8 Best Selvedge & Raw Denim Jeans That Are Rugged & Tough

This article may contain affiliate links. Therefore we may receive a commission on any goods or services purchased through these links. You can read about our editorial policy here.

While selvedge denim refers to how the jeans were sewn together (also known as the self-edge), in recent years, selvedge has become associated with high-quality and durable jeans that can withstand a ton of abuse.

In this guide, we will review the best selvedge denim jeans for men – such as the Flint & Tinder Stretch Selvage Jeans.  In addition to our expert reviews, we will also go over key features you need to consider when buying selvedge denim jeans along with answering a whole list of questions about this rediscovered jean type.

The Best Selvedge Denim for Men

1. Best Overall: Flint and Tinder Stretch Selvage Jeans

Flint and Tinder products are 100% made in the USA and their Loomstate Selvedge Denim is a headliner in the iconic brand’s stable of clothing. Beautifully crafted with durable 12.6 oz denim fabric and available in five colors – they might be the best pants for men period. Polyester adds just a touch of stretch which keeps you comfortable. The selvedge stitching provides a nice touch and keeps your pants extra durable. At the middle of our price range, the Flint and Tinder Loomstate jeans are a great option if you’re looking to outfit your wardrobe for business or pleasure.

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Heavy, durable denim
  • Available in different washes

Cons

  • Would like to see different cuts
  • Pricey for jeans

What You Need To Know

 If you only buy one pair of jeans, get yourself a pair of Flint and Tinder Loomstate Selvedge Denim Jeans in a dark wash. You’ll be able to wear them anywhere, for almost anything.

2. Best Under $200: Bonobos Selvage Stretch Jeans

Sometimes you just need a little bit of stretch in your selvedge – the Bonobos Selvedge Stretch Jeans deliver. Coming in at the middle of our price range, this great pair of jeans is made from Japanese fabric and constructed in the United States. Available in five colors, the comfort stretch and signature curved waistband provide comfort and will keep this pair looking fresh through many wears and washes. The Bonobos Selvedge Stretch Jeans are also available in four different sizes from slim to athletic, meaning you can get the fit that works best for you.

Pros

  • Variety of cuts
  • Nice array of colors
  • Curved waistband for comfort

Cons

  • The stitching is muted on many pairs
  • May run a bit tight

What You Need To Know

A pair of Bonobos Selvedge Stretch Jeans will get you quite far, from the office to the bar to the BBQ, all in style for a not-so-bad price.

3. Best Under $100: J. Crew Mercantile Straight Selvedge 

We love J. Crew for their great styles and jeans – they make some of the best slim jeans around. These J. Crew Mercantile Straight Selvedge are among some of the nicest. you can find it for under $100. They sit just below the waist, are straight through hip and thigh, and have a narrow leg making these the perfect straight-fit pant. Available in a great dark blue, though no other colors, the J. Crew Mercantile Selvedge have a stellar stitch pattern and the timeless look can easily become a go-to from your closet.

Pros

  • Amazing, clean design
  • Attractive stitching and hardware
  • Great price

Cons

  • Would like to see different washes
  • They do tend to run tight

What You Need To Know

If you’re looking to get the selvedge look without paying an exorbitant price, the J. Crew Mercantile Selvedge is a great set to add to your closet.

4. KATO’ Pen Slim Stretch Selvedge

The KATO Pen Slim 14 oz. 4-Way Selvedge Denim is constructed from Japanese denim but made in America. KATO accentuates the old-school philosophy of a great pair of jeans that should last forever with the Pen Slims. The four-way means that you get 360 degrees of stretch and with five classic pockets, you won’t feel a thing. In five great colors and near the high end of our price range, these jeans will last a lifetime.

Pros

  • Japanese denim renowned for quality
  • 360-degree stretch
  • Five great colors

Cons

  • Could be pricey
  • Limited to smaller sizes

What You Need To Know

If you’re willing to invest in a great pair of selvedge denim, the KATO Pen Slims are the ones you want.

5. Outerknown Local Straight Selvedge

Outerknown’s Local Straight Selvedge is a great entry into any man’s wardrobe and at the lower end of our price range, you won’t bankrupt yourself doing it. Only available in the dark blue color, the Local Straights are made from Fair Trade certified materials and designed by head designer John Moore. A straight but not overly baggy fit keeps you comfortable throughout the day. All-day comfort, combined with a classic, attractive selvedge weave means you’ve got a great pair of pants for not so large an investment.  

