20 Best Men’s Jeans Brands 2021 (Finding the Perfect Fit)


I love jeans—they’re everyday staples that are—equal parts stylish and comfortable (if you have the right pair). 

20 Best Jeans Brands for Men in 2020 (Finding the Perfect Fit) | GENTLEMAN WITHIN

There are a lot of lists of best jeans brands on the internet, but few actually come from hand-on experience. This roundup features jeans that I have been wearing for years, so you’ll know that they’ve been tested and vetted from my personal experience. I’ve also included a handful more jeans brands for good measure. 

As for jean styles, they are very much a personal thing. For me, the slim jean is my favorite style to wear. It’s well-fitting, comfortable & stylish. Skinny jeans are often too tight and not in line w/ many guys’ personal style (though they are growing on me), while the relaxed boot cut jean is of years gone by. 

And so this comprehensive guide is going to feature mainly slim fit jeans. And now without further ado, Gentleman Within’s list of 20 best jeans brands for men in 2021. 

Let’s dive in.

BEST SLIM JEANS UNDER $100 for Men 2021 (Levi's, Unbranded, Everlane, Uniqlo & More)

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TL;DR (too long didn’t read)

The 20 best men’s jeans brands in this round-up are:

  1. Levi’s
  2. Everlane
  3. American Eagle
  4. Mott & Bow
  5. UNIQLO
  6. Banana Republic
  7. Express
  8. Gap
  9. Unbranded
  10. Ash & Erie
  11. Peter Manning
  12. Five Four
  13. Amazon Essentials
  14. A.P.C.
  15. Rag & Bone
  16. Buck Mason
  17. Wrangler
  18. DSTLD
  19. Bonobos
  20. J.Crew

BEST JEANS FOR MEN 2021

Jeans Care

1. Levi’s

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About Levi’s

Classic Levi’s have to be on every best jeans list. Founded way back in 1853 in San Francisco, California when Levi Strauss emigrated to the west coast where the Gold Rush was booming.

Just 20 years later in 1873, blue jeans were born and the rest as we know it, is history. It wasn’t until 1936 that we first saw the ubiquitous Red Tab. It was added to the right back pocket of the original 501® jean in order to help differentiate their products from competitors.

levis 511 jeans 2

Today, Levi Strauss Co. consists a family of iconic brands from Levi’s to Dockers and Denizen to their Signature line. At Levi’s you can find 510 skinny jeans, 511 slim jeans, 512 tapered jeans and the 541 athletic which is the most relaxed fit that they offer. My favorite Levi’s jean is the classic 511 slim fit.

Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jean

The Levi’s 511 jean is their slim fit model. They also carry a flex version of the 511 slim fit jean which is made with Levi’s Advanced Stretch technology for extra give and flexibility.

levis 511 jeans 1

The denim from Levi’s is good quality and holds up well, wash after wash. Levi’s recommends that you wash your jeans once every 10 wears at most to increase their lifespan and protect the environment.

I personally, rarely ever wash my jeans. The only time I do is if there are visible stains or I’ve been sweating profusely. Other than that though, I hang ’em and wear ’em again and again. The 511 comes in a whopping 41 different colors on Amazon.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Materials & Details

  • 99% Cotton, 1% Elastane
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 26-44 x 29-38
  • Leg opening is 14″
  • Ubiquitous Red Tab

Check Levi’s Prices

How They Fit

levis 511 slim fit jean 1

The Levi’s 511 is a true slim fit jean and their most modern fit, IMO. It’s right in-between the skinny fit and slim straight fit. It’s fitted from the thighs down towards the ankle, but isn’t skin tight like a pair of skinnies. The leg opening is a little bit wide in my opinion, but not so much so that it looks off. Since I like the no break look, I cropped the jeans to 27″.

I used to think I was a 30 waist, when I was actually 28 all along. This white pair is a 30x30 and to no surprise is a bit too wide for me. I usually wear a belt with these, but of course a size 28 or even 29 would make for an even better fitting pair of jeans, especially in the seat area.

levis 511 slim fit jean 2

levis 511 slim fit jean 3

The pair I have is from several years ago and has only 1% elastane which is okay, but 2% is always much better in terms of stretch and comfort. Additionally, I have a 2nd pair of 511s in a blue wash. Levi’s has since added Advanced Stretch to their 511s to give it more flexibility while still retaining the 1% elastane.

A great alternative to the 511 jeans are the Levi’s 512 jeans which are essentially the 511 but with a slim taper towards the ankle.


Levi’s 513 Slim Straight Jean

The Levi’s 513 jeans are their slim straight model. It’s more relaxed through the thigh and legs than the 511 slims with a slightly wider leg opening. This pair is for guys who like a more comfortable, relaxed fit while still having a fitted look.

There are 7 colors currently available on the website and 25 colors available on Amazon.

levis 513 jeans

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 28-38 x 30-34
  • Leg opening is 14.5″
  • Ubiquitous Red Tab

Check Levi’s Prices

How They Fit

levis 513 slim fit jean 1

In terms of the Levi’s 513 fit, they’re naturally looser fitting than the 511 slims. The difference is that there’s more room from the thighs down through the leg and towards the ankle. It’s not a sloppy looking fit by any means, but not as trim as the 511s.

levis 513 slim fit jean 2

The 513 slim straight jeans are for guys who like a clean, streamlined look, but with a little bit more breathing room throughout. They’re comfortable with a bit of stretch which is always welcome.

Though they’re looser jeans, it’s still a classic silhouette that will look good on most men. The leg opening is on the wider side at 14.5″, almost like a boot cut.


