Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Layer Up With Our Picks of the Best Men’s Denim Shirts

Man wearing a denim jacket over a statement shirt.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are certain iconic items that every man should have in his wardrobe: A perfect white T-shirt, crisp khaki trousers, an awesome pair of boots, and white canvas sneakers are at the top of the list. The reason they are archetypal is that each is available in a world of variations so any guy can bend them to his own personal style. Is the T-shirt billowy or long-sleeved? Do the khakis have pleats or patches? Cowboy, desert, or work boots? Classic Chucks or Vans? The same goes for another must-have item, the denim shirt. From reliably masculine Western styles to workwear-inspired silhouettes and limited-edition designer versions, the denim shirt inspires a certain cocky confidence in just about anybody who wears one. Here are just a few of our favorites to round out your wardrobe for 2022. 

The Ultimate OG Denim Shirt: Polo Ralph Lauren 

Polo Ralph Lauren Denim Shirt on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Classic, meet classic. The man that made the all-American design even more all-American, Ralph Lauren, combines the prep world with the Western frontier in this faded denim button-down. It’s non-stretch denim, with a button-down collar and the signature Polo pony embroidered logo. Get it a size larger and layer over white crewneck T-shirts with khakis and loafers. 

The Authentic Denim Shirt: Wrangler Cowboy Cut

Wrangler Cowboy Cut® Western Denim Snap Work Shirt.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Whether you’re actually riding down to inspect the back forty or just want to look like you are, grab this denim shirt from Wrangler, a brand that real cowboys wear. The yoked shoulder and snap closures give true Western detailing, while the stonewashed denim softens up the look for everyday. Pair it with trim black jeans and work boots for a look that doesn’t holler “yippee ki-yay.”  

The Retro Futurist Denim Shirt: Diesel D-Milly-SP

Diesel D-Milly-SP Denim Shirt worn by a model.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To see the future, we go to the past. This Diesel shirt presents a hard-edged version of the classic that’s more 1984 than 2001. The stone-washed denim and matte snap closures still give a nod to workwear, but its clean lines and asymmetrical chest pocket detailing lend an air of minimalism that seems more apropos to a desk job than a factory position. Pair this with a pair of minimalistic black trousers with a bit of sheen. 

The Happy Hippy: Mai-Tai Dye Cord Long-Sleeve Woven Shirt

Tommy Bahama Mai-Tai Dye Cord Long-Sleeve Woven Shirt on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’re pushing the envelope here: Made from corduroy, this shirt isn’t technically one of our best denim shirts, but we like the effect of the indigo tie-dye so much that we think it merits an honorary inclusion. The relaxed silhouette, cotton fabric, top-stitched details, and metal buttons make for a shirt that will make you feel good any time you wear it. A great pair of trim-fit shorts are great with these, or stick with classic denim jeans. 

The Green Denim Shirt: Goodlife Overdyed Denim Snap Shirt

Goodlife Overdyed Denim Snap Shirt worn by a model.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re more of a colorful personality, there’s no reason that denim has to be limited to indigo or black. Here, Goodlife presents a relaxed shirt with subtle details in a season-spanning sage hue for a fresh take on the classic style. Diagonal flap pockets and snap closures stay true to the shirt’s Western roots. It’ll look great with dark denim, but we’d love to see this shirt paired with ivory or white wide-wale corduroys. 

The Tan Denim Shirt: Hudson Long Sleeve Denim Shirt

Hudson Long Sleeve Denim Shirt in gold dust.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A solid denim shirt can also be a great stand-in for a jacket when layered over a T-shirt or tank top on those first cool autumn days. We like this tan version from Hudson in a sandy Gold Dust color that looks like it stepped out of a sepia-toned photograph from the old West. The soft-washed cotton denim will be great on its own, too, as the mercury drops further. Throw it on over a simple graphic T-shirt with rust or red-toned trousers. 

The Ombre Denim Shirt: Ksubi Snakebite Regular Fit Dip Dye Denim Button-Up Shirt

Ksubi Snakebite Regular Fit Dip Dye Denim Button-Up Shirt worn by a model.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ksubi elevates the denim shirt to a fashion statement with a dip-dyed finish, covered placket, and graphic detailing on the shirt’s tail. The silhouette maintains workwear roots, while the dye techniques create an artistic statement. Keep it simple with black or gray stone-washed jeans or crisp white denim. 

Editors' Recommendations

John Jones
John Jones is a Jersey City, New Jersey-based writer who enjoys covering design in all its forms, from fashion to…
Suit up with the best motorcycle boots for men in 2024 – TCX, Taylor Stitch, and more
Sure, motorcycle boots are technically "safety wear," but that doesn't mean they can't look good, too
Man wearing motorcycle boots

More often than not, motorcycle boots are heavy, clunky, and purely functional without taking fashion into consideration. But these features are what ensure the safety of your feet, ankles, and calves should the worst things happen on two wheels. For the best motorcycle gear and chaps that can withstand scrapes, crashes, and everything in-between in any weather, stylish boots are usually regarded as secondary.

This doesn’t mean you can’t find a suitable pair of boots that are both fashionable and functional. Whether you’re a newbie rider shopping for your first motorcycle or a veteran cruiser with decades under your belt, here are our top picks for the best motorcycle boots for men in 2024.

Read more
The 7 best beanies for men: Our top picks this winter
Look great and stay warm this cool season
Man in denim jacket and beanie

When it comes to a solid hat wardrobe, there are all kinds of different styles and types to choose from. Whether you are trying to channel your inner adventurer with a fedora, emulate your favorite athlete with a ball cap, or something in between, you can always find a good occasion to wear a hat.

Of course, one of the more prominent hat styles you should be looking at for your collection is a beanie. This type of headwear is ideal when you want something low profile to cover up your unkempt hair. And beanies are functional for when the weather starts to turn cold. I don't know if you have looked outside recently, but the weather is starting to turn. So now may be the time to pick up one of the best beanies for men.

Read more
The best flannel shirts for men to rock in winter
These are the best flannel shirts to keep you stylish in the cold weather
A man wearing a navy blue baseball cap and plaid flannel shirt.

When you grow up in the city of Seattle, flannel isn't a fashion choice — it's a way of life. Most of we Seattleites prefer to weave our own flannels from the fur shorn off a sasquatch, or we simply get them handed down out of our fathers' closets (all our fathers were loggers — every last one), but when we do decide to shop for a new flannel, we know what to look for in terms of quality. With all the time we spend living in the cold and rain, we've learned how to be properly dressed for the weather.

To that end, here's a roundup of the best men's flannel shirts to keep you warm this winter. This list includes both classic mainstays and great new releases, and each of them has been personally tested by a genuine Seattle native. Flannel-cred doesn't get more real than that.

Read more