Denim jeans are the most popular pants in the world. Casual, comfortable, durable, easy to care for, and (some) quite affordable, denim jeans are the staple of a man’s wardrobe. Funny, I read a statistic somewhere that the average adult male in the United States owns five pairs of jeans and four pairs of dress slacks. More jeans than dresswear? Well, on average, maybe so. Certainly most guys prefer to wear casual, comfortable clothes rather than have to dress up (blechhh..)
In response to a friend’s suggestion (thanks, WC), following are my personal opinions on the best jeans for men who wear boots (and in general, because even though some guys may wear sneakers, we all know they envy those of us who wear boots every day.)
Let me set the scene: My personal preferences for jeans include those that:
1) Look good and fit well, considering my body type
2) Stack nicely on boots
3) Are made with quality materials and construction, yet are affordable
4) Are not a “billboard for a brand” — that is, regular guys like me strongly avoid wearing labels of popular fad fashion. I could give a shit if my jeans (or shirt or jacket) have an emblem or label on them to display a particular brand name. In fact, I wouldn’t be caught dead in Giorgio Diddlydoo, Calvin Clunk, Ralph Whazzisname, or other such silly overpriced ill-fitting junk.
So considering these preferences one-by-one…
Fit: well-fitted jeans look good. You’ve heard the expression, “I go nuts over Wrangler butts.” Many women (and men) admire how a man looks in well-fitted jeans. My general suggestion is to get pre-washed (or pre-shrunk) jeans. These days, that is pretty much what is already out there.
There are different “rises” and styles of jeans out there. I prefer regular rise. I can’t stand low rise jeans which look awful on adult men. Children who wear them show their underwear. Adult men who may wear them have shown their butt crack when they bend over. So most regular adult men should wear regular rise jeans.
There are also three popular “fit” styles of jeans: slim fit, regular fit, and relaxed fit. These are fairly self-explanatory. Young men with slim builds get by well with slim fit jeans. Most men find regular fit jeans work well for them. Then some men, particularly those who are a bit older and carry some extra pounds, will find that relaxed fit jeans work best for them. Best way to determine the best fit for you is to try them on. Look in a mirror where you can see your butt. Looks like you are squeezed into them or are do you have “baggy butt”? — then get another fit type either slimmer or “less slim” and try those on. How does your butt look? Good? Those are your jeans.
Stacking: Jeans that are long enough to come down to the foot of the boot, but not so long as to drag on the floor behind the heel are a good length. When jeans form a soft fold along the foot of the boot, that is what “stacked jeans” is — simply, the jeans are long enough to stack (or fold) on top of the boot foot.
Men who wear jeans stacked on their boots present a secure, confident, masculine appearance. Men who wear jeans that are too long and cause the ends of the jeans to wear and fray look like they do not care about their clothes, which may mean to some people that they do not care about anything else, either.
Jeans that do not come down to the foot of a boot are not long enough, and someone wearing jeans that short look funny, or odd, to others. Yeah, it may be a way to show off your boots, but confident Bootmen do not need to do that.
Quality and Affordability: man, there are a LOT of jeans out there with prices that range from US$10 for knock-off shit at Walsucks to well over US$500 for a label, but no better quality. Generally, avoid the cheap shit from Walsucks. It’s all crap that will fall apart soon after the first few washes. That is why, by the way, I do not like Levis jeans any more. The quality has severely plummeted since Levis closed the last U.S. production facilities in 1996 and shipped production overseas.
While manufacturing locations of jeans changes over time, I generally have found that Wranglers and Carhartt jeans continue to be made with some degree of quality control over materials and production standards. No jeans are made in the U.S. any more, but at least these companies are watching the production of their products closely and insist on decent quality.
Brand: I described above that I would not wear a pair of jeans just because they carry a designer label. I feel badly for men (and women) who believe that a designer label implies some degree of quality. It does not — it only implies some affinity for a brand that is 1000% marketing hype and that the buyer doesn’t mind throwing away money just to wear a label. Who cares? Don’t fall for it.
Therefore, as I said just above, my preferred brands of denim jeans for men are Wrangler and Carhartt. As I say on the most popular page on my website, “Wearing Cowboy Boots,”
Cowboys, especially those who ride horses, and bikers (those who ride iron horses), prefer Wranglers because the heavier, ‘rolled’ seam on Wranglers is on the outside of the legs (to reduce rubbing in the saddle) while Levis have the heavier, bulkier seam on the inside of the legs. The seam can rub against the leg while riding a horse or motorcycle. Levis were popular years ago. But since their production was moved outside the U.S. in 1996, the quality is not in the product like it once was. And designer jeans? FuggetAboutIt. Unless you’re on a fashion runway, save your money and get Wranglers. Masculine men — gay or straight — wear regular-old straight-legged blue jeans. (Don’t even ask about how silly baggy and low-rise jeans look on adult men.)
Carhartt jeans are made the same way and cost about the same as Wranglers, especially when on sale.
For an even lengthier presentation on “Best Jeans for Men,” check out this article that has referred back to my website as well. I don’t know the author, but he sure makes practical sense.
Reminder: what is above are my own preferences and opinions. Yours may vary. You may have found the very best jeans for you and they are made by a different manufacturer. That is okay. Enjoy them.
My overall point is…
Life is short: wear jeans and (always) wear boots when you do!