A.P.C. Women’s Jeans Review: Is Their Denim Worth $220?

“You’re the Stones? Sing ‘Satisfaction.’ You’re A.P.C.? You’re good at jeans.”

That’s Jean Touitou’s, the founder of A.P.C., compelling analogy of A.P.C.’s signature piece: their jeans.

Since 1987, A.P.C. knows what works: timeless basics.

APC Jeans Review

On any given French person in the 3ème arrondissement, it’s all A.P.C., all the time… actually on any French person in any arrondissement, it’s all A.P.C., all the time.

After a fateful wander on rue Vielle du Temple in 2008, I’ve been an A.P.C. addict.

A.P.C. jeans seemed too complicated. When do I wash them? How do they fit? Will they stretch? I couldn’t grasp why jeans had to seem slightly confusing, so I avoided them.

… until I got my A.P.C. raw denim mini skirt… that skirt became my gateway to A.P.C. jeans.

10 years into my A.P.C. abundant life and it was time to invest in their cornerstone product.


Jean Touitou started A.P.C. because of his personal desire for raw denim. Since his very first roll of Japanese raw denim, that was used for the very first sample pair, all A.P.C. denim has been sourced from Japan.

A.P.C. raw denim became the denim for the Brooklyn/3ème arrondissement cool kids.

… but A.P.C. doesn’t only sell raw denim jeans. They also offer pairs in treated denim, ie. the kind of denim that is most widely worn and sold.

Let’s run down the differences between the two…

APC jeans try on


Raw denim is 100% cotton, it has a sheen to it and is the deepest indigo blue because it’s untreated. It starts off super stiff, but loosens over time.

If you get a pair of A.P.C. raw denim jeans, they should fit super tight… like a you-can-barely-get-the-buttons-done-up kinda tight. Like a you-won’t-be-bending-your-knees-for-a-week kinda tight.

This kind of denim moulds to your body over time. It stretches out and conforms to your specific figure. But, because of how the fibres are composed, you have to hold off washing it…

Raw denim is better if you don’t wash it for at least three months. If you wash raw denim too soon, the fibres break down and the effect won’t be the same. When you do finally succumb and wash, follow A.P.C.’s signature washing recipes.

A.P.C.’s raw denim jeans are unisex. They do not make models specifically for women. This is due to the whole “moulding to your body” effect that raw denim has, i.e. there’s no need for a specific model for women or men.

If you give them the time (and hold off washing), these jeans will eventually feel like home for the rest of their life.

Raw denim vs Treated denim


Treated denim is the denim that we all know and love. It’s 98% cotton and 2% polyurethane, so it has some stretch… but A.P.C.’s version is still slightly stiff at first.

A.P.C.’s treated denim comes in 3 different washes, including an indigo that looks like a raw denim dupe (see above photo).

You should take your regular size in these jeans. Don’t size up or down, they won’t loosen and they won’t shrink.

A.P.C.’s treated denim is available in models specifically for women or men.


When considering what kind of denim (raw vs. treated) to buy, think about how often you’ll wear them.

Raw denim takes a long time of daily wear to take shape. Can you commit to that?

For me, A.P.C.’s unisex raw denim jeans would take too long.

I don’t wear jeans on a daily basis… I barely wear them once a week. As much as I want a pair of raw denim, I don’t have the time required to break them in…

APC San Francisco store
The eight pairs of jeans I tried on…

I wanted my legs to look longer with a pair of high waisted jeans and I wanted to wear them now.

A.P.C.’s High Standard jeans are exactly that. They’re treated denim, so they’re all ready (relatively) soft and they have a high waist. They have a light shine (which will fade over time) and a deep indigo colour. Every box was checked!


For reference, I’m 5’5.75” and weigh 115-117 lbs.

For comparison, my other jean sizes run below.
Acne Studios denim shorts, size 25
Levi’s, size 25
Rag & Bone jeans, size 24-26 and a size 25 for denim shorts
Re/Done Original jeans, size 25 (sometimes a 26)
Reformation, size 25

My A.P.C. High Standard jeans, are a size 26 (remember, these are not raw denim).

APC Jeans Sizing

I won’t have to hem these jeans because they fall at my ankles and don’t bunch up too much.

For these A.P.C. jeans, I have to wiggle a bit to get into the size 26. While they have 2% stretch, it isn’t like the 2% stretch in Rag & Bone jeans.

Once they’re (finally) on, they look like an art school student’s dream.


A.P.C.’s denim quality is second to none.

… but considering I haven’t had them forever, anything I say is simply speculation.

So, take it from my friend Luxe, whose blog is second to none, when she emphasizes that A.P.C. jeans are an investment… seriously, her raw denim A.P.C. jeans are the only jeans she has worn since 2009.


If you know, you know.

A.P.C. jeans have this subtle in the know vibe.

Think Brooklyn art school student… like you’re a senior at Pratt about to graduate and get a job at an in the know gallery in Red Hook.

