothing short of perfection, so I don’t even bother with other brands now 🙂 The Gap can have Gen Z! Thank you so much for your massively helpful blog, as always.

  9. I’m with Karen here. I’m 5/5″ and a size 31, but not a petite.
    I’ll have to give those 90s jeans a look.
    I’ve had good luck with Gap jeans, mostly the high-waisted, trouser-type style. I’m short so they either end up being a little longer than shown, or I shorten them. I find that their clothng vs their measurements is reliable.
    I got a pair of barrel jeans last Fall, a dark wash, and I like them. Since I had to shorten them -something I anticipated when I ordered them- I also put a dart in the leg hem to narrow them a bit more into a lantern shape.
    I know many Women don’t have time to go to a store, or have CVOID concerns, but rather than buy multiples I go to the store and try on. I think there is less dissapointment doing it at the store, and no return to make.

  10. The jeans I have that fit the best are Free Assembly (Walmart) high rise slim straight button fly jeans. I have black in one size and dark blue one size smaller so cut/manufacturing quality is definitely an issue, but the denim is nice and and the price is right! There aren’t a lot of others styles available right now but they do seem to restock, if not frequently.

  11. Thank you for the extensive try-on and reviews – it’s especially helpful to see how different sizes, lengths, cuts, etc. look all in one post. A month ago I ordered 5-6 pairs from Gap in the hopes that one would be just right — thinking that, since 2 of my 3 current jeans are from there, that’d be the place to start. Nothing was quite right though. I appreciate so much your post and all the effort (and frustration) that went into it.

  12. How were the pockets on the Gap jeans? Iirc, they are not very deep. Since I have a acquired Universal Standard jeans I cannot go back to the Gap jeans that barely fit my car keys.

    Also, I love that you made a Gordon Gartrelle reference (Theo’s shirt).

  13. This was a JOURNEY…the journey so many of us go through. I salute your sharing it with us all! Usually your jeans fit so well that it is actually shocking to see you in denim that fits badly. I now have no regrets about rolling the dice earlier this month by ordering the Universal Standard Mystery Denim Box (with your discount code, thank you!) (hasn’t arrived yet…).

  14. Oh, those odd barrel jeans! It’s incredible and frustrating that the quality could be so off. The sizing inconsistency with the girlfriend jeans is also so frustrating. I don’t know if GAP will turn things around, but I completely agree that they used to be one of my go-to stores and that’s no longer the case.

    I’ve been looking forward to this review and recognizing the work that goes into it. Just finding the jeans to order is a huge task. Trying on, taking pictures, and writing so clearly about the experience is a LOT. Younger me would have thought this would be an incredibly fun experience. Nowadays, not so much. Thank you for taking the time to do this and reminding us that the problem isn’t us, it’s the clothes!

  15. I really appreciate the time and effort you went through with your Gap haul. At least I know what to look for now.

    I have some seriously old St. John’s Bay JCPenny jeans from 10-15 years ago that I could still wear but I lost some weight. They had just the right amount of stretch and shrinkage. Now I look at JAG and NYDJ, Madewell, etc.

  16. Thanks for this review. I find we have a very similar body type and wear the same size usually so this is helpful to me. I don’t know what is going on with quality these days but that is a huge deal for me because I don’t have a lot to spend. The last pair of old navy jeans I bought had different length legs. Being sister companies, I suspect the suppliers being used to maintain the price points they are at are causing inconsistency between lots.

  17. I cannot even imagine how much time, effort, and WORK goes in to a post like this but I am so appreciative. Thank you, this is SO HELPFUL!!

  18. A GAP jeans sizing cautionary tale:

    I (34, 5’10”, hips, butt, and thighs but not much stomach) bought three pairs of GAP Classic Straight Mid-rise in size 12 to try, since they no longer make my beloved called-skinny-actually-slim-straight Luckys I’ve been wearing for basically the past decade. They fit me. I could wear them without a belt. I was ecstatic. But then… they didn’t have my size when I rushed back to buy more.

    Aha! GAP Factory had the identical jeans in the identical color with the identical name in the identical size. Well, that makes sense! I thought.

    No. The GAP Factory Classic Straight Mid-rise Size 12 is so tiny I can’t fasten them, and because I stupidly washed them (on cold and hung them to dry) without trying them on because, again, they’re the same jeans (they are indistinguishable to the eye in person), I’m stuck with them.

