There is no denying the change in jean styles over the years.
While your old crusty pair of JNCOs may have been a hit in the early 2000s, stylish men of today are now finding themselves wearing much more contemporary skinny jeans.
Skinny jeans not only provide a bit higher level of sophistication and style when compared to your standard regular or bootcut jeans, but they can also really make you look a whole lot better.
Quality skinny jeans should not only wear comfortably on your body but should be crafted from fine denim and withstand quite a bit of abuse.
Below are a few skinny jeans that showcase these qualities through their top-tier craftsmanship:
Best Skinny Jeans for Men Reviewed
1. Best Overall: Mott & Bow Crosby Skinny Jeans
Materials: 98% Cotton / 2% Spandex | Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 2
Making elevated basics at grounded prices, Mott & Bow is quickly finding their way into many men’s wardrobes around the country…
…and it is easy to see why.
Take for instance their Crosby skinny fit jeans. Available in medium/dark blue (slight wash) or simply dark blue (no wash) colors – they are a timeless pair of jeans that can work for just about any occasion without ever looking out of place.
Relying on a cotton (98%) and elastane (2%) blend, they will also feel comfortable when worn for several hours.
The rise on these pants is a conservative mid-rise – making them perfect for most men’s bodies.
For men who don’t really like button fly’s, you will be happy to learn that this pair of jeans is just a classic zip fly.
But what really makes these jeans unique from any others is their manufacturing process which includes resin application, oven curation, scraping, pinning, tying, and a few more steps.
While we could talk at great lengths on why these processes are important, we think that this guide by Mott & Bow covers it a bit better.
If there were any downsides to these jeans it would be around the limited inseam lengths. Like some of the other designer brands reviewed, these jeans will likely need to be brought to your local tailor for further alteration.
Alterations aside, one feature about Mott & Bow that we found to be quite unique was their Home Try-On Program. When you order a pair of Mott & Bow jeans, you can select a second waist size for free if you are unsure what size might fit you best (great if you are between sizes). Once decided, you can simply keep the pair of jeans you want and send the ill-fitting pair back to them for free (via UPS).
It’s a unique approach to online fitting that may help ease the barrier of entry for some men.
Of course, Mott & Bow does have a normal 30-day return policy if you simply don’t like the way the jeans look or fit – but we don’t think this will be the case.
- Nice color and wash for the jeans
- Balanced composition of cotton and elastane
- Really awesome friend-referral program
- Shipping costs (only on orders less than $150)
What You Need To Know
2. Affordable: Levi’s 510
Materials: 99% Cotton / 1% Elastane | Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 13
The trademark denim known ‘round the world since 1853, San Francisco-based Levi’s is the brand many men turn to when getting a fresh pair of denim.
For those who want that classic Levi’s denim look and feel but want a more contemporary skinny jean, the 510 line will be your best bet.
With 13 different colors available, Levi’s 510s are one of the best picks on our list when it comes to personal preference.
Available in a multitude of sizes ranging anywhere between a 26″ to 38″ waist, most men should have no problem squeezing into these jeans.
Based on the feedback from other men, they were pretty happy that the colors were retained after several washes while also fitting rather well.
If there were any sort of details that men found to be a bit lacking with these jeans, it would be about how the lower part of the pants look around your calves (some mentioned that it seemed a bit too loose), while also being quite the dust magnet (especially for darker colors).
But as is always the case when it comes to jeans, no two bodies are identical, so what might not work for one person could be a perfect fit for you.
- Timeless style from a timeless brand
- Retains original color after several washes
- Little bit of elastane provides stretch
- Reasonably priced
- Lint/dust shows on darker colors
- Calves area might be a bit too loose for some
What You Need To Know
3. Best Dark Wash: Everlane Skinny Fit Jeans
Materials: 98% Cotton / 2% Elastane | Fly Closure: Fly| Pockets: 5| Color Variants: 2
One company that is quickly making waves in the world of men’s fashion is Everlane. Founded in 2010, they have started making their way into more staple categories, including outerwear, backpacks, and yes…denim.
While we recently fell in love with their flagship t-shirt in our recent review of Everlane, we wanted to bring to your attention their skinny jeans for men.
Made from the same composition as the Levi 510s – 98% cotton and 2% elastane, the Everlane skinny fit jeans are a perfect daily and formal pair of pants that wear incredibly well.
