Slim fit jeans are all the rage and all over the place. Yet, what exactly makes a jean “slim fit”? And what should you look for when shopping for your perfect pair? We’ve got you covered with helpful insider tips and style hints, plus our best slim fit jeans picks for men of all shapes and sizes.
Slim fit specifically refers to the seat and thigh area of the jeans. Slim fit has less fabric in the rear panels and the thigh openings are narrower than the regular fit. They’re essentially designed to hug your body more than loose or regular fit denim. Many consider slim and skinny jeans to be one and the same, but that’s not the case, especially in recent years with demand for even extra fitted styles. Skinny fit is made with very narrow legs, and that narrowness is carried through from hem to waist, whereas slim has more room in the legs.
Slim fit jeans are the ideal choice for men of varying shapes and weights, since it offers a more modern, tailored look, while still allowing for comfort through the lower limbs. When it comes to buying slim fit jeans, it’s all about trial and error. Even jeans from the same brand in the same size but a different wash may fit differently. Make sure you know your body type and keep your patience. Remember—Denim heaven was not built in a day, dear readers. Another rule of thumb is to size up and order one size bigger than the size of the straight or regular fit jeans you usually wear. If this results in a bit of extra waist room, simply take them to your local tailor for a pair that will then feel and look like they were made for you.
Once you find those perfect jeans, ensure that they’ll last by properly caring for them. Most are are machine washable, but every denim expert knows that you should first turn them inside out before washing. A cold rinse cycle and a gentle air dry will further help prevent fading and shrinking. In general, read the label and follow the directions or your new favorite jeans could become your newest donation pile addition.
To help you get to that forever find, check out our top ten best slim fit jean options in 2018, in no particular order.
1. Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jean
Levi’s is truly iconic for bringing jeans into the American wardrobe, and their 511’s are an overwhelming hit if you’re looking for an easy pair of slim fit jeans. With almost 5,000 reviews on Amazon alone and a four-star rating, you know that these babies won’t disappoint. The Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jean sits just below the waist and is slim from hip to ankle. While it’s a more fitted look than regular jeans, this option still affords you room to move. If you select a wash that includes stretch (some of the washes do and some don’t) and find that they’re a little snug in the waist once you pull them on, don’t worry. The elastane will loosen it up after the first wear and they’ll shortly fit you like a perfect denim glove.
As previously mentioned, there’s a wide range of washes and even colors to choose from, whether you’re looking for a darker, classic or lighter denim. For a true-blue pair that will work with most anything, we suggest the Black Stone. It’ll go great with a plain white tee and your favorite sneakers, as well as a button down and chukka boots.
- Great variety of washes, many of which come with stretch
- Jeans sit well on hips
- Nice blend of looser and slim fit
- Same sizes in different washes fit differently
2. Lee Modern Series Slim Fit Straight Leg Jean
Lee might not be your first thought when looking for slicker, trendier denim, but their Modern Series Collection is elevating the brand beyond the basic. The line was designed from more than 5,000 men’s body scans to provide a better fit. The durable, ring spun denim also features four-way flex for improved ease of movement. Plus, a little spandex thrown in helps keep everything in place and prevents the knees from sagging (a common jean problem). Another nice touch is the contour waistband that promises not to ride up.
When it comes to wear options, the straighter leg gives you plenty of room if you like to wear your jeans with boots. The wash options, while not extensive, will still cover you from classier to casual events too.
- Available in regular and tall sizes
- Nice, thick denim
- Spandex adds nice give and movement
- Fit varies from wash to wash
3. Lucky Brand 121 Heritage Slim-Fit Jean
Inspired by the free-spirit and laid-back lifestyle of their California roots, Lucky Brand jeans is a line with something for everyone. So, it makes sense that their Slim-Fit Jean in Manteca wash is perfect for any guy that’s still a little hesitant to swim in the slimmer jean pool. This style is more of a forgiving “slim” than others, with a looser fit on the thigh and straight leg.
Hip whisker details add a little character and break up the rich “Manteca” blue, offering a really flattering and sophisticated overall look. Reach for this pair and add a slim button down and lace-up oxfords if you really want to impress a date.
- Very comfortable
- Looser around the thigh
- Durable and long-lasting
- Not as slim as others
4. Wrangler George Strait Cowboy-Cut Slim-Fit Jean
George Strait is the King of Country, renowned for his traditional country style and cowboy look. Wrangler Cowboy Cut jeans were first designed by Rodeo Ben, legendary tailor to professional cowboys all the way back in 1947. These two denim legends are now solidified in the Wrangler George Strait Cowboy-Cut Slim-Fit Jean. The “cowboy-cut” specifically refers to jeans that feature longer-lasting denim, a more comfortable waist, a functional watch pocket, regular seat and thigh, and smooth seams. They also incorporate a leg opening that is large enough to fit over most boots, but that still does not flare out toward the ankle.
