Are designer jeans worth the money? I’d say….YES! I have owned seven, citizens, hudson, true religion, AG, and joe jeans to list a few….and I really love the way designer jeans wear and fit. The only gripe is I usually have to get them hemmed. Recently I have found some skinny or ankle skinny jeans I have not required to get hemmed (so its nice to save $$$). I try to get them on sale at nordstrom or at the outlets. You can find some at NordRACK for $80, which isn’t too bad considering GAP jeans run $80.
It is not to say you can’t find a good pair of jeans that are inexpensive. I really like GAP jeans! They always have sales so I try to buy them only on sale and not regular price. $80 for jeans I would rather buy a pair of Paige jeans. I ordered some a few months ago for $12! Yes $12, they were on sale and an additional 40% off. I found a pair of old navy jeans I really like Old Navy Rockstar mid-rise skinny jeans. They fit really nice and wash nicely. I also bought the same jeans in black and they have faded so much and do not wear the same. I feel like it is hit or miss. I had a pair of jeans from forever 21 I really liked also, but I have had some I hated. I think you can definitely find some nice inexpensive jeans but you have to search for them and test them out!
Overall, invest some money into a nice pair of jeans. You don’t need a closet full (unless it is your thing) but have one or two go to jeans that you know will always work for you.