2. Everlane

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About Everlane

Everlane is a direct-to-consumer fashion brand that was founded by Michael Preysman and Jesse Farmer in 2010. They have a focus on sustainability and ‘Radical Transparency’.

It’s an approach in sourcing from ethical factories, creating clothing that’s made to last, all the while being open about how much it costs to make each garment that they produce.

Everlane Slim Jean Details

Today Everlane offers minimal basics for men and women from organic tees and oxford shirts to performance jeans and minimalist backpacks.

Everlane Slim Fit Jean

The Everlane Slim Fit Jean is made with premium 11 oz. Japanese denim with a 2-way stretch (98% cotton, 2% elastane) for more comfort and range of motion.

I personally like the brown contrast detail stitching on the dark wash denim. It’s a no-frills, minimal pair of jeans with no branding except for “Everlane Denim” embossed on the button enclosure. No brand leather tag, nothing.

everlane slim jean

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 28-38 x 28-34
  • Leg opening is 13″
  • Made in Vietnam

Check Everlane Prices

How They Fit

everlane slim fit jean

Everlane’s Slim Fit Jean is a true slim fit. According to Everlane the jeans have a regular rise, but on me it’s got a mid-high rise (sitting above my waist), which is much welcome. I prefer a mid to high rise these days. It makes for a better fit and looks nice when you tuck in a t-shirt for instance.

Everlane Slim Fit Jeans Fit

The Everlane slim fit jean’s shortest inseam is 30 and so I had to get it hemmed a few inches for my current no-break look. I highly recommend all men to get their jeans tailored if they’re too long. A properly fitting pair of jeans can make a world of difference between looking sloppy or put together.

All in all, the slim jeans are comfortable and fit me perfectly. In addition to their slim fits, they also carry a straight fit and athletic fit as well.

Everlane Review: Quality & Sustainable Goods or All Hype? | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might like this men’s Everlane Review.

Everlane Performance Jean

The Slim Fit Performance Jean is a part of Everlane’s Uniform collection. Like the regular slim fit jeans, I got the performance jean in a dark wash. It has the same golden/brown contrast stitching. 

everlane performance jeans

It’s made with 94% organic cotton and made in a LEED-certified factory that uses renewable energy and air drying to reduce CO2 emissions by 80%

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Materials & Details

  • 94% Organic Cotton, 2% Elastane, 4% Other Fiber
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 28-40 x 28-34
  • Leg opening is 13″
  • Made in Vietnam

How They Fit

Check Everlane Prices

everlane slim fit performance jean 1

Where the performance jean differs from the regular slim fit is that the performance jean is much more slim fitting, almost as if it should be a skinny fit. It’s really snug at the waist, the seat area, thighs and down my legs. For some guys it might be too tight, but it’s a great fit for those who like trendier slim fit jeans. 

everlane slim fit performance jean 2

There is also more of a taper down towards the ankle with a slimmer leg opening. And it’s got a four-way stretch which makes them even stretchier than the regular slim fits. While I wear both styles, I prefer the regular slim fit jeans over the performance jeans. It’s a more flattering fit, IMO.

3. American Eagle Outfitters

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About American Eagle

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) was founded in Pennsylvania by two brothers, Jerry and Mark Silverman in 1977. They’re a global fashion retailer that offers trendier men’s and women’s clothing at relatively affordable prices. They cater to the teen to young adult (15-25) demographic, although their actual market extends somewhat beyond this range.

AEO is known for their Flex Design, an innovative idea that increases the amount of stretch in jeans. Clint Groom, a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science was that creator of Flex Design. And in 2002 the company hired Clint for the role of senior design director.

ae next level airflex slim jean details

Presently he oversees the design of men’s denim, pants and shorts. As of 2021, American Eagle operates over 700 stores in the United States and Canada.

For a look at what they have to offer these days, check out this American Eagle Review.

American Eagle AirFlex Slim Fit Jean

The American Eagle AirFlex Slim Fit Jean is a newer addition to my collection and one of my favorite pairs of jeans to wear right now. I have the dark indigo wash AirFlex Slim Jeans which are classic and versatile as they come. In my opinion, it’s got a tasteful amount of distressing details and fading. 

The AirFlex jeans come in 13 unique colors and a myriad of sizes to accommodate many different body types. These jeans washes and fit make them incredibly easy to style.

american eagle jeans

Materials & Details

  • 73% Cotton, 25% Polyester, 2% Elastane
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 26-28 x 48-34
  • Leg opening is 13.5″
  • Made in Bangladesh

Check American Eagle Prices

Review: American Eagle Flex Jean vs Express Hyper Stretch Jean (Battle) | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might like this American Eagle vs Express jeans review.

How They Fit

I’ve mentioned this before, but these AirFlex slim jeans from AE are some of the best fitting jeans I have in my collection, and that’s saying a lot because I own over a dozen different jeans brands.

american eagle airflex slim fit jean 1

It’s got a mid-rise, not high nor low. It fits snug at the waist, and is slim in the thighs and all the way through the legs down towards the ankle. It almost wears like a skinny fit, but does have a little room to breath. They’re certainly not painted on jeans.

american eagle airflex slim fit jean 2

I think the leg opening is just right here and the amount of stretch on these jeans—though not quite next level like its name suggests—is definitely adequate. Don’t get me wrong, the stretch is nice, but not quite as good as the Express Hyper Strech jeans in my experience.

4. Mott & Bow

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About Mott & Bow

The Mott & Bow mission was born out of the question: “how can we get people premium jeans at a reasonable price?” Sticking to simplicity is at the core of their design philosophy.

