It’s girl’s night out and you want to look cute without trying too hard. (Translation: you need some funky jeans to rock with that very fashionable top). And so the incessant search begins — perusing the malls and camping out in the fitting rooms for “the” jeans — perfect fit, rinse, cut, and style. And if you can get a bargain, all the better. But with that wish list, finding the right pair of jeans at the right price can be quite a task.

So what’s a sister to do? Shop online. While the idea of buying jeans without trying them on seems bananas, it’s more like, peaches. You avoid the mall rush and fitting-room drama, and you may even save a bit of cash. The majority of online retailers provide a range of fit, style and color choices, and some even allow you to customize your jeans, which is great for us sisters with ample servings of hips and thighs.

So we scoured the Web to bring you just the right jeans, and we grouped them according to what you might want to spend. Unless otherwise noted, all merchants listed below have fair online return policies — just in case you don’t get it right on the first pass. (Hey, we never said we’d solve all your problems.) Happy shopping!

$20 to $50

You can always find jeans in classic styles as well as the trend du jour in a variety of lengths and sizes (0 to 20). So why should you pay for shipping? Because if you’re a voluptuous 18 or 20, need an x-short or x-long length, or if you’re expecting, we can tell you right now that the store won’t have it: the Big G offers those sizes and maternity wear exclusively online. As for returns, refunds or exchanges, you’ve got 14 days to do it.

They may not have a ton of trendy styles, but they have enough to make you a trendsetter, like the bleached-side, hem and front-pocket flare jeans. You can find them in ankle, regular and long lengths. Sizes 0 to 20.

If you’re thinking home accents, think again. You’ll find Levi’s (the site is one of Levi’s specialty on-line shops) super-low boot cut, Lee and AZ (Arizona Jean Co.) loose or relaxed fit styles in dark and light denim, sizes 24 to 34. In addition to accepting on-line returns, Penny’s will take them at their stores as well.

Spandex is a girl’s best friend: one sister we know has a tiny waist and round rear and swears by VS jeans. When you visit the site, skip the undies and go straight to “shop the catalogue” and click on the Spring Fashion 2001 catalogue and browse “the jean of the season” (for spandex ) or “The London Jean collection” (for regular and button-fly cotton). Available in petite, classic or slim fits, sizes 2 to 16 in petite, regular and tall. They do not accept returns of online merchandise. (Check out their summer catalogue and click “denim” and “stretch tees and denims” for additional styles of London Jeans and VS embroidered jeans. Available in sizes 2 to 14.)

If you’ve got an expanding belly, then this is a stop for you. You can navigate through several sites like Mimi Maternity and Motherhood Maternity and enjoy the latest styles in sizes small to extra large or 4 to 20.

If you ever wanted your favorite jeans in nearly any color, then this is your site. You have your choice of the rainbow with 3 to 18 different colors for each style.


$50 to $75

The Banana is famous for its 9-to-5 wear, but they have several jean styles that are casual chic and simple enough to pass the fashion police in the office. (Check out the cross-dyed, wide-leg, boot-cut, low-waist trousers). BR’s collection is available in sizes 0 to 16, and short, regular and long.

Just click on J.Crew’s denim shop fpr women and check out their “denim finder”. Scroll through pics of eight styles, including flare, boot cut, vintage and hip-slung. All denim is available in petite, regular or tall, in sizes 2 to 14.

If you must rock designer jeans, then you’ll like Macy’s. They offer Lizwear, Jones NY, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s (this site is one of its specialty on-line shops), DKNY, Kenneth Cole and ck Calvin Klein. Sizes from 2 to 14.

$75 plus

If you have abs like Halle Berry or Angela Basset, then you’re ready to rock the SUPER-low jeans. At Saks you can find sexy designer brands like Juicy Couture, and Earl Jeans, but be ready to shell out prices begining at $100.

So you’ve got a slew of jeans and none of them fit you the way you’d hoped. Well, the genie can grant you a wish — for $100 — by custom-making the perfect pair just for you. Choose cut, color, pocket styles and leg shape and enter your measurements (using their directions), and voila, you’re sportin’ custom-made jeans. (Interactive Clothing Company)

If you consider yourself a perfectionist then you’d love this place. They will make jeans to your specifications in three weeks. (But be warned: you have to fill out a laundry list of measurements). Choose from denim in nearly every conceivable weight, finish and color. And experiment with camouflages, suedes, leathers — you name it. Expect to drop $90 bucks for denim and about $305 for leather.