Top 5+ Best Jeans For Men 2023

Jeans, once workwear, are essential to modern fashion. Jeans have defined generations, eras, and subcultures, from the high-waisted flares of the ’70s and skaters’ baggy styles to the golden age of skinny jeans and today’s broader, looser designs. While options are great, too many might make finding the right pair harder. Some jeans fit your thigh but squeeze your butt. Some have a unique cut that works well on models in product images but not in real life. Finding the right jeans is worth the effort—they’ll be one of your closet’s best purchases. To find out their favorites, Teeanime interviewed 18 trendy men who have worn denim—designers, merchants, podcasters, fashion writers, stylists, and other denim aficionados.

What we’re looking for


Andrew Chen, co-owner of 3sixteen and partner at Self Edge, a specialized denim boutique, thinks fit is the most critical factor when choosing denim. “I’ve seen lots of consumers fall in love with a certain fabric or design elements on jeans, only to force themselves into a cut that doesn’t work with their body type,” says Chen. According to Strategist writer Erin Schwartz, “denim whisperer” Clotilde Testa, owner of Walk the West Vintage in Hudson, New York, you should start by measuring your waist, hip, thigh, and optimal rise. You may do this by measuring your body or a pair of jeans that fits well. Higher rises are measured vertically from the crotch to the waistband. A mid-rise waistband sits between your waist and hips and measures between 10 and 11 inches, while a low rise waistband sits at the top of your hips.

From the crotch seam down the inside leg to where you want the hem to fall, measure your ideal inseam length. Men’s jeans typically have 30–34-inch inseams. Some companies let you choose a waist measurement and a fixed inseam length, while others let you choose both.

A brand’s leg opening measurement might indicate if a pair of jeans is tapered or roomy at the ankles. Measure the leg opening by laying the jeans flat and measuring straight across the width of the cuff, just at the hem (and note whether a brand’s size chart gives the laid-flat measurement or doubles it for the entire circumference). Harry Styles wears slim jeans with leg openings of 5 or 6 inches, while Tim Duncan and Michael Jordan wear boot-cut jeans with 10 inch leg openings.


Straight leg, tapered leg, slim fit, and skinny jeans are the most popular cuts for guys. The most classic is straight leg. The legs are straight from hip to hem, as the name implies. Levi’s 501 straight-leg high-rise jeans are the norm. It’s a cut that works for numerous body types and has been around since 1873. Tapered-leg jeans are cut like straight-leg jeans around the butt and thighs but taper toward the bottom. A mid-rise or low-rise slim-fit cut is snugger in the butt and thighs and tapered toward the legs. Skinny jeans are low-rise and fit snugly. Slim or narrow jeans may feel confining, whereas straight leg jeans may flap at the ankles. Consider whether you want your jeans to fit tight to your ankles or over boots.


Denim, composed of 100% cotton, is famous for its durability and blue color, which originates from the indigo used to colour the yarn used to weave it. Denim was originally used by manufacturing workers and miners because its twill weave, which forms a diagonal pattern, made fabric durable. If you want durable pants, pay attention to the cotton content and whether it’s combined with spandex or Lycra for stretch. If you like stiffer jeans, 100% cotton denim may be your pick. Selvedge fabric, which is more labor-intensive and therefore more expensive, is woven such that its edges don’t tear.

Raw, one-wash, or washed denim

Denim type affects color, fading, wear, form, and shrinkage. Chen defines raw denim as unwashed denim. It has a deep navy color and is crunchy or hard compared to materials that have been washed down or softened to look worn in. Raw denim needs soaking to shrink. Chen notes that until the 1970s and 1980s, denim was exclusively offered raw, but when jeans became popular, “different techniques like stonewashing, acid washing, and distressing were developed to give jeans a broken-in look and feel.” Raw or washed denim is personal taste. Washed denim is preshrunk and more comfortable, but raw denim requires more breaking in (you should also be careful about dye transfer to furniture and light-colored clothing). Chen claims people have been misinformed about washing denim for years. “Customers are advised to wait as long as possible before washing jeans, as if cleaning them is harmful. Delaying cleaning your jeans causes the fabric to wear down and tear prematurely.”

Raw denim will mold to your body and fade to a more personalized distressed look. Because raw denim gets better with age, Chen believes some people love it. One-wash jeans are constructed from raw denim that has been soaked and dried once to remove shrinkage. Look for “sanforized” or “unsanforized” to see if the denim has been preshunk and how.

Best straight-leg jeans for men

Levi’s 501 Original-Fit Jeans

Denim Dudes: Street Style, Vintage, Workwear, Obsession author Amy Leverton says, “If we’re going to talk about jeans that every man should have in their closet, a pair of good old Levi’s.” She says the 501 is still the best Levi’s, and getting a pair is “like a rite of passage.” The greater rise of 501s makes them easier to dress up, according to Blamo! presenter Jeremy Kirkland. “I wear tailoring and sport coats, so it helps to wear something totally high,” he says. 501s are “perfect for every occasion,” according to former Strategist columnist Chris Black. “There’s a reason that modern-day denim businesses adopt the fit of the 501 to construct their own jeans,” says digital marketer Drew Westphal. “Nothing tops the 501 fit,” says Edgar Gonzelaz, owner of Andafterthat, a creative business in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Levi’s 501 fit is recommended by menswear writer Matthew Spade. “Over the years, I’ve tried a lot, but the Levi’s 501 seems to fit best.” “The modest 501 seems to hit all of those exactly in the bull’s-eye,” he says. The 501s have a great fit that suits practically any style or body type, in my experience. The waist-hugging shape comes in many sizes and has a 12.25-inch rise. When flat, its straight leg has an 8.5-inch opening.