It was founded in 2014 by Alejandro Chahin, a lover of handcrafted premium products. As a child his family started a denim factory in Honduras and it wasn’t before long that he was immersed in art of jean making. Having spent most of his life around denim, it’s no surprise that Alejandro ended up working in the industry. 

mott and bow jeans

Today, Mott & Bow continues to sell direct-to-consumer without any brick and mortar locations. Of course their specialty is in jeans and it’s high-quality jeans that they deliver.

For a look at what they have to offer these days, check out this Mott & Bow Review.

Mott & Bow Skinny Warren Jean

With Mott & Bow, you have the option of a skinny, slim or straight fit to choose from. You also have the option of dark blue, medium blue, and black and gray washes. There are wide variety of washes to choose from with each of the 3 fits.

I own a pair of Mott & Bow’s Warren skinny jeans which have a medium blue wash and a weight of 12.5 oz. The fabric is sourced from Italy with a premium and textured feeling along with the unique stone washed fading.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • Mid-rise
  • 28-32
  • Leg opening is 13.5″
  • Made in Honduras

Check Mott & Bow Prices

How They Fit

I opted for the skinny jeans mainly because the slims were too loose. It definitely does not fit like a skinny jean, instead it wears more like a slim or even slim straight fit. I’m a 28 waist, but got a 29 for these jeans and so it’s slightly looser than normal.

mott and bow warren skinny jean 1

Overall I like the way these jeans fit on my frame. It’s got a mid-rise and they’re more relaxed than what I normally wear, but fitted in a way that makes them ultra comfortable and stylish.

They only carry 32-34″ inseams and so shorter guys will have to get these jeans hemmed up to a more appropriate length. I personally like a no-break look and so I brought it up quite a bit which widened the leg opening, though it still has good taper towards the ankle.

mott and bow warren skinny jean 2

Keep in mind if you are a skinnier guy, Mott & Bow jeans might not be the best choice for you, unless they come out with a super skinny fit one of these days.

5. UNIQLO

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About UNIQLO

UNIQLO is a Japanese brand, opened in 1984 that focuses on simple, high-quality, everyday clothing. If you ever wondered about the name, it comes a combination of ‘Unique Clothing’. The ‘Q’ in place of a ‘C’ was due to a misreading on the registrars part, but the company decided to run with it anyway.

Today UNIQLO operates more than 1,300 stores in 18 countries worldwide. While many consider UNIQLO a fast fashion brand, but they have staple collections that remain in stock for years. They have proprietary HeatTech and AIRism technology with Ultra Light Down jackets, and Supima Cotton tees among their most popular pieces.

Another great thing about UNIQLO is that they offer alterations of their jeans or chinos in store or online so that you come away with perfectly fitting pants. 

Uniqlo Supima Cotton T-Shirt Review (Best Value Tees?) | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might like this Uniqlo Supima Cotton T-Shirt Review.

UNIQLO Stretch Selvedge Slim-Fit Jeans

UNIQLO’s line remains relatively consistent through the years, but they do update their pieces seasonally to adapt to current trends (fit, wash, etc..). 

You can usually make out a pair of selvedge jeans from the selvedge (self-edge) detail at the bottom of the jean’s cuff. It’s an unmistakable trait of all selvedge denim.

I bought my pair of Stretch Selvedge Slim Fit Jeans 4-5 years ago. It’s got a relatively light fading on the front and back, it’s like a mid-wash pair of blue jeans. Currently UNIQLO offers 3 colors of their selvedge slim jeans—navy, black or white. 

The pair I own is actually very soft, contrary to what you’d expect from typical rough and raw selvedge denim which can be quite stiff. I can’t speak to their current model, but upon reading reviews, the jeans might be stiffer and cut wider now.

uniqlo selvedge jeans

Materials & Details

  • 99% Cotton, 1% Spandex
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • Mid-rise
  • 27-48 x 32-34 (alterations available)
  • Leg opening is 14″
  • Made in Bangladesh

Check UNIQLO Prices

How They Fit

The stretch selvedge jeans from UNIQLO fit looser than you’d expect from a true slim fit. It’s not snug around the thighs or calves and the leg opening is wider, though nothing like a boot cut or anything.

uniqlo stretch selvedge slim jean 1

This was also from a few years ago when brands were beginning to adopt wider fits across the board (though in 2021, fits seems to be getting even looser). It’s a classic fit that will look good now and 10 years from now, although I’ve been wearing my jeans much more slim of late.

All in all, the jeans are exceptionally comfortable and the jean fabric feels softer to the touch than you’d expect from selvedge denim. There is a 1% spandex stretch which is unique for selvedge denim, since typically Japanese selvedge is stiff and rough to the touch. 

uniqlo stretch selvedge slim jean 2

As I mentioned previously, UNIQLO offers free alterations on the inseam and so men who are shorter or taller than average are in luck. The smallest inseam I’ve seen is 26″ from UNIQLO.

Uniqlo Comfort Jacket Review (A Lightweight Everyday Blazer) | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might enjoy this Uniqlo Comfort Jacket review.

UNIQLO HeatTech Ultra Stretch Slim-Fit Jeans

The UNIQLO HeatTech Ultra Stretch Slim Fit Jeans are designed for slightly cooler temperatures with mobility in mind. The stretch on these jeans is superb, one of the best stretch jeans I’ve tried on.

The inside of the jean is lined with the HeatTech moisture-absorbing, bio-warming technology that’s meant to keep you 0.5% warmer under your garments. I can attest to these jeans keeping you warmer than regular jeans, but the 0.5% difference isn’t much when it’s extremely cold out.