As evident in their overly positive ratings (4.7 out of 5.0) with 177 reviews at the time of publication, clearly we weren’t the only ones that thought these jeans delivered strongly on all fronts.
With only two different color variants (which may be a bit limited to some men looking for more distressed or unique looks), Everlane does provide ample size selection.
Whether you are a bit more modest of a man or one that is built rather large, you should have no problem finding a pair of jeans in their several size options.
Naturally, given that these are made by Everlane, they provide insane transparency in their production process and even provide you with a sneak peek at the factory that makes these jeans over in Vietnam (check it out here if you are into that sort of thing).
- Wide size selection
- Great quality and craftsmanship
- Timeless design
- Slightly higher price than others on our list
- Color selection may be a bit limited for some
What You Need To Know
4. Most Durable: Madewell Skinny Fit Jeans
Materials: 98% Cotton / 2% Elastane| Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 1
Madewell is a brand that has quickly risen over the past few years and has been the “go-to” choice for affluent men across the U.S.
But what many may not know is that they are a brand that is fully owned by J. Crew (source):
So if you find that you’re old, the J. Crew 484s are feeling a bit tired and you want to upgrade to a pair of the Madewell’s, then you are in luck.
Now what really makes these skinny jeans a bit different from many others on our list is going to be the composition. With a blend of 98% cotton and 2% elastane, you can expect high breathability thanks to the heavy reliance on cotton and a terrific range of movement and flexibility.
Therefore, if you want a pair of jeans that aggressively conform to your natural contours yet don’t showcase that spray-on look like the Gingtto’s – then this is a great alternative.
Naturally, given that this is a premium brand by J. Crew, the Madewell Skinny Jeans do command quite a premium.
With a typical retail price north of $100, these skinny jeans are perfect for men who care both about quality and designer brands.
Of course, given that these are from J. Crew, the level of quality in the denim itself is top-notch.
- Versatile for both casual and formal settings
- Terrific blend of fabrics for increased movement
- Premium designer brand of jeans
- Limited size selection
- Fairly expensive
What You Need To Know
Materials: 98% Cotton / 2% Elastic| Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 8
For men who want a bit more “budget-friendly skinny jeans” that won’t completely break the bank, then the ZLZ skinny denim jeans make perfect sense.
Made from 98% and 2% elastic, these skinny jeans not only will go on incredibly well but will also give you a fair bit of movement without at all feeling restricted.
While these jeans are considered to be more of a budget-friendly option, they were put together rather well with both a highly involved inspection process along with a triple stitch on the inseam to ensure there are never any embarrassing tears or rips in the fabric.
Quality construction aside, what men loved most about these skinny jeans was their feel.
With very soft cotton, these jeans won’t feel at all itchy, even if you are doing quite a bit of walking throughout the course of the day.
Based on the feedback from other men, we found that these jeans ran a bit longer (however, the waist size seemed to fit expectations).
Therefore, you will likely want to go about an inch shorter than you normally would when purchasing these jeans.
- Incredibly affordable
- Great range of movement thanks to elastic composition
- 8 colors make them perfect for multiple scenarios
- Only available online
- Length may be a bit too long
What You Need To Know
Materials: 97% Cotton / 3% Spandex | Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 22
Competing head-to-head with the ZLZ Skinny Denims, this offering by Urban K is another terrific–yet affordable–pick that is definitely worth considering.
Containing just a little bit more elastic than most on our list (3% total), these jeans, while skinny in cut, will have no problem moving with your knees, especially if you plan on walking in them throughout the city for the day.
As intensely comfortable as they may be, what we (and many other men) really loved about them was their discrete branding.
With a simple black patch on the back right side, there are no marks that scream what brand these skinny jeans really are – which is perfect for the men out there that don’t want to feel like a walking billboard by proudly showcasing what brand you are wearing.
As great as their cost and muted style may be, perhaps the biggest selling point to the Urban K line of skinny jeans will be their color selection.
With 22 different colors to choose from (yes, you read that right), you can get the perfect pair of pants that match your distinct style.
If there was any downside to this brand, it would simply be size selection.
Based on our findings, the lengths that these skinny jeans came in were highly restricted. So, if you skew a bit smaller or taller, you might have some trouble finding the right pair of pants from Urban K for you.
