Regular readers know I love skinny jeans. While I know that looser fits are becoming more on-trend, slim styles will always have a place in my heart (and wardrobe).
Some people will say I like this fit simply because this style has been the standard for much of my youth and young adulthood. But I think there’s more to it than that.
There’s no denying that slimmer fits of denim are smarter than looser styles. Wearing these pants creates an almost tailored silhouette. I also think they give some shape to my body type. This contrasts with when I try on looser styles and I feel like I’m being drowned out by the excess material.
Because of this, I still think skinny jeans play a key part in any modern wardrobe. They go well with many of the trends we’re seeing at the moment. For example, items like chunky sweaters or oversized fit t-shirts.
As you’d expect, over the years I’ve tried on many pairs of skinny jeans. In this article I’ll introduce some of the best skinny jeans for men.
How to Choose a Pair of Skinny Jeans
There’s more to choosing a pair of skinny jeans than grabbing the tightest pair on offer. There are several things you need to get right when choosing a pair.
First you’ve got to get the fit right. And there are actually several types of skinny jeans:
- Spray-on skinny jeans are the tightest. They’re made from super stretchy denim and they wrap around your entire legs like clingfilm.
- Regular skinny jeans are next. They are still skinny but offer a bit more give than spray-on jeans. The material will have some stretch but it’s more to make getting them on and off easy than it is to ensure they coat your skin like leggings. These jeans are the sweet-spot in my opinion.
- Tapered jeans are those that are skinny around the calves but looser around the thighs. They’re similar to Athletic-fit skinny jeans, which are essentially skinny jeans for those who don’t skip leg day.
- Slim jeans are those that follow the contours of your legs but don’t stretch around your skin.
There are other important factors.
Waist size is essential to get right on any pair of jeans, but it can be tough when choosing skinnies. I find that when trying skinny jeans for the first time, I like them to be ever-so slightly tighter than a regular pair. That’s because the stretchy material of skinny jeans, loosens and stretches over time.
Length is another important factor. I like my jeans to barely touch the top of my shoes so there’s no bunching at the bottom. Your preferences may vary. If you want to roll your cuffs up then factor that into your choice too.
Stretch is another important consideration. When recommending jeans, many people swear by 100% cotton raw denim. But, if you want a tight pair of skinny jeans, you’ll need some stretch, usually in the form of polyester or elasticine, added to the mix.
6 Best Skinny Jeans for Men
Uniqlo Ultra Stretch Skinny Jeans
These are my go-to jeans at the moment because they have everything I look for in skinny jeans. The fit is exactly how I like it: tight all the way down the legs but with just enough give to make them comfortable. They’re also super durable. I have a black pair that I’ve had for almost three years that I wear all the time.
The color has faded nicely but other than that they are holding up really well. The same can be said for my navy and mid-wash jeans. An common issue with skinny jeans is them becoming loose over time and, while these jeans do loosen up slightly as you’d expect, a wash seems them stiffen up to being good as new.
Uniqlo makes these jeans in all the standard colors. And the best thing is that they only cost $49 for a pair—making them an absolute bargain.
AllSaints Cigarette Skinny Jeans
I was full-on obsessed with AllSaints with I lived in the U.K. I loved the edgy rock-and-roll look the brand created. And where there’s edgy rock-and-roll, you know that skinny jeans aren’t too far behind.
The brand’s skinny jeans line is called Cigarette. The jeans in the collection are made from soft, stretchy denim making them super comfortable. If you want to go tighter, the brand also has a line of extra-skinny jeans called Ronnie which are tighter around the leg.
Both fits come in dark, faded colors that go perfect with leather and denim jackets, dark t-shirts, canvas shoes, and chunky boots.
I have a friend who absolutely swears by Levi’s 510 denim. They’re the only jeans he’s worn for like ten years. And to be fair, they do look good on him. Anyone who’s come into contact with Levi’s jeans will know what to expect in terms of quality. That means a decent pair of affordable jeans that’ll last.
The fit of the the Levi’s 510 is slightly looser than other brand’s of skinny jeans and they certainly don’t wrap around the ankle. At least not in my experience. Whether that’s a good or bad thing will depend on your preference.
The great thing about Levi’s 510 jeans is that they come in pretty much any color you could want. And there are plenty of variations with different fades and tears.
Topman Spray-on Skinny Jeans
If you grew up in the U.K at some time in the last 20 years, it’s almost guaranteed that at some point you’ve headed to the denim section of a Topman. And there’s good reason for that. The brand sells a decent line of affordable and super stylish denim.
Its skinniest jeans come under the moniker “Spray-on Skinny.” It’s a name that tells you pretty much all you need to know about the fit of these jeans. These are jeans that stretch tightly around your legs from calf to waist.
These aren’t the only skinny jeans the brand sells. If you want a more forgiving pair, you can opt for a pair of stretch skinny jeans, which are made from stretchy material but have a bit more room.
There are also slim jeans and even a line of skinny jeans for big and tall body types. After some financial trouble, the brand no longer has its own home. But, you can still pick up a pair at the ever-reliable ASOS.
Naked and Famous Super Guy
If you’re looking to drop a bit more cash on a pair of skinny jeans, then Naked and Famous offers high-quality stylish Japanese selvedge denim. Super Guy is the brand’s skinny fit.
The jeans run long which leaves plenty of room for you to turn up the cuffs showing off that selvedge double seam. The brand’s core offerings are 100% cotton which means they don’t have the stretch afforded by added acrylic. Essentially you’re sacrificing 100% denim for a fit that is slightly less skinny.
Nudie Jeans are a European denim brand, this time hailing from Sweden. The brand has two styles of skinny jeans: Tight Terry and Skinny Lin. Both are known for their comfort and extra stretch. And they each come in both dry and washed denim. Choose a dry pair to have them fade in a unique way as you wear them.
What really makes Nudie Jeans stand out is its focus on sustainability which affects the materials it uses. Where it really affects the consumer, however, is in the free repairs that the company offers. You can take your jeans into a nearby repair shop (full list here) or, if there isn’t one nearby, order a repair kit for yourself.