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The best jeans for men: a guide to men's denim

Jeans are the ultimate wardrobe staple that can be worn with just about anything from a crisp white shirt to a casual polo t-shirt. But finding the perfect fit can sometimes prove very tricky, and the last thing you want is jeans that are too tight around the leg and baggy on the bum or vice versa. There is also nothing worse than the instant fade after a first wash, unless that's the look you are going for of course. So what are the best jeans for men?

Blokes jeans have evolved a lot over the decades with hundreds of brands getting in on the game, making the selection process for your perfect denim companion a bit of complex minefield. However, one thing goes without saying, picking jeans firstly comes down to personal style. You will no doubt know whether you are in the market for a smart denim trouser or a distressed ripped skinny jean - typically, but not exclusively, this will largely define the brand you will want to check out. If you are after a pair of classic men's jeans: Levi's, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are a great place to start. Not only will you be getting the trusted heritage brand quality that comes as standard with these brands, but you will also be able to rest in the knowledge that they provide classic cuts and traditional button up details. These brands are also great at catering for 'in between sizing' as well as longer and shorter leg lengths.

If it's a modern pair of men's jeans that you are in the market for, particularly if you like the ripped & distressed look or skinny fit - you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for brands such as Topman, HERA, Diesel and Replay - these are some of the big players in the denim retail world that keep abreast of the latest catwalk trends, meaning that you'll be able to keep ahead of the fashion curve.

Whatever style you wish to rock, investing in a good quality pair of jeans is much better than opting for a cheap pair that will only last a few wears, which is why we’ve picked out some of the best quality jeans for men from the likes of classic denim brand Levi, to designers like Diesel and Paul Smith, as you can guarantee denim that looks good, feels good and can withstand everyday wear. 

Whether you’re looking for a smart pair of jeans for smart-casual evening or workwear, or a classic pair of blue jeans that you can simply throw on with a t-shirt at the weekend, we’ve picked a range of styles and cuts to cover all bases. 

1. Levi’s Slim Fit 501

Iconic and a must-have for your capsule wardrobe

Best for: Classic look | Fit: Straight cut | Colour: Dark blue | Size range: 30-38

Button fly 
Retain shape 
Too baggy for some 

Levi’s 501’s are a classic pair of jeans that have been around for a long time and don’t seem to be going out of style any time soon. Reviews indicate that they are more popular amongst the older generation, however we think they’re well-tailored to anyone who is firmly adamant they can’t pull off the pop-punk band member look of the drainpipe skinny jean. The dark denim is often favoured as working well for both casual and smarter dress codes, and you can expect the quality to be a lot better than something you might pick up from Primarni.  

2. RAG & BONE Fit 2 Slim-Fit Distressed Stretch-Denim Jeans

Distressed jeans for a super-casual modern look

Best for: Cool casual look | Fit: Slim, mid-rise | Colour: Light denim | Size range: 28-28

80’s style
Slim fit 
 Not the smartest

Some of you may think that light-wash jeans should stay in the 80s where they belong, but these slim, mid-rise jeans from Rag & Bone are a subtle combination of rock & roll meets boy next door that we think would suit anyone looking to step out of their denim comfort zone. The jeans come complete with five pockets, belt loops, and a button fly, with two ripped knees to give them a casual feel. The fit is slim, which means they won’t have the bagginess of 501s but they won’t be as tight as super-skinny jeans, so they are regarded a comfortable middle ground if you’re trying out a new style. It is recommended to go down a size if you often find you are in between sizes.  

3. Levis Line 8 Skinny Jeans Super Stretch

Super stretchy denim for a tight fit that’s still comfortable

Best for: Comfort | Fit: Skinny | Colour: Navy | Size range: 28-38

Smart casual style
Comfortable to wear
Turned up hems not for everyone 

For those who like the way skinny jeans look but hate how uncomfortable they can be, then these super stretch denim jeans could be the perfect pair for you. The stretchy waistband and zip fly are designed to make these jeans sit close to the body while still allowing room for movement. Not everyone will be a fan of the turned up hems, but they add an element of casual to this darker denim which makes them a popular choice for both smart and casual wear.  

4. John Lewis Unwashed Japanese Selvedge Denim Jeans

High-quality Japanese Selvedge denim that lasts

Best for: Quality of material | Fit: Straight cut, mid-rise | Colour: Navy | Size range: 34-36

Selvedge denim
Detailed trims 
Quite dark  

If you wear jeans every day then the quality of denim will have an impact on how long they last. These Japanese Selvedge Denim Jeans are known for their excellent quality and durability. Those who bought these jeans say they wear incredibly well, and the dyed indigo denim will natural wear over time which adds character, but the quality is designed to remain the same as it was on the day you bought them. Indigo is also a popular choice for those looking for smart jeans, and the straight cut, mid-rise style is one of the most versatile for all body types.  

5. PS BY PAUL SMITH Slim-Fit Tapered Denim Jeans

Soft faded denim, minus the ripped knees for those that get chilly

Best for: Softness | Fit: Slim, tapered leg, mid-rise | Colour: Light blue | Size range: 30-38

Retro look
Super soft denim
Light denim gets dirty quicker 

If you like the look of the Rag & Bone jeans but don’t like ripped jeans, then these Paul Smith jeans provide a light wash retro look that won’t let your legs get chilly. The denim used is “Rigid Western Twill” which is naturally soft and they are designed to get softer with wear, which is perfect for those who often find jeans a little too rigid and uncomfortable. Again, the slim tapered leg is regarded as quite flattering to most body shapes, and the mid-rise style means you won’t risk looking like a moody teenager with his trousers around his ankles! 

6. HERA Spray-on Rip Repair slim-fit skinny jeans

Uber-skinny jeans for those who want the spray-on look

Best for: Spray-on skinny | Fit: Skinny leg | Colour: Black, dark blue or grey | Size range: 28-34

Different colours to choose from
No sagging
Good luck getting them on… 

If the skinny jeans already on our list just don’t cut it, then the HERA Spray-on jeans should fit the bill, but be warned, these are not for the faint hearted. They’re called spray-on for a reason, so we definitely expect you’ll have to set aside some time in your day to get yourself into these jeans, but once they’re on, they’re on but the ripped knees and distressed detailing will make your style look effortless. These jeans are also perfect for those who don’t like the traditional blue denim, as these ones come in blue, black and grey.  

7. DIESEL Zatiny 8xr Bootcut Jeans

Designer jeans with a timeless boot cut leg

Best for: Designer | Fit: regular, boot cut | Colour: Navy | Size range: 28-38

100% cotton 
Comfortable fit 
Dry clean/hand wash only  

These Diesel jeans, similar to the Levi 501s are a boot cut style with button fly that are highly regarded as a staple for any man’s wardrobe. The dark denim is lightly washed on the thighs, and they can be worn with or without a belt depending on the look you are going for and those who bought these jeans love how the distressed pockets give a slight vintage feel to the jeans that 501s don’t have. They are hand wash only which is a pain, but for the price and quality, we know you’ll want to look after these jeans properly.  

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