    Having thought I learned my lesson, I went back to GAP and ordered another pair of the version that DID fit in black. They showed up. They were so small I couldn’t fasten them. Meanwhile, their identical, same-retailer sister pairs in light and medium wash continue to fit great. I absolutely give up on these stupid jeans. I’m glad the three pairs I have fit, but I’m a jeans-every-day person and I know they’ll only last me a couple of years tops because my thighs rub. Back to the drawing board…

    1. Yes, THIS! I try to be conscientious and look for secondhand when possible, so I have bought several pair of jeans (including Gap) from Poshmark. And I have had the same experience of buying the same size, style, even color and having them be too big, too small, weird fit, etc. I have tried matching tags and details and posted measurements and it still doesn’t ensure a similar fit. Very frustrating, especially when you find a pair that works and want to replicate it ASAP.

  19. Thanks for this! I love the mid rise vintage straight but I definitely had to size up. Same with the cheeky. Even sizing up had to do the Downy Wrinkle Release trick at the top of the waist for some extra room on the high rise cheeky. I am short waisted, 5’3’, carry weight in my stomach but have a flat butt and narrower legs.Have 31 in both jeans. Generally a 10-12.

  20. I also miss the old GAP. It was my go to in my late teens through early 30s. The Long and Lean were probably the only jeans I ever truly loved. The GAP was so good back in the day, and now they’ve fallen so far that the three stores in my city have all closed. I do the majority of my clothes shopping online these days, and your review of The GAP’s jeans likely won’t inspire me to check them out online.

  21. I wore long and lean jeans for a long time and was sad when Gap moved on from long and lean. I appreciate your detailed Gap jean review. I have a different body type but run into similar problems with current/past few years Gap Jeans. This review saved me a lot of try on time! Would love for you to do a Levi jean review. They are popular again . I have a ribcage Levi jean (I am 5 feet 6 inches) that I love. Heavy weight, all cotton but somehow doesn’t stretch out. Again, great post!

    1. other than the Gap, the other jeans i added this year are the ribcage Levi’s, which fit perfectly and needed 0 tailoring. but talk about inconsitant sizing. i have a pair of 501’s that fit perfectly,and the ribcage, both are different sizes. last summer i bought a pair of shorts, thank goodness i have a local store, different styles fit completely differently in the same size…but i did end up finding a great pair.

  22. Wow, this was quite an endeavor—thanks for doing this! Seeing your jeans from last year, and this years pair not fitting—that’s crazy! I’m so glad you showed us that because it really makes it obvious how it really is the clothes, not us.

    Gap was my favorite store during my college years (90-94) & I remember driving an hour away from my school to get to the nearest city w/ Gap. As an adult, I’ve not had good luck with their jeans on me (loved Gap Kids for my son for years—so many good jeans & other clothes for him during his elementary years). My favorites these days often come from J Crew & Madewell (but I usually like the J Crew’s a bit more), plus some Girlfriend jeans from Chico’s. The Gap stores in my city closed last year, as did our Banana Republic; I hate that. While I’m well aware that I buy more online these days, I sometimes miss being able to run into a store, find a few things, try things on, & not have to wait on shipping (or worry about returns through the mail). We still have an Old Navy, but I don’t have much luck with their jeans either (do find good jeans for my now-teenage son there). Feeling all the nostalgia now!

  23. Wow Allison! This is a truly EPIC roundup of jeans fit analysis. Whew!
    I’m afraid i just haven’t been able to trust Gap’s consistency for years. But while currently I am a devotee of the US Seine skinnies I would absolutely love it if Gap reissued the Long & Lean flares. I ADORED that fit. And I still have a now far-too-small pair tucked into a project bin with the fantasy of one day taking the pattern from them, grading it up, and making my own. I think they’re a 10 and the fabric relaxed enough over the years i wore them that I could still just fit them as a 12. But as a 14 leaning toward a 16 now there’s no way. Sigh. I loved those jeans so freaking much. *Fantasy of patterning them intensifies*

  24. Thanks very much for this post, Allison. I still have some now-vintage Gap jeans on my stack, including Long and Lean, Always Skinny, and Real Straight. They all fit and are still flattering, although perhaps not so trendy. I think I’ll hang on to them, and won’t bother ordering new.