- Massive color selection
- Great pick for those on a tight budget
- Discrete branding
- Smaller men may find them to be a bit too roomy
- Limited length selection
What You Need To Know
Materials: Varies| Fly Closure: Zip| Color Variants: 13
For the confident man who is in prime physique and wants a pair of skinny jeans that mold perfectly to your body – then the Gingtto’s are for you.
Made two different ways (depending on the color you go with), you can find these jeans in either one of the following compositions:
- 98% cotton / 2% Elastane (blue)
- 65% Cotton / 33% Polyester / 2% Elastane (black)
For those who prefer the ‘spray-on’ appearance, go with the black varieties. However, those who prefer more of a natural denim look, opt for blue.
Composition aside, the colors and sizes that are available in these skinny jeans can either be a huge hit or miss depending on both your size and style preferences.
With 13 different colors available, most men should be satisfied with this selection – especially given the subtle distressed or repaired look that is currently on-trend.
When it comes to size, things tend to get a bit more limited.
Available in five different sizes:
You will need to either cuff these pants or have them tailored to length when they arrive in the mail…
This brings us to our next point: cost.
Given that these jeans will likely require an alteration (typically costs less than $15), you will want to build this into the price.
If you are an average-sized guy looking to go with a size 32, you can expect to pay about $28-$35 for a pair of Gintto’s (price varies on style), making them fairly affordable.
- Perfect skinny jeans for the spray-on look
- 13 different colors/designs to choose from
- High concentration of polyester and elastane for movement
- Will likely require an alteration of length
- Only good for men with well-sculpted bodies
What You Need To Know
Materials: 98% Cotton / 2% Elastane | Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 8
While New York and Amazon have an ‘it’s complicated’ relationship status, there is no denying the amount of effort and importance that Amazon is placing on fashion as of late in the big apple.
With their recent introduction of Prime Wardrobe (a service where you can try out various clothes) to their recent research study in conducting 3D scans of your body (all for a gift card worth up to $250) for New Yorkers to participate, all signs point to fashion is an important area of opportunity for them.
It’s through this intense research and unique offering that we thought it best to include Amazon’s own Goodthreads brand to the list.
By having many of the same trademark qualities found in the higher-end brands – quality fabrics, true to size, affordable price, etc. – you can see why fashion-forward men are taking notice.
But unlike the Levi 510s, what Amazon has put together in their Goodthreads line is a quality skinny jean that costs only a fraction of the price.
To further sweeten the deal, the size selection is one of the widest available that we came across in our research – with waists sizes available anywhere between 28″ to 42″ and lengths between 28″ to 36″.
This makes it easier to find the perfect fitting pair of jeans for you without having to awkwardly cuff or keep the belt extra tight to offset any loose fabric.
The biggest drawback that we saw around our research was some quality control issues of the cut of denim itself. So, if you do decide to go with this pair of jeans, be sure to try them on and look at yourself in the mirror before wearing them out. Naturally, given that this is an Amazon brand, should anything be amiss, the return procedure will be incredibly easy.
- Affordable, yet quality fabrics
- Great alternative to the higher-end brands
- Wide size selection (both for waist and inseam)
- Some quality control issues reported
What You Need To Know
Materials: 99% Cotton / 1% Elastane | Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 8
Known primarily for their top-rated undershirts and breathable boxer briefs, these skinny fit jeans by Calvin Klein are a great step up from the more private label or generic brands featured on our list.
Crafted by a combination of both cotton and spandex, these zipper-close pants have elegant lines that bring a bit more sophistication to this type of jean.
Should you be looking for a pair of skinny jeans for either a more formal office setting or a dinner date with your significant other, these jeans will be perfect for such an occasion.
Naturally, given that this is from a higher-end designer, there will be a fair bit of a premium associated with these jeans.
You can generally expect to pay roughly $80 for a pair.
When looking at the size options out there, you have quite a bit of selection in terms of both waist and length.
Based on our findings, we saw that Calvin Klein offered up their skinny jeans with a waist size ranging between 28″ to 42″ and the length going between 30″ to 34″.
Should you have a rather small build, the limited length may require a trip to your local tailor for a simple alteration.
When it comes to the rise of the jeans, these aren’t too terribly aggressive and will sit just below the waist – ensuring there are no embarrassing fashion mishaps while wearing.
