Adam Glassman
Photo: Robert Trachtenberg
Q: Do I really have to pay $175 or more for good jeans?

A: No! Don't buy into this ridiculously inflated pricing. Denim is denim—it's not a costly fabric. The main thing about jeans is a modern, flattering fit, and these days you're as likely to find that in an inexpensive, well-cut brand as in a snooty label. If you're into trendy denim with a shorter shelf life—bright colors, a baggy "boyfriend" shape—it's smarter to spend less.

Cheap jeansJeans $65 and under: Dark washes are slimming, and paler shades look cool for spring. From right: Old Navy, $35; Element, $60; Gap, $65; American Eagle Outfitters, $50; Signature by Levi Strauss & Co., $20; Victoria's Secret Catalogue, $60.

More summer steals: Great looks that won't break the bank

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