Where would we be without denim? More to the point, what the hell would we do without jeans? Iconized by such legends as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis, James Dean, Marlon Brando, and even Nirvana, it could be argued that jeans are the quintessential embodiment of masculine American style. (The less said about Justin Timberlake’s all-denim suit the better). It’s one buy that’s guaranteed never to go out of fashion, and, bonus, you can wear them again and again…like five days in a row again. After all, you’re not supposed to wash most denim, right?
That said, we advocate stocking more than one pair of jeans in your closet. The transition from winter to spring — and summer’s right around the corner — requires a switch-up of your colder-weather styles. That includes a change of shades, weight, and cut: The rising temps call for lighter colors, more breathable fabrics, and slimmer silhouettes. Enter our essential spring denim guide, highlighting 16 options that work for every occasion. There are some white ones that would pair well with preppy polos or striped sweaters, rocked-out buys to combo with a graphic tee or tank-top, neutral tones that go with everything, and darker standard skinnies and straight-cuts to casual up a blazer. Throwing them in the washing machine is up to you.
Slideshow credits: Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans in Blue Steel, $98, available at Levi’s; J. Crew 770 Jean in Rinsed Wheat, $108, available at J. Crew; Gap 1969 Straight Fit Jeans in Original Wash, $69.95, available at Gap; A.P.C. Petit New Standard Slim-Fit Jeans, $235, available at MR PORTER; Hudson Jeans Byron Straight Leg Jeans, $198, available at Nordstrom; Steven Alan Classic 5 Pocket Pant, $225, available at Steven Alan; Club Monaco Slim Jean, $98.50, available at Club Monaco; Han Kjobenhavn Tapered Jeans, $180, available at East Dane; Incotex Slim-Fit Cotton-Blend Jeans, $340, available at MR PORTER; J Brand Kane Jeans, $216, available at J Brand; Naked & Famous Denim Weird Guy in Lightweight Natural Indigo Selvedge, $160, available at Tate + Yoko; Acne Studios Max Melrose Jeans; $250, available at Barneys; Nudie Jeans Co Organic Barium Sparks, $199, available at Nudie Jeans Co; Sandro Paint Medium Wash Jeans, $355, available at Sandro; rag & bone M13 in Beige, $275, available at rag & bone; American Eagle Relaxed Straight Jean, $34.99, available at American Eagle