WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT WRANGLER JEANS?
An oldie but a goodie, you’d be forgiven for thinking Wrangler had been outshone by high-street jeans(opens in new tab) in recent years, but the history and quality that made the brand still remains today.
For Wrangler, it’s all about performance – something that has been at the heart of their denim since their launch in 1947. Founded in Greensboro, North Carolina, they updated the classic blue jeans to make them more suitable for cowboys. Think an increased number of belt loops, perfectly watch-sized pockets and flat rivets that won’t scratch the saddle.
While those details have been adapted over the years for a more modern look, the durability of the denim has remained the same. These are hard-wearing, sturdy jeans that won’t sag, bag or stretch after the first wear.
Easy to identify, you can spot a pair of Wrangler jeans by the embossed leather patch on either the back pocket or waistband. Most pairs also carry a white or black tab, too. All of the rivets on Wrangler jeans are in a vintage-inspired copper.
HOW MUCH DO WRANGLER JEANS COST?
We put Wrangler firmly in the mid-range bracket when it comes to jeans. A pair of Wranglers will set you back between £60 and £90.
In the UK, you can shop Wrangler jeans at ASOS or Zalando, but for the widest range of styles – from on-trend mom jeans(opens in new tab) through to classic skinny jeans(opens in new tab) – it’s best to buy direct from their European website.
WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM?
Most styles of Wrangler jeans are made almost entirely of cotton, with a dash of polyester or elastane added into the mix to help with stretch and movement.
The thickness and softness of the fabric really varies by style. The tighter the design, the lighter, stretchier and softer the fabric will need to be, but even their skinniest jeans still feel comfortingly sturdy.
Wrangler is so confident in the quality of the fabric and construction of their jeans that they’ll offer a full refund if your pair develops a fault within two years of purchase.
HOW SUSTAINABLE ARE WRANGLER JEANS?
According to Oxfam, it can take up to 20,000 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans – a shocking stat and something Wrangler is keen to cut back on.
They’ve recently developed Indigood, an innovative foam-dyeing process that uses 100% less water to give their jeans their distinctive indigo colour. It reduces energy and waste by more than 60% compared with traditional denim dyeing, too. Win-win.
Growing and manufacturing new cotton requires a huge amount of water, land and energy, so Wrangler is also working to recycle surplus cotton in order to minimise waste. Instead of being discarded, offcuts are now shredded and re-spun into usable yarn. Every pair of jeans in their ICONS range is now made from at least 28% recycled cotton.
WHICH WRANGLER JEANS ARE BEST?
The w&h team considered the whole range and have picked out the best and most popular jean styles.
Featuring a flattering high waist, relaxed fit leg and tapered ankles, Wrangler’s mom jeans tick all the boxes when it comes to this retro-inspired style. Copper-toned threading and hardware adds to the vintage feel. Crafted from 99% cotton and just 1% elastane, these require a little wiggling to get into the first time around, but quickly give the more you wear them
Everyone needs a good pair of skinny jeans in their wardrobe and these don’t disappoint. They offer just enough stretch to hug and hone your shape without feeling restrictive or uncomfortable to wear.
A true straight-leg jean, Wrangler’s Wild West shape starts with a tummy-sculpting high waist before kicking out into ever-so-slightly fluted ankles. The closest in shape to Wrangler’s original jeans, they’re the perfect way to add a little western cool to your wardrobe.
HOW COMFORTABLE ARE WRANGLER JEANS?
Comfort is subjective, especially when it comes to jeans. How comfy you’re likely to find your new Wrangler jeans will really depend on the style you choose. A pair of sturdy bootleg jeans with just 1% of elastane will, by their very nature, have less give than a pair of stretchy skinnies, so are likely to take a few more wears to offer the same level of lived-in comfort.
Wrangler has added some thoughtful touches to their jeans to max out on comfort – their Relaxed Mom jeans feature a snuggly cord lining around the waistband, perfect for niggle-free all-day wear.
ARE WRANGLER JEANS TRUE TO SIZE?
Wrangler’s core jeans offering is available in sizes 24 to 34, which is equivalent to a UK 6-16. Their plus-size range spans sizes 34 to 44, equivalent to a UK 16-26. Unlike most high-street jeans, which just cover even numbers, Wrangler covers odds, too – handy if you’re between two sizes.
For the purpose of this review, I tried on 10 pairs of Wrangler jeans in my usual size, across a range of different styles. While they did vary quite noticeably in terms of fit from style to style, the overwhelming result was that these jeans do come up very small.
The Skinny High Rise put up a good fight around my bum and tum, second only to the Wild West Straight that were so snug I couldn’t even do the button up. On the other side of the scale, the Mom Relaxed jeans slid on like a dream.
I’d recommend sizing up, especially if you’re normally in between sizes.
HOW EASY ARE WRANGLER JEANS TO CARE FOR?
Wrangler jeans are built to last, but the more regularly you wash them, the shorter their life span will be.
“Denim doesn’t need to be washed after every wear. In fact, character is further formed in your jeans the more you wear them without washing in between,” explains their denim experts.
For a straight-forward clean, Wrangler recommends washing your jeans(opens in new tab) on a cold, gentle wash. You could even add a drop of essential oil like lavender to keep you jeans smelling sweet without damaging the denim. If your jeans are black or deep indigo, wash separately or with similar colours to avoid turning your favourite white shirt baby blue.
Once clean, hang your jeans up and leave them to drip-dry in the shade.
If you’ve managed to stain your jeans, Wrangler suggests using baby wipes or – hear us out – a vodka-soaked cloth to dab away the mark.
DO WRANGLER OFFER EASY RETURNS?
If you buy directly from Wrangler’s online store, you can return any unwanted items within 15 days of delivery. The process will vary if you purchase through any other retailer.
WRANGLER JEANS VERDICT
Wrangler might not be able to compete with the high street in terms of trend-led styles, but if you want classic, good-quality jeans that will stand the test of time, you can’t go wrong.