The HeatTech ultra stretch jeans currently come in 3 colors of black and 2 varying shades of blue. My pair is one of the blue shades. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a pair of classic blue jeans.

uniqlo heattech jeans

Materials & Details

  • 61% Cotton, 22% Rayon, 15% Acrylic, 2% Spandex
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • Mid-rise
  • 27-42 x 34 (alterations available)
  • Leg opening is 14.5″
  • Made in Bangladesh

Check UNIQLO Prices

How They Fit

Much like the pair of UNIQLO slim selvedge jeans that I own, the HeatTech ultra stretch slim fit jeans fit more like a straight or even relaxed slim fit. There’s noticeable room to breathe in all areas of the jeans from the thighs down towards the ankle. Though it’s looser than I like these days, it’s still a classic fit in my opinion that will look great on most men.

uniqlo heattech ultra stretch slim jean 1

As the name suggests, these jeans are ultra stretchy. It says 2% spandex, but it feels more like 4-5%. I can easily workout in these jeans or go for a run around the block, no problem. 

The leg opening is even wider at 14.5″ around which is a bit too wide for my preference and the jeans aren’t quite as tapered as I would like, though it looks like the current model has a bit more of a taper towards the ankle.

uniqlo heattech ultra stretch slim jean 2

These jeans aren’t for you if you prefer a skinny or slimmer cut; however, if you prefer slightly looser fits, then the UNIQLO HeatTech ultra stretch slim jeans are an ideal option, especially for the fall.

Related Video

UNIQLO Winter Try-On Haul 2020 (Review) | Men’s Cold Weather Style Inspiration

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6. Banana Republic

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About Banana Republic

Banana Republic is a retail company that was founded by two creatives, Mel and Patricia Ziegler in Mill Valley, California back in 1978 right across from the Golden Gate Bridge. They offer men and women’s collections of modern, business appropriate, ‘smart casual’ clothing.

banana republic traveler jean

It was bought by Gap in 1983, operating as a division. They still design their clothing in California using premium materials sourced around the world. Today they have more than 465 company operated and retail locations globally.

Banana Republic Luxury Touch Polo Review | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might enjoy this Banana Republic Luxury Touch Polo review.

Banana Republic Slim Dark Wash Japanese Traveler Jean

The Banana Republic Traveler Jean has been a go-to in my rotation for several years now. The dark wash and slim silhouette makes it exceptionally versatile. I wear it with everything from basic tees and sweatshirts, layered up with a light quilted vest and boots. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Currently the Japanese Traveler jean comes in a single color (rinse wash), and it’s a great color option. It comes with a waist size all the way down to 26″ and 28″ inseam for guys 5’7″ or under like me. These jeans also have plenty of stretch so that you’ll feel comfortable all day long.

Keep in mind that since it’s a dark rinse wash, the colors can bleed in the wash, so it’s best to either wash with similar dark colors or use a special Woolite Dark laundry detergent. Or be like me and rarely ever wash your jeans to help save the environment while prolonging the life of your jeans.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Materials & Details

  • 78% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 2% Spandex
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • Mid to High-Rise
  • 26-44 x 28-34L
  • Leg opening is 13″
  • Made in Haiti

Check Banana Republic Prices

How They Fit

I’ve always been a fan of the traveler jeans, particularly the fit. It’s a true slim fit jean from waist, thighs, and through the leg down towards the ankle. It has a slim leg opening, and overall the jeans make for a nice silhouette on my 5’6″, 135 lb. frame.

banana republic slim traveler jean 1

My pair is a 28x28, which fits nicely, but it would be nice to have a 27″ or even 26″ inseam option so that I’d be able to wear the jeans without having to cuff them up. 

The traveler jean is made with 2% spandex, which seems standard on a majority of jeans brands that I’ve tried. Long gone are the days of jeans without stretch, they’re entirely too uncomfortable now that we’ve gotten used to stretch.

banana republic slim traveler jean 2

There’s a reason why these jeans are some of my favorite to wear. They used to be my favorite until a few others came along which are in this round-up. Have you found out which ones they are yet?

Quick note: If you’re enjoying this article on the best jeans brands for men, then you’ll probably find my other writing on all things men’s style useful. Each week, I share updates, style tips and other things not shared on the blog through my free email newsletter.

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7. Express

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About Express

Express, Inc. is a fashion retailer that falls under Limited Brands. It was founded back in 1980 where the first Express store opened as a women’s clothing shop under the name “Limited Express”. They’re currently headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

express jeans 2

Much like Banana Republic, Express offers business casual attire for men and women with a style and aesthetic that leans older than a brand like American Eagle, though still young (25-40).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Today, Express operates in over 600 stores in the US alone. On January 22, 2020 Express announced a restructuring plan where it will close approximately 100 of its stores nationwide to lower costs.

Express Slim Hyper Stretch Jeans

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Express Hyper Stretch Jeans come in a variety of fits, but my favorite is definitely the slim jeans. There are a myriad of washes from black, dark wash, light wash, faded dark wash and medium wash slims.

The slim fit pair I have has a nice weight, it’s not thick nor thin and has incredible stretch, living up to its name. In addition to the many washes, they carry trendy distressed denim as well.

express jeans 1

Materials & Details

  • 84% Cotton, 14% Polyester, 2% Spandex
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 28-42 x 28-36
  • Distressing options available

Check Express Prices

How They Fit

The Express Hyper Stretch Jeans fits snug through the thigh and legs. I got the 28x28 and it’s an ideal length. I appreciate when brands offer inseams lower than 30. For this pair, I can wear it with a slight cuff or without and it looks great.

express hyper stretch slim jeans 1

The jeans are a little bit tight for me, fitting more like skinny jeans which is a good thing depending on how you prefer your jeans to fit and it’s got a regular rise, neither low nor high.

