In one corner we’ve got The Perfect Jean NYC and in the other corner, Mugsy Jeans. Both are direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands founded on the promise of stylish, no frills, clean and comfortable jeans.
At this point you may have heard all the hype for both of these quickly growing, up and coming brands—but how do they ultimately stack up?
Let’s find out.
This is another installment of GW’s The Best Jeans Series, where I review jeans from my own collection plus other popular and highly regarded jeans as well.
In this review I’ll briefly touch on the brands’ backgrounds and compare The Perfect Jeans slim fit, dark blue jeans to the Mugsy Jeans knit denim jean in terry knit. I’ll breakdown how they fit, stretch factor & comfort, sizing, style & color options and finally wrap up with which is the better value.
Let’s get started.
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Quick Verdict: Both The Perfect Jean and Mugsy Jeans punch above their weight and are great options for men looking for a high-quality, long-lasting pair of comfortable and stylish jeans. Big ups to both brands for offering a special discount for GW readers.
As for which is the winner, you’ll have to find out by reading the review.
First let’s start off with a little background of both brands.
About The Perfect Jean
The Perfect Jean (TPJ) was founded in 2019 by Ovadia Labaton and Zack Arnold. They’re currently based in New York City. Their brand has a bit of a brash, though playful tone. They’re unapologetic with a tagline of F#%K YOUR KHAKIS!, IMO, a tongue in cheek play on the famous line from the movie, Fight Club.
While Mugsy prominently displays the usual “Featured In” logos for social proof from the likes of ESPN, Forbes, Howard Stern and Men’s Health—TPJ completely ignores this tactic, hilariously opting for a “Featured In” section with a handful of fake brands like National Jeanographic, Jeans Illustrated and my favorite, Jeanboy.
They’re “on a mission to find a reasonably-priced stretch jean that [they] could comfortably wear all-day every f#!king day”—no matter where you find yourself during your days.
About Mugsy Jeans
Mugsy Jeans was started a few years before TPJ; founded in 2016 by Leo Tropeano. They’re currently headquartered in the Chicago. Mugsy’s brand tone is more approachable than TPJ. Though not as entertaining, their on a similar mission.
To them, the goal was simple—”supreme comfort, clean & stylish fit [and] room for the boys”—that last one is of utmost importance when it comes to any type of jeans or pants. Leo actually had the idea for a brand like Mugsy on his mind ever since 2011.
The story is that he worked with industry experts for years, testing thousands of fabrics and traveled the globe, ultimately nailing the perfect super-stretch denim that’s used today in their Mugsy Jeans. Gotta love a good origin story.
Which Jeans Fit Better?
And now let’s get into to the all-important fit of these jeans. Which comes out on top?
The Perfect Jean Slim Fit Jeans
On first wear, I knew that The Perfect Jean was a near ‘perfect’ fit. It’s a true slim fit that is snug at the waist, through the thighs and down my legs with a slight taper towards the ankle. The leg opening is 7″ which is good, but I personally prefer 6.5″. Anyhow, these slims are an ideal fit for me—more versatile and classically worn than the trendier skinny silhouette or relaxed straight fit.
Additionally, TPJ’s slim fit jeans are a mid-rise which is more comfortable than low, IMO. Low cut isn’t a good look and too high and you start to look like Urkel. There’s also a solid stretch at the waist, reminding me of my Express Hyper Stretch Jeans. It’s still rare when a pair of jeans has this detail so it’s always appreciated.
What’s great is that they offer a wide variety of waist sizes from 26″ all the way to 50″. Even better they offer inseams of 26″ to 38″ which covers men on the shorter end of the height spectrum (like myself) and taller men, both of which are often neglected by the fashion industry.
Overall, these jeans have a clean and classic silhouette. I’m highly impressed with the fit of TPJ’s slim fit jeans. Now let’s see how Mugsy’s jean fits.
Mugsy Bucks Knit Denim Jeans
Trying on Mugsy jeans for the first time, I thought “solid fit.” This ‘Bucks Knit Denim‘ pair doesn’t specify the cut, but it definitely wears like a slim fit jean with a leg opening of 6.75″. Similar to The Perfect Jean, it’s a mid-rise (with options of 7″ and 9″ so you can go higher) up the waistline, with a relatively snug fit in the thighs (not quite as snug as TPJ) and a modest taper down the legs.
Also like TPJ, these Bucks jeans have stretch at the waist, though not as stretchy and for some odd reason the stitching at the top of the jeans have zero give which restricts the stretch a bit.
Where Mugsy ultimately falls short is with their inseams; 30″ being their shortest length and 34 the longest with this particular style. That leaves men like me with excess fabric at the ankles, forcing me to roll them up, which is fine as I often cuff my jeans, but that’s usually by choice. I have no choice here.