- Great size selection on the waist
- Rise of the jean isn’t too conservative nor aggressive
- Modern take on the skinny jean that is great for formal settings
- Paying a slight premium for the designer name
- Length options may be limiting to some
What You Need To Know
Materials: 98% Cotton / 2% Elastane| Fly Closure: Zip| Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 5
Another offering from Amazon that made our list was their Essentials Skinny Fit Jeans.
Like the Goodthreads jeans that were also reviewed in this article, this pair of skinny fit jeans by Amazon is an even more affordable offering that will both look and feel great.
Available in five different variations which include the following:
- Dark Wash
- Light Wash
- Medium Wash
You should have an acceptable variety of colors that serve most purposes. Of course, given that this is more of a cost-conscious pair of jeans compared to their Goodthreads brand – which markets itself as a more premium offering–you will find contemporary colors such as grey and natural white are missing.
Crafted from the same fabrics as Goodthreads (and also many other jeans featured on our list) – 98% cotton and 2% elastane — they feature a stretchable fabric that will only get better with time.
Speaking of durability, many men found that these jeans tended to get better with age and retained their natural dyes rather well.
While there is some expected break-in period with any pair of jeans, you should find that these will look on-point rather quickly.
- One of the cheapest skinny jeans you can buy
- Wide-size selection
- Great fabric composition
- Not a designer brand
- Limited wash variations
What You Need To Know
Materials: 90% Cotton / 8% Polyester / 2% Elastane | Fly Closure: Button | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 8
Are you a tall and lanky guy? If so, these jeans were made for you. Now if this isn’t you, don’t worry, there is still some good stuff here with these skinny jeans from Tommy Hilfiger.
Available in one of the largest size selections on the market – waist ranging from 28″ to 38″ and a length between 30″ and 36″ – these jeans are great for medium-to-taller men (without having to resort to a specialty big and tall shop).
As great as the size selection is, equally impressive are the jeans themselves.
Made with 90% cotton, 8% polyester, and 2% elastane, it’s one of the highest concentrations of synthetic fabrics on our list.
While some may think that this leads to poor ventilation and generally itchy and sweaty jeans, the 90% cotton still lends well to some great breathability properties while the synthetic fibers provide a greater level of mobility.
Beyond the size and fabric choices, the Tommy Hilfiger Skinny Jeans are fairly contemporary while still being perfect for more formal settings.
So, whether you are looking for casual pants or a pair for the office, you can wear these both ways.
When it comes to the fit, these are true to size and offer a mid-rise waist.
Lastly the price.
When compared to other brands on our list, particularly Calvin Klein, Topman, and Madewell, the Tommy Hilfiger Skinny Jeans aren’t too expensive.
You can expect to pay just north of $50 for a pair of these jeans – which we personally think isn’t too bad at all.
- Great for tall men
- Perfect for formal and casual settings
- Fairly priced
- Might be a bit too skinny for some
What You Need To Know
Materials: 75% Cotton / 24% Polyester / 1% Elastane | Fly Closure: Zip | Pockets: 5 | Color Variants: 13
A truly unique offering from many on our list is from the other California-based denim company – Lucky Brand Jeans.
Established in 1990, Lucky Brand Jeans quickly became a fixture in many men’s wardrobes by just delivering one thing and doing it really well – denim.
Carrying their legacy forward is their 110 Modern Skinny Jeans.
Compromised of 75% cotton, 24% polyester, and 1% elastane – it’s one of the least natural pants to make our list.
Naturally, men may scoff at the high concentration of polyester and elastane, but there is a lot going on for these two fabrics which get a bit too much hate – especially polyester.
Invented in 1941 but becoming popular in the 1970s, this fabric (derived from man-made polymer) was originally marketed as the “miracle fiber that can be worn for 68 days straight without ironing and still look presentable” (source).
While wearing a pair of jeans for 68 days isn’t advised, the polyester of today has evolved immensely and can retain the structure of the pants to make them look great for years.
This makes their pair of skinny jeans a great choice for men who don’t change over their wardrobe with the season.
Fabrics aside, another reason we wanted to share these jeans with you was due to their cut and washes.
Not nearly as aggressive as some mentioned, the 14″ leg opening is a fair bit wider than most. This makes them great intermediary jeans for those men coming from a looser or regular fit denim background.