Pros

  • Amazingly clean design
  • Organic cotton
  • Straight but not baggy

Cons

  • Limited sizes
  • No other colors or washes

What You Need To Know

A great place to start a selvedge denim wardrobe, the Outerknown Local Straight Selvedge denim jeans are a fantastic pair for a decent price. 

6. Naked & Famous Selvedge Denim

Jeans don’t need to come in a lot of colors, but we think grey is a must-have addition and the Naked & Famous Skinny Guy Selvedge Denim is a great example of colored jeans done right. In the middle of our price range, these pants are made from high-quality Japanese denim and accented with muted lighter rivets. A tapered leg, button closure, and five pockets make these a great pair for any man. You will have to take a bit of extra care with these jeans – cold wash and hang dry only, but if you can get over that, these are a solid purchase.

Pros

  • Nice dark color
  • Available in lots of sizes for a great price
  • Muted rivets 

Cons

  • Additional care required
  • Low rise may not be right for everyone

What You Need To Know

Accentuate your wardrobe with a well-made, slightly colored pair of selvedge jeans for a great price – it’s a win for your and your wallet. 

7. Goodthreads Straight-Fit Men’s Selvedge Jeans

Amazon brands have come a long way since the site began selling books in the late 1990s. Goodthreads are the Amazon entry into the midscale fashion market and they make some great Selvedge jeans. Like all Amazon products, they are far less expensive than some of the other entries on our list. At the very low end of our price range, the quality does tend to suffer slightly but you’ll get the look you’re seeking for less money. If you want a brand name, this isn’t the pair for you but they’re available in lots of sizes and three great washes.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Three colors
  • Great athletic sizing

Cons

  • Slightly lower quality and construction
  • Athletic fit isn’t the best for everyone

What You Need To Know

Goodthreads by Amazon make great clothes and this pair of Selvedge denim is a great entry if not the highest quality. 

8. Hiroshi Kato Slim Straight Raw Selvedge Denim

Japanese Kaihara 4-way Stretch Selvedge Fabric and Made in the USA-branding make the Hiroshi Kato Slim Straight Raw Selvedge Denim worth the price near the top of our price range. Available in a beautiful dark blue wash, with just a little bit of stretch, the Hiroshi Kato Slims are made in-house in Los Angeles. They feel exactly like a raw denim should with the stretch men deserve. Available in a variety of sizes but only the single, raw blue color, these jeans will make a statement wherever you wear them.

Pros

  • Statement brand name
  • True blue raw denim
  • Made in the USA 

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not other color options

What You Need To Know

Make a statement with the Hiroshi Kato Slim Straight Raw Selvedge Denim – yes, you’ll have to stomach the price but if you do, these jeans can take you anywhere. 

4 Tips on Buying Selvedge Denim

1. Fit

Denim makers make jeans in a variety of different fits; here are some of the most popular:

  • Skinny: The skinny fit is going to be the tightest fit throughout with a tapered leg opening. They are also often low to mid-rise and tend to be a bit less formal.
  • Slim: The slim fit is not too tight and not to loose, a perfect compromise between skinny and regular fits. Usually mid-rise, a slim fit is straight at the top and narrow at the thigh.
  • Regular: As plain a cut as they come, the denim is straight from hip to the leg and not tight or loose. They’re also usually mid-rise.
  • Relaxed: This provides a loose fit throughout, from the hip to the leg.
  • Loose: Baggy and roomy, this fit provides extra space throughout the jean for added comfort. 

2. Cut

Aside from fit, the cut of the cuff on the jean is another part to consider when making your selection:

  • Straight cut: This cut has minimal variation from knee to foot.
  • Boot cut: Starting from the calf, the bottom flares out to fit over boots.
  • Tapered: Gets narrower towards the bottom; it’s essentially the opposite of a bootcut. 

3. Materials

The materials used in denim vary.  From the fabric to the hardware, here are the details worth knowing about:

  • Fabric: Selvedge denim is made from a 100% cotton twill. The fabric is often raw or unwashed. Raw denim begins very stiff, but will soften and develop a nice natural-looking fade with time. Some companies add small amount of spandex to the fabric to increase overall comfort.
  • Hardware: Rivets are some of the most distinctive parts of jeans and are generally made from copper. Zippers, snaps, and buttons are often made from steel.  The front fly on denim will be either a button or zip fly. 

4. Country of Origin

The highest quality denim, in general, comes from the United States (particularly from San Francisco and Los Angeles) and Japan.  These countries have a rich history in denim, and their quality is generally revered.