It’s made with Hyper Stretch which is Express’ max-level stretch and so these jeans are some of the stretchiest jeans I’ve ever tried on period. It even stretches in the waistband which is rare when it comes to denim.

express hyper stretch slim jeans 2

express hyper stretch slim jeans 3

This makes them even more comfortable in my opinion. As far as criticism goes, I feel that the jeans could benefit from having a slightly looser fit and more of a taper with a slightly narrower leg opening.

8. Gap

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About Gap

Gap was founded by Donald and Doris Fisher. The first Gap store opened on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco on August 21, 1969. The original store had men’s Levi’s and record tapes as the only items for sale.

In 1976 Gap Stores Inc. “goes public” with an IPO of $18 per share. In 1983 Gap purchased Banana Republic and in 1987 they expanded outside of the US for the first time, opening up in London. A year later in 1988, the now iconic blue square Gap logo made its debut.

In 1994, the first Old Navy opened in California based on the successful prototype, Gap Warehouse. In the same year, Gap Outlet stores were opened. Since then, athletic apparel brand Athleta, athleisure company Hill City and high-end children’s store Janie and Jack are added to Gap’s roster.

Gap Slim Straight Jeans

I got these slim straight jeans from Gap many years ago, before they even had a GapFlex option. Now they don’t even offer a non-GapFlex option which is the way it should be. These jeans are not the most comfortable, though I can’t speak for the GapFlex which I’m sure is much more accommodating in the stretch department

The denim fabric is 100% cotton, feels rough and is about average thickness of about 12.5 oz. Like the Banana Republic Traveler jean, it’s got a dark resin rinse (blue-ish) that may bleed in a wash cycle. 

gap slim straight jean

Materials & Details

  • 100% Cotton
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • Low to Mid-Rise
  • 28-42 x 28-34L
  • Leg opening is 14.5″
  • Made in China

Check Gap Prices

How They Fit

The slim straight is cut straight through the hip and thigh and is slim through the leg. The leg opening is a wider than a usual slim fit jean coming in around 14.5″.

The jeans actually look pretty good on my frame, but the leg opening is too wide and makes the jeans look awkward as they flare out a bit.

gap slim straight jean 1

These aren’t my favorite jeans to wear simply because the rise is kind of low in my opinion, sitting lower on my hips than other jeans in my collection. It doesn’t help that I purchased a 30″ waist back when I thought that was my waist size when in actuality, I’m a 28″ waist (most of the time). A smaller waist size would certainly allow for a better fit though.

gap slim straight jean 2

The non-stretch makes them almost unwearable now as I almost exclusively wear stretch jeans. It makes me wonder how I ever lived without them. Thankfully Gap now offers jeans with their GapFlex technology which seems to be standard across all of their jeans. I have yet to experience GapFlex for myself.

7 Awesome Boot Styles For Fall/Winter + Styling Inspiration | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might enjoy this article on 7 Boot Styles all men should know.

Gap Selvedge Slim Jeans

The Selvedge Slim Jeans are Gap’s best-selling slim fit. They offer a non-stretch version which is the one I have and a version with their GapFlex technology which I’m sure offers a more comfortable fit, that takes away from the ruggedness of selvedge though. I personally enjoy the break-in process of a pair of thick, selvedge jeans.

gap slim selvedge jean

This jean is made with Gap’s premium, rigid-raw, Kaihara Japanese selvedge denim made on vintage shuttle looms. What I really like about selvedge jeans is the contrast brown thread stitching on the blue denim. And of course it has the ubiquitous selvedge detail on the cuff.

Like its younger brother, Banana Republic, Gap also offers tall sizes which is great for taller gents. Unfortunately there’s still no short sizes and so men under 5’6″ are pretty SOL.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Materials & Details

  • 100% Cotton
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Button Fly
  • Low to Mid-Rise
  • 28-42 x 28-34L
  • Leg opening is 14.5″
  • Made in China

Check Gap Prices

How They Fit

I personally like the way these selvedge jeans wear on my frame. It’s slim enough where it looks crisp and clean without being too snug. I personally feel that selvedge denim looks better slightly looser with a wider leg opening which these jeans have. These jeans and selvedge denim in general look fantastic paired with rugged work boots.

gap selvedge slim jeans

What I don’t like about the fit of these jeans is the lack of stretch. They’re not the most comfortable to wear, and I think even a 1% stretch could help tremendously with the comfort while still keeping it’s raw, selvedge ruggedness intact.

Though, I shouldn’t complain, because these jeans are unique in that they don’t have that stretch and are my most rugged pair of jeans. I still enjoy wearing them, especially with boots and if I’m going for those workwear vibes.

It’s worth mentioning that Gap does offer a GapFlex version of these jeans that have a 2% stretch for those who can’t live without stretch in their jeans.

9. The Unbranded Brand

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About Unbranded

The Unbranded Brand was founded in 2009 as a sub-division of Naked and Famous. Their focus is on premium denim products, appropriately named Unbranded Denim or UB. 

They’re positioned as an against brand, in that their products have no branding, no washes, no embroidery, no ad campaigns, and no celebrities. They’re against any type of branding, period.

The Unbranded Brand UB201 Selvedge Jean

The Unbranded Brand UB201 tapered fit selvedge jean is perhaps their most popular pair of jeans. What I love is the lack of branding on these jeans. For the back label, there’s a blank brown leather patch. It’s just a no frills dark indigo wash selvedge jean.

