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Best jeans for men 2024, from slim to loose fits

From baggy styles to slim-fit options, these are the best jeans for men that will keep your outfits fresh

Samuel Mathewson
Tuesday 07 May 2024 11:50 BST
These are the jeans we’re reaching for right now
These are the jeans we’re reaching for right now (The Independent)
Our Top Picks

Whether you’re dressing them up for a dinner date or down for a casual weekend, jeans are an essential item in every man’s sartorial rotation. They come in all shapes, colours and cuts, from barrel to carrot, so, if your head’s spinning with too much choice, keep reading, as we’ve rounded up the best men’s jeans out there.

A perennial favourite, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without them but jeans were once the reserve of workmen and ranchers in the US, as the thick, durable cotton weave helped protect them from all sorts of hazards.

Today, you only have to glance at Instagram to spot countless fashionable styles, with huge, oversized, baggy jeans having been on trend for a while now. We’ve included some baggier styles that will carry you through the trend, however long it lasts, but we’re sure these picks will also becom staples in your wardrobe for years to come.

If you’re still on the skinny-jeans train, we have some great options for you, too, with slim-fitting styles that won’t cut off your circulation.

How we tested the best men’s jeans

A selection of the jeans we tested
A selection of the jeans we tested (Samuel Mathewson/The Independent)

Having tried jeans in dozens of styles over the years, we spent weeks putting these particular pairs through their paces. We tested the fit, style, quality and cost-per-wear for each pair, to make sure they’re worth your cash.

The best men’s jeans for 2024 are:

  • Best men’s jeans overall – Levi’s 501 original jeans: £100, Levi.com
  • Best budget men’s jeans – M&S loose-fit double-knee jean: £35, Marksandspencer.com
  • Best distressed men’s jeans – Gap 90s loose washwell jeans: £50, Gap.co.uk
  • Best colourful men’s jeans – Uniqlo U wide-fit colour jeans: £29.90, Uniqlo.com
  • Best men’s skinny jeans – Asket the black denim jeans: £125, Asket.com

Levi’s 501 original jeans

Levi’s 501 original jeans
  • Best: Men’s jeans overall
  • Cut: Classic straight
  • Sizes: Waist 29-40, leg 30-34
  • Why we love it
    • Good choice of colours
    • Classic style

What we now know as jeans were originally patented by the founders of Levi’s in 1873, and the brand’s 501s are the archetype of how a good quality pair should look and feel.

These jeans are ubiquitous for a reason, offering a straight leg and classic cut that is truly timeless and can be paired with any outfit. We opted for the colour ‘motion sickness’ – a rich brown that deviates from the classic blue hues, offering something slightly more contemporary.

  1. £100 from Levi.com
Prices may vary
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M&S loose-fit double-knee jean

M&S loose fit double knee jean best jeans for men 2024
  • Best: Budget men’s jeans
  • Cut: Relaxed
  • Sizes: Waist 32-44, leg 29-33
  • Why we love it
    • Reinforced knee

We were sorely lacking a pair of jeans in a darker blue wash, such as this option from M&S. This affordable pair is loose, but not too baggy, with a mid rise. These jeans feel soft on the skin but the double-knee style means the denim feels hardy. The double knee also elevates what would otherwise be a standard pair of jeans. These will look great with a good pair of sandals during warmer months.

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Gap 90s loose washwell jeans

Gap 90s loose washwell jeans
  • Best: Distressed men’s jeans
  • Cut: Baggy
  • Sizes: Waist 30-38, leg S, R, L
  • Why we love it
    • Cool baggy 1990s fit

This pair of 1990s-inspired jeans from Gap is looser on the thigh and calf, adding comfort and cool. With a nod to grunge culture, this pair has been distressed at the knee and given a faded wash. The pair is hardy when it comes to washing, and felt nice and worn-in.

The distressed look might not be for everyone but try pairing them with penny loafers and an oversized shirt to add some contrast to your outfit. Alternatively, the black and mid-wash blue colours come without distressing.

  1. £50 from Gap.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Wrangler frontier jeans

Wrangler frontier jeans
  • Best: Western-style jeans
  • Cut: Straight
  • Sizes: Waist 28-42, leg 30-34
  • Why we love it
    • Elastine provides comfort
    • Great everyday jeans

Although founded later than Levi’s, Wrangler has become an iconic maker of jeans since its launch in 1947. Lean in to the cowboy aesthetic, with a pair of the frontier style. They are comfortable, with one per cent elastine for a bit of stretch, while remaining sturdy and durable. The colour ‘full house’ is the perfect classic mid-wash, too.

Featuring a straight leg with a great length, this is a pair we gravitate towards for everyday wear. Go simple and pair with a vintage crewneck jumper and trainers.

