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These Flattering, Celeb-loved Jeans Kept Me Comfy on a 14-hour Flight to Japan — Plus, 9 Other Pairs to Buy

Would you believe me if I told you that the controversial travel pants felt like wearing leggings?

Comfortable Jeans for Long Flights

Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland

I’ve often looked at paparazzi shots of celebrities striding off planes in immaculately stylish airport outfits and thought: “I wish.” But like my favorite A-listers, I quite enjoy the art of piecing together the perfect travel outfit. That said, I've gotten in the habit of using my favorite celebrities for wardrobe inspiration before each trip and noticed a recurring key player: Frame denim.

It seems almost everyone — especially the long-legged stars like Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid, and Giselle Bündchen — loves to sport jeans from the designer denim brand. As someone who is 5-foot, 8 inches herself and hates nothing more than awkwardly cropped jeans, I was immediately intrigued. It turns out, Frame has a pair of denim specifically designed for travel: the Jetset Jeans. In the name of research, I decided to test them on a 14.5-hour flight to Japan (I know, ambitious), to see if I can answer the controversial question: Can jeans actually be cozy travel pants for long flights? 

Frame The Jetset Flare Pintuck Super Stretch Denim

The Jetset Flare Pintuck in Sheen Noir


Let me just say that these might be the comfiest pants I've ever worn. The Jetset Jeans are a pull-on style that has tons of stretch. While on the outside they look like any other piece of denim, on the skin, they have the same comfort level as a thick pair of leggings. I was pleasantly surprised by how the pants glided on deliciously, never tugging at the skin. The 4 percent elastane stitched into the material is about double that of standard stretch denim or jeggings. Combined with high-quality cotton, the pants offered a type of softness that you can really only achieve from a piece of loungewear, leaving that dreaded restricted feeling that most jeans have behind. 

Because of the flared nature, my thighs were the only part of my legs that came in contact with the jeans; from the knees down, they didn’t touch my skin at all. The 31.5-inch inseam length, however, reached down to my heels and actually came in handy as it blocked the blasting air conditioning from reaching the inside. 

But what really makes these pants special is just how chic they look. I’m a little embarrassed to walk around the airport in sweatpants, and these jeans made me look like I belonged in first class (before I humbly proceeded to the back of the plane). Beyond the flight, I frequently wore the jeans during my stay in Tokyo and received tons of compliments on how well-fitted they looked. What's more, it made walking 20,000 steps a true comfort, something that can't be said for all jeans. 

So, bottom line: Were the Frame Jetset Jeans comfortable enough for a near-15-hour flight? I would say almost. I felt cozy enough to sleep for more than half of the flight, and even after all those hours, I quite honestly forgot I was wearing jeans — a true win. That being said, they, of course, didn’t provide the same kind of coziness as fleece-lined sweatpants would. For future trips, I would probably cap these jeans at an eight-hour flight, and opt for joggers for anything longer. 

More Comfy Denim for Long Flights

If I was able to successfully change your stance on jeans being suitable travel pants, keep scrolling because I've rounded up nine of the best options from top retailers that have won over travelers with their comfort. Prices start at $31 (and some pairs are even on sale). 

Dokotoo Smocked High-waist Tencel-Denim Pants

Dokotoo Ruffled Smocked High Waist Pants


These pants may give off the appearance of denim, but the 100 percent lyocell pull-on pants are basically glorified joggers. With a wide-leg silhouette and stretchy elastic waistband, these pants will never pinch you on a long flight or feel uncomfortable on a travel day. According to one reviewer, the fabric is "soft to the touch and thin but not see-through, so these trousers will feel great on warm days," which means we'll be reserving them for tropical trips. 

Coolibar UPF 50+ Enclave Wide-leg Pants

Coolibar UPF 50+ Enclave Wide Leg Pants


These sun-blocking, UPF 50+ options are very similar to the previous ones but with one caveat: the slit hem can be tied together, shortening the overall length of the pants and transforming them to capris. They also have a small string tie around the waist for slight adjustability, should you get bloated while on the plane and need the extra wiggle room. They've been described as "comfortable and stylish" and "a great alternative to jeans" by shoppers. And, reviewers were also delighted that they washed well, showing no shrinkage after going through the machine.

Anrabess Chambray Linen Palazzo Pants

ANRABESS Linen Palazzo Pants


I adore the wide range of colors with this option and am actually eyeing the green, navy, and coffee pairs to add to my travel wardrobe. Even with the three options in the cart, I’m barely spending over $100. Made with rayon and linen, the breezy pants are ideal for summers and warm destinations. In one review, a traveler raved that they "are the most comfortable pants you’ll own," and was happy to report that they worked great for the "two, four-hour flights" they wore them on. 

Spanx Kick Flare Jeans 

Kick Flare Jeans


Spanx never fails to make flattering yet comfortable clothing. Take these pull-on jeans, for example. No one would be any wiser of their pull-on, jegging-style fit, which features the brand's signature compression around the waist. Although the shortened hem may feel a little cold on the plane, the pants can easily be re-worn while on vacation for multiple occasions. 

Everlane The Utility Barrel Pants

The Utility Barrel Pant


Nothing says “I’m laid back and everything is under control” like a pair of utility pants. Here, the regenerative organic cotton mixed with the loose fit makes these exceptional for travel and beyond, and the unique stitching on the calves adds intrigue to an otherwise basic silhouette. I’m personally dropping the tall version into my cart. 

Madewell Kick Out Crop Jeans

Kick Out Crop Jeans


For shorter trips where you need to hit the ground running, an elegant (but stretchy) pair of denim, such as these from Madewell, is a good choice. “This pair is one of the most flattering jeans I have bought in recent years. I am very pleased to find out that this mid-rise, kick-out crop cut gives my curvy figure a nice shape,” says one reviewer. In addition to their figure-flattering look, reviewers also mentioned that they're "very comfortable and not at all rigid."

Lee Women's Ultra Lux Comfort With Flex Motion Bootcut Jeans

Lee Ultra Lux Comfort with Flex Motion Bootcut Jean


When in doubt, go with a trusted brand like Lee. Shoppers love how comfortable and stretchy this pair is, commenting that “they look great, and the wide, flexible waistband is fantastic.” Plus, they can easily be worn throughout the trip while sightseeing.

Dokotoo Denim Cargo Pants

Dokotoo Cargo Pants


Cargo pants make great travel pants not just because they are loose-fitted and comfortable, but the additional pockets serve as extra storage space while on the go. And for the price, this relaxed-fitting option is surprisingly well-made and roomy. In fact, one shopper stated that “the quality of the material is structured yet soft with stretch.” 

Hint of Blu Mighty High-waist Wide-leg Jeans

Hint of Blu Mighty High Waist Wide Leg Jeans


Including one more option for my tall girlies, these wide-leg pants have a 32-inch inseam that is perfect for both sneakers and heels. Featuring a baggy (yet sophisticated) appeal, you can easily travel in these while feeling like a model off-duty. Taking to the review section, one Nordstrom customer shared, "These feel like butter. [They are] so soft and comfortable. They have a lot of stretch, but aren't clingy." 

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