This pair of jeans is a more traditional slim-fit and is great for older men who may fear looking too juvenile in another brand. The great fit and quality material is a keeper and the seven-point waist also supports a belt better than other options that only include five.
- Hefty, durable denim
- 100% cotton
- Seven belt loops instead of five
- Only available in two washes
- Higher waist isn’t flattering or comfortable for larger men
5. Calvin Klein Slim Fit Jean
Calvin Klein Jeans is yet another iconic, go-to denim brand. Their Slim Fit Jean is a stellar pick, sitting below the waist, slim through the hip and thigh, and is narrower at the ankle. In a unique twist, these also feature a full-on button closure as opposed to the usual zip-fly with one button.
A slicker, more fashion-forward choice too, these Calvins even come in Coated Black or White Wash color options. While excellent picks for the adventurous, if you’re searching for something more subdued, the Venice Beach and even Smoke Gray are versatile, classic washes.
- Two percent spandex offers comfort and movability
- Great variety of washes
- Soft denim material
- Narrow in the calves
6. Volcom Vorta Slim Fit Stretch Denim Jean
Volcom, a company more known for skate, swimwear and snowboarding clothing, also kicks out an excellent pair of slim-fit jeans. Their Vorta is their standard slim-fit and is designed with elastane for extra mobility no matter if you’re taking these for a spin on your longboard or simply into the boardroom. This style offers a slim torso, relaxed rise and straight leg.
While the Vorta may not work for fancier affairs, they can still go from laid-back loose to that business casual day quite nicely as previously noted. Think hoodie and Converse for the former, and leather sneakers and a crewneck sweater for the 9-5. One final note with this pair is to make sure you follow the washing instructions or they could really shrink.
- One percent elastane offers added comfort and movement
- Great variety of washes
- Tight around calves
- Fit varies from wash to wash in the same size
7. Docker’s Jean Cut Slim Fit Pants
If you like Dockers Slim Fit khakis, you’ll dig their denim version too. Featuring a stretch material, slim line through the seat and thigh, and a straight leg opening, this pair will also be an everyday favorite you can count on. Plus, the thicker threads in higher stress areas up the durability as well.
These Dockers work well for a variety of occasions and looks. In the summer, a logo tee topped with an open button down shirt and clean slide sandals offers a cool, yet contemporary vibe. For autumn, keep the tee and swap out the button down for cardigan, and the sandals for suede boots (bonus points for adding colorful patterned socks too).
- One percent elastane for added comfort
- Hefty, quality denim
- Versatile, classic blue wash
- Fit runs small
8. Alta Premium Slim Fit Jeans
Even though the label may not be so familiar, the Alta Premium Slim Fit Jeans are worth your try-on time and money too, ringing in under twenty bucks. This option features a low rise waist and slim cut through hip, thigh and leg. The material is also a polyester blend that is a bit lighter and breathable for hotter summer days too.
While these may look a bit skinny hipster, if you size up you’ll still find a versatile slim fit that can even work for dressier events. The colored denim options work great for this specifically and promise you’ll be the most sharply dressed guy in the room.
- Good variety of washes and colors
- Keep their shape after multiple wears
- Can only choose size by waist, not length too
- Runs small, so size up
9. Tommy Hilfiger Denim Slim Scanton Jean
Here’s another excellent choice for taller men, when finding the right inseam can seem like a never-ending challenge. The Tommy Hilfiger Denim Slim Scanton Jean provides a mid rise, is gently fitted from waist to thigh, and slim through the leg. The narrow leg gives a sleeker, tailored fit and the fabric itself is a really nice, thick weight.
While the Scanton is a trendier, slimmer choice, the classic blue, gray and black washes keep it looking classic. That’s an aspect that helps ensure that men of all ages will still feel confident wearing this stylish selection.
- Wider calf opening
- Good for taller/lankier guys
- Runs small, so size up
10. Demon&Hunter 817 Series Stretch Slim Fit Jeans
Demon&Hunter is a brand that aims to make it possible for everyone to wear unique and refined clothing. Their 817 Stretch Series Slim Fit Jeans hit the mark, offering a really nice looking pair of denim at a stock-’em-up price point. This pair offers two appealing features: a mid rise and a straight leg. Many men find a mid rise to be the most comfortable and the straighter leg keeps these versatile when it comes to footwear too.
While the wash options aren’t necessarily endless, the handsome variants of blues will work with pretty much everything you already have in your wardrobe. This is a great-looking, on-trend pair of jeans that will surely win you countless compliments.
- Very comfortable
- Quality look and feel
- Runs small, so size up