I’m a bit surprised they don’t offer inseams less than 30″, especially being in business longer than TPJ, you’d figure they would serve this often underserved audience, I’m talking guys 5’8″ and under.
Fit Winner: The Perfect Jean
For round 1 and Fit King, there’s a clear winner and that’s The Perfect Jean. While Mugsy shows up to battle, they’re ultimately outclassed by TPJ’s superior fit.
» Related: You might like this buying guide on the Best Jeans for men.
Which Jeans Have Better Stretch?
There’s no doubt that when it comes to great fitting jeans, it’s all about the stretch. I’m honestly not sure how men lived without stretch jeans in the past. I’ve long since donated any pair of jeans in my collection without at least 1% stretch.
Which has the better stretch, though?
The Perfect Jean Slim Fit Jeans Stretch
This slim fit pair from The Perfect Jean has a 4-way stretch, making it stretchy in all areas of the jeans and when you move in any which way. The stretch is on par with my AE AirFlex’s and Express Hyper Stretch’s stretch.
As mentioned previously, it contains 2% spandex which is the key in comfortably stretchy jeans. I’ve found that 1% in jeans just doesn’t cut it.
TPJ’s jeans waistband offers a stretch that rivals my Express Hyper Stretch Jeans and so color me impressed. These days, at a minimum, I prefer my jeans waist to offer some sort of elasticity.
Mugsy Bucks Knit Denim Jeans Stretch
TPJ’s stretch is no slouch, so how does Mugsy measure up?
Mugsy Jeans offers incredible stretch with a 2% spandex build, the sweet spot for men’s jeans. Like Mugsy says, they’re “your thighs’ new best friend.” You can squat and move freely for days, moving in all kinds of directions, and not once feel hindered like some jeans will cause.
As I mentioned in the fit portion of this review, the waistband does stretch; however, the top thread does not, which puts a limit on how far the waist can stretch. Besides this minor detail, the Mugsy Jeans have a stretch that’s almost on the level of pure spandex leggings.
Stretch Winner: Mugsy Jeans (ever so slightly)
You can comfortably do squats, exercise and go for a run in these jeans, no problem—not that you would. Hard to pick a winner here, as it could go either way, but if I had to choose, Mugsy Jeans’ thinner fabric gives it a very slight edge with the stretch.
» Related: You might like this American Eagle vs Express jeans battle.
Which Jeans Are More Comfortable?
The Perfect Jean Comfort
These TPJ slim jeans have a noticeably thicker fabric weight than the Mugsy Bucks Knit Denim which makes them better suited for cooler autumn or winter weather.
Overall, fit and stretch combine to determine the jean’s comfort and since TPJ happens to nail both, it unsurprisingly is an ultra comfortable pair of jeans. The material is soft to the touch and smooth on the skin.
They don’t really sit low on the waist per their fit details, instead it’s more of a mid-rise which is fine. After wearing them for a while, they do slip down (28″ waist), but not a fault of the jeans, I’ve been eating healthier lately and have slimmed down.
Mugsy Jeans Comfort
With the extreme stretch of Mugsy’s jeans, it’s no surprise that the comfort levels are up there. It’s a thinner material than TPJ and so it’s better suited for warmer spring, autumn and even summer days.
The Bucks Knit Denim is made with a proprietary terry knit-denim material which is supposed to have a sweatpant like softness. Sure, it’s a soft fabric, but hard to compare to sweatpants—it’s just a completely different feel.
Like TPJ, the Bucks knit denim sports a mid-rise, around 7″, although you have the option to go higher up to 9″ if necessary which is good news for those who prefer more room in that area.
Comfort Winner: Tie
The fit and stretch of both jeans from TPJ and Mugsy are so similar and so choosing the more comfortable pair isn’t easy. With the added option for 2 different inseams, Mugsy could edge TPJ, but I’m going to have to declare a tie for comfort with the way these specifically fit on my frame. This battle is heating up!
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this battle between The Perfect Jean and Mugsy Jeans, then you’ll probably find my other writing on all things style, self-development, dating and wellness 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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Which Jeans Have Better Size Options?
The Perfect Jean Sizing
When it comes to variety of sizes, TPJ doesn’t discriminate. With waist sizes from 26-50 (with odd sizes), their selection is as vast and varied as trouser sizes come.
Additionally, they cater to both shorter men with 26″ inseams all the way up to 38″ for the taller gents.
Materials & Details
- 64.5% Cotton, 30% Polyester, 3% Viscose, 2% Spandex
- 10.5 oz weight w/ 22% elasticity
- Standard 5-pocket styling
- Leg opening is 7″
- Dark wash
- Zipper Fly
Mugsy Jeans Sizing
Mugsy has been in business for a few years longer than The Perfect Jean; however, they do not offer as wide of a selection of sizes. For this particular pair of denim they offer waist sizes of 28 to 42 which is solid, but lacking the options that TPJ offers.
