A classic light-wash jean in a timeless slim cut for guys who aren’t quite ready to go full Jerry Seinfeld. Don’t worry: thanks to a blend that includes 2% elastane, they’re super flexible and movement-friendly all the same.
We’re not entirely sure what “GapFlex” is, but it has the root flex in it, and the material includes lycra and a generous helping of polyester, so we’re gonna guess it’s alluding to the fact that these jeans are very, very pliable (that’s going to be a theme on this list). Plus, you can feel (slightly) better about copping a pair, since Gap’s Washwell program means less water and less waste went into making this denim.
Duer is a company that specializes in “performance” denim for “doers,” which basically means people who are doing things that you wouldn’t normally do in jeans, like riding a bike or wearing them in summer (their “weightless” summer denim is truly a godsend). This pair is extra stretchy, but relaxed and laid-back — exactly how we want our pants to fit in 2022.
Who said comfortable jeans should be cheap? Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label denim is positively worldly, made in Italy from Japanese stretch denim developed using traditional weaving techniques and dyed a deep indigo hue. All of that to say, this would be our absolute recommendation for anyone who has $500 to spend on denim. A surefire way to guarantee comfy jeans? Get an absolutely massive pair, like Abercrombie’s Loose Workwear Jean. Featuring a cut that’d make the gnarliest of skaters green with envy, they’re cozy in a big way.
Ralph Lauren Purple Label Slim Strech Selvedge Jean
You know Outerknown: Kelly Slater, sustainability, expensive, etc. I usually only shop them during their huge warehouse sales, but I’ll make an exception for their S.E.A. denim, because it’s guaranteed FOR LIFE. These ones are cut from a 13.5-oz. Italian cotton selvedge denim, and between their ultra-roomy fit and worn-in feel, they’re the only pants I wanna toss on. And oh, look at that — these bad boys are on sale, after all.
Japan has replaced America as the world’s most sought-after denim fabricators because they can afford to care about things like quality and craftsmanship, rather than simply cranking out as many sheets of fabric as is robotically possible each day. These ones are in J.Crew’s “straight” fit, which is roomy in the seat and straight through the legs.
J.Crew 770 Straight-Fit Stretch Indigo Raw Selvedge Japanese Denim Jean
Despite being cut from a sturdy and durable American-made fabric, Flint and Tinder’s Selvage Jeans still manage to offer comfort by way of built-in-stretch that helps to support one’s body movements, meaning you can wear them all day long sans any discomfort. We’re partial to this wash for it’s signature antique metal buttons, chain-stitched hem and distressed coloring.
Flint and Tinder All-American Straight Stretch Denim
If you’re a Levi’s guy, you probably already know which “number” you prefer, but if that number is 501 or 511, maybe let loose and try something with a little more breathing room this year? It’s just an idea. A very comfy, flexible idea.
If you’re not a “jeans guy,” Buck Mason’s Cord Ford is the perfect middle ground between a word-appropriate chino and a snappy spandex-infused jean. It’s not even really a jean, as it’s constructed with a 1% elastic — for the give, of course — 14-wale stretch cord. But they’re so comfy that we’ll let it slide.
Fleece-lined and stretch might feel like opposite ends of the denim spectrum, but L.L. Bean’s patented BeanFlex® makes it work. Flannel-lined jeans are perfect for those (quickly approaching) freezing days where both warmth and comfort are a necessity, especially if you can actually walk in them
L.L. Bean Standard Fit BeanFlex Fleece-Lined Jeans
For most all of the jeans on this list, their comfort is derived from a stretch blend or premium fabric, but for Stüssy’s denim option, it comes down to sheer quality. Milled, sewn and washed in Italy by Candiani, these vintage-inspired joints are hand-sanded and washed for an immediate lived-in feel. We haven’t taken them off since we copped.
Every man needs at least one pair of black jeans — no one will notice if you wear them two days in a row, and more importantly, they go with everything. Seriously, everything. You may think your blue jeans do that, but spend a week mixing and matching your wardrobe with a pair of black jeans, and you may never return.
While they’re not on sale right now, chances are they will be in the future, so you’d be wise to keep an eye on Uniqlo’s Ezy Ultra Strech Jeans. But hey — we’re not that mad about the $50 price tag either. Especially when you could run a damn marathon in these things.
A really cool pair of jeans that absolutely nail the ’90s-throwback formula that has been de rigueur for the last few seasons. It’s the details that make them: conspicuous white stitching, medium rise and a larger-than-normal cuff opening (but not so much as to veer into bootcut territory, which can be a stretch if you don’t commit). If you’ve been thinking about trying your hand at the whole normcore thing but aren’t sure where to start, this is a good entry point.
The Straight Fit Strech Jean is an excellent middle-of-the-road option for the guy who just wants a pair of regular, comfortable jeans; not too expensive but crafted with impeccable quality.We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself or for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.