Friday, October 7

29 Best Jeans For Men Under $100 2022: Cheap Jeans For Men

For a few years there, trying to find the best jeans for men felt a lot like getting into fancy wines. Point of origin suddenly mattered: was the denim milled in Japan or America? There was confusing terminology to learn—raw, selvedge, ring spun—and a whole whack of weird rules to follow, like never washing your jeans for the first six months. Oh, yeah, and the price tags on these artisanal dungarees were not unlike what you’d find on a well-aged bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape: wallet-busting.

Thankfully, stylish dudes in the know have mostly moved on from that level of denim geekery. Jeans are back to just being jeans: knockabout, utilitarian, the kind of thing you can dress up on a dinner date or pull on for a hungover Sunday without a second thought. More corner store beer than fine wine. As long as they look good, who cares how much they cost? You think Dennis Hopper ever wondered if his jeans were chain-stitched by hand? Of course not!

These days, your chief considerations should be fit—look for pairs that are slim and slightly tapered through the leg—and the wash, which you’ll want to appear as natural as possible. That means no more Jersey Shore bleach-heavy fades, with all that uber-fake “whiskering” across the thighs. Instead, your jeans should look like you broke them in yourself—or be dark enough that you actually can break them in yourself. To give you a head start, we’ve tracked down all the go-anywhere, do-anything, all-around best jeans for men under $100—most of which you can pick up, right now, at your local shopping mall.


The Best OG Jeans

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Levi’s 501 Original Shrink-to-Fit jeans

Would a denim roundup even be a denim roundup without a pair of Levi’s in the mix? The age-old denim purveyor’s iconic 501s are the jeans that invented jeans, and thanks to their timeless straight-leg fit, they’re still every bit as relevant today as they were in the late 1800s. The idea with the OG Shrink-to-Fit model is this: wear ‘em as long and as hard without washing them as you can—we’re talking weeks or months or even years—until they’re nice and beaten up. Then, wear them in the tub with a little soap, rinse off and let them air dry on your body. The result? The best-fitting, best-looking, best-feeling jeans you’ll ever own in your whole damn life. 


The Best Right-Now Jeans

These ’90s-inflected jeans capture the energy of the moment. They’re not merely relaxed or athletic fit—they are straight-up baggy. You could wear them with a clean hem or even a slightly cropped inseam to show off your kicks. But if you’re gonna go full 1998, wear ‘em a shade too long so that they pool over your shoes. You can lean in to the oversized energy with a big hoodie a la Justin Bieber, or dress ’em up a touch with a relaxed button-up and loafers.


The Best Stretchy-But-Won’t-Stretch-Out Jeans

Jeans this uniformly dark are normally stiffer than moonshine and about as comfortable as a root canal. Thanks to a clever infusion of stretchy elastane, Everlane’s signature Japanese denim gives you that pristine indigo look—which cement these as the most office-appropriate pair of the bunch—without any of the sandpapery breaking-in period. By that same measure, they’re also surprisingly sag-resistant: you can wear them every day of the week, and they’ll never lose their flatteringly lean shape. Pair ‘em with a tweed blazer, knit tie and equally-crisp white sneakers for a fit that’ll take you from a meeting with your boss straight into happy hour.


The Best Entry-Level Selvedge Denim Jeans

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Uniqlo stretch selvedge slim-fit jeans

Remember all those highfalutin denim details we mentioned up top? These guys actually come fully loaded with a bunch of them. Flip up the cuffs, and you’ll find selvedge—that’s the white-and-red striping running up the seams—and chain stitching, AKA those tiny loops of yellow thread along the circumference. Both are hallmarks of high quality (read: more expensive) jeans. Add to that a perennially good, tastefully slim silhouette, and you’ve got one fine pair of denim—all ready to break in like a charm.


Your Dad’s Favorite Dad Jean

Lee relaxed fit straight leg jean pants

If you’re still riding the Dad Wave™, don’t mess around when it comes to jeans and get yourself a pair of Lees. The denim is hardy, the fit is boxy, and the wash is perfectly uniform, without any crazy distressing. Most importantly, they’ll only set you back a mere $30—because we all know affordability is the sine qua non of a great dad jean.


The Best Slim-But-Not-Too-Slim Jeans

Gap slim jeans with GapFlex

Gap kicked off this whole “quality jeans at an inoffensive price” movement a decade ago, and they keep the party rolling with these medium-wash crowd pleasers. Worried you’ve got too much, ahem, “power” in your legs to squeeze into any of these slim-fit jeans? This pair was engineered to look great on the broadest range of body types: not too snug, not too loose. Not for nothing, there’s also a lived-in character to these jeans that’s hard to come by—they’ll feel like a familiar old fave right from the jump. That’s the denim equivalent of what NBA stat heads would call an “intangible.”