Secondly, 110s are available in 13 different washes (you may have to go through different retailer sites or direct to find all 13 varieties). They are great for most occasions, including both casual and formal settings.
The last point we want to touch on is their price.
Lucky Brand Jeans are commonly known to be a premium brand; however, depending on the time of year that you plan on purchasing these jeans, the price can vastly differ.
Based on our research, we found that they typically retail anywhere between $50 and $130, depending on both size and wash.
Naturally, the more popular washes and sizes will cost a fair bit more.
- Low maintenance skinny jeans
- Great variety of washes available
- Trusted and proven brand of denim
- Price variations can be frustrating
What You Need To Know
5 Tips to Finding the Perfect Skinny Jeans
As with all facets of the world of fashion, the brand of jeans can have a huge impact on the price that you pay.
Now you might be asking yourself, “Is it really worth paying the premium for the brand?”
To be quite honest, the answer is mixed.
We found that some premium brands wear incredibly well with time.
Sure, their pants may cost a fair chunk of change, but even after a year, they will still look and feel incredibly great.
But not every man wearing jeans chases brands, so go with what you are comfortable with here.
When it comes to selecting the perfect pair of skinny jeans for you, quality is important.
We are all probably familiar with the experience of owning a crummy pair of jeans.
They go on nice at the store, but after the initial wash, they feel incredibly stiff, they lose quite a bit of color and quickly become faded and they just generally start to have structural problems (fraying on the cuffs, belt loops breaking, pockets getting holes, etc.).
While fit is uniquely personal to your body, when it comes to quality, your jeans shouldn’t fall apart or lose their color quickly.
Therefore, we took quite a bit of time during our research to read reviews from other men and learned what they had to say.
While reviews shouldn’t be the only determining factor, it still is the best way (at least we think) for looking at various aspects of a particular jeans’ quality.
Naturally, the more you do pay for a pair of jeans, the more strict we were on this rating.
From the onset, skinny jeans seem like a fairly straightforward purchase.
It’s just a pair of jeans that has been cut in a slightly more aggressive and tapered style, right?
As we went deeper into our research, we found that skinny jeans came in two primary categories:
- Standard denim cut
- Spray-on skinny jeans
The standard denim cut is indeed the typical skinny jean that has been cut to be a bit more tapered and will contain very little in synthetic fibers (typically 2% or less of elastane) and will be a bit more rigid.
Opposite of the standard denim cut will be the spray-on skinny jeans.
Perfect for those men who have really toned quads and calves, these contain a bit higher percentage of elastane and will effectively “stick” to your leg.
While this type of skinny jean may sound rather uncomfortable, it really isn’t.
More akin to leggings, this jean moves with your leg and promotes a greater range of motion. However, we would caution you before buying these type of jeans unless, of course, you are much more confident in your body physique.
Building off the last point, skinny jeans can be worn for many different occasions.
Whether you are hitting the bars or clubs on a Friday night with your buddies, or you’re looking for a pair of skinny jeans simply for casual or office wear, they are very much like chinos and are rather versatile.
Generally speaking, the tighter the skinny jeans the less you will want to wear it to formal or work-related occasions (they just aren’t nearly as professional).
If unsure, we would recommend just going with a pair of Levi’s 510s in black or dark blue color as these are both a fairly conservative pick and shouldn’t draw too much attraction.
We would venture to say that 99.99% of men reading this article right now are fairly certain on what their measurement sizes are when it comes to denim…
…but we would also feel fairly confident in saying that those reading this haven’t likely measured themselves within the past six months…
…and that’s completely okay!
However, when it comes to purchasing skinny jeans, given that they are a bit less forgiving when compared to the other cuts of jeans, we strongly recommend that you break out the fabric tape measure and do a quick measure.
A well-fitted pair of skinny jeans should not only feel comfortable around the waist without having much slack, but also it shouldn’t bunch up at the bottom of your legs (this is always a great way to quickly see if a man knows how to measure himself).
To give you a bit clearer guidance, we wanted to include this helpful diagram from Levi’s that demonstrates where you need to take the measurements:
Check out the size guide here.
By using this guide, you can get the perfect waist and inseam measurements for your new pair of jeans. Of course, each brand does typically offer its own measurement diagram as well for further help.
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.