Simplicity rules when it comes to these jeans. With a simple white t-shirt or a black tank top, your A.P.C. jeans take centre stage.



No Branding: Apart from a subtle logo embossed on the waist button, there are no logos on these jeans. They’re subtle and no one will be able to know, unless they know.
Wash: It’s like the deepest blue indigo you’ve ever seen. You just wanna drown in it… wait, is that morbid?
Caramel Stitching: The orange stitching complements the deep blue and makes the jeans pop.
Classic Cut: High waisted with a skinnier cut ankle? Not going anywhere for a long time. These aren’t your trendy pre-torn jeans.

Inconsistent Sizing: Not necessarily a con, but A.P.C. sizes differ from model to model.
Try the jeans on at an A.P.C. store to make sure you get your right size, or find an online retailer with free returns/exchanges.

While Mick Jagger couldn’t get no satisfaction, A.P.C.’s denim satisfies the most discerning denim wearer.

No matter the material, no matter the cut, and no matter where you’re ridin’ round the world, A.P.C. makes above satisfying jeans.

Available from a wide variety of stockists starting from $220 USD, but you can also shop on A.P.C.’s online store.


Visit an A.P.C. store to get your jeans: I love shopping online and I’m obsessive about finding 15% off coupons online… however, I knew I’d need a lot of help finding my A.P.C. jeans size.
I bought them at their store in San Francisco. The sales associates could not have been more helpful. They took out 4 models in 2 sizes (so we’re talking 8 pairs of jeans) and let me take my time asking questions and trying them all on.

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APC denim mini skirt review

7 responses to “A.P.C. Women’s Jeans Review: Is Their Denim Worth $220?”

  1. They look great! I’m tempted to try these. I love A.P.C denim and have been trying to break in the Petite New Standards for more than a year, they don’t get as much wear as my mini jupe which is probably my most worn item. In some stores you can also buy their Butler jeans which are pre broken in, but cost more.

    Out of the raw pairs which would you have got? Also you live in a hot climate right? The full raw pairs are so thick so you definitely made the right choice with your pair. I can’t wear my raw ones at the moment, it’s way too hot for them and I live in London, so not exactly tropical!

    • Hey A,

      Thanks so much!

      How often do you wear your Petite New Standards? I’m so curious about APC’s break in time.

      You’re so lucky you live in London/can play with raw denim… I tried on the Petite New Standard pair and totally would have gone for them (but gotten them hemmed) if it wasn’t for that Caribbean heat!.. would have been way too uncomfortable!

      I really like how APC’s high waist jeans aren’t as “mom-esque” as other high waisted denim brands… but they still make your legs look longer and look so low key with a white long sleeve.

      I’ve worn my mini jupe maybe 10 times since I got it 2 years ago and still no sign of relaxing ahaha… Has your APC denim skirt relaxed at all?

      • I don’t wear them as much as I’d like to, because I don’t know what shoes to pair them with. I wore them quite a lot last year over a six month period and washed them after a year. They were really stiff at first, but started to relax after a week or so. They are still not as broken in as I’d like though.. I’ll have to wear them again in autumn. Your right they have the perfect shape, a bit different to the Mom jeans you see everywhere. I got them hemmed as well, they were soo long at first.

        I wear the mini jupe at least twice a week, I love it so much I’ve got 2 now to rotate. It does break in after about 20 wears maybe. Love that fresh look though when it’s new.

  2. How come the only way I knew about this post was by looking at referral traffic in Google Analytics???

    Your highs look great! And I’m jealous don’t have to hem them. You’re so right to consider your lifestyle before deciding on raw denim. If I didn’t work in a casual environment it would be tough to break them in. And even I struggle with it, too. It’s been a year already and I’ve still got a ways to go…

    Just don’t make my mistake: I had a pair that were unwashed, so I decided to take them to the drycleaner. Well, I guess they steamed them and they totally shrunk. So now those are my “too tight but I still squeeze into them” jeans.

  3. Luxe sent me! love your blog by the way. It’s so confusing how the treated pairs look basically the same color as the raw denims, because I’m trying to buy them aftermarket, but I want to make sure they’re actually raw.

    I also checked out your APC miniskirt post. Do you have a photo somewhere of how it has faded in the last 2 years?

    • Hey Alice, thanks for popping over — Luxe’s blog is the best!

      Try to find out what the composition is. APC raw denim will be 100% cotton, while their treated pairs will be 2% polyurethane and 98% cotton.

      I wear my mini once every 3-4 months (just for evenings out, no day to day wear), so it isn’t in heavy rotation. I’ve had it for around 2 years now and it has barely faded — its only *slightlyyy* less shiny than before. I need to wear it more then report back in a year 😉 Luxe has a great post about how her APC raw denim jeans have faded here: http://www.theluxestrategist.com/how-my-140-jeans-are-a-frugal-buy/ The denim skirt will probably take a lot more time because it doesn’t hug as much as a pair of jeans does!

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