The selvedge detail on the cuff has a blue stitch (blue ear selvedge ID) instead of the usual orange/crimson color stitching which is a nice differentiator. I can tell if it’s Unbranded jeans based on this small detail.

Additionally these jeans have union special chain-stitched hems and hidden back pocket rivets. Another unique detail are the copper tin rivets, buttons and button fly.

Typical of selvedge, these jeans are much thicker than your standard jeans coming in at a midweight (for selvedge) 14.5 oz. It’s a great cloth for the cooler spring, fall and winter months. I wouldn’t wear these jeans during the summer.

unbranded brand jeans

Materials & Details

  • 100% Cotton
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Button Fly
  • Mid-Rise
  • 27-44
  • Leg opening is 14″
  • Made in China

Check Unbranded Prices

How They Fit

Like the Gap slim selvedge jeans, the Unbranded UB201 jean is rough and rugged, maybe even more thick than Gaps. It fits roomy in the seat and thigh, but tapers a bit down towards the ankle.

unbranded brand ub201 selvedge jean 1

The issue I have is that their jeans are not ideal for men under 5’9″. They only offer a single inseam of 34″ which is problematic for much taller men and guys like me. After tapering the jeans from a 34″ to a 28″, the leg opening is far too wide.

It’s definitely got more of a workwear aesthetic though, and would look great with a rugged pair of boots like the Thorogood Moc Toe or Wolverine 1000 Mile.

unbranded brand ub201 selvedge jean 2

There is no stretch, but the jeans are roomy enough that the stretch isn’t really needed. These jeans would be perfect if I were a few inches taller or of they offered shorter inseams. Either way, I still recommend them for the value you’re getting from an unbranded jean.

10. Ash & Erie

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About Ash & Erie

Ash & Erie was founded by Eric Huang and Steven Mazur in 2015. Based in Detroit, Michigan, they offer men’s style essentials for guys 5’8″ and under. They recently appeared on Shark Tank and even got a $150,000 investment from Mark Cuban.

Style Spotlight: Ash & Erie Casual Button Down Shirts (For Short Guys) | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might enjoy this article on Ash & Erie button down shirts.

Ash & Erie Indigo Wash Essential Jeans

I love dark wash denim, and the Ash & Erie Indigo Wash Essential Jean has the perfect dark wash. It’s a dark blue that has since faded slightly overtime. It’s made with 11.5 oz cotton which makes it a mid-weight fabric that’s ideal for spring and autumn.

ash and erie jeans

The jeans are made in the USA which is a departure from most of the brands in this list who have chosen to manufacture overseas. These jeans are made for those who swear by US made products. You can wear them with a blazer and boots or sneakers and a casual button down shirt. 

I’ve worked with Ash & Erie in the past, you can check out my original Ash & Erie review for more information on the brand.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Materials & Details

  • 99% Cotton, 1% Spandex
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zip Fly
  • Low-Rise
  • 28-38 x 25-29
  • Leg opening is 13″
  • Made in USA

Check Ash & Erie Prices

How They Fit

The Ash & Erie Essential Jean was one of my favorite pairs to wear for a while. Visually, they look great. It’s a true slim fit that’s snug in the seat, through the thighs, all the way down to the ankle.

ach and erie essential jean 1

I only wish they had a bit more stretch to them. It’s labeled at 1% spandex, but there is very minimal stretch with these jeans, almost as if there is none. I do however, have a pair of the midnight black jeans and the stretch is 2% and much more comfortable.

Another area that could be improved is the pant rise, it’s a slightly lower rise and so, it sits pretty low on my waist. I definitely prefer a higher rise these days, closer to my navel. I’ve found that trousers with a higher rise look nicer when tucking in your shirt and also feels more comfortable.

ach and erie essential jean 2

I don’t wear them as much as I used to since I have other favorite jeans in my rotation, but these are still serviceable jeans that have proven to hold up over time from a durability standpoint. 

Ash & Erie Knitwear: Featuring Sweaters, Polo, Tee, Henley and Pants | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might enjoy this article on Ash & Erie Knitwear.

11. Peter Manning NYC

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About Peter Manning NYC

Peter Manning NYC was founded by Peter Manning and Jeff Hansen, originally as Peter Manning Five Eight/New York in 2012. Like Ash & Erie, they offer a wide range of clothing for men 5’8″ and under.

Check out this interview I did with Peter himself.

Peter Manning Slim Fit Jeans

I’ve been wearing these Peter Manning slim fit jeans in the original blue color for several years now. These are more classic slim fits compared to the tighter, trendier Johnny Stretch jeans which I’ll cover below.

peter manning slim jean

The original blue color is a tried and true classic blue wash, similar to that of your dad’s old jeans. Not to say these are out of style, but the wash is certainly more traditional.

It’s made with 100% cotton, but does have a little bit of stretch to them. The leg opening isn’t slim nor wide. All in all these jeans are average in every sense of the word. I do enjoy wearing them with certain outfits, but they are not my go-to jeans by any means.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Materials & Details

  • 100% Cotton
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zip Fly
  • Mid-Rise
  • 28-38 x 26-30
  • Leg opening is 14″
  • Made in USA

Check PMNYC Prices

How They Fit

The PMNYC slim fit jeans are a true slim fit. They are a mid-rise jean that sits comfortably at the waist and is snug in the seat area and thighs. It does taper a bit towards the ankle, but the leg opening is a little bit wide for my taste. 

peter manning slim fit jean 1

peter manning slim fit jean 2

It’s a 28″ inseam and I’ll typically roll the jeans up once for my desired length. Overall the jeans are comfortable to wear and have a clean and streamlined fit that looks good on guys with shorter stature.

