From Topshop to H&M, I tried on 6 pairs of skinny jeans: here's how I got on 6 years ago

From Topshop to H&M, I tried on 6 pairs of skinny jeans: here's how I got on

Is there a more soul-crushing experience than going shopping for jeans?

I’m not a girl who enjoys going in and out of the shops, rather a girl who likes sitting at home on the sofa, rewatching The West Wing for the seventh time, while scrolling through ASOS.


Yes, shopping for me is not an enjoyable activity... especially when it comes to shopping for jeans.

Having chub-rubbed my way through the crotch of yet another pair of jeans, I knew it was that dreaded time again. The time to brave the elements and go in search of my next pair of skinnies.

So, just to give you a bit of insight, I am a size 13.


Yes, like many Irish women, I fall somewhere between the sizes available on the high street and can vary between a size 12 and a 16 in jeans depending on the shop. With a narrow waist and chunkier thighs, it can be tough.

And just to make things even more complicated, despite being 5ft7, I still need a shorter legged jean.

Other than that, my criteria are pretty simple:

  • High-waisted
  • Skinny leg
  • Ankle grazer

With prices ranging from €20 to €110, I wanted to see if there was a perfect pair of jeans out there for me and if I would get more bang for my buck.

(Side note: ignore my gross pop socks)

1. Topshop

Jamie Jeans - €57


When asking my friends for recommendations, most recommended Topshop. Every time it would make me wince at the thought of wriggling my legs into a pair of their spray-on jeans.

Steering well clear of their jegging-like option, Joni, I headed toward the Jamies.

They claim to be a stretch-skinny jean with a soft denim feel. With a high-rise waist and ankle-grazer length, these ticked all the boxes.

First try – Size 14R

On my first try, I quickly realised that a regular length was far too long. And while the size 14 was sitting comfortably around my thighs, I could use the waistband area for storage, there was so much space.


Second try – Size 12R

Without a short leg in sight, I had to try another regular leg but in a smaller size. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I zipped up the size 12 with relative ease.


I was surprised at how much I loved the wash of these jeans.

However, they weren't as high waisted as I’d like and definitely weren't short enough so while it is a no, I'm still happy to have fitted into the size 12.


The Stiletto Jean - €59

A wardrobe staple for my aunt who swears they are the perfect stretchy jeans that don’t lose their shape.

Another high-waisted, ankle grazing option that on paper is perfect for what I’m looking for.

Optimistically trying on the size 12 first, I surprised when they fit like a dream.


I wasn't keen on the selection of washes available and with no variation in leg lengths to choose from, The Stiletto Jean is being thrown to the no-pile as they were just far too long.

3. Marks & Spencer

Mid-Rise Super Skinny Leg Jean - €30

Without a high-waisted option, I went for these mid-rise, super skinnies. While the colour was far from what I wanted, I was willing to try them on anyway to see what the fit was like.

First try – Size 14

Trying the size 14 first, it was quickly obvious they weren’t right.

I had enough room in the waistband to invite a friend to join me.


Second try – Size 12

Having had so much space in the size 14, I was pretty confident the size 12 would be bang on.

I was wrong.

The size 12 wouldn’t even zip up on me, and I did fear I would pop the button if I breathed too deeply.


The colour, the length, the fit – it was all wrong. Nope!

4. River Island

Harper - €48

High waisted, super skinny and distressed detailing? The Harpers were giving me confidence. While they didn’t claim to be ankle grazers, I was hoping a shorter leg would suffice.

Unfortunately, with no short legs in stock (typical), I headed off to the dressing room with a 14R and a 12R.

First try – Size 14R

The colour was perfect, the fit was exactly what I was after around the legs and hips. However, that waistband was still too big so it was on to the next pair.

Second try – Size 12R

Fitting a lot better around the mid-drift, I have to admit, I did love how my hips and bum looked in these.

Yet again, however, they were just too long.


While the Harpers were too long, I would definitely go back into River Island to look for the 12S and I would be very surprised if I didn’t purchase them.

So, it's a no... but only for now.

5. H&M

Super Skinny High Jeggings - €19.99

Stupidly optimistic that the cheapest ones would work, I trotted off to the dressing rooms with a size 14.

While they did claim to be jeggings (which I absolutely hate!), for me they fell somewhere between a jegging and a jean. The material was a lot nicer than your standard tight-like jeggings so I was willing to give them a go (and they were less than 20 quid).

Again the legs were too long, however, I had already come to the understanding that I would be heading to The Zip Yard no matter where I purchased.

Having successfully fitted into a size 12 in Topshop, I presumed a 14 would be fine.

I. Was. Wrong.


As the button would barely close, I unsurprisingly left these ones behind.

6. POCO by Pippa

The Tummy Tuck - €110

If there is one brand that is dominating right now when it comes to jeans it’s POCO by Pippa.

Yes, Pippa O’Connor has proven yet again her ability to create some seriously popular products and this time, it’s the turn of her jeans.

Opting for The Tummy Tucks for their high waist and skinny leg, I was almost hoping these would be terrible, or at least not as nice as the others so that I could proclaim that the higher price tag doesn’t always mean higher quality.

However, these jeans really were as great as everyone said and well worth the cash.


Opting for a size 14S, I really needed to wriggle into these bad boys but when I did they fit like a dream.

They held my little tummy pouch in while sitting comfortably on the bum.

The colour and detailing was exactly what I would want from my staple denims, however, I did struggle a little bit with the leg length.

The short leg was still a smidge too long, but thankfully these babies look great turned up so I could get away with it.

These were an absolute winner for me.