Q Where's a girl to find a great pair of jeans that aren't ultra-low rise and don't cost $400?

Karen Skanderson, Arlington

A Over the last several years, the premium denim market has exploded: At some boutiques, $200 now represents the low end of the price spectrum (and $400, sadly, the middle). What does that mean for those of you who crave cool, yet affordable, jeans? They still exist -- you'll just have to hunt a little longer to find an option that won't give you sticker shock.

One cut that seems to be everywhere this fall is the trouser jean, which is just what it sounds like: denim designed to look like a pair of slacks. There's much to recommend them. Trouser jeans tend to have a higher rise that's far more versatile (not to mention more comfortable) than those minuscule seven-inch rises, plus their gently flared leg flatters a multitude of body types. Typically, they're sold in a non-distressed, true blue rinse, which makes them sophisticated enough for many offices (they look great with a cropped jacket and heels), but they can be dressed down easily as well.

Well-priced options abound -- and if you care about such things, these kinds of jeans tend to appear expensive even when they're not. Three especially chic choices to consider? Target's Denim Crawford Pant by Isaac Mizrahi ($24.99 at Target.com); Delia's Blaire Jeans ($44 at Delias.com); and Wrangler 47's trouser jeans ($127 at Nana, 1534 U St. NW, 202-667-6955).

Wondering how to wear it? E-mail Suzanne D'Amato, Sunday Source's deputy editor and a former fashion writer at Vogue, at styleq@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and phone number.