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Reformation Abby vs. Cynthia Jeans: I Put Both to the Test and Here are My Results

Let the best straight-leg jeans win

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Most days out of the week, you can bet I’m wearing some kind of denim jeans. I’ve always been of the mindset that nothing looks chicer and more effortless than a crisp button-down shirt and jeans combo. If you looked inside my closet, you’d guffaw at the number of baby blues I have hanging amidst the rest of my clothing, and that’s not counting the few I have stashed in my dresser, either. When there are so many denim styles to be appreciated, from straight-leg jeans and wide-leg jeans to distressed washes and white jeans, what kind of fashion editor would I be if I didn’t try them all? After spending time trying Agolde jeans and Abercrombie & Fitch jeans, it was only a matter of time before I reviewed Reformation’s offerings.

Intrigued by the brand’s sustainability efforts, I ventured into their denim collection made from regeneratively and organically grown cotton and found that two styles that were begging to be compared: the Abby straight-leg jeans and the Cynthia straight-leg jeans. (There’s even a Reddit thread about the two.) For the past three months, I’ve worn both pairs of jeans to many dinner dates and weekend outings in Los Angeles, and I have *many* thoughts about each one’s fit, length, feel, comfort and so much more.

Here’s everything you need to know about Reformation’s Abby and Cynthia straight-leg jeans if you’re looking to buy a pair for yourself.

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What Is Reformation’s Return Policy?

Before we get to all the nitty-gritty details on the two jeans, let’s talk returns. I’ve dealt with plenty of items that look cute online but unfortunate in person, so I appreciate a company that can save me from a headache. I’ve always had a pleasant experience with Reformation’s return policy because it’s simple and stress-free. First, you have up to 30 days after the delivery date or in-store purchase to return (for full credit or RefCredit) or exchange any unworn items, but once that 30-day window closes, it’s nada, zip, zilch. If you purchase a huge haul of items that ship in separate packages, your return window depends on when each shipment arrives.

Online returns are free if you decide to keep some or one of the items from your purchase, but if you decide to return everything, you will be charged a return shipping fee. Reformation determines your return shipping fee by country, which you can reference here. Psst: In-store returns are free, so you can always drop items off in-person if you want to avoid extra charges. The only thing exempt from Reformation’s easy, breezy return and exchange policy are final sale items.

My Reformation Cynthia High-Rise Straight Jeans Review

  • Appearance: 19/20
  • Comfort: 16/20
  • Fit: 16/20
  • Value: 18/20
  • Quality: 19/20

Total: 88/100

Streamlined and slimming, the Cynthia jeans have a form-fitting silhouette that’s meant to hug the waist, butt and hips before tapering off at the leg. True to its description, this pair is the most fitted straight-leg jean I’ve ever tried—almost too fitted—undoubtedly due to the blend of regeneratively grown cotton and Tencel Lyocell. While I can squeeze into the 26 (my normal size), the fit was anything but perfect, though it looks it.

To be frank, this style runs small, encasing my waist and bum like a stuffed sausage. Don’t get me wrong, it looks dang good if I don’t sport a crop top and bare my midriff (or else I will spill over), not to mention it looks incredibly close to the type of jeans Parisienne Camille Yolaine often wears. There’s no denying that the button-fly closure is pulled taut, and sitting in this for long periods of time runs me breathless, so I strongly urge you to size up, especially if you’re between sizes. But it has all the makings of a great staple jean, like functional pockets at the front and back, belt loops and five colorways, including vintage-inspired washes that feel oh-so ‘90s.

As someone who’s 5’7, inseams tend to be quite a conundrum for me as the standard length is usually too short for my liking and the tall length too tall. I’d say the Cynthia jeans fall somewhere in the middle. Available in three lengths (27 inches, 29 inches or 33 inches), I opted for the 29-inch length as this normally bodes well for me. The Cynthia jeans looked great when I styled them with kitten heels or ankle boots, because the hem falls around my ankle bone. Ballet flats or comfortable sneakers, however, counteract that magic and end up making my legs look like stumps.

A good rule of thumb I go by when finding the perfect length is assessing where the hem hits on my laces—you want it to be grazing the mid-point. My pants fell just at the start of my laces, so if I had to do it all over again, I’d size up one and order the tall version, taking advantage of Reformation’s complimentary alteration service to get them just right. A new size would undoubtedly make my fit and comfort scores trend up. Maybe then they would be that pair that I never want to take off. For now, though, I’m loving them for special dinners or events when I want to look snatched…just not for every day.

My Reformation Abby High-Rise Straight Jeans Review

  • Appearance: 18/20
  • Comfort: 18/20
  • Fit: 18/20
  • Value: 19/20
  • Quality: 19/20

Total: 92/100

Now here is a straight-leg jean that really delivers on all fronts. It’s fitted throughout, though less so than the Cynthia fit, with some room at the thighs and bum (without looking ill-fitting or unintentional in the slightest). Made from 100 percent organically grown cotton, the non-stretch denim never felt too rigid to the point of discomfort. In fact, I found that these tend to give a little with wear.

Compared to the Cynthia straight-leg jeans, I couldn’t help but notice how much better these felt on my body. They’re softer, roomier and longer, thanks to an extra inch-and-a-half at the leg opening and that 30-inch inseam (but more on that in a second). I took the same size as I did in the Cynthia jeans (26), but instead of feeling suctioned and stiff, I felt relaxed and comfortable. Looking at myself in photos, I do love how the Cynthia looks on my body a smidge more than the Abby high-rise, as the material never bunches at the crotch or down the legs as I notice happens with these. That being said, I do appreciate that these have a straighter leg that doesn’t taper towards the ankle.

Remember my inseam woes? Abby to the rescue! Who knew that one extra inch in the inseam could work such wonders, elongating my legs independent of the shoes I was wearing—sneakers, high heels, flats, who cares?! If I’m being extra picky, I’d even go so far as to wish for another inch. Unlike the Cynthia jeans, Reformation’s Abby high-rise straight jeans (a newish style released by the brand a few months ago) are currently available in one length, so they might sit cropped or long whether you’re tall or petite.

Like the Cynthia silhouette, the Abby jeans are available in five washes, so it really comes down to the fit. If you know me, then you know I live in sweatpants, so when I find jeans that can make my butt look perky and leg look longer without sacrificing on comfort, I’m sold. I’ve come to realize that I prefer a baggier style to a skinner one, so this lax straight-leg felt like it was tailor-made for me. Best of all? The light wash wasn’t see-through at all if I wore nude or light underwear. They even held up well in the washing machine, too.

Reformation’s Cynthia vs. Abby Straight-Leg Jeans Final Notes

Reformation’s sustainable jeans may appear nearly identical in price, cut, length and outside appearance, but they couldn’t be more different in person. When it comes to looks, the Cynthia jeans—which I know my petite friends will love—delivered on all fronts, making me feel like a fashionable French woman in her vintage Levi’s, except I didn’t have to rummage through thousands of pre-loved pairs. Still, the Abby style ultimately came out on top, especially with its true-to-size fit. Comfort, quality, style, you find it all in Abby, plus an extra inch in length for my taller girls. At the end of the day, both of Ref’s bestsellers are keepers and, let me tell you, they sure do make some of the best jeans for flat butts.


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Associate Fashion Commerce Editor

Stephanie is a natural savant in the fashion, beauty, and dating & relationships beats. She graduated with a bachelor of arts at the University of San Diego, where she majored...

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