Best Men’s Jean Styles, from Skinny to Bootcut

The options are nearly endless when it comes to choosing the fit of your jeans. With a plethora of options, the styles and fits have been evolving since the American gold rush thanks to a gentleman by the name of Levi Strauss that paved the way to the first durable denim work pant. Nowadays, you can hit the town wearing any number of styles — skinny, relaxed, bootcut, straight-legged, and more. In the end, what matters most is that your jeans fit you and the style complements your lower half.


skinny fit jeans
People Images/Getty Images

Although they are certainly not for everyone and the fit plays to a specific type of individual, skinny jeans are definitely present in today’s fashion culture. One could easily point fingers at the hipsters for the evolution of the skinny jeans as they provide no real purpose other than provoking a sense of style and maybe questions as to comfort. The skinnies hug the thighs and, if you’ve got serious man calves, it’s truly going to be a tight fit. The style is the most recent of the options to be available on shelves and simultaneously the pair that more often than not begs the question, “Why?”


slim fit jeans
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Not too different from the skinny jeans, the slim cut offers some maneuverability while amplifying style. The cut is straight through the hip, slim through the thigh and calf, and narrowing down toward the ankle. The slim fit tends to work better for the stout man who wants the skinny look. And better yet, a good majority of companies are offering their slim fit with athletic construction which gives elasticity to the design. It’s a great cut to wear daily, to the office, and after the sun goes down.


What is regular? Is anything regular anymore? The regular cut is a style that should fit just about anyone, with the denim resting nicely against your rump and leaving wiggle room between the legs. It can be argued that the regular fit is the closest style to the original gold diggers back in the day. The regular is the predominant purchase of men across the globe and not so regular versatility looks good with a dirty T-shirt in the garage, dialed in with a blazer, and even out on the town for a first date.


Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Just as the name implies, the relaxed fit jeans are for straight chillin’. The fit is great for work and play and sometimes the style is accompanied by a hammer loop and called carpenter jeans. Additionally, this cut is perfect for those packing a little extra in the hindquarters and through the thighs while still providing some shape to your appearance with tapering from the knee and beyond. The relaxed cut may be deemed a little more casual but when you need a durable denim that will outlast the 24 hours of your day, just relax.


Time Stopper/Getty Images

The bootcut is the one you’ll see in the field, on the construction site, or out on the ranch with a big ole pair of steel-toed boots nestled under the hem. The cut is relatively baggy, which is a kind of scary word in today’s fashion sense, but the baggy fit provides ample space and never deters from active functionality. Similar to the relaxed cut, the bootcut begins to taper at the knee but opens back up around the ankle and accompanying boot cuff. The style is very specific, and almost entirely relies on a boot to regulate any fashion disasters like a sandal or sneaker where the boot is supposed to be. Wear them with a big belt buckle, plaid, and a tattered ball cap to fit in among the thousands of Kenny Chesney fans.


straight leg jean fit
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Perhaps coined as the anti-skinny jean, the straight cut is a linear line from the waist to the ankle. There is no taper, nothing to accentuate your derriere, and it is commonly worn with a pair of white New Balances. Originally the straight cut was the easiest to make since there was no definition to the leg, it was and is just two tubes of denim that meet at the belt loop. It’s tough to look your best in a straight cut pair of jeans, but just as everything in life, there is a time and place for this cut.


jnco jeans

Stitched in 1985, rising popularity through the ’90s, and near extinction in 2018, the JNCO was a cut unlike any other to ever hit the market. With graffiti-like embroidery on the back pocket, Los Angeles street appeal, and leg openings ranging from 32 inches to 50 inches, JNCOs were and are essentially denim tents hanging from your waistline. The JNCO was unique and played its part in the ’90s fashion world. C’mon, you know you had a pair or at least wanted a pair with pockets filled with POGs, yo-yos, and a Gameboy.

And then once you’ve finally found the perfect fit, then comes a whole other level of decision-making on true blue indigo, faded, stonewashed, ripped, or bedazzled. The reality of the situation is once you find a pair you like, fits well, and will transcend through your lifestyle, buy one of each colorway and multiple of the standard blue denim. You can never have enough jeans, especially when the fit is right.

Editors' Recommendations