Jeans are probably one of the most important investments you’ll make in your signature style. You might have a job for which you wear them every single day or you might have to slip them on after you’ve slipped out of your nine-to-five suit. Either way, they’re an item you’ll wear more than any other you own.
However, over the past decade something funny has happened to jeans. As their status as the workhorse of a man’s armoury became cemented, they also became something of a starting point to an outfit, as opposed to the stars. The beauty of jeans is that they are a superb canvas upon which to build the rest of your get-up.
Now, brands are bringing jeans back to their rightful place at front and centre, with designers getting more creative about cuts, colours and washes. That’s not only good news for men who want to think outside the classic indigo box, but also for men looking for a fit that slips on a little easier.
So what are your options? At the most wearable end of the spectrum, jeans fall into one of the following categories: straight leg, skinny, boot-cut or tapered. What’s the difference? Well, we’re here to tell you, and if you’re feeling inspired, be sure to glean some shopping inspiration from our best jeans picks below. And when it comes to styling? Well, there’s always a denim jacket to match…
- Straight-leg jeans: This style of jean is for the guy who likes a more classic silhouette. Straight-leg jeans are typically laidback, with room in the seat and thigh, perfect for everyday wear.
- Skinny-fit jeans: If you’re after a close-fitting jean that shows off the very shape of your thighs and calves, then a skinny-fit jean is what you’ll be looking for.
- Tapered jeans: Perfect for a muscular guy with chunkier thighs, tapered jeans are wider at the top and more drawn in at the bottom. They’re a great middle ground between slim and skinny fit.
- Boot-cut jeans: Sure, you’ve probably been told to shy away from boot-cut jeans, but if you’re after a 1970s-style fit à la Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood, then reconsider. With a slimmer thigh and a sharp outward taper at the bottom, pair with a Western-style boot for a real menswear moment.
What jeans are popular in 2023?
From Harry Styles’ ultra-wide Molly Goddard jeans worn on the cover of Harry’s House, to Justin Bieber’s seemingly endless supply of low-rise skater jeans, denim in 2022 (and sure to be in 2023) has well and truly been bitten by the baggy bug. That said, there’s nothing wrong with reaching for a more everyday, straight-leg pair for off-duty styling.
Can’t get enough denim? Check out our other, more specific, jean-related guides, including — *deep breath* — black jeans, selvedge jeans, athletic-fit jeans, baggy jeans, affordable jeans, denim shorts, and even denim shirts.
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Now, check out GQ’s pick of the best jeans for men this season…