Old Navy Balloon Black Ankle Jean I Editor’s Review

I know I know: this isn’t the first time I’ve raved about Old Navy jeans. In fact, the retailer has become one of my go-to places to buy denim over the past year. I found a trendy pair with a split hem that I wear at least once a week, a pair that exploits what’s called the *magic* waist, and now: the extra high-rise non-stretch black ankle jean ($45), which I love so much I’ve worn them two days in a row. Read on for all the reasons you *probably* need it in your closet too.

What I like about these jeans

By now you know I’m a huge fan of Old Navy denim, so it’s probably no surprise that I check the brand’s new releases section quite frequently. When I came across these balloon jeans (aka barrel jeans), I gasped audibly. For those unfamiliar with the style, it features a high, fitted waist and a loose straight leg that tapers at the ankle – and is usually cropped. They hit their peak in the 80s, but now that oversized jeans are back, I think you’re going to see a plot more of this silhouette.

As you can see in the photo above (if you look closely), they feature subtle fading and abraded edges to the pockets to evoke a true vintage feel. And not only do they look really cool, but they’re also comfortable. Since they’re loose, I didn’t feel constricted at all, and they weren’t too hot to wear on a summer day in the Midwest. I paired them with a basic white tank top, platform sandals and a belt bag – and knew I’d be recreating the look again in the (very near) future.

What is worth noting

Since these jeans are new to the Old Navy website, they haven’t received any reviews yet. One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that these jeans are definitely on the baggy side, so if that’s not your thing, you might want to consider a different style. But if you’re completely okay with it, I think you’ll be happy with your purchase. After all, the price is right. A quick Google search for similar results yielded designs with much higher price tags. Although I can’t comment on the fit of the others, they all looked like the Old Navy version.

Who are these jeans for?

These jeans are ideal for someone looking for a timeless yet fashionable denim style that you can wear all year round. If you’re a fan of minimalist basics, I think you’ll love them as much as I do.

Additional details

  • These jeans are available in sizes 0 to 30.
  • They are made of 100% cotton.
  • It has slash pockets at the front and patch pockets at the back.
  • Machine wash in cold water and tumble dry low to keep them looking their best.


Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Marisa Petrarca