Best Japanese selvedge denim straight-leg jeans for men

Sugar Cane 1947 Jean

Sugar Cane 1947 Jean

Denim experts will argue Japan makes the best denim. W. David Marx writes, “In the last two decades, Okayama Prefecture in Western Honshu has become famous around the world as the principal source of Japan’s high-quality, vintage-inspired jeans,” mainly made of raw, selvedge denim. “The entire goal behind these speciality Japanese denim manufacturers is to make pants with the attention to detail that Levi’s had in the mid-century,” says Drew Romero, a sales associate at Dover Street Market and Self Edge alumnus. Romero says that while modern Japanese denim producers make a variety of cuts, “when people talk about Japanese denim,” they mean copies of Levi’s straight-leg 501s.

The 1947 Levi’s 501-inspired Sugar Cane 1947s are Romero’s favorite jeans. Romero calls Sugar Cane serious. “They’re even picky about which American merchants carry their brand.” The Sugar Cane 1947 has a straight leg and a wide waist range that determines the inseam, rise, and leg-opening. A pair with a 30-inch waist has a 10.75-inch rise, 33.5-inch inseam, and 8.5-inch leg opening when lying flat.

Best slim-fit jeans for men

Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jeans – Black

Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jeans

The Levi’s 511 is slim-fit jeans’ 501. Tim Melidio of menswear blog Stay Classic wears Levi’s 511s, while stylist Brandon Garr says he wears them because “they’re inexpensive and hold up in the city.” Since they’re cheaper to replace, I can be more daring in them. “Guys that have large legs from riding their bikes, like me — we don’t have to squeeze ourselves into them,” said cyclist Robert Evans of the 511s, which are narrower than the 501s. He wears 511s for “at least a decade” and gets “four or five years” out of each pair. Elastane gives the 511s stretch. They have a 10.25-inch mid-rise and a slight taper to provide a slender leg with a 7.25-inch leg opening when laid flat.

Best jeans for men with big thighs

Levi’s 551 Z Authentic Straight Fit

Levi's 551 Z Authentic Straight Fit

Jared Johnson, co-creator of footwear brand Season Three, prefers the 550 cut to the more popular 501 because of the increased rise and thigh room. He collects old 550s since they fit nicely, but he suggests the Levi’s 551 fit for a close imitation. The 551 has a roomier top for persons with wider hips and thighs, but the lower half is still the 501 straight-leg design. Johnson says the 551s are higher-rise and “the straight leg offers you room to stretch out without that unpleasant feeling of denim gripping your calves.” Hemp fabric softens the jeans for a more worn-in look. “They make whatever you’re wearing look effortless,” he says. The 551s have a straight leg, an 11.5-inch rise, and an 8-inch openness when laid flat.

Best skinny jeans for men

Levi’s 510 Skinny Fit Jeans

Levi’s 510 Skinny Fit Jeans

“Fancy-jeans guy for years,” Netflix brand and editorial manager Alex Simons said. “I swore my Marc by Marc Jacobs black jeans forever,” he says. They ripped shortly before a business trip, so I hurried into Levi’s and found the 510s and never looked back.” “Comfortable from the moment you put them on, have the appropriate amount of pocket space, are slender but not skintight, and, of course, they’re a wonderful bargain,” he says. They fit wonderfully on my high-top sneakers.” The 510 has an 11-inch rise and a 6.5-inch leg opening.

Best slim-fit black jeans for men

Acne Studios Max Slim Fit Jeans, Stay Black

Acne Studios Max Slim Fit Jeans, Stay Black
“Every guy should have fancy black jeans,” says stylist David Thomas. He recommends a solid black, unfaded denim for “dressing up.” “Slim but not supertight” and fade-resistant, he adores the Acne Max Stay Black. Carlos Rivera-Anaya, Mr Porter’s head of marketing, and Garr both love this pair of jeans. He claims three pairs. “I cut the hem quite high for a super-slim leg that looks excellent with a sharp Chelsea boot and leather jacket. On a second, I clipped the hem around two inches lower to wear with white tube socks and Vans Old Skools, but for work, I left them intact for a straight, slim leg with ankle length. Basic jeans.” Thomas feels they can be worn to a formal function if styled properly.

Best Japanese black selvedge denim jeans for men

3sixteen CT-220x Classic Tapered Double Black Jeans

3sixteen CT-220x Classic Tapered Double Black Jeans

“3Sixteen’s creator knows I exclusively wear black pants and set me on to these,” said Contra, Wildair, and Peoples Wine chef Fabián von Hauske. Black raw denim fades less than indigo but still turns gray. Von Hauske has “eight pairs and I run them all down till I can’t wear them anymore.” Since the jeans “last forever,” wearing them out has been difficult. “It’s really crucial to purchase something durable. Two pairs of these last longer than six pairs of jeans. A pair with a 30-inch waist has an 11-inch rise and a 7-inch leg opening.