The Only Jeans a Guy Needs


"What guy goes commando?" my husband said when he read my last article, What to Wear Under Tight or White Denim. "That was way too girly." So I asked him what I should write about next that would apply to guys. He said guys just want to know what ONE pair of jeans to buy. One?! That's a tall order, but I can get it down to two if I have to – and maybe just one pair if the buyer doesn't wear jeans everyday…

I'm not a guy but I know a few of them pretty well, and they tell me they like to keep their clothes to a minimum. They want the clothes they purchase to be good quality, comfortable, and not too expensive. So how many pairs of jeans does a man need? Well, that all depends… If you're a guy who wears something other than jeans to work everyday, you might be able to get by with just one pair of jeans. If you wear jeans everyday, you've got to have at least two pairs. Here are my top picks:

The first pair of jeans that every guy needs to have is a classic medium blue wash bootcut or relaxed leg jean. These are casual and can be worn on the weekends, to see friends, to the movies, the game, etc. If you wear something besides jeans to work every day (e.g. scrubs, Carharts, slacks, khakis, a suit) and you're either doing casual stuff when you're not working, or you will wear slacks when you're going out for a nice dinner anyway, you can get by with this one pair of jeans.

If, however, you are someone who wears jeans to most places and you still want to wear jeans when you're dressed up (side note: no jeans to weddings or funerals!), I highly recommend a dark wash bootcut or straight leg jean that will take you almost anywhere you want to go. A dark wash jean is easily dressed up with a button-down shirt and a sports coat or blazer, and will have you looking sharp at a meeting, nice restaurant, theater production, church, etc.    

If you're going to have just one or two pairs of jeans, guys, don't go for anything trendy like destroyed (rips, tears, holes), moto, skinny, patched, or colored. You don't want a memorable jean because you don't want to look like you're wearing the same pair all the time (even if you are). You need to wash them when they get dirty (duh) and you need to fold them or hang them to keep them wrinkle free.

Low-cost options: The Old Navy Built-In Flex Boot-Cut Jeans in dark wash are under $40 and regularly go on sale for under $30. For a medium wash jean, Levi's 527 Slim Bootcut Fit Jean is on sale for $34.99, regularly $59.50.

Mid-range options: The dark wash Gap Original 1969 Boot Fit Jeans cost just under $60, while the Men's Express Boot Leg Slim Fit Jeans are just under $70. For a medium blue wash jean, Banana Republic's Bootcut Medium Wash Jean is a nice option that often goes on sale. It's $89.50 full price, but on sale for $62.50 right now.


Designer options: With men's designer jeans, you usually don't have a bunch of inseam length options, so it's trickier to find your fit. These medium blue 7 For All Mankind Brett Stretch Boot Cut Jeans have a 34" inseam and cost about $170. The dark wash 7 For All Mankind Brett Boot Cut Luxe Performance Jeans are $198 and have a 33.75" inseam length. When you shop for men's designer jeans at, it's easy to find the exact length and waist that you need. There's no searching through every detail page to find out what the inseam length is!   

Shop now at to find your next great pair of men's jeans!

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