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Best jeans for men and women 2019: The latest jeans from Levi, Diesel and Topshop

Matt Breen Jade Vincent
12 Oct 2018
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Look for that perfect pair of denims? Take a look through our guide to buying the best jeans

When putting an outfit together, we all tend to pay the most attention to our upper halves. Often, amid the hunt for that perfect shirt, tee, blouse or jacket, we forget to give our legs due consideration, especially when it comes to jeans. Big mistake: a properly fitting, well-made pair of jeans can really bring an outfit to life - and conversely, an otherwise fabulous wardrobe can be marred by a dud pair of denims.

Make no mistake, this is a high-stakes game. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for choosing the best pairs of jeans for men, and a round-up of some of the best jeans currently out there. 

How to pick the best jeans for men

Which cut?

When it comes to the cut of your jeans, always pick one that suits your body type over what’s currently en vogue. Trends be damned: you’ll always look better in a pair of jeans that a flattering over any that just prove you’ve scrolled through a few style blogs.

  • Straight leg: If you’re muscular or athletic in build, and with a V-shaped torso (your shoulders broader than hips) then a classic pair of jeans will be the best cut for you. Avoid tight-fitting jeans, as they won’t suit your stocky legs.
  • Slim fit: For tallish, slim guys with rectangle-shaped torsos, with shoulders that match their hips in width.
  • Skinny fit: Let’s be honest, skinny jeans are something of a contentious style choice. Really, they’re only good for guys who are genuinely skinny, otherwise they won’t flatter your legs at all. It helps if you can carry off a flamboyant, dandyish sense of style.
  • Baggy/loose jeans: Admittedly, not a style we see that much - not this side of 2003, anyway - but as you’ll notice in our list below, they are enjoying a comeback of sorts. And they’re still a good shout for wide-hipped men who might be on the little larger side.

Which size?

Know your measurements: waist, leg length and inner leg. Buy a fabric measuring tape, or better yet, visit a tailors. Unfortunately, one brand’s numbers might not align with another’s. But if you're not sure which of two sizes two choose from, chooser the smaller - jeans inevitably stretch through use.

What type of fabric?

Jeansfall into two broad categories that chase each other in and out of fashion: classic and distressed. Classic jeans have been straightforwardly manufactured and dyed; distressed jeans have gone through processes such as stone-washing, acid-washing and ripping to achieve that artfully dishevelled look. We’re not pinning our colours to either mast - it’s just a case of going with one that suits your overall style. If your look is smart and timeless, go for a pair of classic jeans. If it’s a bohemian, edgy vibe you're going for, buy a distressed pair (and prepare yourself for chilly kneecaps in the colder months).

What colour?

Think about in what context you’ll be wearing the jeans most often. Classic blue-dyed jeans work across a range of outfits (except blazers and formal jackets, a combination that should be banned by law). They look especially good with loose-fitting sweaters and printed short-sleeve shirts, but can also really work with tucked-in formal shirts, when you get the change to show off an expensive belt.

But always remember that a pair of good-fitting, high-quality black jeans are astonishingly versatile. They can be pair with smart and casual clothes and accessories, and you can wear at everything from gigs to more laidback wedding receptions.

And you’ll find jeans in a range of other colours, but here’s where you’ll need to be a little more cautious. Don’t just pick up a bright pair of red denims just because you know it’ll work with a particular set of shoes - the best jeans are multi-purpose.

Best jeans for men 2018

1. Diesel: Best straight jeans for men

Price: From £69 | Buy now from Amazon

A classic, straight pair of jeans from Diesel - and a pair ideal for those who are looking for orthodoxy in their denims, avoiding artfully distressed fabric or outlandish cuts. Turning up the hems, as in the picture, will look good with a pair of boots or leather brogues. You’ll be surprised at how good a pair of well-made jeans such as these - however plain and unassuming - will look as part of your outfit.

Specs - Cut type: Straight; Sizes: 28W/30L-34W/30L

2. Uniqlo: Best slim fit jeans for men

Price: £35 | Buy now from Uniqlo

Uniqlo has a reputation for making clothes best suited for slim, narrow-shouldered men - and if you fit that category, a pair of these black slim jeans will definitely suit you. Much like Uniqlo's wider clothing range, they're unshowy but have some lovely attention to detail, like the white stitching revealed in the turn-ups. They're also remarkably good value given how durable they'll be. Snake-hipped guys can tuck a shirt into these and finish them with a smart pair of lace-ups, or otherwise leave the shirt untucked and go casual with a pair of trainers.

Buy now from Uniqlo

Specs - Cut type: Slim fit; Sizes: 28W/32L-35W/30L

3. Topman: Best skinny jeans for men

Price: £40 | Buy now from Topman

A pair of skinny jeans with a bit of attitude, ripped at both knees. The fabric is 98% cotton and 2% elastane, meaning their stretchable which gives you a bit of, ahem, give and take when you’re wriggling in and out of them. The rips are definitely a statement; our advice is to work out what it is you’re stating, or run with it accordingly. A bright print shirt, for example would work really well alongside these, as would a vintage jacket and pair of chelsea boots.

Buy now from Topman

Specs - Cut type: Skinny; Sizes: 28S-38L

4. Gap: Best bootcut jeans for men

Price: £45 | Buy now from Gap

If like your jeans to have a relaxed, loose fit, this bootcut pair by Gap are an excellent choice. They’re made of denim that’s been given a light fade, which gives them a pleasant, lived-in feel. And while, yes, the bootcut fit was originally intended to accommodate an actual pair of boots underneath, these days it's very much just a look in itself: a pair of chunky trainers or skate shoes will look just as good as anything you would wear in the Wild West.