The Brooklyn Blue Jean

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Stan Ray original painter pant

Stan Ray’s been hawking its tough-as-nails, American-made workwear since the 1970s. You’ve probably seen its famed painter’s pants if you’ve ever walked under some scaffolding or sipped a latte in your hippest local cafe. While the off-white version is without question the most iconic, this raw denim rendition is possibly even better—and will keep getting better the longer and harder you wear ’em. With all the storage space you could ever need and a truly roomy silhouette, it’s best served with a baggy sweatshirt and classic sneakers.


The Boot-Ready Jean

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Wrangler Cowboy cut 13MWZ original fit jeans

This is the jean of choice for Super Bowl stars and real-ass cowboys alike. Wranger’s bootcut men’s jeans are iconic thanks to their hip-hugging top block and flared hems, which pool over a pair of boots like a denim fondue. The denim is a dense, 100% cotton fabric that can handle its own on and off a saddle, with or without a center crease. If you want to go especially hard, we recommend serving them up the way a young Harrison Ford would’ve: with a western belt, a plaid blazer, and a pair of serious movie star shades.


If It Ain’t Broke, Go Vintage

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Levi’s Secondhand 501 original fit jeans

At long last, you can cop a killer pair of vintage Levi’s straight from the source. Following in the footsteps of brands like Patagonia and its WornWear program, the first name in denim introduced this platform for buying used and vintage Levi’s garms late last year. Not only does it represent a serious step toward a circular fashion economy that should hopefully help move the environmental needle, it’s also the easiest way to get your legs into great jeans that absolutely no one else will own.


Watch The GQ Recommends Show: Our 5 Favorite Jeans Fits Right Now

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20 More Jeans Under $100 We Love

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Daily Paper rework denim pants

Double the knees at half the price.

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Todd Snyder slim fit 5-pocket Italian corduroy

Like your favorite blue jeans, only waaaaaaaaay softer.

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Madewell garment-dyed athletic slim jeans

Nobody said your jeans have to be black or blue.

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J.Crew classic straight-fit jean

J.Crew’s in-house line of denim has always been good and one of the best values around. Full-price, these don’t meet our criteria. But J.Crew’s frequent discounts make it easy to snag for under a hundred bones.

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L.L. Bean Double L jeans

The Bean does not play around. These jeans are heavy-duty and super durable. Plus, the classic fit means they’ll never go out of style.

Pleasures crystal cheetah print denim

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Dickies Houston relaxed jean

Black jeans may come off as more serious, but the relaxed silhouette of these jeans belies its dour demeanor.

Flint and Tinder Everyday stretch denim

The sturdy denim means its built like a tank. The four-way stretch means its as flexible as a ballet dancer.

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COS regular-fit taperd-leg jeans

For the fellas that want the trim silhouette but need more breathing room for the thighs, these are calling your name.

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Noon Goons Glasser jeans

When every other pair of jeans is giving you the blues, these have got the sunny disposition to liven up your fits (especially at that massive discount).

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Wrangler Wrancher dress jean

Your affordable way in on the baggy-flared movement that’s sweeping the nation.

Dickies Garyville regular tapered jean

These upgraded Dickies come with all the same hard-wearing details you know and love, with the added bonus of an updated tapered silhouette.

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Banana Republic relaxed organic cotton jean

White jeans only work in the right shade of white—not blindingly white, but also definitely not beige. This is that Goldilocks shade that works with every color in your closet.

Fourlaps Traverse pant

When you need to do squats at a moment’s notice, these ultra-stretchy, athletic-fit jeans will make sure you’ve got the full range of motion.

Levi’s So High bootcut jeans

Edging toward the trending baggy flare, this new boot-ready fit from Levi’s is high waisted, roomy up top and flared at the bottom.

Levi’s 505 regular fit jeans

The official jeans of the Ramones, and the slightly-more-tailored cousin to the famous 501.

Everlane relaxed 4-way stretch organic jean

It’s 2021: get yourself into more relaxed jeans.

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Dickies regular fit 5-pocket jeans

If you like the cut of Dickies’ popular work chinos, you’ll be a fan of this 5-pocket jean variant.

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Abercrombie & Fitch bootcut jeans

A softer—and arguably better-tailored—bootcut alternative to the tried-and-true Wranglers above.



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