Smart Casual Outfits for Men: Winter Style Inspiration (5 versatile looks) | GENTLEMAN WITHINRelated: You might enjoy this article on Smart Casual Winter Outfits for men.

Peter Manning Johnny Stretch Slim Fit Jeans

The Johnny Stretch Slim Fit Jean is a newer, trendier addition to the Peter Manning jeans collection. It’s cut slim through the seat, thigh and leg. I opted for the light wash pair since I have an endless amount of dark wash denim in my collection.

There’s 98% cotton, 2% elastane for quite a bit more stretch than the regular PMNYC slim fit jeans.

peter manning johnny stretch jean

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zip Fly
  • Mid-Rise
  • 28-38 x 26-30
  • Leg opening is 13″
  • Made in USA

Check Peter Manning NYC Prices

How They Fit

The Johnny Stretch slim jeans fit me like skinny jeans. I can only imagine how tight their skinny jeans would fit on me, talk about spray on jeans. I do like the fit of the Johnny Stretch slims though, it’s a trendier fit and so I decided to go with the trendier light wash. 

peter manning johnny stretch slim jean 1

peter manning johnny stretch slim jean 2

The jeans fit snug at the waist with tremendous stretch throughout the entire jeans, even at the waistband. It’s one of the stretchier jeans I’ve worn over the years.

It’s form fitting at the thighs, down the calves and towards the ankle. These are some of the slimmer jeans I have in my collection at the moment. It’s slimmer than the regular PMNYC slim jeans in every way from the seat, thighs, calves and ankles.

12. Five Four

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About Five Four

Five Four Clothing, Inc. was founded by two USC students, Andres Izquieta and Dee Murthy in 2002. Today Five Four is one of the many brands that fall under the Menlo House umbrella.

Five Four Slim Fit Jean

The Five Four Slim Fit Jean is made with a medium weight denim, I’d say around 11-12 oz. It’s a basic slim fit jean that fits well enough and has a decent amount of stretch to ensure comfort.

A downside is that they do not offer inseam choices. Their 29-33 pant sizes come with 32″ inseam and 34-44 pant sizes have a 34″ inseam. I always find this unfortunate, especially for shorter and taller men to don’t fall under the average male height.

five four jeans

Materials & Details

  • 99% Cotton, 1% Spandex
  • Standard 5-pocket styling
  • Zip Fly
  • Mid-Rise
  • 29 x 38
  • Leg opening is 13″
  • Made in USA

Check Five Four Prices

How They Fit

Five Four’s slim fit jeans fit well across the board. It has a mid-rise and fits slim in the seat and my thighs. There is a taper towards the ankle as well which gives the jeans a nice silhouette.

five four slim fit jean 1

five four slim fit jean 2

Since the inseam was a 32″ I had to crop the jeans myself, which I frayed the bottom of the jeans to a 27″ inseam. Currently they have a medium wash and heavy wash pair in the slim fit collection.

13. Amazon Essentials

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About Amazon Essentials

Today Amazon owns many private label brands. Amazon Essentials is one of the more popular ones that launched in 2014. They carry a vast collection of men’s style essentials from polo shirts and button ups to hoodies and jeans.

In typical Amazon fashion, they’re able to offer some of the lowest prices found online and their jeans are no exception coming in under $30. There is also another inhouse Amazon Brand called Goodthreads which is growing in popularity.


Amazon Essentials Slim Fit Stretch Jean

The Amazon Essentials Slim Fit Jean is perhaps their most popular jean style with over 6,000 reviews currently. They’re classic 5-pocket slim fit jeans with a little bit of stretch thanks to the 2% elastane.

Check Amazon Essentials Price

amazon essentials slim fit jean

The jeans come in 8 different colors from a vintage light wash, indigo wash to dark wash, and black.  With Amazon’s size, they’re able to listen to listen to customer feedback and fine-tune every detail of their clothing, including jeans to ensure a better fit. 

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 28-42 x 28-34
  • Leg opening is 14.5″
  • Sits below the waist


14. A.P.C.

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About A.P.C.

A.P.C. is a French clothing brand, created by Jean Touitou in 1987. Their focus is on authenticity and accessibility by the way of style, prices and philosophy. Their philosophy is all about minimalist style and stylish casual wear.

A.P.C. literally means Production and Creation Workshop, placing equal importance to both. As they say, “Without production, creation remains at the ideas stage. And without creation, a garment will have no soul.”

They currently have 70 stores in prominent locations such as Paris, New York, L.A., London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Berlin and Tokyo.

A.P.C. New Standard Jean

The A.P.C. New Standard Jean is made with Japanese raw stretch denim. Interestingly enough, the jeans are unisex. I’ve never worn unisex jeans before and I’m not quite sure how they managed to create a fit suitable for both men and women.

Check A.P.C. Prices

apc new standard jean

Furthermore, it’s a straight leg jean with the classic five pocket styling and button fly. The first button is engraved ‘A.P.C. rue Madame près du Luxembourg. Has contrasting caramel-colored topstitching. The New Standard jean fabric definitely had the indigo selvedge denim look. 

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Polyurethane
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • Button Fly
  • 28-42 x 28-34
  • Straight Leg
  • Mid-Rise

15. Rag & Bone

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About Rag & Bone

Rag & Bone was founded in New York in 2002. They combine British heritage with a modern design aesthetic. They’re inspired by a desire to create beautifully constructed clothing and pride themselves in the techniques of skilled local manufacturers in some of the oldest factories in the United States.