  25. I’m pretty loyal to US jeans these days, and Gap has been failing me for years, but I really appreciate this review. I love the approach you take to these types of posts and they are so informative. Thank you!

  26. I totally forgot about the Long & Lean jeans! Those were my holy grail for a couple of years, what a wave of nostalgia!

  27. Hi – appreciate the effort to present this post. Wondering if wearing shoes would be worthwhile for next time. I find that my mind changes about how jeans look on me once I put some shoes on. Also I don’t really look to Gap for jeans anymore. I do have one pair in closet purchased around 2013 that I still wear all the time is the 1969 curvy skinny in a washed black. They are 98% cotton and 2% stretch. They survived many closet clean outs as I like that mix or 100% cotton. They are also a size larger than I wear in higher end brands. They are a mid rise regular with tapered leg but in spite of the name don’t fit like a skinny at all. Currently my interpretation of the brand’s denim is that it’s lower quality. Even if an influencer recommends I usually manage talk myself out of it by sticking to the less but better plan.

    1. Great question. I considered wearing shoes but each style requires a different type of shoe. In previous years I did Birkenstocks since they’re easy to slip on and on while shooting so many jeans in a row, but they negatively affected the look of the jeans. I’ve also done flats since they’re easy and they looked weird with the wider leg options. Maybe next year I’ll do a sneaker. Thank you!

  28. I have never had much luck with Gap jeans, but on a whim, wandered into a store to see if they had the new 90’s Loose Jean. It is exactly what I wanted for spring, straight leg, 9.5″ rise, and fits tts for me. The other discovery that came from visiting an actual store was the new Chico’s Define Me Denim ankle jean. They had a promo going on, $10 to try on a pair, and I fell in love with the light denim ones. I bought my usual size in them also. It is so frustrating ordering online, but also stores haven’t had much stock to even try on, so I know I totally lucked out with these.

        1. I just ordered! And 40% off plus 10% off. I ordered three sizes. These come in both high-waist and midrise, also. We’ll see . . . . Allison, thanks for the enormous amount of work that went into this post.

    1. RESTOCK UPDATE: As of this morning(3/24) GAP has an online 40% off and these are showing in stock for most sizes. If you click Petite they only go up to 30, but if you select Regular and then the Short Inseam, they go up to 33. Hope this helps!

  29. I USED to love WHBM for their bootcut jeans that had good distressing and a reasonable price ($80). But they haven’t ordered short sizes in over a year, so the sizes available in short have dwindled from few to one. I am 5’7″, not a long torso, and the regular length requires a 3-4″ heel to look right. WHBM is definitely not size inclusive, but man, I did love those jeans. A friend with similar build but at 5’10” loves that she can buy them off the rack without needing a Long length.

    Currently the $32 Old Navy Mid Rise Kicker Boot Cut in dark wash are my favorite. They’re good enough, a belt keeps them up, and cheap enough that I don’t worry about going to change before doing something messy or grubby in them.

  30. I love your reviews! You have such great perspective on fit, details, and where the problem is!

    Currently I have two pairs of flare jeans I ordered online from Gap. I’m 5’6” and usually a size 31. The high rise hits me in the right spot and the denim is stretchy but holds me in place. When I started to shed my skinny jeans, flare were what I’d been missing most so I went for it. I do wish they were a smidge shorter but just pick a different pair of jeans on rainy days. (Lessons from the late 90s/early 00s, ha!)

  31. Well, I LOVE The Gap jeans. I have a couple of older pairs still in rotation and have added 2 new pairs in the last couple of months. The 1st new pair was the High Rise 90s Loose (this is a darker wash, but not really dark), and than just this week I added the High Rise Wide-leg jean with Washwell, these have a trouser hem. I did have to have the waist on the 90s loose taken in, I probably could have gotten the size down and had a better fit in the waist, but I really liked the way the rest of the jeans fit, and I’m used to having waists taken in, so for me it was no big deal. The wide leg jeans I tried 2 sizes and went with the smaller, the waist is perfect and given the oversized leg the rest of the fit was good. I should also add that I’m just a shade under 5’4, so the jeans are longer on me than the models, so more full length on me vs cropped/short as the appear on the Gap site.
    On the other hand I have never found a pair of Old Navy or Chicos jeans than fit, and the pair of Universal Standard that I got in last years mystery box where so bad, I would never even bother to try again. Proving once again that not all retailers are made for everyone

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