Fit: The overall fit of your pants can make an outfit. Of course, fit is subjective and relative to your body type; however, most of the denim brands we’ve scoped out have a long history of great silhouettes that fit just right. When in doubt, check the product measurements and compare them against jeans that already fit you well.
Style: You won’t find any skinny jeans in this guide, but if you’ve been outside in the past few years, that won’t be a surprise. Right now, we favor straight-leg pants that sit at the waist, and even so-called slim-fit pants are getting roomier. Also: be sure to choose colors and washes of denim that will work well with your existing wardrobe. Purple jeans might sound cool in the moment but wind up as a regret purchase down the road.
Why You Should Trust Us
GQ takes denim seriously. With full-time style editors and some of the world’s nerdiest denimheads on our staff, we’ve worn, washed, and worn out jeans from everyday favorites such as Levi’s, Wrangler, Lee, J.Crew, and Calvin Klein, plus the best of high-end, indie, and designer brands like Todd Snyder, A.P.C., 3sixteen, Acne Studios, and Orslow (see our full guide to the best denim brands for proof).
So when we tell you these are the best jeans on Amazon, we’re not shooting from the hip. We’re taking into consideration fit, comfort, fabric weight, fabric origin, construction, style, and that ineffable “it” factor. (You know it when you see it.) In selecting our favorite jeans, we wanted to include a range of options, from the original Levi’s 501 to lesser-known brands utilizing raw Japanese selvedge and unique indigo dyes. We have selects for the true denim collectors, the types who know how to wash and shrink heavyweight denim until they fit just right, as well as the old standbys you can wear to work.
The Jeans You Should Already Own
We won’t go so far as to say these are the platonic ideal of blue jeans, but they’re certainly the original, and they should be a staple in any guy’s closet. Invented by Levi Strauss himself (co-credit goes to Latvian tailor Jacob Davis), the 501 has perhaps the most iconic silhouette in all of menswear. The modern 501s still feature the classic love-it-or-hate-it button fly, and these straight-leg jeans are back in style as men ditch their slim-fit pants for something that’s both more modern and more retro. We aren’t going to give these jeans the hard sell, because they don’t need it.
The Budget Jeans
You might not expect much from a pair of $30 jeans, but Dickies has built these work pants with surprisingly sturdy denim. So whether you’re a denim collector who likes to wash and shrink your jeans to your liking, or an actual tradesman who needs durable everyday jeans, these Dickies have a lot to offer. These pants use a heavyweight cotton denim twill and have deep pockets in the front and back, not to mention a dedicated space for a pocketknife. And, like the brand’s famed Eisenhower jacket, these jeans have a great fit with a medium rise, slightly roomy leg, and an exceptionally tailored seat. A wide range of sizes is available, so almost anyone should be able to find a pair that fits.
The Jeans for Newbie Denimheads
The Unbranded Brand is one of those labels that nerdy menswear forums talk about when recommending entry-level raw denim—and they’re totally right. Remember when we said that you’ll usually find raw selvedge denim at a specialty store? The operative word there was usually and that’s all because of these jeans. They use a heavyweight selvedge denim with, fancy cowhide leather patch, copper hardware, and a great trim, tapered fit. Five years ago, these would have been considered loose-fitting jeans, but by modern standards, they’re quite slim, and without being too tight in the thighs or leg. An under-$100 pair of raw selvedge jeans isn’t easy to come by, especially with two-day Prime shipping. The company does this by avoiding any unnecessary embellishments or branding, and the end result is a love letter to denim itself.
The Work-Ready Jeans
Carhartt and Levi’s are both historic American brands, and they were both founded in the 19th century to serve working class Americans and migrants. (Although Strauss beat Carhartt to the punch by 36 years). All these years later, Carhartt’s heavy-duty Logger Pant is here and ready to work. The denim dungarees have a touch of spandex for added stretch, and pockets on pockets on pockets. The left leg has a utility pocket, and there’s even a secure cell phone pocket on the right. Two layers of fabric on the knees provide added durability and an opening for knee pads (you know, if you’re actually wearing them to work). Most importantly, Amazon reviewers say that despite the rugged exterior, they’re much more comfortable than they look.
The Slim-Fit Jeans
If Die Workwear isn’t just your favorite Twitter account but your own personal motto, then we have to offer a pair of pants that wasn’t designed for the work site. Calvin Klein’s slim-fit jean isn’t too tight, and the straight legs still leave plenty of room to move. They feature signature Calvin Klein touches like omega topstitching and the designer’s iconic back logo patch. Reasonably priced for the quality, they’re another closet staple that’s easiest to buy via Amazon.
The Bootcut Jeans
Western wear has been on a confident comeback in recent years and shows no sign of slowing down. And considering denim’s long history in cowboy country, it makes sense that we’re seeing some rootin’ tootin’ dungarees kick back into the zeitgeist. If you’re looking for the best bootcut jeans on Amazon, try these cowboy cut jeans from Wrangler, another iconic American denim brand. They’re the go-to jeans for many a real-deal cowboy thanks to the high waist that keeps shirts tucked, hip-hugging top block, roomy thigh and slightly flared leg to fit over a pair of boots. In addition to its “original” fit, Wrangler also uses an extra-heavyweight cotton denim, with a 14.75-ounce fabric that’ll take a bit of time to break in, but will be worth it in a few wears.
Plus 7 More Prime Jeans We Love
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