The Best Men's Jeans Brands On Earth (According To Esquire Editors)
You want the best. And heck, you deserve the best. But there's a lot of choices out there, and sometimes the best is hard to find. Fortunately, we know where to find it. Every week, the Esquire editors reveal their favorite brands, from under-the-radar steals to luxury loves, so you can invest in the best clothes, watches, and accessories that money can buy. This week, the built-to-last jeans from the best denim-makers around.
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers
Charlie Teasdale, Style Director
E8 Slim Tapered Japanese Selvedge Jeans at blackhorselane.com
"As part of a story I wrote for Esquire last year, I spent a few hours at the Blackhorse Lane Atelier in Northeast London. I got to see what actually goes into a great pair of jeans, both in terms of physical construction and the sourcing of fabric, and it really blew me away.
"All fabrics are assessed for their carbon footprint/quality ratio and marketed accordingly. Japanese selvage, for example, is amazing denim, but the raw materials have to be flown all over the world to bring it to life. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers make one thing really, really well, and that’s especially admirable and important when it comes to a product that’s so commonplace."
Dan Choppen, Fashion Assistant
Black Washed Denim Jeans by Acne Studios at mrporter.com
"Acne Studios was originally founded in 1996 as a collective of creatives interested in graphic design, film, production, and advertising (initially its acronym stood for 'Associated Computer Nerd Enterprises' which, thankfully, was later changed to 'Ambition to Create Novel Expressions'). Acne Studios’ co-founder, Jonny Johansson, went on to create 100 pairs of raw denim jeans with red stitching, handed them out to all his (cool) friends, and one of the world's most consistently excellent fashion brands was born.
"The Stockholm-based brand like to push fashion forward, and with it, conventional dress codes. Their denim range is admittedly safer, but still manages to excite with high-quality jeans in just-off-center cuts. My personal faves are their 1996 classic fit, in a washed black denim."
Finlay Renwick, Deputy Style Editor
Blue Denim Jeans by Ami at mrporter.com
"Alexandre Mattuissi has built a 4th arrondissement empire out of designing clothes that are fun, accessible, and in that luxury-but-not-bankrupting sweet spot that my wallet can't resist. Along with making the ideal pair of houndstooth trousers, the perfect slouchy roll neck, and the apotheosis of the chunky-soled derby, Ami also offers blue jeans that are just right.
"They're structured at the waist, roomy on the thigh with a nice taper down to the ankle and in a shade of straightforward solid blue, or black or even ecru if you’re feeling like a fancy Marseille man. Whatever the shade, the best jeans are simple jeans. And Ami makes the simplest, ergo best, jeans on earth."
Tom Banham, Digital Editor
Light Blue 105 Denim Jeans by orSlow at mrporter.com
"Japan's love of jeans is well-documented, but it bears repeating that without the efforts of the denim-obsessives who set out to recreate vintage Levi's when the OG switched to mass-production in the Seventies, the idea of 'luxury jeans' would not exist. Though orSlow was only founded in 2005, its name is a reminder to always strive for care, craft, and quality by posing its customers a question: do you want fast fashion, or slow clothing?
"Japanese denim can get a bit ornery, becoming so obsessed with authenticity that it forgets jeans are made for wearing, not hanging on your wall. Not so orSlow, which offers all kinds of washes and weights and so satisfies the raw-thighed selvage purist and the soft-skinned neophyte. Ultimately, this is beautifully made, flattering denim that looks better the more you wear it. Translation: the perfect jeans."
Murray Clark, Digital Style Editor
501 ’93 Straight Jeans at levi.com
"It would be a twisted world indeed if Levi's were omitted from a conversation about the best jeans. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest wearer of denim (workwear slacks for me, please and thank you). But, when I do indulge, I want the most classic, most coveted, most tried-and-tested jeans on the planet. That's Levi's. But, of course, you already knew that because you've probably already got a pair.
"Founded in 1853 by German immigrant Levi Strauss, the San Fran outfit is responsible for the modern jeans we know today. After all, it was the good Mr. Strauss that came up with a patented copper riveted system to reinforce usual points of strain, thus creating a new sort of trouser that struck gold first with the miners of the Californian Rush, then with pop culture at large. Like everyone else, I like the 501s: one of Levi's oldest fits, and put to bold use in a light shade of iris (NOT pink)."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.