The Best Jeans for Men 2022: Top-Notch Denim from Levi’s, Wrangler, J.Crew and More

When your jeans are feeling dirty, hand washing is the best option. But if you’re too lazy for that, both Guenza and Chen say to turn them inside out and wash them in the machine on the cold setting. This helps preserve the indigo dye and prevent shrinking. If you’ve got a pair of inky raw denim jeans in the pursuit of your own personal fades, Chen recommends hand washing them in cold water as a machine can cause some undesired fades. “In both cases,” he says, “I always hang them up to dry to preserve the fit.”

The Best Straight-Fit Jeans

Through decades of oscillating leg widths, the straight-fit jean has always remained cool. It’s sometimes called a ‘regular fit’ (and there are several nuanced takes on what exactly that means), but the gist is that they fit straight through the thighs and the legs. They’re neither slim nor roomy. If you want to get technical, the hem of a straight-cut jean will generally be about eight to eight and a half inches.

Levi’s 501 original fit jeans

The progenitor for every blue jean, the Levi’s 501 is the quintessential straight cut jean. It’s got a mid-rise that sits just below the natural waist and a Goldilocks silhouette that’s neither slim nor baggy.

Todd Snyder straight fit stretch jean

These upgraded jeans feature a pitch perfect amount of stretch and a beautiful vintage wash that most will assume is the real deal.

3sixteen CS⁠-⁠100xk classic straight jean⁠ in rinsed indigo Kibata

Once you’ve graduated from washed-out jeans and the usual mall staples, these denimhead approved jeans from 3sixteen are a great upgrade. They’ve got the fine-tuned straight fit you’re after with a wild textured denim you have to feel to believe.

The Best Slim-Fit Jeans

Slim fit jeans cling a little closer to your legs than a classic 501 jean. But we’re not talking about skin-hugging skinny jeans here. They’re trim in the thighs and can either run straight or taper through the leg. (Think of mod style or anyone from the Arctic Monkeys.) Slim-fit jeans look great with sleek boots or any other low-profile shoe like a canvas sneaker or loafers.

Everlane selvedge slim fit jean

These eco-friendly jeans are made with less water than most jeans on the market and just so happen to be some of the best value selvedge jeans around.

J.Crew 484 slim-fit jean

J.Crew’s popular 484 fit has been a best seller for ages. Why? That barely mid-rise sits just above the hips and the perfected slim silhouette is flattering on almost everyone.

Tellason Stock slim tapered fit

Stiff as a board and built to last, these USA-made jeans are the logical next step once you’ve mastered Levi’s famed Shrink-to-Fit 501s.

The Best Relaxed-Fit Jeans

Relaxed fit jeans, as you might guess, have more room in the thighs than a classic straight fit. How relaxed are they, exactly? That depends on how relaxed you want to get. It can start as a sensible roomy cut and end somewhere in the vastness of parachute pant territory. Chunky shoes are befitting of the baggier silhouette, but more svelte kicks like a summer-y huarache sandal can look elegant with a billowy jean that’s got a clean break.

Noah 5-pocket denim jeans

Noah’s evergreen 5-pocket blue jeans are slightly more roomy than a straight cut and have an oh-so gentle taper to give them an elegant shape.

Our Legacy Grey Third Cut Jeans

Our Legacy’s Third Cut is a great relaxed, nay, baggy silhouette that has a high rise that’s perfect for tucking in your shirt, giving your legs some serious length.

The Best Athletic Fit Jeans

Whether your thighs are meaty by nature or because of all the sweat you’ve poured into the gym, you’ll need a pair of jeans that have got more room in the thighs and seat. The right pair of athletic fit jeans can give you that trim silhouette without making your pants look like an overstuffed sausage, or bestow a tastefully baggy look while avoiding parachute pant territory.

Abercrombie & Fitch athletic skinny jeans

Generous stretch in a wear-with-everything wash. What else could you ask for?


Abercrombie & Fitch

Barbell straight athletic fit jeans

Designed by lifelong weightlifters, Barbell’s signature denim is built to hug muscular trunks closely while remaining stretchy enough to still move with ease.

Glenn’s Denim GD112 slouchy tapered jean

With decades of denim experience, Glenn Liburd crafts some of the finest jeans you can get your legs into.