Furthermore, Mugsy only carries 30, 32 and 34 lengths—far less options to choose from than TPJ. These 3 inseams are the most common when it comes to jeans, but offering more than just the standard would be appreciated.
Materials & Details
- 53% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 15% Lyocell, 10% Rayon, 2% Spandex
- Standard 5-pocket styling
- Leg opening is 6.75″
- ‘Bucks’ light tan wash
- Zipper Fly
Size Options Winner: The Perfect Jean
When it comes to sizing, the first clear-cut winner is The Perfect Jean with their myriad of waist sizes and lengths. Mugsy may hold less inventory, but they’re missing out certain segments of the market.
» Related: You might like this definitive guide on how to wear Dark Wash Denim.
Jeans Style & Color Options
TPJ Style & Color Options
The Perfect Jean slim fits come in 13 different colors from gray to black and dark blue (my pair) to light blue and everything in-between. I opted for the dark wash because of its versatility. I can easily wear them for many different occasions and with many different outfits.
Besides the tried and true slim fit, they also offer skinny jeans, slim thick, athletic and even boot cut jeans and so there’s a style for almost any taste. You won’t find any classically relaxed jeans here. It just isn’t their aesthetic.
Mugsy Style & Color Options
On the other hand, my pair of Mugsy jeans comes in the Bucks wash, which is a light tan with a subtle fade. I personally like how this color bucks the trend (excuse the pun), differentiating itself from other standard jeans washes of blue and black. You can easily mistake them for a pair of more refined chinos.
While Mugsy doesn’t include as many color options as TPJ, they have a style and color for most guys. You can find everything from blues to white, olive, gray and tan—pretty much all the colors you’d need in a pair of jeans.
Additionally, it looks like they offer skinny, slim and slightly more relaxed options, without overtly mentioning it. With these pair of Bucks denim, I’m feeling the blue colored tab that’s visible when you cuff the jeans. It’s reminiscent of a selvedge detail and gives the jeans some character.
Style & Colors Winner: Tie
From a numbers standpoint, The Perfect Jean offers a wider selection of colors and also a wider array of jeans styles. On the other hand, I like Mugsy’s lean collection and something about the style of the jeans give them a bit more character than TPJ.
And so, while I initially declared TPJ the winner here, it goes beyond options and Mugsy makes up for that with a more unique jean styling from the blue tab detail to the brass colored button closure and the blue, Mugsy branded tag on the back.
Which Jeans Are Better Value?
The Perfect Jean Price to Performance
This slim fit pair called Knight (dark blue wash) retails for $79.99 and comes in the 5 aforementioned fits, all at the same price. A few of the colors come in at a slightly higher price point of $89.99. That’s about as expensive as their jeans go.
At well under $100, TPJ’s price to performance is quite good. The quality is up to the standard of jeans you’d find in the $100 range (it’s nearly up to Mott & Bow level) and as you found in this review, they perform exceptionally well in all areas.
Mugsy Jeans Price to Performance
This pair of Bucks knit denim in the light tan wash has a retail price of $112 and is currently marked down to $100—not sure why they didn’t just go for $99 to stay under the psychological price barrier of 3 digits.
Either way, at $100, these jeans aren’t quite the bargain that TPJ is. It’s worth mentioning that this pair is one of the more expensive pairs of Mugsy jeans and a majority of their collection can be had for $89 and under, which leaves it on pretty level pricing with TPJ.
BETTER VALUE: The Perfect Jean
Ding ding, the result is in. Now, both jeans are great in their own right and I certainly recommend both of them from a style, fit and comfort standpoint.
While this Best Jeans Battle started off close, The Perfect Jean started to gain the edge towards the end. Nowhere near a knockout, but we’ve got a victor in TPJ by cleanly taking 2 out of the 5 main categories to Mugsy’s 1 out of 5, and ultimately being the better value of the two.
- Better Fit: The Perfect Jean
- Better Stretch: Mugsy Jeans
- Better Comfort: Tie
- Better Sizing: The Perfect Jean
- Better Style & Colors: Tie
- Better Value: The Perfect Jean
Wrapping Things Up
Before you go: Big ups to both brands for offering a special discount for GW readers.
You may be interested in these other jeans brands reviews:
- Ministry of Supply Chroma Denim Review
- Mott & Bow Slim Jeans Review
- Everlane Slim Jeans Review
- Ministry of Supply Chroma Denim Review
- American Eagle vs Express Jeans Review
And that wraps up another edition of GW’s Best Jeans Series. I hope you got value out of this article and some insight on these two jeans brands. If you have any recommendations for future reviews, shoot me an email at khoi [at] gentlemanwithin [dot] com.
Have you tried either brand—if so—what are your thoughts?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.