There are so many types of jeans out there and it can be so overwhelming. The good news? These are the only 5 pairs of denim you need and they’ll take care of you all year long.
We’re throwing the “rule book” out the window that claims you can only wear light colored jeans in the spring and summer and dark in the fall and winter. We weren’t great at following rules anyway. Light-to-dark washed denim looks great if you’re heading to the office or out on that date you’ve been nervously waiting to go on. And sometimes an event requires something darker. We’ve got you covered there too.
We’ve seen so many sites listing out the top 20 or 30 pairs you need. Really? If we’re being honest we basically wear the same pair all the time and may or may not wash them regularly. Don’t judge us.
So instead of providing you with a laundry-list of options we’ve really narrowed it down to 5 (yep, just 5) that take care of you all year long no matter where you’re going. Who needs the over-kill anyway?
Without further ado, here’s our list of the best men’s jeans that look and fit perfectly in 2021 and beyond!
1 of 5
J. Crew “484” Slim Fit Jeans
Year after year these 484-fits from J. Crew are our absolute favorite. They fit perfectly and aren’t too slim or too relaxed. There are a bunch of different washes you can choose from, but you can’t go wrong with their classic Resin Rinse.
Where to Wear Them: Of course you can wear these anywhere, but these are a sure-thing when you want to show off some style at the office (when you’re allowed) and, of course, when you’re heading out for drink during the week or weekend.
Editor’s Tip: Due to the dark color, make sure you wash these with darker colors for the first few washes to make sure it doesn’t bleed onto anything light. Our real tip? We’re not known for washing our jeans regularly (we know, we’re gross) – but it keeps them looking great.
Discount Availability: J. Crew typically offers 15% off for students, 10% off with email sign up, and an array of daily coupons. Get all their latest offers here.
2 of 5
Levi’s Famous 501 Jeans
It may have been a while since you bought a pair of Levi’s but – truth be told – these are currently one of the top sellers on Amazon right now and they’ve raked in more than 51,000 reviews (with almost 80% of the reviewers rating them 5 stars!). These are the original fit, meaning if you’re looking for them to be slim-fit you’re out of luck. But, don’t worry, because they tend to fit true to size and aren’t baggy or bulky. If you’re tired of trying to keep up with the trend, you can’t go wrong with these. The 501’s come in a wide variety of colors and washes too.
Where to Wear Them: These in particular (pictured above) are the perfect “everyday” jeans that you can wear to simply hang around it, but when paired with a nice button-down shirt can dress them up a bit.
Editor’s Tip: These come as a button-fly, which we’re cool with, but we know some guys hate that. If a button-fly isn’t your jam, just choose one with the traditional zipper.
Discount Availability: We found the best price on Amazon, but they don’t offer discounts (as you know). However, if you shop direct at Levi’s website they offer a 20% off welcome order (first order only), 15% off for teachers, 25% off for medical professionals, 15% off for military, and 25% off for students. Get all their latest offers here.
3 of 5
Classic Selvedge Slim Fit
We were late to the game when it came to Everlane, but we’re so glad we discovered them. They fit amazingly well and, even better, they have a bit of a stretch to them, which we genuinely appreciate after a big meal. These in particular are pretty casual, but they have a bunch of additional color choices, washes, and styles too. Check out all their top selling denim here.
Where to Wear Them: Another great pair of “everyday denim” but can easily be dressed up or dressed down depending on the look you’re going for.
Editor’s Tip: We still enjoying cuffing/rolling our jeans, so if you’re into that…with these we recommend to think about going a length up. If not, these are pretty true to size so order what you usually would.
Discount Availability: Everlane usually doesn’t have discounts, but at times new customers can get 15% off when you sign up for their emails. They also offer free shipping on order with a $75 purchase too! Get all their offers here.
4 of 5
The Graduate Tailored Leg Stretch Jeans
Everyone should have a pair of grey (or grey-ish) jeans in their closet. They go great with a simple white or black tee or even a classic buffalo-check button-down shirt. These also made our list because they have a little bit of stretch to them so they already feel like they’ve been worn in a bit.
Where to Wear Them: Perfect for your local watering hole, that upcoming concert, or when you want a bit of a rocker vibe without looking like you’re trying to hard.
Discount Availability: Nordstrom doesn’t really have discounts, unfortunately, but they’re currently offering free shipping and free returns.
5 of 5
The Ripped Athletic/Skinny Jeans
Say what you will about Abercrombie, but there’s no denying they have some of the best (and most affordable) denim around. And, don’t worry, it’s not like they have their moose logo on them anywhere!
Every guy needs just one pair of ripped jeans and the fact that these are also black, you can’t go wrong. It’s like a 2-for-1! We love these because they’re actually a mix of skinny with athletic sizing. If you’re not sure what that means, basically you won’t look like a douche.
Where to Wear Them: The weekend bar scene, a casual outdoor dinner, or that concert you’ve been waiting for all year long.
Editor’s Tip: If you’re looking for a bit of a tighter fit around the leg so that the rips in the knees look more fitted (yep, that’s a thing) you may want to check out their other size options. They can all be found right here.
Discount Availability: You can usually get 15% off when you sign up for their emails. You can also get free shipping when you spend just $75 on your purchase. Get all their offers here.
How to Figure Out the Best Fitting Jeans for You
There are a ton of different styles and fits out there and while it’s easy to choose by color (you already know what you like!) it can be way more difficult to figure out what all the different ‘fits’ are all about. Are you more of a skinny jeans guy? More of a slim-fit guy? A traditional straight-fit denim wearer? Who the hell knows?! We broke down the real differences between the most popular fits so you can finally sport the ones that’ll look and feel the best on you.
Straight Fit: A traditional straight cut right from the knees down to the ankle. Straight fit jeans are typically a bit more fitted to your body (don’t worry, they’re usually not tight or anything) than relaxed fit and provide some room in the butt and thighs. If you don’t want to look like you’re wearing baggy jeans, but don’t want them stuck to your body, these are the ones for you.
Slim Fit: Here’s the difference with slim fit. Yes they’re a little more form-fitting, but they look great for any age and not like you’re trying too hard. You don’t have to be skinny to wear these, but an average body type totally will work with these. Sometimes we toss in an extra run during the week just so we can fit into these (and by “sometimes” we mean “we did it once.”). Slim fit tapers right below the knee for a bit of a more narrow leg opening. These are also perfect when you want to rock a cuff or, dare we say, a classic tight-roll.
Skinny Fit: We pretty much blame all guys freaking out of which jeans to buy on “the skinny fit.” These will typically be extra fitted in the butt and thighs and pretty tight at the knees and ankle. The skinny fit is going to have a super narrow leg opening. Here’s the deal with these. We feel like most people can’t sport this look and anyone over a certain age may want to think twice about going the truly skinny fit. I mean, do it if you. We just can’t. We tried. We didn’t get them over our knees and fell over in the dressing room.