Rag & Bone Fit 2 Porter Slim Fit Jeans

The Fit 2 Porter Slim Fit Dark Indigo Authentic Stretch Jean (that’s a mouthful) is one of Rag & Bone’s most popular jean fits. It’s made with 11.5 ounce Japanese selvedge-inspired stretch denim. 

Check Rag & Bone Prices

rag and bone fit 2 proter slim jean

It’s a slim fit jean that fits true to size with an 11″ front rise, 32″ inseam and 13.5″ leg opening. The jeans have a navy rag & bone thread set up with eggshell stitch embroidery.

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Polyurethane
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • Button Fly
  • 28-38 x 30-32
  • Leg opening is 13.5″
  • Mid-Rise

16. Buck Mason

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About Buck Mason

Buck Mason was founded in 2013 by Sash Koehn and Erik Allen. The brand designs updated, modern American classics for everyday wear. They are a digitally-native menswear brand with an online presence and retail stores in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Buck Mason Maverick Slim Jean

The Maverick Slim Jean is one of Buck Mason’s best selling jeans. It’s a true slim fit with a mid-rise, and narrow fit through the leg and thigh. The jeans have a hint of stretch a 4 washes of dark, medium, black, raw selvedge or a seasonal light wash.

Check Buck Mason Prices

buck mason maverick slim jean

It’s a thicker 14 oz. Japanese denim with a 3 button fly with nickel tack buttons with copper rivets. All in all, it’s a classic slim fit jean with timeless color options, made in the USA. What’s not to love?

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • 3 Button Fly
  • 28-40
  • Mid-Rise
  • Made in USA

17. Wrangler

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About Wrangler

Wrangler stands for enduring American freedom in the spirit of people who work hard, have fun and recognize courageous individuality. This American heritage brand released the first pair of Wrangler jeans in 1947.

Wrangler Larston Slim Tapered Jean

The Larston Slim Tapered Jean is Wrangler’s most slim and streamlined fit. It’s super modern and not what you’d come to expect from the workwear inspired brand. These aren’t your dad’s or grandad’s jeans that’s for sure. This more modern jean fit comes in a variety of 5 different colors from silver smooth, blue bolt, indigo wit, black valley and rock steady. 

Check Wrangler Prices

wrangler slim tapered jeans

Materials & Details

  • 99% Cotton, 1% Spandex
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • Zipper Fly
  • 27-40 x 30-34
  • Mid-Rise

18. DSTLD

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About DSTLD

DSTLD was founded by Corey Epstein and Mark Lynn in 2014. They offer ethically produced, premium denim without the retail markup. As a DTC brand, DSTLD is able to luxury essentials at about 1/3 the traditional retail prices. 

DSTLD Slim Jeans

The Dark Wash Resin Slim Jean has a traditional slim fit aesthetic with rich timber stitching that mimics the look of classic raw denim. DSTLD offers 4 fits ranging from skinny, skinny-slim, slim and straight. And they currently offer 11 unique colors of their slim jeans

Check DSTLD Prices

dstld slim jeans

Materials & Details

  • 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • 3 Button Fly
  • 28-40
  • Mid-Rise
  • Made in USA

19. Bonobos

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About Bonobos

Bonobos was founded by Stanford Business School students Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly in 2007. They started the because they couldn’t find pants that fit.

Today they offer a lot more than just pants. Bonobos was acquired by Walmart in 2016 for $3 billion. Today the company operates in 60+ locations nationwide.

Bonobos Premium Stretch Jeans

The Bonobos Premium Stretch Jeans come in 8 versatile washes and 5 different pant fits from skinny to tailored, slim and athletic to straight. The slim fits are modern and tailored with a signature curved waistband and tonal threads with black finished trims.

Check Bonobos Prices

bonobos premium stretch jeans

Materials & Details

  • 94% Cotton, 5% Polyester, 1% Elastane
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • Zip Fly
  • 28-40 x 28-36
  • Mid-Rise
  • Imported

20. J.Crew

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About J.Crew

J.Crew a brand steeped in Americana, was founded in New York in 1947. Their styles are often timeless classics made with modern design sensibilities.

It’s a go-to brand for men and women looking for tried and true classics. J.Crew is known for collaborating with many well-known brands from Nike, Vans, and Wallace & Barnes. 

Saddled with debt for a long time, they filed for bankruptcy in 2020 amidst the pandemic, which has proved to be trying times for many big companies. Of course they will survive this as they’ve done in the past.

J.Crew 484 Slim Fit Jean

The 484 Slim-Fit Jean is slim through the hip and thigh, with a narrow, tapered leg opening. There’s a handful of different colors and washes to choose from. The indigo dyed jeans are prone to color transfer and may bleed in the wash. Made with 100% cotton, it’s a classic pair of jeans in every sense of the word.

Check J.Crew Prices

jcrew 484 slim fit jean

Materials & Details

  • 100% Cotton
  • Classic 5-pocket styling
  • Zip Fly
  • 28-36 x 30-34
  • Sits below waist
  • 14″ leg opening

Wrapping Things Up

There you have it, over 7,500 words on 20 of the best jeans brands for men in 2021. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing this.

20 Best Jeans Brands for Men in 2020 (Finding the Perfect Fit) | GENTLEMAN WITHIN

Onto you, what are some of your favorite jeans brands?

Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.

Looking forward to seeing you in there.

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Comments

  1. Cyndi Koury says

    Great article! Looking for jeans for my 18 yr old son who has a smaller frame. Appreciate all of the info and especially the pics!

    • Khoi Nguyen says

      Cyndi,

      Glad to hear that it was helpful! Hope you’re able to find the right jeans for him.

      Cheers,
      Khoi

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