  1. £85 from Wrangler.com
Prices may vary
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Uniqlo U wide-fit colour jeans

Uniqlo wide fit colour jeans
  • Best: Colourful men’s jeans
  • Cut: Loose
  • Sizes: 29-33
  • Why we love it
    • Light
    • Nice cut

The perfect spring/summer jeans have been made by Uniqlo, a perennial favourite for its stylish designs at great price points. These jeans cost less than £30 and come in four colours, each soft and slightly washed out, for an easy lighter summer look.

They are wider in the leg but keep their shape really well and are ideal for anyone who favours a slightly cropped look. Part of the Uniqlo U range designed by Christophe Lemaire (who is known for his eponymous luxury brand Lemaire), these are designer-level jeans at a fraction of the price.

  1. £29 from Uniqlo.com
Prices may vary
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Nudie Jeans tuff Tony

Nudie Jeans tuff tony
  • Best: Loose-cut men’s jeans
  • Cut: Loose
  • Sizes: Waist 24-38, leg 30-36
  • Why we love it
    • Great relaxed fit

Swedish brand Nudie Jeans has a slightly more premium price tag but we’ve got a lot of wear out of the tuff Tony style. These are slightly wider than a straight leg, providing a relaxed rather than extremely baggy look.

This pair is available in lots of different washes, including a patchwork option, but we opted for summer clouds, which is a beautiful light blue that will see us through spring and beyond.

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Frame the straight jean

Frame the straight jean
  • Best: Premium slim men’s jeans
  • Cut: Slim
  • Sizes: Waist 28-40
  • Why we love it
    • Luxury, high-quality denim
  • Take note
    • Expensive

Hailing from premium denim maker Frame, this pair offers one of our favourite straight-leg jean silhouettes. Although a splurge, if you’re in the market for a luxury pair of denim, opt for these.

They are mid-rise and full-length but don’t bunch up too much at the feet (which can warp the look of the leg). Instead, this pair held a flattering shape on the leg. A minimal style without embellishment, this pair looks and feels expensive.

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Dickies Thomasville denim trousers

Dickies thomasville denim trousers
  • Best: Best skater-style jeans
  • Cut: Baggy
  • Sizes: Waist 24-46, leg 28-34
  • Why we love it
    • Comfortable
    • Laidback style

With a wider leg and casual style, the Thomasville denim trousers from workwear brand Dickies are a must for laidback days.

These are very comfortable, with denim that feels slightly lighter and seems to have more give, compared with some super-stiff options out there. You can choose from a variety of washes but we liked the ecru colour – a slight off-white shade that will transition perfectly through the warmer months.

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Asket the black denim jeans

Asket the black denim jeans
  • Best: Men’s skinny jeans
  • Cut: Slim
  • Sizes: Waist 28-38, leg 30-36
  • Why we love it
    • Rigid, substantial denim
    • Great silhouette

Ready to re-embrace slimmer jeans? There are rumblings that skinny jeans are back, and this is the slim style to segue back into the look. With this Asket pair, you can choose between regular and slim options, depending on how skinny you want the fit to be.

This is rigid, structured denim, with a straight slimmer leg for a lead-singer look. We went with the ‘stay black’ colour – a deep black that pairs well with a monochrome look for something sophisticated. It has been designed to keep the black colour after washing, too.

  1. £125 from Asket.com
Prices may vary
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Weekday space relaxed straight jeans

Weekday space relaxed straight jeans best mens jeans 2024
  • Best: Relaxed high-street men’s jeans
  • Cut: Relaxed/loose
  • Sizes: Waist 27-36, leg 30-34
  • Why we love it
    • Relaxed cut
    • Good choice of colourways

We have had a lot of compliments about these. The relaxed, slightly oversized style is typical for Swedish brand Weekday. There are 12 colours available but, in particular, we love the dark grey option.

The denim is stiff and holds its shape. We chose our normal waist size but found it was slightly loose, so, we’d recommend either sizing down or adding a belt, if you want an oversized feel.

  1. £50 from Weekday.com
Prices may vary
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Next relaxed vintage stretch authentic jeans

Next relaxed vintage stretch authentic jeans best mens jeans 2024
  • Best: Vintage-style men’s jeans
  • Cut: Relaxed stretch
  • Sizes: Waist 32-40, leg S-L
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable
    • Comfortable

One of the most affordable pairs on our list, these vintage-wash jeans from Next have a lived-in look, making them great for throwing on during casual days. There’s a stretch to these jeans that makes them really comfortable, too.

The jeans go up to a size 40 waist and there are four colourways available – all in vintage washes, including a dark grey, brown and dark blue.

  1. £29 from Next.co.uk
Prices may vary
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The verdict: Men’s jeans

Although there are countless options available when it comes to men’s jeans, our favourite pair overall is the classic Levi’s 501. For something a little more affordable and completely in style, opt for the Gap 90s loose washwell pair. Meanwhile, if you want to treat yourself to a premium pair that will last for years, try the tuff Tony style from Nudie Jeans. We also loved the Uniqlo wide-fit jeans, for a pop of colour this spring/summer.

Want more sartorial inspiration? We’ve rounded up the best coats and jackets for men

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