Your recommendations for cheap, slim/straight men's jeans.
April 12, 2013 10:13 AM   Subscribe

It was fun while it lasted, but I think my days of breaking in pairs of $150+ Japanese denim are behind me. Help me find a readily available replacement at or below $50 a pair.

I like a generally slim, not skinny, fit. APC New Standards did me well for a while, and I've been through a couple pairs of these LL Bean Signature jeans, and they're OK, but no matter how carefully/sparingly I've washed them the've shrunk, and the rise is a bit low for doing anything other than sitting at a desk.. I've really been enjoying the fit of Dockers Alpha Khakis lately, too,

I know I'm not going to get raw denim at this price, but I really want to avoid as much fake distressing as possible.
posted by ndg to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe this is too obvious, but have you tried Levi's? They're my go-to jeans company for something basic and unadorned, and they have a host of different fit options.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:18 AM on April 12, 2013

Uniqlo has great stuff.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:24 AM on April 12, 2013

2nding Uniqlo, although as a larger dude I have found the rise on some of their jeans to be a bit low.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:26 AM on April 12, 2013

You may laugh, but I think Old Navy has really stepped their denim game up in the past couple of years. My dude wears his jeans into the ground, and their Slim Fit holds up for a really long time with no particular special care. The darker colors look like they cost more than they do.
posted by superfluousm at 10:29 AM on April 12, 2013

It's not slim-fit, but it's made in Texas, it's raw denim, and it's $40:

More sizes available here:

I've never worn these or seen them in person, but I've been curious about them. Get them and report back!
posted by sportbucket at 10:50 AM on April 12, 2013

J.Crew Factory Vintage Slim-Straight in Dark Rinse, $40-60.

I typically wear standard J.Crew Slim Straights in Resin Crinkle Wash, which is fairly close to unbroken raw in color, and I just wait for a sale code and get them for ~$70-$80.
posted by The Michael The at 10:56 AM on April 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

A lot of people hate the gap, and don't associate them with quality per se... But their "1969" selvedge/raw is remarkable quality, and looks a hell of a lot more expensive than it is. I think I was paying $37 brand new on eBay? These are by far the closest to "$150 Japanese denim". I banned myself from buying that stuff anymore, and I've had friends who still do ask what brand they were assuming it was one of those. I can also say good things about uniqlo and unbranded.

I'm also a huge fan of Levi 511s for black jeans. The indigo colored ones are ok, but don't fit the same(fucking Levi's... No two pairs are EVER the same).

H&m jeans feel, and can look a bit cheap but last remarkably well. Me and my roommate beat the shit out of ours biking(in Seattle Weather! Constantly wet and dry!) and ours are still going strong. They fit a little bit 2007 American apparel cartoon hipster though. They're cut a bit too much like leggings, but I haven't tried every single cut they sell.
posted by emptythought at 11:40 AM on April 12, 2013

Levi's Shrink to Fit 501s? They fade nicely and I'm pretty sure I bought my last pair on sale for about 40 bucks.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:04 PM on April 12, 2013

Buy a pair of shrink to fit 501s and get them tapered by your local tailor after you wash them and dry them. Cheap and foolproof.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:55 PM on April 12, 2013

Yup, Uniqlo is where I buy jeans now ... I used to break in raw denim too but I just got so tired of the entire process (and gained a few inches around the waist).
posted by pravit at 3:59 PM on April 12, 2013

The Levi 510s or the Levi 511s look good on men, depending on what specific fit you want. I think they are about $50 or $60 at Urban Outfitters.
posted by aaanastasia at 1:31 PM on April 13, 2013

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