Buy now from Gap

Specs - Cut type: Bootcut; Sizes: 28W-42w (regular) 32W-38W (tall)

5. Levis: Best baggy jeans for men

Price: £95 | Buy now from Levi

If fashion is guaranteed to be anything, it’s cyclical - and those baggy, frayed-hemmed jeans that you might have thought were consigned to the era of Tony Hawks and Fallout Boy are currently enjoying a quiet renaissance. If you’re going to pick a pair of these spacious, tent-like denims, you may as well go to the company that first pioneered jeans in the nineteenth century: that of San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss. At £95, they’re not cheap, but a pair of jeans should always be treated as a long-term investment.

Buy now from Levi

Specs - Cut type: Baggy; Sizes: 30W/32L-38W/34W

Best jeans for women 2018

How to pick the best jeans for women

Which cut?

Just as with men, when choosing the best jeans for women, you need to consider your body shape. However, unlike guys where it’s about their shoulders, for women it’s about their waist. If you have a long torso and shorter legs, a high-waisted pair of jeans will suit you, but if you’re shorter, you’re better of with mid-rise jeans.

  • Skinny fit: This cut of jeans works best for women with hourglass figures and slim legs. Cropped skinny jeans are especially good if you’ve got long legs, too.
  • Straight leg: The beauty of these jeans, besides their timeless classicism, is that they look great on pretty much everyone. Less snug than skinny jeans, but not as loose as mom or ‘boyfriend’ jeans, straight leg jeans for women are a wonderfully versatile choice of denim.  
  • Flared cut: Not just a relic of the 1970s disco-era (or, for that matter, the 1990s when they made a Cool Britannia comeback), the flared jean has made a proud return to high-street fashion. They’re ideal for tall, curvier women.
  • Mom jeans: These loose-fitting jeans work really well for curvy women with pear-shaped figures.

Which size?

Again, know your measurements, and remember that not only do jeans naturally stretch, most tend to be made of figure-hugging fabric these days, with the exception of mom jeans, which are intended to be looser.

What type of fabric?

In contrast to men, you can enjoy more variety in terms of how you wear jeans. For example, distressed jeans and classic jeans can be used far more subtly and interchangeably on women than on men. While ripped trousers can work in interesting combinations with formalwear.

Colour

As above. Jeans for women are astonishingly versatile – a muted black pair will look just as good in a stylishly monochrome outfit as with bright patterns and accessories. Faded jeans may seem more casual or stay-at-home, but they’ll still look great with a pair of heels.

1. Cheap Monday: Best mom jeans for women

Price: £55 | Buy now from Asos

Mom jeans: the name doesn’t mean these are best for school runs and dashes around Tesco – it’s a stylish mum who would wear these stonewashed denims. These are a great shout if you’re looking for a pair of jeans that don’t leave you gasping for breath, and ones that are a reliable staple in an everyday outfit.  

Buy now from Asos

Specs - Cut type: Mom Sizes: 24W/30L-34W/34L

2. Topshop: Best high-waisted jeans for women


Price: £46 | Buy now from Topshop

These high-waisted, skinny jeans are perennially popular, and for good reason. Made of super-stretchy fabric, they’re both glamorous and comfortable. This distressed pair, with their patches of ripped, frayed fabric, are inherently laidback. They cut to end above the ankle, meaning they’ll show off your footwear nicely, whether it’s a white sports pump or a strapped sandal.

Buy now from Topshop

Specs - Cut type: High-waisted/skinny Sizes: 24W/30L-36W32L

3. Levi: Best 501s for women

Price: £85-£130 | Buy now from Levi

When it doubt, go classic. Available in five colours – perfect storm, coal black, time lapse, salt water and salt bleached – these jeans have an air of elegant timelessness, just as you’d expect from the legendary manufacturer Levi. Their straight cut will look good in a muted, understated outfit, perhaps with a set of heeled boots. Take care of these jeans by washing them in cold water (or in a machine on cold setting), and they’ll last you for decades.

Buy now from Levi

Specs - Cut type: Straight Sizes: 23W/32L-32W/32L

4. 7 for all Mankind: Best flared jeans for women

Price: £67-£190 | Buy now from Amazon

The LA brand 7 For All Mankind has garnered a cult following in recent years, largely because of A-listers like Kate Middleton and Gigi Hadid. (And yes, they have the price tag you’d expect of clothes worn by celebs.) Flared jeans are another example of the reincarnation evident in fashion; what were once worn by Joni Mitchell circa 1970 are now de rigueur again. These faded grey denims have a feel of effortless cool.

Buy now from Amazon

Specs - Cut type: Flared Sizes: 25W35L-30W35L

5. Uniqlo: Best slim jeans for women

Price: £25 | Buy now from Uniqlo

We listed Uniqlo’s ‘Ezy’ slim jeans in the best jeans for men’s section and we’re doing it again here because they offer terrific value. They have all the minimal lack of fuss that characterise the Japanese brand, but are highly durable to boot. Plus, because they’re made of ultra-stretch fabric, you can be sure you can walk down the street feeling just as comfortable as you do stylish.

Buy now from Uniqlo

Specs - Cut type: Slim Sizes: XS-XL

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