An enduring piece of menswear history, jeans are probably the oldest piece of clothing design you have in your wardrobe.
Originating in the American west at the turn of the 20th century, and first designed for gold miners, labourers and all-round tough guys, jeans have gone on to become a wardrobe staple and one of the few pieces of clothing you can wear year round.
If you're on the hunt for a new pair, below you'll find the best jeans brands out there.
Why you need a pair of jeans
Denim has as much to do with the allure of jeans as the design of them does. An extremely tough, durable fabric, denim is hard-wearing and made to last. There’s a reason it was favoured by cowboys, Clint Eastwood and The Terminator - denim is as tough as those who wore it, and is a staple of the workwear wardrobe as a result.
Denim comes in many forms, from raw indigo which has been in its natural, unwashed state, to washed and treated denim, which is usually more faded and softer as a result. The design of jeans is fairly uniform though.
While the fits can alter dramatically, jeans typically come with five riveted pockets, straight hems and either a buttoned or zipped fly. Jeans are the everyman of clothing, and should be at the top of your to-buy list if you don’t own a pair.
5 of the best jeans brands
Asket constantly strives for the ‘less is more’ approach, meaning its product offering is impressively streamlined. It aims to produce a collection that both lasts and stays stylish for decades, and its jeans are a case in point. Made from a 13oz Japanese denim that either comes raw or in a range of different washes, you can wear them with literally anything and still be the best-dressed man in the room.
Native North’s workwear-inspired clothing sets the bar rather high, making it difficult for similar brands to reach its level. Its attention to detail is impressive and this is definitely the case when it comes to its jeans. Coming in classic regular fits and with tapered hems, its five pocket designs come with old school button fly closures, and are made from genuine selvedge denim.
Parisian-based AMI is among the most lauded modern menswear names today and it's quickly become one of the best jeans brands too. It’s known for its progressive cuts and innovative fabric use, but it’s the brand’s denim line that remains a mainstay in its ever-growing collection. Made from high quality denims that come in a range of washes, they tend to fit on the slimmer side, making them perfect if you’re after a trim, tapered style of jean.
Also based in Paris is A.P.C., a brand known for its expert use of denim. The brand’s jeans are purposely designed as blank canvasses, with no extraneous detailing or any branding at all. You can normally tell an A.P.C. raw jean when you see it though. Its denim - a secret blend of fibres - gives off a distinctive blue hue, as do the minimally-stitched hems when turned up.
One of the Scandinavian OGs, Acne Studios was doing minimal, pared-back clothing before most of today’s brands had been established. It’s since moved towards more forward-thinking cuts, but its denim offering has remained a constant since its founding in 1996. Black, raw and washed denim is all available in a range of cuts - if you want something wider in the leg, Acne Studios could be the one.
For more workwear staples, check out our guide to the best overshirts.
Shop all jeans on OPUMO.