The Best Flared and Bootcut Jeans

The ‘70s are back, baby. The world can’t seem to get enough slinky shirts, trucker hats, and cowboy boots. And the wave has come for jeans, too, in the form of bootcut and flared jeans. The mania hasn’t quite expanded to bell bottoms (yet), but a tasteful widening toward the hem is all you need to add a modern touch to your staid jeans collection. 

Wrangler Cowboy cut 13MWZ original fit jeans

The jeans du jour for the hip set and the everyday dungaree for real-deal cowboys, Wrangler’s iconic Cowboy cut is best served with actual boots or some Adidas Sambas.

Abercrombie & Fitch bootcut jeans

A softer—and arguably better-tailored—bootcut alternative to the tried-and-true Wranglers above.

The Best Jeans Under $100

Denim’s well-known for its durability (it was originally built for hard labor, after all). Thankfully you don’t have to cough up your prettiest pennies to get the most out of a pair of jeans. Though there’s no shortage of affordable jeans on the market, some pairs are better than others. The sub-$100 price range is a sweet spot if you find the right pair, and we’ve scoped out the best right here.

Levi’s Secondhand 501 original fit jeans

After making jeans for over 200 years, there are plenty of secondhand Levi’s on the market, each one with more character than any brand-new pair.

Polo Ralph Lauren Hampton relaxed straight jean

Tastefully distressed and with a relaxed-but-not-sloppy silhouette, you’ll squeeze the most out of your hundred bucks with these.

Stan Ray original painter pant

Made in the US for decades, Stan Ray is a go-to brand for that special mix of quality to price. These denim painter pants may be slightly off-beat for a traditional blue jean, but that’s precisely what makes them great.

The Best Black Jeans

Not all jeans have to be blue. Once you’ve got a pair of indigo-dipped blue jeans in your drawer, your next denim acquisition should be a pair of black jeans. They’re just as versatile but have a dash more attitude, sort of like the feeling you get when you wear a pair of slick sunglasses.

Dickies Houston relaxed jean

Deep, dark, and comfortably roomy, these pitch black jeans are just as good for skating as they are for a fancy date.

John Elliott The Cast 2 distressed slim fit jeans

Mesmerizingly faded and distressed with a perfect slim silhouette, these are perfect for entering your rockstar era.

The Best White Jeans

White jeans can add a breath of fresh air to your blue jean rotation, especially once spring comes around. They can be intimidating for a lot of people, so here are two tips to help you get over the trepidation. First, optic white jeans can be harsh and blinding, so go for a pair of off-white or natural cotton jeans instead. Second, don’t worry about getting them dirty. Like a pair of normal blue jeans or painter pants, white jeans look better with age.

J.Crew 770 straight fit garment dyed jeans

Temper that white-hot denim with something a little more on the creamy, vanilla side—like these natural-colored jeans from J.Crew.

Outerknown tapered white jeans

Outerknown prides itself on its commitment to sustainability, so the brand’s tapered white jeans do more than just look great. They’re made in partnership with Saitex, the environmentally-minded denim manufacturer that puts planet earth first.

The Best Ripped Jeans

The denim industry was forever changed in the ’80s when distressed jeans were first introduced. Though straight-ahead denim purists will scoff at the idea of fabricated fades, rips, and tears, a pair of artfully-crafted ripped jeans can look just as good as a naturally broken-in pair. Ripped jeans can add a subtle vintage flair or hit you over the head with some serious rockstar attitude. Leave the crunchy raw denim and bleached-out dad jeans for everyone else.

Mavi “Zach” regular rise straight leg jeans

Ripped jeans on Amazon that are actually good? Yeah, we were surprised too.

Celine Homme “Kurt” distressed bleached jeans

We love a pair of jeans with a tasteful paint splatter, and Celine Homme’s bleach-ified numbers are giving us chills.

The Best Jeans on Amazon

Maybe you don’t want to deal with the hassle of going to a thousand different stores to try on jeans. Amazon’s shipping and return policy makes it absurdly easy to try on multiple jeans, all in the convenience of your own home. We know that there’s literally everything on the beyond-mega store so we’ve separated all the wheat from the chaff to find the best jeans on Amazon right here.

Lee relaxed straight fit jeans

The hot, stylish dad in your neighborhood? He wears these.

Calvin Klein straight-leg jeans

An impeccably tailored pair of jeans like this one deserves to be paired with a sport coat.

Carhartt rugged flex relaxed-fit, double-front utility logger jean

If you need a pair of jeans that can keep up with your steel-toe boots, Carhartt’s double-kneed denim is the move.

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