As spring warms into summer, all-American, classic denim becomes our go-to for everything from relaxed corporate dress codes to the perfect uniform for star-spangled fireworks. Lighter weight denim makes jeans perfect for all but the hottest summer nights, and the added benefits of stretch and construction for increased movement help with getting outside for hiking, biking…even an active morning commute. Most importantly, denim is always about badass style, offering something that’s a little cooler in attitude, as much as mercury-fighting temperatures. For the next few weeks, pair these summer denim styles with lightweight leather jackets, denim jackets and shirts, and cotton knits. When things get a bit warmer, choose classic white T-shirts and tank tops, linen button-ups … or no shirt at all once that summer tan has finally kicked in.
Duer Performance Denim Slim
Duer is a jean designed by Gary Lennett, a guy who earned his chops manufacturing denim for big brands like Levi’s but wanted a pair that worked for his love of cycling. The brand’s performance denim not only features stretch fibers for movement but also Coolmax to keep things cool and dry. The jeans’ construction features a gusset for added freedom of movement, making them perfect for a morning bike commute, while the dark wash will blend in nicely at that first meeting of the day. The slim fit is available in seven different washes, from a pale, vintage blue to a deep, dark black.
Stio Men’s Rivet Jean
Stio is an outdoor brand, making clothes for guys who may be more comfortable on a mountain trail than in a conference room…but that won’t hold these jeans back from being a part of your summer casual office wardrobe. Again, a bit of stretch and a gusseted inseam provide a full range of motion, for climbing rocks as much as hurdling over client expectations.
Lucky Brand 410 Athletic Slim Tencel Jean
Providing a bit more of an athletic fit to compensate for those squats and deadlifts you’ve been doing all winter, the 410 offers a Tencel (an eco-friendly cellulose fiber) blend denim that feels lighter and softer from day one. We like this Leadbetter paler wash paired with our favorite T-shirts for more casual pursuits. Pair them with a white linen shirt for that first summer evening dinner spent out under the stars.
34 Heritage Courage Straight Leg in Safe Soft Touch
34 Heritage practically invented the jeans wardrobe for the boss who can wear them to work. Available in several silhouettes, it’s easy to find a pair that complement just about any guy’s body, the brand focuses on fabrics that feel amazing to the touch, in colors that work for everything from the new client pitch to dinner at the club. We like this sage “Soft Touch” fabric in a light, stretch blend that offers a hint of color; pair it with a lightweight cotton sweater, an earthy polo shirt, or a plaid button-up and chocolate brown blazer for dressier occasions.
DSTLD Skinny Jeans
This pair features a “15-year wash,” made to look like you just picked them up at that thrift store you visited during a summer weekend in the country. They’re a skinny fit, but have just enough stretch to keep them comfortable. Do the math to figure out how old you were 15 years ago…pull these on, and act like your best days are ahead of you.
Raleigh Denim Alexander Stretch
Raleigh takes a can-do approach to denim, and this new pair features 22 percent stretch fiber for comfort and features a relaxed fit. Black may seem antithetical to summer style, but it always looks cool and crisp with a classic white T-shirt, or linen in white, khaki, or brown for an earthy, desert look.
Levi’s Engineered 570 Baggy Taper Jeans
Levi’s introduced engineered jeans, designed for a movement-friendly, ergonomic fit, back in 1999. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the collection, America’s classic denim brand has released an updated version that offers extra comfort and ease of motion…perfect for summer’s action-packed life. They feature four-way stretch denim, and are a bit fuller through the thigh, with a tapered leg opening.
Wrangler Icons 11 MWZ Slim Jean
Another classic American denim brand, Wrangler dipped into its archives to see what iconic silhouettes might work for today’s customer. This slim jean features “broken twill denim” (meaning the diagonal weave is reversed to form a zig-zag pattern), tobacco-colored stitching, the brand’s classic rope logo button, and a deep watch pocket. It sits above the waist for that trendy “Dad jean” look but does have a slimmer “kick” at the bottom.
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